1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Daily Dose

Get the last 24hrs of new topics delivered to your inbox.

Click Here to Subscribe

When The Healing Process is Not Advisable?

Discussion in 'General' started by batgirl, Nov 11, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    Right now I am reading the book, "I Can't Get Over It" by Aphrodite Matsakis. For those of you who have it, I have a question about the content of page 138, the section entitled "Cautions: When the Healing Process Is Not Advisable".

    Basically she's saying that some people are better off not ever openly dealing with their feelings related to the trauma, because it just makes them worse. I am wondering if this is what a psychologist who saw me a while back meant. He said I shouldn't have exposure therapy directly in relation to the shooting for a long time or maybe not at all. I'm kind of confused and not sure who to ask about this as I am in between therapists / doctors right now. Obviously I don't want to do anything to make myself worse. She does recommend to read Chapters 8 and 10 and avoid some other chapters. I'm going to do that for now, but if anyone has any input or insight into this I would appreciate it.
  2. Register to participate in live chat, PTSD discussion and more.
  3. Boo-Damphir

    Boo-Damphir Active Member

    I haven't read the book so I'm replying only in the context of what you posted. Welcome to the mad, mad, mad world of psychiatry :cuckoo:
    It's conflicts like this that make definitive treatment so difficult. Because our doctors and therapists are humans with their own baggage, there is no step-by-step formula to treatment.
    Perhaps the author feels that never exposing herself to triggers works best for her. It would be interesting to see if she still feels that way now that time has passed since she wrote the book.

    I think if you feel ready to peek into the box then go ahead. If you do ok with little steps, take a few more JMHO.
  4. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    And once again people move my shit and I can't find it...

    My take and guessing as I am sure I have read that part but wanted to refresh.

    Some triggers and traumas that result you won't get past, you work around it. I think that was a partial reason in Anthony's move recently. Helicopters.

    But you will not know what you can or cannot do with out pushing yourself. Trick is try to not push too fast and balance it with what is going on in your life. That way you can see what it is doing. You have to take the advice a tailor it to you.

    Exposure you have to do in small steps and you have to have gotten through a lot of the emotions that go with it first. Then you move to more hands on like exposure. If you run to do hands on you are going to fall on your face. And you are not needing to go there right now at all as far as exposure.

    But one thing for sure and it does not matter where you are in healing, addressing issues and emotions will make you worse at first but you come out stronger, pick a little more, you fall get up even stronger and keep going like that... Then exposure, same thing and process. When you fall apart over and over to a certain trigger you have to accept it as a trrigger and do what you can to avoid it. But most can be taken on after you keep hitting it. ANd just that one.

    You have a hard case to deal with and you are dealing with it emotionally right now with the speaking you have done and opening up you have already made huge leaps that may not be apparent to you.

    That is why you take it slow though so it is not as bad of a crash later.

    I have to wait for hubs and kids to get back home as they left to find out what they did with my book, I looked for it and I came up empty handed, I have to reread to get a batter grasp at what you are getting at in that section. But trying to stuff it all down comes out ugly; it builds and builds until you blow and it sure ain't pretty thing when it does!
  5. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    Thanks so much to both of you. Hopefully I am just over-worrying. I just wish the psychologist would have been more clear in what he meant. I wouldn't really be worrying about it if not for the fact that the psychologist was quite adamant that I shouldn't be doing certain therapies. He actually used the word "dangerous" when talking to me about exposure therapy relating to guns... but didn't really define what the dangerous part was. I keep wondering if he means I would try to off myself or kill other people like my father did???? It really freaks me out. And the thing is I would like to some exposure with regards to guns, because at this point even typing the word "gun" is a trigger for me. I don't think I'll ever want to visit a firing range or join a gun club, but I would like to be able to walk by a policeman and not faint because I knew he was carrying a weapon (that's actually happened to me, more than once).

    Anyways reading that part of the book made me remember the pychologist's words and wonder. If it helps I will type a passage from the book here. I am a very fast typist so it's not a big deal. Here's what she says:

    If you have been severely or repeatedly traumatized or are currently coping with a great deal of stress, the healing process described in this book and certain forms of counseling may not be advisable. In most cases, counseling is helpful. However, in some cases it has been shown to increase symptoms and depression. For example, some Nazi concentration camp survivors have fared much better by keeping their memories in repression and denial than others have remembering the horror. Similiarly, preliminary studies of torture survivors from Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries indicate that counseling that focused on the trauma made many of these people feel worse, not better. For these survivors, counseling that deals openly with their trauma only deepens their sense of loss and helplessness. For such individuals, supportive counseling for present day concerns seems to be more beneficial than delving into the past.
  6. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

    I agree and disagree with parts of the statement. Practioners have a legal liability to not push the boundaries, because if they do, they open themselves up to being sued. You however cannot sue yourself, and what matters is the individuals perception of their own ability, not what others think. If you believe your ready to poke your head deeper, then do it and see where it goes. You are going to get worse before you get better, have no doubt about it, but you need to go down in order to come up, because when your down, that is when the brain learns, because its at its weakest, which means it can be manipulated by yourself providing it factual and realistic information, opposed to fictional.

    Yes, your dad shot you, but that does not mean that everyone in the world is going to shoot you because they have a gun, ie. police. Factually you know that a police officer carries a weapon in the case they need it in self defense / defense of another who it is their duty to protect, not just pull it out and shoot you because your walking past them. This is the type of factual and realistic information you feed yourself when you go down from opening pandoras box. When you open it, you cannot close it, instead you have to move through it, fighting the entire way.

    I don't believe there is any such thing as a person who cannot heal, because even those within the concentration camps have healed, or healed to an extent. I was actually taught and education on PTSD from a lady who was within the concentration camps, and she suffered beyond belief, and to this day struggles to talk about certain aspects, but she can make herself, and does. She is actually now a pain specialist, and one of the best on offer, likely because she has such practical experience in the field from her own suffering.

    She taught me that everyone can heal, its just a matter of finding the unique aspect to each person that works for them, opposed in attempting to use some blanket statement or technique that works. A type of therapy doesn't change, it is only the method and application in which it is applied uniquely to each individual that changes. For example, the private diaries that run hidden within this forum, not one is the same in any manner, nor response from myself, because every trauma is unique to the individual, thus their thinking is unique, thus every answer, logic, solution, realism, fact and aspect is unique to the individual.

    I generally put it down to laziness on therapist behalf, because they get tied into a thinking style, then attempt to use that across all patients, which for most may work some part, but those who really require that unique style, they put it within the too hard basket and instead have you coming back to pay the bills, yet give you nothing in return, except another appointment to do nothing.

    I think you have nothing to lose to be honest, and would even go as far as trying to keep it public for yourself, opposed to private, because there are many people on this forum with a wealth of private experience in therapy, qualifications, medical and so forth, except they have the added bonus of experience from having PTSD themselves. There is so much experience here it really couldn't be found in any therapists office, anywhere in the world. That doesn't mean though that you don't need your therapist, because you do, as you need that face to face interaction in order to get things out that need physical contact and talk.

    I say, if you believe your ready to open pandoras box and poke around batgirl, then go for it. Just remember, you are going to get worst before getting better, and that is something you must acknowledge and accept before you go heading into healing, because you need to remember it so that when your down, instead of killing yourself and running of the rails totally, you remember the commitment you made to yourself, and the acknowledgement that you are going to get worse in order to get better, so you do come up from the downs, not stay down. It really is a huge head game to take on, I know... as I have done it and succeeded, as some have also done here / doing now. It is really something you must decide, because only you know if your ready to handle it or not.
    malibran likes this.
  7. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Today when I was reading Anthony's reply earlier... My teen boy comes down asking this very question regarding this. Now I know where my book is and gee, go figure I forgot to ask about its location. Well, I know what room it is in, now am I brave enough to venture into a teens room? Glad he is reading it and trying to understand, I am crazy about that one for a reason.

    We were trying to talk to him about the move and he said he was reading it would be good for some to push it down. And since I am so messed up right now... I had this page open and started to read what was type batgirl. He said yeah that is it. He is trying to get why shouldn't I. Me I just can't my mind will not allow it. It is demanding to be dealt with.

    Funny when we sat him down (again) to try and explain or more hubs did, I am so stressed and just going over it was not in the cards. He told the boy your momma has been pushing this down since before you were born. She has been on 20 different meds. I remember a doc I had for years I went through 17 different kinds. BEFORE her break down and since your dad. The break down was about a year and a half ago. The list of meds is in polls I think since then. I was diagnosed twice around this past July and when I found this place while looking for info. Like shrink said not to do by the way...

    Now down to one med. to rid myself of. He tried to explain to him some people's minds do not allow it. He also told son that as far as symptoms according to my doc and what hubs has read he said your momma don't mess around, she got and she got it good... It is simply not possible for some to supress. As sons thing was if I pushed it down before and other people like in the book do better doing so... Why not mom?

    It was weird as I had to explain it and hubs mainly this exact question out of this book today to my eldest. And why it just does not work. I really cannot get my mind around how you hold it in and not explore it, even if you are going to get worse at times. Because it just won't stay down and demands to be heard, I imagine you are a bit there yourself as you are here.
  8. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

    I have it right in front of me. In the second edition it is on pg. 145. I agree with it partly. I believe that some traumas are so severe that it can cause harm to head into the nitty gritty part of the trauma. I, for one, shook like a leaf and could not control what I was doing, or thinking. My heart would race to the point that my chest hurt and I'd quit breathing from fear. I don't think that my trauma is at all that frightening as others. I can't imagine being a holocaust victim, the example that Aphrodite used. All of these symptoms are physical and for some people, starting to remember the process should be done in a controlled setting. Heart palps, hyperventilating, heart attack, stroke, can all be precipitated by fear.

    As Anthony said, it really is just up to you. It does get worse. And it can get extremely intense at times, but in the end, it's worth it for the peace of mind and confidence. For me, I didn't think I had a choice. It was either heal this thing, or die because I couldn't stand it. The constant fear. I hope that helps you!
  9. sibemom

    sibemom Active Member

    Batgirl, I could never imagine what you went through. For myself I have to get this out, and my therapist is being very careful. There is more inside me than just this accident and wether that speeded the process along to where I am now with PTSD or not I don't know. I had so much buried for so long, and yes some sessions put me OUT OF IT for awhile. I can't say what is best for anyone else but I think there was alot of good advice given here. My problem for a long time is that I DO NOT RELATE TO PEOPLE VERY WELL AT ALL. Before this happened I could at least FAKE IT, now I am distrusting, fearful, and terrified of new situations and new faces. I can open up here because everyone understands and I can feel emotion when I read things that are written what I can not handle is face to face contact with people and their emotions, that is why everything inside me needs to be completly cleansed. If I do not get rid of my baggage now it will eat me alive. I understand why a therapist might suggest to leave sleeping dogs lie but those dogs do wake up eventually and when they do no one can really tell what your reaction will be. I had no idea but now that I know I am working really hard to beat this even if it takes a long time. You do have to find what is best for you and even though the therapists are trained in helping us, we are the only ones that know just how far we can go, and then it's their job to make sure we do it in a safe enviorment under their supervision.
  10. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    Holy shit anthony, this is going to sound funny, but it occurred to me that I don't think anyone's ever just said your dad shot you, just bluntly. The therapists for sure don't. They've always talked around it, calling it "the incident", "the shooting", etc... and no one else really mentions it, even in writing. One therapist even encouraged me to tell people my family died in an accident, if I didn't feel comfortable with the truth. Anyways it's hard to explain, but when I read that it felt like a jolt of reality, like I was waking up from a dream or something. Weird.

    So what do you think about the theory (I assume it's a theory) that PTSD creates new pathways in the brain, so that the person's fear response is always turned on? This is what the "experts" have told me, that I will always have this, because my brain has been altered. It doesn't make sense... how can they be so careful in talking about "the incident", not wanting to upset me or whatever, but yet be so quick to say my brain is damaged?? Honestly, I think I would rather deal with the truth of what happened than be told my brain is flawed and there's nothing I can do to fix or improve it.

    That's cool about the lady from the concentration camps who taught you... I mean who better?? Wow. I like the idea of everyone's therapy being tailored to themselves, too. I have always thought I needed to pick something that works for me especially.

    Yes I agree, laziness, and also arrogance in some cases. When I was in therapy I spent a fair bit of time arguing with the therapists over certain points, because I wasn't ready to accept something or thought it was not true for me, and they were absolutely adamant that they were totally correct and I was totally wrong.

    Public? You mean public here on the forum? My only concern about that is, I have a fear of being discovered by people who knew me before... I am in a sense hiding from them right now, as I moved away and changed my name. You see, it was big news, it was on the front page of the newspaper and on the television, more than once. Everyone knew about it. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some write-ups about it on the internet somewhere. That really bothers me. I just want to be left alone, not have my life turned into some kind of freak show. Anyways I'm probably just being paranoid, I will consider it.

    I am in between psychiatrists / therapists right now, waiting for a new one. I probably have another 2-3 months wait at least. It's my fault though because I keep dumping the ones I have, because I feel uncomfortable with them or outright dislike them. Maybe I should just settle for someone or try to give them a chance. I mostly look at them with contempt. I feel like they think I am a very interesting case study, rather than someone they want to help. Again, that might just be paranoia on my part.

    Well I'm certainly going to try it (am trying it!) and going to see what happens. I'm tired of being scared of everything and everyone and all the avoiding. Thanks for the helpful comments.
  11. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    That IS weird, veiled. Weird coincidence that we are considering the same issue right now. I too get frustrated trying to explain everything to my best friend. She often suggests things to me which I know I can't do, but they seem perfectly reasonable and logical to her...

    Thanks Nam, yes that helps. I think I could suppress what happened if I really wanted to, but at what cost to myself? I'm already borderline underweight, have severe asthma, stomach ulcers, and recently, abnormal liver function. And I never had any health problems, other than my peanut allergy, before my dad went ape shit and killed everybody. So I have to conclude that my health issues are directly related to not dealing with the trauma.

    This is totally me!! I feel like a freak of nature... like maybe one of these days I'll get beamed up to the mothership and realize I was never human at all. Seriously... if that happened, I wouldn't be at all surprised!

    That's a very good point. It's something I fear actually... that if I don't deal with this, I will explode like my father did. Hurt others or hurt myself or both. Yikes.
  12. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Hope the breather helped or did you dwell on it? LOL. Really hope you feel better.

    You will find through trial and error what works best for you. Stitting on it won't for the exact reason you just stated.

    And find a doc you are happy with no matter how many you go through. Your brain may be altered but does not mean we cannot find away around it to make life resemble life again.

    And don't get shocked at thinking "good case study". I was told that point blank by my doc once and was flustered as that session he was more interested in my identical twin who did not end up with PTSD symptoms and yet we were exposed to so much of the same trauma and even into adulthood a running patteren for us both. So why not her? Why me? He said he would love to talk to her and we would make a great case study as we are identical.

    That is when they get lost and are not dealing with you as an individuial and YOUR case. Docs, they just grind my nerves.

    And don't be taken back by Anthony being so blunt. He is and that has got to be the best help you can get to get going in the right direction and keep it up. I know I would be lost still without it. Now I have hope. If you are here long enough and seriously want to tackle this you have what it takes and he can help get you there if you listen. I am having a rough patch right now, but I still feel encouraged that I will make it out on the otherside. May not be the same as going in, but anything is better than not doing it and letting it get worse.
  13. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    Actually I was quite busy with other things, got a lot of errands done, did some drawing (which always calms me) and then spaced out in front of the television last night for 5 hours... one of the hazards of having over 200 channels to choose from!!! But I do seem to be feeling a bit better. I think I may do the forum one day on, one day off... at least I want to try that for a while and see if it's helpful. I get pretty drained after I've been here.

    Thanks. I will keep trying to find someone I like then. I was about ready to give up and just settle for whoever.

    That sucks. I have had similar experiences with my asthma, I guess it is quite severe and unusually so, and since I am treated at a teaching hospital, the pulmonary interns are practically drooling over my chart half the time. I don't take that as personally though as I do with the trauma.

    Oh no I actually liked it haaaa. I mean I was stunned because everyone is so cautious when speaking of it usually, but it was good. Made it more real for me in a sense.

    I hope things get better for you soon, veiled. The one thing I feel lucky about is that right now I only have myself to deal with, and I'm really grateful for that. I can't imagine having to deal with other people's bullshit on a regular basis. Blech.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Show Sidebar