Do I have C-PTSD? New video questionnaire which will help you identify this!

A lot of research has gone into this video which has a questionnaire about helping people identify whether they might be suffering with CPTSD. I set up a poll on my youtube page, asking my subscribers to choose a video topic out of 4 options and this video was the most popular choice.

As I myself have answered ‘Yes’ to around 34 out of the 40 questions on this questionnaire and have also been diagnosed with CPTSD from 3 different therapists, I know that this questionnaire is very accurate. I created it to help my clients feel validated and to provide a stepping stone in the right direction towards their healing journey.

It is highly important to stress that there are 2 different types of abuse that a child can suffer in their family home. Overt abuse and covert abuse. Most abuse survivors, who have experienced a combination of these 2 types of abuse, will answer ‘YES’ to all 40 questions and will have all CPTSD symptoms, as well as visual, physical and other sensory flashbacks, along with extreme dissociation. Those survivors who have only suffered from covert abuse, also score high on this questionnaire (as much as 38 out of 40). This proves the severity of both types of abuse and sadly many therapists don’t take covert abuse seriously, when they should.

I wholeheartedly hope you find it helpful and if you think others will find it useful and validating, then please share this post as much as possible, .

Also please feel free to add your answers in the comments below this post, or on my youtube channel! Please specify whether you experienced overt abuse or covert abuse or both.

Thank you!

Love Athina ♥

 

The aftermath of a traumatic incident

As much as I dislike watching the news and tend to limit what I take in, it is increasingly difficult to not be affected by the constant bombardment of war footage, terrorist attacks, murder and suffering.

When you are a highly sensitive & empathetic person, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the sadness of others. I am very much aware of the cruel injustice in our world and it hurts me deeply to see so many suffering. It is even tougher when this is repeated in your own country. Due to the fact that I know what it feels like to have your life threatened, I decided to make the following video on the aftermath of trauma. This is my small contribution towards all those affected.

Despite my traumatic childhood, I was also once caught up in armed robbery, where a gunshot went off right next to me and a woman was lying on the floor with blood on her leg. The disbelief of what I had witnessed was indescribable. The terror I felt shook me to the core. I couldn’t comprehend how someone could shoot a gun, when everyone at the cashier was cooperating and the robbers had managed to get their money.

This armed robbery happened at a time where I was very vulnerable already as my CPTSD was really bad. All I could think of after this robbery was ‘not again, not another trauma to add to my list’. Life felt so unfair and scary on that day and my mind was telling me that there was more damage done and that I would not recover this time.

If it wasn’t for my kind therapist at the time, to ground me and tell me that I wasn’t going to let this swallow me, I don’t know how I would have coped in the long term.

So this video is for those of you who are new to trauma. It is helpful in understanding yourself after a traumatic experience and it gives you the tools you need to ride the emotional waves that may at times feel like they are taking over.

Although I am not a qualified psychotherapist, I do have a lot of insight into trauma through my own journey and I know the many things that helped me, as well as others. If you are someone who is in deep distress, then please call a qualified mental health professional.

Thank you so much for reading & watching! ♥

Please share this post if you think it will help others.

Check out my patreon page below, if you would like to support the creation of more videos, documents and fact sheets.

https://www.patreon.com/AthinaEhlen

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.

1 year of Courage Coaching

OXYGEN TANK TUESDAY ‹ Mr Buffy Devane ‹ Reader — WordPress.comToday marks 1 year since I started Courage Coaching and I can definetely say it has been totally worth it!

Although I wasn’t new to wordpress 1 year ago, I was very new to coaching!

Since completing my certification and coaching my first clients, it has been both exciting and challenging.

Through creating my small youtube channel,  I have helped support people, that I would otherwise not have been able to reach.This channel has grown at a steady pace and my videos (and sound quality) have also improved over time (with the help of my viewers 🙂 of course).

It has been a very interesting first year and I have felt very grateful for all the lovely comments, support and exciting opportunities that have been part of my journey so far.

Sharing my knowledge with others and giving people hope, has been a truly humbling experience.

When I myself was in a dark place in the past, all I wanted was hope and guidance. The few but very special people that gave me this hope and guidance, will never truly know what a huge part they played in the successes I now am grateful for.

It is so valuable to know that there is always a tiny speck of light in that neverending darkness we may sometimes face in our life.

Dear readers, I would like to THANK YOU.

Love Athina ♥

 

The loss of what should have been

When you don’t get certain basic needs met in your childhood, there will come a time in your future where you will eventually become awakened to these unmet needs. Although this isn’t the same for everyone, there is usually one feeling which is most prevalent for most: ”The feeling of being ripped off”

This feeling of being ripped off, because you didn’t have a healthy family or because you no longer have a family to turn to, starts a very real and painful journey of mourning.

A lot of people who grew up with abusive parents, or in one parent families, or in families where their parents were chronically ill, learned to ‘live on autopilot’. They either had to push down their feelings to keep the peace, be a confidant or carer to the sick parent or learned that they had to solely rely on themselves. Even when they were scared and had no one to turn to as children, they had to keep going. As early adulthood approached, they may have found many ways to cope with this underlying feeling of sadness or anger, by drinking too much, working too much and generally trying to find ways to numb out any uncomfortable feelings that would creep up.

When an adult child is first awakened to the reality of what really was and what now is, they somehow know that things will never feel the same again. It might be that a certain event in their adult life uncovered feelings that had been buried deep inside them and suddenly the strength that they thought would always keep the safe, slowly starts to crumble. New anxieties, fears & losses start to unfold and the world suddenly starts to feel like a scary & unsafe place.

At this early stage of realisation, when adult children come to terms with the fact that they needed so much more than what they were given emotionally, the grief can feel overwhelming. Grief for adult children is a complex emotion because so much of the loss has been built up over time and they have long learned to adapt to the constant loss of an ideal childhood. Looking into the future feels bleak and they feel as if things are only going to get worse rather than better.

Through my own journey of grief, I learned that it isn’t a straightforward process and that it doesn’t have a certain time limit. When the grief was so overwhelming at times that I couldn’t imagine a better future, I reminded myself that it was necessary for me to truly feel the sadness. When your heart feels broken you have to let it heal and healing requires compassion & patience with yourself.

Pete Walker is a truly Inspirational Psychologist and survivor of childhood abuse. His words below really resonate:

 “…the broken heart that has been healed through grieving is stronger and more loving than the one that has never been injured.  Every heartbreak of my life, including the brokenheartedness of my childhood, has left me a stronger, wiser and more loving person than the one I was before I grieved”

The last thing that is worth mentioning, is that a lot of people don’t start their journey of recovery & grief from childhood trauma, unless it is emotionally safe for them to do so. It might be that they are in a supportive relationship and a stable environment and this enables them to ‘let go’ and just be vulnerable. It might be that they have found a therapist which they feel comfortable enough to be themselves.

Recovery from the losses of one’s childhood is necessary in order to restore balance & new found hope in the future.

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What is your experience?

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

The Link Between Childhood Trauma and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Childhood trauma produces physiological effects upon the developing brain that have an adverse effect upon the individual’s stress response system.

Childhood trauma is likely to increase a person’s vulnerability to falling victim to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

FACTS ABOUT CFS.

The symptoms of CFS are as follows :

– persistent fatigue/exhaustion which affects everyday life and is not rectified by sleep or rest

– in the UK, the condition is thought to affect approximately a quarter of a million people

– the condition is more prevalent in females than in males

– it normally affects people between about the ages of 20 – 45 years; however, it can begin during childhood – if so, it normally begins between the ages of 13 and 15 years

CFS can be split into 3 different levels of severity :

– MILD : the person can probably care for him/herself, but may require days off in order to rest

– MODERATE : at this level the individual may well experience reduced mobility, disturbed sleep, as well as a need to sleep in the afternoon

– SEVERE : at this level the person will have significantly decreased mobility, possible impairments to his/her ability to concentrate as well as greatly reduced ability to perform many everyday tasks

Individuals with CFS who were tested in various studies, had higher overall trauma scores than those without CFS.

Exposure to trauma increases the risk of CFS between three and eight times, depending on the type. Emotional neglect and sexual abuse during childhood were most strongly associated with CFS.

It generally appears that CFS is part of a spectrum of disorders that are associated with childhood adversity.

Do you suffer with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

As someone who lives with CPTSD, I would say that I suffer from it moderately.

What is your experience?

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.

 

Narcissistic abuse-Trauma bonding with a parent

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As many of you already know, my journey to qualifying as a Life Coach, was based on my own recovery from my narcissistically abusive parents.

For those of you who don’t follow my more personal blog, I wanted to just give you a little insight into my own struggles.

In the last few days, I have been struggling with contact again from my father, after 1 year and a half of not speaking.

I sent him a letter, so he could stop harrassing me by phone.

I never exclusively told him I wanted no contact, but after a very traumatic time following his attempted suicide, (as a way of stopping his wife from leaving him) he gave me the silent treatment for a year, so I just went along with it.

I was not willing to respond to him and was already in a grieving process, even though there was no closure of any sort.

When he finally decided to start hoovering me back in with his phonecalls and sudden caring, I continued to ignore his calls. This communication from him went on for 8 months. I finally got fed up with the constant calls that I decided to send him a letter to end our relationship. I briefly explained my reasons and gave him the chance to reply.

I received his reply and it hit me really hard! More than I expected it to.

I realised that I still had a tiny glimmer of hope that he might change his behaviour and this was a huge setback for me. I also realised how incredibly strong the trauma bonding is between us, even more so than with my mother.

As a means of coping with my recent distress and the final letter to him, which I am in the process of writing at the moment, I created the below video!

It outlines what I have been going through and what many other survivors of abuse face all the time.

Please feel free to share it, if you think it may help others.

Just visit my Youtube page and embed it into your page.

Thanks for 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.

How does codependency start?

Hello to all of you 🙂

I hope you are all well or at least trying to be.

Thank you to those of you who have recently followed my blog and youtube channel.I am very grateful. Tomorrow I have the morning off my German class so will be catching up as much as possible on all your posts and comments.Despite my busy schedule at the moment, I have still been managing to upload videos to Youtube every week and luckily the topics I talk about are still helping a few of you.

The Q & A videos have been a success and I still have quite a few unanswered emails to sort through, so please bear with me.

The Christmas break (although most definetely not my favourite time of year) will give me the opportunity to do more videos in response to your questions.

Today’s YouTube video focuses on the cycle of codependence and how is starts & worsens over time.

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Codependency is very real and is a result of living in a home with an alcoholic parent, an abusive parent or a parent with a mental illness. Codependency develops when you put your own needs & feelings aside as a child, to care for & comfort a sick parent. Not everyone agrees with this point of view, however I have been through it and know the challenges associated with it.

Reaching out to all of those who struggle with their mental health means the world to me, especially to those who have suffered trauma and live with the result of this trauma.

I know how it feels to be invalidated.

I know how it feels to be called too sensitive or to just get over it.

Stigma towards mental illness is very much alive.

By sharing your experiences and spreading awareness in any way possible, this helps others understand better what it might be like for those who struggle.

If you can relate to this video, or think it will help someone you care about, then please share it with love ♥

Hugs 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.

Spreading a little awareness sparkle

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Just a quick post about something that matters as equally as physical health.

We all live with mental health and mental illness can touch all of us at least once in our lifetime.So how openly do we talk about it and how easily do we feel uncomfortable mentioning our struggles to a co-worker, family member or friend?

I have encountered so many of the below unhelpful phrases from ignorant individuals, so for this reason, I will keep spreading awareness of the importance of validating someone’s struggles with their mental health.

‘Don’t dwell on the past’

‘Aren’t you over it by now?’

‘Can’t you just try and be more happy?’

‘Stop focusing on the negative’

‘Strong people just get on with it’

‘Stop being a hypochondriac’

‘Stop being so self-centered’

‘Just snap out of it!’

‘You are just looking for attention’

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Look after yourselves ♥

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.

Trauma is a loss, so it must be grieved

Trauma happens to all of us..We all go through life with a few small traumas. Most of the time, small traumas or small losses don’t leave emotional scars. We just keep going and adjust to whatever life throws at us.

If on the other hand, the trauma or loss we suffer is profound, then this means that we will be more deeply affected by it and will need longer to overcome it or learn to live with the affects.

In this video, I touch on the importance of grief and the 3 main stages of grief you go through when dealing with a major loss or trauma.

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.