What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, now widely known as PTSD, is a serious mental health condition that usually develops after a person experiences one or more traumatic events. From child mental, physical, or sexual abuse and/or neglect, to car accidents, natural disasters, war, or other forms of shock and awe or violent situations, many people develop PTSD after a traumatic experience.
PTSD affects each person differently. Generally, after the traumatic experience, the person is flooded with strong emotions of fear, sadness, anxiety, confusion, discomfort, anger, grief, shame, pain, and memories of the traumatic experience, and begins to avoid all matters that serve as a reminder of the event. C-PTSD, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, occurs due to long-term, ongoing, and/or repeated traumatic experiences, usually during childhood. In a sense, people who grow up always being afraid develop C-PTSD.
This guide covers information that can help people with PTSD and C-PTSD, as many of the symptoms overlap.
PTSD can be quite debilitating and life-impacting because it fundamentally changes your brain chemistry, affecting your thought process, making you think and react differently about yourself and the surrounding environment.
In the 30+ years that I have experienced PTSD, I have learned that the disorder critically affects five vital areas of a person’s life: safety, trust, control, self-esteem, and intimacy. Regaining control of these areas is the foundation to healing from PTSD, balancing your life, fulfilling your dreams, and even helping others understand the disorder.
PTSD makes you doubt your ability to protect yourself and others because the traumatic experience leaves you feeling as if you’re always in imminent danger, even when you are not.
PTSD makes you question your own judgment and the judgment and intentions of others because after a traumatic event you feel as if you cannot trust others and everyone is out to get you.
PTSD makes you feel as if you’re unable to control your own life or positively influence the lives of those you care about because it is difficult to take control of the symptoms and how they affect your reactions.
PTSD razes your view of yourself and others, often making you think of yourself as broken and others as evil because you feel so different from others after you develop the disorder.
makes you feel as if you’re incapable of connecting with or being
understood and accepted by others because your thought process is so
different from the rest of the non-PTSD world.
THESE BELIEFS LEAD TO NEGATIVE EMOTIONS OF FEAR, ANXIETY, GUILT, AND ANGER, FEED YOUR ACTIONS AND REACTIONS, AND CAN DEEPLY AFFECT YOUR RECOVERY.
Why Did I Develop PTSD?
Almost everyone experiences fear and stress during and after a traumatic event. However, not everyone will develop post-trauma related problems, and few will have the traumatic events fundamentally change their brain chemistry.
Feelings of fear are based on specific physical and emotional responses that generally help people manage immediate [imminent] violent threats to their lives or the lives of others. But for some people, these physical and emotional responses can cause changes in the chemicals of the brain. These changes can result in long-term disruption of their mental health and ability to function at a normal level. PTSD can develop at any age.
are many factors that can affect the development and arrival of PTSD,
and the manifestation and intensity of symptoms varies greatly from
person to person. The following are commonly known contributing factors
to the susceptibility to develop strong [lasting] reactions to traumatic
have learned through research that anxiety based disorders, such as
PTSD, run in families. While having a parent with PTSD does not make a
person develop PTSD, research shows that there is a biological
predisposition that can put a person at greater risk of developing PTSD
after experiencing a traumatic event.
type of relationship you develop with your parents plays a big role in
your development. Factors that influence the parent-child bond include
important components such as the person’s readiness to have a child,
their comfort level with the child’s gender, and any events or
situations related to the pregnancy.
who have been diagnosed with PTSD and who don’t have their symptoms
under control tend to relate and respond differently to their children.
This can lead to issues in care and attachment. For example, mothers who
have PTSD tend to be more over-reactive and overprotective. This
affects how children feel and respond to the world around them.
child learning happens by observing and imitating, usually caregivers
and caretakers. Children who grow up in abusive environments are at
greater risk of exposure to a multitude of factors. A child who grows
up in an environment where medical care and hygiene are not important
will not learn that these are important life health-promoting behaviors.
In addition, a child who is raised in a home where there is smoking and
drinking will most likely imitate these and other high-risk behaviors,
and could even resort to substance abuse later in life.
Timing, Intensity, & Duration:
are at higher risk of developing C-PTSD if the abuse happens at an
early age, it was severe, and prolonged. The first three years of life
are imperative for a child’s proper growth and development. The impact
of trauma related stressors at an early age will have neurological
effects, and will affect the person’s identity formation.
a mother experienced a traumatic event during pregnancy, and was
subsequently diagnosed with PTSD, the unborn child is at a higher risk
of developing PTSD. Unborn children who are exposed to traumatic events
have lower birth weight, which can lead to later health problems, and
decreased levels of cortisol, which are the chemicals that help us
respond to stress. Children who have had in-utero traumatic influences
are harder to soothe when in distress, are more prone to infant related
issues such as colic, and are definitely at a higher risk of developing
Having a Hidden Disability:
shows a strong correlation between learning disabilities such as
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and abuse. Children who
have been abused are at greater risk of developing learning disabilities
due to the impact of the stress on their developing brain.
Additionally, children who are diagnosed with learning disabilities,
such as ADD and ADHD are at a higher risk of being abused, as parents
often misunderstand or are disappointed by the child’s cognitive
differences such as impulsivity, lack of concentration, and
When a person lacks resilience factors, the impact of the traumatic experience can intensify. The child feels as if their surrounding environment has failed them. Resilience factors are resources that are present to protect or alleviate childhood trauma. For example, having a healthy parental attachment to parents who are supportive. Being part of a community who is willing to understands, safeguard, and nurture a child from a traumatic event. Other resilience factors include participation in activities outside the home that encourage positive peer relationships.
About the Guide
About the Guide
This guide will give you information on components necessary to disembowel and conquer PTSD, retrain your brain, and take full control of your emotional, personal, and professional life. The information gathered here will give you a fundamental understanding of PTSD and how it can be conquered. By identifying and addressing the symptoms associated with the disorder and controlling stress levels to reduce anxiety, PTSD sufferers can retrain, regain, and reclaim their lives.
Module 1 was written to help you begin the healing journey by giving you background information on PTSD and its development.
Module 2 seeks to help you understand what triggers are, why they happen, where they come from, and how they affect your brain. PTSD changes your brain chemistry, which makes those affected have a unique reaction to their surrounding environment. This module helps you understand why identifying and tackling triggers is so important for healing.
All humans have a stress management system. Some are good, some are faulty. These are coping mechanisms we use to stay alive, to buffer stress and conflict. Understanding what coping mechanisms are, which ones are healthy and which ones perpetuate your PTSD battle is paramount for healing.
Stress is the cornerstone of PTSD. Unmanaged stress affects your anxiety, negatively influencing your reaction to the world around you. Module 4 gives you information on what stress is, how humans respond to stress, how stress affects your PTSD brain and body, and PTSD symptoms.
Now that you know about stress and PTSD, you must tackle the sources of your stress. This knowledge will later help you collect personalized information to use in your plan of action. This is foundational step to start understanding what you need to retrain your PTSD brain and reclaim your life.
Although many people with PTSD manage to heal without therapy, the reality is that the right therapy can accelerate your healing process. Therapy for PTSD can teach you invaluable techniques that can only be learned through a licensed mental health professional.
While Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is very helpful for people with PTSD who want to heal from the disorder, it can be quite costly and time consuming. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) options are easy to learn and readily available for anyone with PTSD to use when tackling their symptoms.
To heal from PTSD, you must learn about the disorder, disembowel it, and draft and implement personalized coping mechanisms and skills. But to heal permanently, PTSD sufferers must adjust their lifestyle. Module 8 gives you an overview or options to adjust your lifestyle and maintain balance.
You will feel better when you empower yourself by being responsible for your own healing.
Why this Guide Matters
While the internet is filled with vast amounts of information, not all of it is accurate, valid, or useful. Evaluating reliable sources or finding guidance to improve your quality of life can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. Additionally, while information is the fuel behind the power of knowledge, it’s not a replacement for experience, especially life situations most haven’t confronted.
Learning to manage and control the symptoms associated with PTSD takes work, but it is not an impossible task. Gathering reliable information about the disorder will help anyone gain awareness of the symptoms and give them knowledge on what works and what doesn’t. Having this knowledge will be useful when choosing non-faulty coping mechanisms to address PTSD symptoms. This is applicable whether you’re learning this to control your PTSD or you want to help a friend.
Knowledge of the disorder is a powerful weapon that gives the person affected a great advantage. Learning about PTSD brings awareness of the fact that anyone can learn to read their body and mind to better implement a custom-tailored management system to recover from the limitations that PTSD places in their lives. When you identify what works for your personal PTSD needs, you can practice techniques to counter problems that arise due to your symptoms. This is the foundation to healing and improving your quality of life.
Learn, observe, collect, draft, implement, and practice. This is the secret to beating PTSD. It will take time and practice, and the journey, as well as the destination are completely different for everyone, even if the traumatic experience was of the same nature.
Reducing, managing, and controlling the stress in your life is the first step towards living a fulfilling and controlled life as a person with PTSD. This is a key step to take control of how the symptoms affect your actions and reactions to the surrounding environment.
For PTSD sufferers, stress and anxiety are the #1 contributors to intrusive thoughts, negative symptoms, faulty coping mechanisms, and unnatural and exaggerated reactions to stimulus. Once you create and implement a plan of action, and stick to it, you will be able to see changes.
Progressively seeing changes in your PTSD behavior will help you retrain your brain after the traumatic experience. Healthy coping mechanisms and skills are the tools needed to regain control of your PTSD, as they are tactics that are timeless in their essence and ability to help. Healthy coping mechanisms are the tools you will carry with you wherever you go and use whenever you need them most.
PTSD and all the mental, physical, and emotional problems it brings has an enormous impact on a person's life, as well as the lives of family, friends, loved ones, coworkers, and even pets. Whether it is your impact on their lives, or the impact of their reactivity to your symptoms, living with PTSD is hard for everyone.
People with PTSD who are not in control of their symptoms [and stress] cannot fully enjoy life and will have a constant negative effect on the lives of others. You don’t have to continue to live stigmatized with a condition few understand. Benefiting from the power of knowledge and community will allow you to be an active participant in your own healing and be the change you want to see in your PTSD life.
Retrain. Regain. Reclaim.
Year after year, research findings teach us more about PTSD, the many coexisting symptoms, and the impact the disorder has on the lives of those affected. Unfortunately, much of the relevant and useful information does not reach those who need it most.
Top therapy and medicine management can be quite costly, making it mostly inaccessible. Too many experts provide too much useless information for PTSD and C-PTSD sufferers on and offline. Most therapeutic approaches treat PTSD sufferers as broken humans who only have the choice of taking biological medicines and stay in therapy to control their symptoms.
The human body and brain are advanced machines, and just like you learned to walk, you can learn to control every symptom associated with PTSD.
This guide will give you valuable information about PTSD and how to regain control of your life. If you are serious about your healing, the accompanying website will provide you with links to download a variety of worksheet and information sheets to help you learn about and collect information to better cope with your PTSD symptoms.
I hope this guide serves as the catalyst that begins your healing journey to permanent recovery. The strength to cope with and recover from this complex disorder is within you and taking control of the stress in your life is a priority.
Without stress management techniques, your anxiety levels will just continue to soar and take over your life. Stress and anxiety interfere with your ability to enjoy the world. They force you to absorb your surroundings through the tainted lens of fear and doubt. You are here because you want to change that.
To regain control of your life after developing PTSD, you must learn customized positive strategies to replace current destructive behaviors led by stress and lack of control of the symptoms associated with the disorder.
Healing from PTSD
If you accessed this guide is because you are, in some way, touched by PTSD. Whether you personally struggle with the surplus of symptoms that accompany this debilitating mental health condition or seek to help someone currently affected by the disorder, learning about and understanding everything related to PTSD will arm you with powerful tools to tackle the underlying foundation of the disorder and how it affects each person uniquely.
The information in this book is to help anyone realize that it is possible to control every single symptom that PTSD brings to the sufferer’s life. You need to develop a plan of action that includes a custom-made system based on your symptoms and implement it. It’s a gradual process, but the disorder needs to be ‘disemboweled’ to develop individualized coping mechanisms and skills that will help you manage the symptoms by reducing your stress, lowering your anxiety levels, and not allowing the intrusive thoughts and catastrophic thinking to dictate your actions and reactions to the world.
Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that come into your consciousness (awareness) when you don’t want them and cause distress. Catastrophic Thinking is the thought process that happens after intrusive thoughts enter the brain. It is a person’s tendency to always expect the worst out of a situation, person, or object.
Expanding your options beyond therapy and medications and learning how to develop a system that works for you, a system that is timeless in its ability to help you is the only way to permanently heal from this debilitating disorder. Learn to use everything within you, around you, and in your power to beat and heal from PTSD and you will retrain your brain and regain control of your life.
Start your healing journey by understanding that you have the strength and capacity to take control of your life and your PTSD symptoms. You cannot let one or several traumatic experiences dictate your life and future. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Reclaim your life!