Sufferer How do you deal with different types of trauma? What helps?

Jade77

New Here
Hi. I was just wondering what helps when you have been diagnosed with PTSD due to several things. When I was young, I was a sexually abused by my uncle, who later ended his life by suicide. Also, when I was 11, I lost my grandfather he also took his life. Then when I was 17 my father took his life. I also have been sexually abused as an adult.

Right now what’s bothering me is today would have been my father’s 72 birthday and I am stuck in time at 1993 with flashbacks of the night it was homecoming and I got this phone call from my Mom telling me to come home. I argued with her because I didn’t know what was going on. She put My grandma on the phone and she demanded I come home. So me and my bf at the time went home. When I arrived, they were carrying out the body of my father…. This flashback won’t leave my mind. I blame myself for him not being here. I just wish that there was something I could have done or said different. anything to have saved him…

but I’m a mess from all that’s happened and don’t know how to heal. I am seeing a therapist, but she does not specialize in trauma. I live in a rural area. She talked to me about some place in Towson Maryland called Sheppard Pratt and suggested their program and I googled it, but am not sure about what it would be like….

sorry I am rambling…. I guess I just need to talk to someone….

does anyone have any thoughts?
 

Sideways

Moderator
Hey Jade, welcome to the forum. Sorry you have reason to be here.

For the here and now, and easing flashbacks, grounding activities may help. They're unlikely to remove a lot of the painful emotions associated with today, but it may make the day just a bit easier to interrupt the flashbacks with grounding.

Have you (past or present) had a therapist that's worked with you on your ptsd symptoms?
 

Jade77

New Here
Hey Jade, welcome to the forum. Sorry you have reason to be here.

For the here and now, and easing flashbacks, grounding activities may help. They're unlikely to remove a lot of the painful emotions associated with today, but it may make the day just a bit easier to interrupt the flashbacks with grounding.

Have you (past or present) had a therapist that's worked with you on your ptsd symptoms?

hi. I have only had one therapist and she has focused on anxiety and depression symptoms. I am also bipolar, but I get more depressive episodes than manic ones. We have worked a lot on sleep hygiene and how to ease panic attacks and some basic coping skills.

she is aware of my PTSD symptoms such as flashbacks, intrusive images and thoughts, isolation, nightmares, hyper awareness, depression, anxiety, feeling numb, insomnia…

my symptoms are getting worse and sometimes lead to SI like lately, which is why she recommended the trauma program at Sheppard pratt. I just wonder what it’s like there…

thanks for reading my post and responding… I really appreciate it. I will google grounding activities as I am not sure what they are.
 

Sues

Confident
Hi and welcome! I have PTSD from long, multiple abuse. I saw 2 therapists that were not trauma therapists. My first therapist was very helpful and had experience with anxiety and some trauma. Now I've found a trauma trained therapist and it has made such a difference and is super helpful. I am currently doing EMDR and it is really helping me. I can't speak to the specific trauma therapy place you are asking about, but I suggest that you call or go and talk to someone about it.

Also, it's normal to have anniversaries of trauma be very triggering. Often we may forget that it is an anniversary at first, but our body remembers and is already acting on edge. Ground does help. I also struggle with SI and grounding is super helpful for me. Personally, I use breathing or breath work to help me. Slow deep breath in on a count of 4-6, hold for a count of 4-6, slow deep breath out for a count of 5-8, pause and do it again. It's sometimes called box breathing. If I'm struggling or very anxious, my breaths start out shorter because I'm struggling to calm and breathe. But as a minute or two goes by, I can start to slow my breathing and it helps. Also grounding myself by naming 5 things I can see, 4 I can hear, 3 I can smell, etc.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I will google grounding activities as I am not sure what they are.
Yup, grounding often comes up in trauma-focused work in particular. You'll no doubt come across it if you do an inpatient stay at Sheppard Pratt.

Grounding often gets discussed in our Dissociation (for the lingo: flashbacks are a form of dissociation) forum. You can search among the threads there for Grounding (comes up a lot - what works, doesn't, ideas on different strategies, etc) or just scroll through. Hit us up if you have any questions about how to use the forum tools at Contact Us.

In short - grounding activities are the kind of things that bring your attention back to the present moment. It can take some practice, especially when you're distressed and mid-flashback. A really effective one (for physiological reasons, so you don't have to think about it) is holding ice (or anything out of your freezer.

There's tonnes more ways, but that's a good solid one that can be repeated endlessly.
 
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