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Reading Trauma Diaries - Purpose and Intent

Discussion in 'General' started by anthony, Sep 24, 2007.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Something that keeps coming up is the response that those who suffer PTSD have when reading others trauma diaries, typically ending in ignoring them all together because it affects symptoms too much. Well, that is not necessarily the correct approach.

    I have highlighted here that this forum is one big trigger, it is one huge and constant method of exposure therapy. That in itself has a point, in that exposure therapy is factually proven and scientifically calculated to prove the absolute best results for many of the symptoms associated to PTSD.

    The idea of reading anothers trauma diary is to help those who want to advance their own knowledge. How does one do that you say from anothers trauma? The simple fact is that by reading diaries you can make one of two choices. You can just read and ignore the real content and story; you can read and focus on analysing the diary content to improve yourself.

    I personally use diaries as my own method to continue improving myself. Whilst I help people within their diaries, I read the content and find negatives and positives, I find learning experience from others in which I can adapt to myself. I identify others problems and make active choices to educate myself and learn the positives to these negatives. Whilst not everything is valid to use on myself, I still learn and absorb the real focus. I use that information to better myself constantly.

    So I guess for those who just read a diary, get a bit ill and take nothing more away from it than it makes them ill, then you will not learn as quickly as maybe you would like. The idea is not to focus on just you, but to learn from others experience. Exposure to trauma, learn from others trauma, adapt everything to yourself that you possibly can.

    Remember what I say to people; you first, everyone else after you. That means just because you read a diary doesn't mean you have to respond. If you have something to share, then do so, if not, then use others experience to constantly better yourself.
    scout86 and Rain like this.
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  3. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

    I find the diaries to be a balancing act for me. Sometimes they are very upsetting to me, sometimes I just space out and can't remember a word of what I just read, sometimes it's very encouraging and hopeful, and sometimes I get real "eureka!" moments. I just keep trying to muddle through them and apply what I can, where I can. Practice makes perfect right?

    Rain likes this.
  4. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    For me right now it is the correct approach. I mean I worked through my diary and still go back for guidance. As for other people's diaries I need to stay back as my condition effects others way more than who is here. I have more triggers to deal with on a daily basis to work on beyond the forum. So there is my problem with diary readings. Am I to trigger myself reading another's diary or should I trigger myself going out walking and now running? Running has turned out to be an unknown trigger so I am currently working on it.

    I am picking my battles. When I feel I am at a good functioning level in my home and in myself and don't have things I need to push through and practice daily to become accustomed to them anymore then I can take on other triggers. Just for me right now trying to shop, go for walks, run, deal with family life and the sort are more important and come first as that is functioning in real life for me. I take on the areas of the forum where I can be productive and learn from without being overly sick as my cup is already full from what goes on beyond the realm of my monitor as of now.

    I have learned how delicate the balancing act is as far as pushing limits far enough not to get fall down sick, but far enough I make progress slow and steady. And to not just stop as then all the old fears can creep right back in and you go back to the pain of trying to overcome them again. I am learning this is especially so with no medicines or drinking to unwind after a hard day!

    So the diaries do have to come later for me except as far as editing. I will move up to that when I am ready and my mind and body lately has been sending out signals that I can finally pick up when too much is just that or when I have room to add a new thing and listening!
  5. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    You hit it with balance veiled... and well done on the walking and running by the way.
  6. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    I could be fooling myself, but most of the diaries don't seem to trigger me, at least not what I consider to be a trigger. My trauma is different than a lot of people's here. I'm not triggered by abuse for instance. I can't imagine what it would be like to be honest as it never happened to me really. My problem in the diaries is, I always feel like I need to say something, but what I say is usually not helpful. Or else I get worried about someone too much because I don't understand what's going on, so then I get into trouble like I did recently. So maybe I need to not comment.

    There are a couple of diaries with shootings in them however and I have to admit I have purposely avoided them, without even realizing it until now. I will try to look at them now though, but just in small pieces as I have lots on my plate right now.
  7. zoe

    zoe Well-Known Member


    I can only speak for myself. What you said in my diary was not awful. I freaked out because I realized how I sounded ( I need to know), also because I went to moderation which to me automatically meant everyone had given up on me. I like the comments because it gives me a perspective beyond my own scary little world.

    It was something (the incident) that I lived through - just like my past. It was kind of a learning experience for me. I actually survived it!

    I have been having a lot of difficulty keeping in the present so I to have avoided some diaries or parts of them right now.

    I think we all can say the wrong thing or think we are, because we just can't know moment to moment where someone is at. Then we just have to work through it.

  8. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

    I find them overwhelming to be honest.

    I make attempts though. I dive in to certain bits. Mostly I avoid posts that detail the actual trauma & look more at how they manage their symptoms & the day to day.

    I'm also the same as bec, in that I actually space out and don't remember what I read - I thought that was unique to me. Other times they make me incredibly anxious. And other times inspired & hopeful.

    It is a balancing act.

    I'm also unsure about signing up to read the private section, or even doing my own trauma diary. At the moment I will think I will stick with what I'm doing looking at those in the public forum.

    It never occured to me to make comments, because I didn't feel qualified. Plus I'm just starting the process for myself. I see those that are doing the diaries as 'more advanced' in the process then me, so I don't really think I'd have anything that valuable to add, but I will keep it in mind that comments are allowed.
  9. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    Oh don't worry Zoe I wasn't only speaking about your diary, I read lots of diaries and have always felt like I should comment but often feel that my comments are dumb. What I was saying here really is that it never occurred to me that I could read and not comment. Somehow I was thinking it was impolite or my duty to comment or something... even though I don't always know what to say... I don't know why exactly but I honestly thought that... maybe part of it is because I always have so many people commenting in my diary. In my old diary I had 40 different people comment! Maybe part of commenting was like "paying people back" for supporting me in my diary, I'm not sure.

    That's kind of funny Awakening haha because you're the exact opposite of me! ;)
  10. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Throwing in my two cents for the balancing act when it comes to reading the trauma diaries. It really comes down to what's happening in my life at the time and how I'm feeling that particular day. I've learned that when I'm having a rough day to keep away from things that do or might trigger me and make said day worse. When I'm feeling good, I do read more. Honestly, I never thought that others did that as well in regards to the diaries.

    Additionally, sometimes there just needs to be a break from everything that's serious and just read things that are a little 'lighter'.

  11. pandora

    pandora I'm a VIP

    Reading other diaries has helped me to not feel so alone and I don't feel like a freak now. I realize that bad things do happen and we are all trying our best to overcome this. I like it when people read and post in my diary because again....it doesn't feel as bad or as lonely.
  12. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    The idea is to learn, just keep that in the back of your mind to all who want to continue advancing. Don't read in order to try and just help, read to find what faults others are making, then relate those to your own life, find the answers to those faults. Try them, share them, use others experience both positive and negative to improve yourself and hopefully improve others.
  13. Ayesha

    Ayesha Yarn and Cat Crazy. Premium Member Donated

    Old thread I found in a search.

    I totally agree with you @anthony. My therapist told me yesterday that I seem to have done most of the healing myself; I do think I mostly use him more as a sounding board and a professional to keep me in check during my life journey and healing. I think a lot of this is becasue of all the diaries I read and how much I post in my own.

    Until this forum I never realized how much a diary is helpful. So very very helpful.
    scout86, shell, TreeHugger and 2 others like this.
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