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Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD, Fight-or-flight and Relationships: When Being Triggered Makes You Difficult to Be Around


When you suffer from PTSD, it often appears as if you’re not okay. Because typically, you’re not. Whatever environment you’re in is probably triggering you. Whether you recognize it or not. So you’re either distracted or on edge. Ready to explode. And when others are around, it becomes difficult for them to be around you. Shows them the darkest side of you. The primitive side that only knows how to fight or flee.

But PTSD never goes away. And neither do the unhealthy thoughts and unexpected triggers that come along with it. Leaving those of us who suffer, and those who love us, left to deal. 



Anxiety

Anxiety, Depression and Self-Care: 10 Tips for Journaling to Improve Mental Health 


Capturing your thoughts in writing can seem daunting at first. Trust me, I’ve been a writer for most of my life and the blank page can still feel intimidating. And putting your thoughts and feelings in writing can feel uncomfortable. Because confronting your thoughts and feelings can be difficult. But writing doesn’t have to be painful. In fact, it’s one of the best forms of therapy we have. It requires no one else. You can do it for yourself. And by yourself. For writing doesn’t need anyone to be present but you. 



Anxiety

PTSD, SPD and Anxiety: 20 Ways to Regulate Your Nervous System When Flying 


I’ve recently suffered recurring episodes of PTSD. So I haven’t been on an airplane in two years. Which is probably the longest I’ve gone since I was a teenager. For I love to travel. And even though my PTSD, SPD and anxiety make it extremely difficult to travel, I know that standing on the beach and breathing in the ocean air will make it all worth it. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.



Autism

Neurodiversity and Mental Health: Best Questions on Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) from 2019


Looking back at 2019, I received dozens of questions on the topics I write about. And while I am not a medical professional, I’ve been dealing with my disorders, specifically sensory processing disorder (SPD), for a few decades, which has allowed me to understand all the complexities that having a neurological disorder brings.

So while you should always consult your team of experts when it comes to dealing with your own mental health, here are the top questions I received and my responses to them. In hopes that some of the conversations I've been blessed to have will help you or a loved one heal. 



Anxiety

Anxiety, Depression and Self-care: Sticking to a Schedule to Survive the Holidays

With the holidays less than one week away, I am aware of the need to schedule my time. Because the holidays are difficult for me, I find that if I plan everything, I have a schedule to follow when the hard times hit. And it's imperative to my mental health that I stick to my schedule. Militantly. Like I have no choice. Like if I don’t do it, someone will get hurt. Like my life depends on it. 



Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Mental Health and Downtime: Scheduling Projects to Practice Self-care During the Holiday Season 


I finally finished grading finals for the semester. Which feels bittersweet. For while I am grateful to have time off before the next semester begins, it’s over the holidays — historically, a dangerous time for me. Not only can the holidays be triggering, depressing and exhausting, but there’s a lot of unscheduled time. Downtime. And having downtime is the hardest time for me to deal. For without structure, it’s as if my brain and my body don’t know what to do. Which can be destructive. To others and to myself. 



CBD

PMS, PMDD and Somatic Trauma: 10 Ways to Prevent Self-harming During Your Period


I didn’t attend Thanksgiving this year. With neither my family nor my friends. I had to be alone and to take care of myself. Because that’s what my period self demands. It holds my sanity at ransom, and if I don’t comply, I’m a goner. 

I had to stay home to take care of my body. Because it has been through hell. It’s scared. Scarred. Timid. Afraid. From the trauma it has suffered. I need to comfort it as I would a child. Give it blankets and soft clothing. Feed it warm, bland foods. Allow it time to rest. I have to soothe it. To uplift it. To let it know I will not let anything happen to it again. 



Altar

Mental Health, Spirituality and Self-care: 8 Basic Steps to Beginning Your Meditation Practice


I started meditating when I lived out West. A far way away from where I grew up in the Midwest. I was searching for something. As we all do in our 20s. But I had been struggling with my mental health for as long as I could remember. I wasn’t okay. And I didn’t know how to get better. I was completely lost. Both in my life and in myself. And meditation was the first thing that helped me find my way. 



Anxiety

Mental Health and Self-care: Doing Yoga, Practicing Meditation and Journaling to Connect to Your Spirituality  

My cousin recently spoke with me about wanting to become more spiritual. A journey she knows I’ve been on for quite some time. To help me work through my trauma. To improve my mental health. She was looking for book recommendations, tips, anything, really. As I began to respond to her, I realized there was so much to getting started that I had to write it all down. So here was my advice to her: