How Do You Know When You Are Recovering From Ptsd?

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Claire

MyPTSD Pro
I have had PTSD for a while, years, and I am starting to think, how do you know when you are improving? what is the difference between the plateu in recovery, and recovery? I feel like I'm stagnant, no new recovery, no new battles to face, but I'm still depressed...
Does anyone have experience with this, experiencing plateus' in their recovery and not being sure how to move on? How did you break your recovery stall?
 

Nyx

MyPTSD Pro
I can't say I know how my recovery is going, I just know that I've made progress. I guess you could know by trying to tackle other issues that have been dragging you down and see how you react to them.. I don't know, this is just off the top of my head, as I am only at the beginning of my quest.

Do you feel you have made progress until now?
 

Leona

Learning
If you have a therapist, I would ask her that question. Sometimes it's good to hear from my therapist the ways she sees that I have improved, because honestly, I can't often see it myself through all the stuff that goes on in my head. One tangible thing I have is that I have fewer nightmares. A lot of days, though, I feel just as messed up as I was two years ago when I started therapy. I've been told that the flashbacks and triggers will always be there, but that there are methods of therapy that can help make them less "charged". Almost like observing them instead of living in them.
 

Lucycat

Sponsor
Since I started therapy I also started a diary. I have found that very helpful to look back through and see how far I have come. It is interesting that you say ' ask your therapist', because my therapist asks me!

I have found that EMDR does as you describe and makes the flashbacks less 'charged'. Still there, along with the triggers, but much less important.

My T reckons that getting 95% better is reasonably straightforward, and that the last 5% is really hard work. I think I have managed that 95% over the past year. Now I get really frustrated at the very slow progress to shift the last of it.
 

Nicolette

Supporter Admin
I'm no expert Claire but it sounds to me you may be entering the management phase where it is not progress that counts but managing your life to minimize your symptoms such as working on lifting your spirits to reduce depression etc.

IMHO you have times of progress when dealing with your trauma and the issues surrounding it but a plateau means that you need to stretch yourself if there are no pressing trauma events to deal with. Then it's time to start testing your own boundaries with the symptoms of PTSD. Work out what helps you make it through a day better; try exposure therapy on the things which limit your lifestyle eg isolation and trying to get out more. You have to work on both - the trauma and the permanent resulting illness. While working on trauma will decrease some symptoms there are some aspects which require dealing with how you now are as a result of the illness and making your life the best it possibly can.
 

Claire

MyPTSD Pro
Thankyou for your comments, I've decided to go back into therapy to move past this point. Nicolette I think you ate right on the money.
 

strongwoman

Learning
ive read about EMDR and i want to know from personal experiences if it works.. ? if anybody can talk about it let me know.. :)
 

Lucycat

Sponsor
It works!!

I would not promise it as a miracle cure. It is not pleasant and is hard work. But in a short space of time I went from a quivering wreck to being able to discuss my history without it seeming such a big deal.

What I like about EMDR is that I did not have to verbalise the details of my abuse. Something to this day I have never done. I had to think about it and bring an image to mind, and talk about how it made me feel etc, but not have to say the details. My abuse was regular over many years. With EMDR we did a session on each place/room that the abuse happened. I did not have to do every single incident.

After 'clearing out' that baggage, I have since been dealing with the leftovers. This has included behaviours I have since learned that I had adopted in order to cope. Alcohol, vomiting, freeze response etc. I now see my T every 2 weeks, but only have EMDR if there is something specific to target. It is great that my T is trained in Trauma and EMDR so I only have the one person to deal with.
 

strongwoman

Learning
thanks burcielucy!!
i will look more into it and check it out..i have PTSD with BPD and i believe my self that i have BPD that over rules the PTSD..
its very difficult but a daily battle to do for my kids!
 

anthony

Founder
You have to measure success in small bites with PTSD recovery. If you used to do x, and it was destructive, nasty, etc... do you do it now. If not... success. If so, try try again.

If depression is your issue, then depression is treated best with exercise. Do you exercise daily? If not, why not? You know the answer to help treat your own depression if you said NO.

There are other fundamentals to depression, ie. lifestyle choices... but if its PTSD depression, then exercise, activities, etc, will help keep it at bay.
 

strongwoman

Learning
i have PTSD from being molested at 12 and Lost of my son in 2007, then raped by 3 men in 2008.
I have BorderlinePersonalityDisorder also. and i beleive thats harder then PTSD. the track record of relationships ending and starting,doing very dangorus activies, the feeling of abondament, uncontrollable rage, thoughs of killing myself, helpless/hopeless feelings, cutting my ankles, loveing my husband and then hateing him.. many more
 

Lady of Longbourn

MyPTSD Pro
I have more good days then bad and when I have bad days I have been able to recover more quickly. I have learned coping skills and it took a lot of work but I do believe it took a lot of work from everyone close to me. I don't think it will work for everything, I am sure I will have times where it takes me much longer to recover but I have hope.

I just can't expect the world from myself. I have to take things in steps and get involved in things I like doing.

So I guess I know that I am recovering becasue I am spending less time talking with my therapist about the past and more time talking about the future; sometimes I didn't even know I had.
 
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