Peer support subsequent to trauma contributes to full recovery

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- including complex trauma (cPTSD) -- is debilitating, breaking down the body through anxiety and stress, and it poses a significant suicide risk in sufferers. MyPTSD seeks to help and inform those who are directly or indirectly affected by these conditions through peer-to-peer support and educational resources.

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Does It Ever Go Away?

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by starry-night, Jun 10, 2011.

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  1. starry-night

    starry-night Member

    Does it ever go away? Or is it a case of learning to deal with it and manage it?
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  3. intothelight

    intothelight Just Being Me

    Hi Starry-Night,

    It doesn't ever go completely away, but it can become minimal. It really does get better and there are so many people here who are better and who are getting better every day. When I look back over the past year, I see how much I have improved. Not where I want to be, but much better than I was.

    Take it one day at a time and you will move forward.

    Spero3 likes this.
  4. ronin47

    ronin47 Well-Known Member

    I think of it as recovering from drug or alcohol Abuse, at least in the way some people describe it. You are never not an addict anymore, you are always a recovering addict. Even after you've acheived sobriety, it is something that still has to habitually be managed and dealt with. Personally, I don't see that as a burden or an inconvinience at all. I truly enjoy going to my therapy sessions and exploring new ways to cope with life's ups and downs.
    Spero3 likes this.
  5. Simply Simon

    Simply Simon Fathom the Power

    I think of it the way that I think of learning differences, dyslexia in particular. I have many writing students who are dyslexic but totally fluent at once. They have learned how to work with their learning difference to the point where it is rarely perceptible. I want to get there.
    Spero3 likes this.
  6. Spero3

    Spero3 Active Member


    My counselor told me about a book I just bought called, "The Body Remembers." The author's last name is Rothschild. Here is a link to it at The Body Remembers. The book is specifically about PTSD and how trauma causes our brains to be wired differently .I haven't started reading it as I am reading another book called "Incognito" which is all about how the brain works, but I can hardly wait to start it. It looks fascinating and has very good reviews. You may want to check it out.

    Does it ever go away? No. But, I do promise it gets better...much better. You know the "It Gets Better" videos that went viral that were meant to reassure gay teens that life gets better? Well, there should be similar videos made for people with PTSD. It is hard work, and everyone has their ups and downs and limits on how much better it gets for them. But, I can tell you that compared to ten years ago (even 2 years ago), I am a totally different person, and I am excited about my life. I could not say that a few years ago. I have no idea how much better I will get, but I work on myself daily. Some days I am more successful than others at dealing with my symptoms, but it is always a slow progression up.

    Don't ever give up. Life is too precious. :)


    <Edited by Anthony: Linked>
    Junebug likes this.
  7. Spero3

    Spero3 Active Member

    And you will. BTW, my younger is dyslexic. He was so dyslexic when he was first diagnosed at about 6 that he was in the 99th percentile. They literally retrained his brain. It took a year and a half of occupational therapy (at times I felt like I lived at the therapist's office), but it was so worth it. His spelling still sucks, but he has accomplished so much and, at 16, is doing very well.

    Simply Simon likes this.
  8. starry-night

    starry-night Member

    Thank you for your messages of hope.

    I guess I just feel really frustrated at myself. I'm not the person I used to be, and the person I remember being. I don't know who this person is I am now (and I certainly don't like them, not one bit!).

    If I look at myself in the mirror, I have no idea who the person is that is looking back. I mean, I know intellectually that it is me, but there is no connection at all. It's like looking at a total stranger. My OT said this is a self protection mechanism.

    Anyway, I hate this. I really do. I don't understand who I've become. It doesn't feel like me, or feel like I remember feeling before (and before was a long time ago...4 years I've had PTSD now).
  9. Spero3

    Spero3 Active Member


    I have experienced a little what you are describing, although I think I did it in reverse. I didn't know who I was, and felt disconnected and scared, from early childhood up through early adulthood. I didn't like who I was, and, like you, I would look at my reflection and feel like I was looking at an alien and just feel terrified and Hopeless. I had to figure out who I am (and am still doing that). Although I wonder if anyone really knows who they are.

    I will preface my words with the admission that, compared to many people with PTSD, my symptoms are pretty mild. The worst for me is the bouts of Depression and Anxiety with some OCD's, but many of my PTSD symptoms are gone or at least diminished. So, I can fully empathize with and appreciate what others on this list suffer from, but I cannot fully know how bad it can be. So, take what I say with that in mind, and feel free to tell me to go to he**.

    Once someone has gone through something so tragic or traumatic that they are forever altered, that person cannot go back to who they were. Their thought processes and outlook on the world is forever altered. Something happened to you four years ago that did this to you. Now, you are at a loss as to who you are. The first thing I would say to you is to feel compassion for that person staring back at you in the mirror. You may not like the reflection now, but know that the person staring at you did not ask for what happened. All you can do is move forward and find the new you...the person looking at you. In time, you may start to even like who you are.

    This is a poem that I wrote:

    Reflection’s Eye

    Reflection staring from the mirror,
    You belie what hides in me.
    A little girl so full of fear,
    She wonders what will be.

    She sees a world so full of hate,
    A place of cruel intent.
    Wondering what will come of her,
    If a hand she does present.

    Tell me eyes of greenish brown,
    What you see in future’s day.
    Do you see a world of peace,
    Or one of deathly grey.
    Junebug likes this.
  10. starry-night

    starry-night Member

    Thank you. Your reply was really made me cry (which isn't necessarily a bad thing!).

    No, you're right. I didn't ask for it, or deserve it. There are moments when I fee really sorry for what that person went through (not in a self pitying way though). And think that she deserves some slack, after all she saved my life (and I know now that I wasn't supposed to escape, and wasn't supposed to live). And she did that in the most horrendous circumstances. So she really deserves a medal, if anything.

    That's as much as I can write about what happened now.

    Thank you.
  11. shebug

    shebug New Member


    You were you before, you were you during, you are you now. Hug yourself, love yourself, appreciate yourself, BE yourself. I don't know your story, but I think maybe you WERE supposed to escape, to live, and I'm glad you're around because for this moment, this one little time in our lives, you have given me a gift. Your question has made me remember that now I CAN recognize myself in the mirror, and so will you. It will NOT 'go away', not ever. But it doesn't always have to be front and center, either. Use whatever tools and resources you have to in order to get where you want to be, and to make that person in the mirror a reflection of the person you know and love completely.
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