Complex PTSD is recognised as a disorder in the ICD-11

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I wanted to share the great news that Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is recognised by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) eleventh revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11).

As someone who has openly spoken about living with the symptoms of CPTSD, it feels extremely validating to know that it is actually recognised formally. I wasn’t aware of this until very recently so for those of you who already knew this, please forgive my delayed discovery. For those of you who live with CPTSD and are aware of this, I hope this news finds you well.

In my personal opinion, a diagnosis of CPTSD could easily replace many other diagnoses. CPTSD is the result of child abuse, neglect and any other prolonged and repeated traumatic experiences.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression are in most cases part of having CPTSD, as well as the following (in the context of childhood trauma & abuse).

”Attachment – problems with relationship boundaries, lack of trust, social isolation, difficulty perceiving and responding to others’ emotional states”

”Biology – sensory-motor developmental dysfunction, sensory-integration difficulties, somatization, and increased medical problems”

”Affect or emotional regulation – poor affect regulation, difficulty identifying and expressing emotions and internal states, and difficulties communicating needs, wants, and wishes”

”Dissociation – amnesia, depersonalization, discrete states of consciousness with discrete memories, affect, and functioning, and impaired memory for state-based events

”Behavioural control – “problems with impulse control, aggression, pathological self-soothing, and sleep problems”

”Cognition – difficulty regulating attention; problems with a variety of ‘executive functions’ such as planning, judgement, initiation, use of materials, and self-monitoring; difficulty processing new information; difficulty focusing and completing tasks; poor object constancy; problems with ’cause-effect’ thinking; and language developmental problems such as a gap between receptive and expressive communication abilities.”

”Self-concept – fragmented and disconnected autobiographical narrative, disturbed body image, low self-esteem, excessive shame, and negative internal working models of self”.

Formal recognition and diagnosis will greatly help CPTSD sufferers with more appropriate treatment options:

Some current treatments are:

  • biofeedback
  • dyadic resourcing (used with EMDR)
  • emotionally focused therapy
  • emotional freedom technique (EFT) or tapping
  • Equine-assisted therapy
  • expressive arts therapy
  • internal family systems therapy
  • dialectical behavior therapy(DBT)
  • family systems therapy
  • group therapy
  • neurofeedback
  • psychodynamic therapy
  • sensorimotor psychotherapy
  • somatic experiencing
  • yoga, specifically trauma-sensitive yoga

It is also worth mentioning that CPTSD has also been referred to as DESNOS (Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified).

DTD (Developmental trauma disorder) is also proposed as the alternative equivalent to childhood CPTSD.

”Dr. Judith Lewis Herman, in her book, Trauma and Recovery, proposed that a complex trauma recovery model that occurs in three stages:

  1. establishing safety,
  2. remembrance and mourning for what was lost,
  3. reconnecting with community and more broadly, society.”

If you live with CPTSD and have had experience with any of the above treatment options, I would love to hear what you found helpful.

Thanks for reading

This blog post includes direct text from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_post-traumatic_stress_disorder

Love Athina ♥♥

Oversharing

Oversharing is something that I have also been guilty of on more than one occasion.

Why do many of us overshare whereas most people only share what is necessary when meeting new people?

In the video below, I explain a little bit about oversharing and why we do it.

Love Athina ♥

 

 

 

Update & video on Dependent Personality Disorder

Just a quick post to update you on what I am up to at the moment. I am currently studying my first Counselling module with the Open University alongside my work. I am very excited about this and hoping to complete a whole Diploma in Counselling or a full on Bachelors. I am studying separate modules at a time, which enables me to be more flexible in my choices.

I am still making youtube videos on my channel and also still taking on new clients for coaching.

I have a few new coaching options now, which include 30 min coaching sessions instead of hourly sessions. You can find these new options here: https://couragecoaching.net/availabilitycost/

My latest video is based on Dependent Personality disorder.

A lot of survivors of narcissistic abuse can sometimes develop this disorder or at least have a lot of the symptoms present.

Infantilization by parents and/or early loss or abandonment can cause Dependent Personality.

If you can relate, then please feel free to comment or share this video!

Much love to you all!

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here

 

Narcissistic mother types

Awhile back, I wrote a blog post on my other site about the effects of narcissistic abuse and the different narcissistic mother types out there, according to respected psychotherapist Michelle Piper. You can find this blog post here:

https://mychildwithin.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/narcissistic-mother-types/

After reading through Michelle’s website, I wanted to share the information she provides with my subscribers on youtube. With a growing audience, I felt it was the right thing to do.

In the following video, I talk a little bit about the roles children take on in a dysfunctional home and I list the 53 types of narcissistic mother that Michelle came up with. Most people can relate to quite a few of them, with their mother fitting into many different types.

If you find this blog post or video useful, then please feel free to share it.

Love Athina ♥

Somatic experiencing-Trauma

 

Somatic experiencing, helps restore the natural energy balance in our bodies. It helps with restoring the energy flow in our bodies, in places where it is stuck due to stress, injury or trauma.

 

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Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) was developed by Peter A. Levine, PhD to address the effects of trauma. Levine developed this approach after observing that prey animals, whose lives are routinely threatened in the wild, are able to recover readily by physically releasing the energy they accumulate during stressful events. Humans, on the other hand, often override these natural ways of regulating the nervous system with feelings of shame and pervasive thoughts, judgments, and fears. Somatic Experiencing aims to help people move past the place where they might be “stuck” in processing a traumatic event.

The Autonomic Nervous System and Somatic Experiencing Theory

The autonomic nervous system (ANS), which includes the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), and the enteric nervous system (ENS), is triggered into action when we’re faced with adversity and it governs the fight, flight, or freeze instinct. Although designed to be self-regulating, the ANS can become dysregulated, particularly when full expression of one’s response to trauma is repressed. As a result, the body continues to respond as if it is under threat. Somatic experiencing contends that negative symptoms of trauma—such as anxiety, hypervigilance, aggression, and shame—result from denying the body the opportunity to fully process the traumatic event.

Though many people who experience traumatic events recover completely, for those who do not, unresolved trauma can lead to larger mental and physical health concerns, such a post-traumatic stress (PTSD),sleep problems, mood swings, or immune system problems. Somatic Experiencing aims to restore the body’s ability to self-regulate in order to achieve balance and integrity.

Method of Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing sessions involve the introduction of small amounts of traumatic material and the observation of a client’s physical responses to that material, such as shallow breathing or a shift in posture. The therapist will frequently check in with the client to assess and record somatic sensations that may be imperceptible to the practitioner, such as feelings of heaviness, tightness, or dizziness. Practitioners proceed carefully and cautiously to avoid retraumatizing or triggering the client, and they help people to develop and employ self-regulating strategies. A key component to enhancing one’s ability to self-regulate is the practice of alternating, or “pendulating,” between the sensations associated with trauma and those that are a source of strength and comfort.

The SE practitioner will help the client find places of safety, whether that be a place in the body that is not activated by the trauma, or a physical place to retreat to in one’s mind. Experiencing the sensations related to the traumatic event in a safe way allows a person to fully process the trauma. Clients also achieve heightened awareness of their physical responses to stress, and this skill can serve them in everyday life.

The above text is from the goodtherapy.org website and is the best explanation I have found on somatic experiencing.

As somebody who lives with muscular armouring, which is a result of my CPTSD, I know how uncomfortable my body feels, especially around my neck, chest and back. Due to high stress throughout most of my life, this has resulted in a feeling of tightness in my chest, headaches, clinched shoulders, tight upper back and more. I also notice myself neurotically holding my belly muscles, which in turn disrupts my healthy diaphragmatic breathing. Sometimes, I have to remind myself to relax my breathing and in turn relax my muscles but unfortunately this isn’t enough in the long run, as my painful symptoms always return.

Muscular armouring causes Myofascial pain. Myo stands for muscle and fascia is the connective tissue that holds everything together. In more simple terms, when someone is stuck in a hyper vigilant state, this causes intense muscle tightness (muscular armouring) which results in Myofascial pain. Fibromyalgia is also a condition that can develop from prolonged trauma and is very difficult to diagnose in a lot of cases.

For those of you who have suffered trauma in your childhood or any other sort of trauma, it is worth paying attention to your physical symptoms, as body and mind are connected. If you have only tried talking therapy but haven’t tried somatic therapy, then I highly recommend that you consider it.

The theory behind somatic therapy is that the mind, body, spirit, and emotions are all related and connected to each other. Talk therapy is combined with physical techniques, such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and meditation. Other techniques used include dance, exercise, yoga, or other types of movement, vocal work, and massage.

It is important to be in touch with your body and to practice self-care as much as possible.

If you found this post useful then please feel free to comment, like or share.

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Love Athina ♥

 

 

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all you wonderful readers and fellow bloggers a wonderful Christmas (although a little late) and I really hope that you managed to find beauty & love in your surroundings, even if you were grieving or not having such a good time today. If not, then know you were not alone in your grief! I hope that you were loved or at least were able to spoil yourselves.

Lots of love to you all! ❤️

Athina

Complex PTSD & PTSD exhaustion

The exhaustion which comes as a result of suffering with the above conditions is constantly present. No matter how much you sleep or rest, you never seem to feel completely rejuvenated.

The following blog post by Roland Bal further explains this:

https://rolandbal.com/trauma-and-ptsd-exhaustion-fatigue-and-tiredness/

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Healing from abuse

The sad thing about healing from abuse is that many people who haven’t themselves been abused, can’t possibly understand the survivor’s journey.

Healing from abuse is unique to each individual who has experienced it. The survivor will be emotionally damaged and/or physically hurt and unfortunately this damage is sometimes irreversible. Abuse leaves behind scars unique to each survivor’s experience.

Although healing means that your mind and body are able to recover, this doesn’t mean that the person can return to being ‘normal’.

The aftermath of abuse is usually permanent.

There might be long-lasting Complex PTSD for those who suffered child abuse, human trafficking, kidnapping or other severe types of abuse.

For some individuals abuse might be all they have known. They don’t have a pre-trauma or pre-abuse identity. They might not know what it is truly like to feel safe.

To all survivors of abuse or trauma,it is very important to remember this:

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Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Why is going ‘no contact’ so hard?

It’s been an extremely busy few days for me recently, which means my blog posts and youtube videos have had to take a back seat.

Work has been a priority, with little time for writing and reflecting.

I have also had an influx of emails from people needing immediate support dealing with narcissistic individuals. It always deeply saddens me to hear all the grief so many are currently experiencing and sometimes I wish I could just take all their pain away.

The ‘No contact’ question has been popping up a lot, so in this video I stress the importance of acceptance. Acceptance in this case, of the fact that a narcissist isn’t able to love or empathize and isn’t going to change and treat you better.

Once you manage to reach a place of acceptance through grief and talking with a professional, it is then easier to make the decision to go ‘no contact’.

Thanks for watching and reading

Love Athina ♥♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Mental Health Awareness week

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Ending the stigma of mental health is still proving to be a challenge, although in the UK we are getting ever closer to our goal of a deeper understanding, tolerance & acceptance of the importance of talking about our mental health.

As somebody who has never known what life is like without mental health problems, I know how difficult it is to be open and honest about it..People are still uncomfortable with knowing what to say or not say..Even if they try to be understanding, deep down you can sense whether they get it or they don’t..

Every single one of us is touched by stress or anxiety at some point in our lives, whereas others live with it every day…I am one of those people who lives with chronic mental health problems..Complex PTSD isn’t something to be taken lightly..There are still so many moments in my life at the age of 34 that I still learn new things about myself that I am not able to do, that others would find incredibly easy to complete. The hypervigilance and overwhelm never goes away..The chronic fatigue never goes away..The low mood is always lingering in the background..The voice that says ‘you are just not good enough’, pops up a lot when I am working alongside others…

Self-care is so important in these moments and remembering to accept ourselves when we are struggling can make a world of difference!

Walking the same path as others with mental illness really helps people feel less alone..

All the wonderful people who ran the London Marathon raising money for Mental Health are simply incredible..

If you think about how much these runners must have battled with those nasty little voices inside their head, it makes you feel incredibly inspired. The voice of depression or the voice of anxiety is not an easy task to manage..but yet they did it, and in what an admirable way!

I am also blessed to have many friends & fellow bloggers who do so much to raise awareness about mental health! They have all been personally affected however and live with debilitating conditions themselves..

The most crucial part in my opinion of raising awareness, is to also hear more people talking about mental health that don’t have any personal experience with it..People that feel concerned about someone they know but just don’t know how to respond..People that are lucky enough to live with good mental health and are surrounded by people who aren’t that lucky..

If you have experience with ill mental health, stigma or intolerance, then please feel free to comment.

Lastly, I would also like to share my latest information video on defence mechanisms. I was having a bad day yesterday and couldn’t face the camera to film myself talk, so I came up with this instead.

Thanks so much for reading & watching!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.