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Author Topic: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  (Read 4446 times)
sunny
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« Topic Start: May 15, 2008, 11:17:38 am »

i have a dear pagan friend who is suffering from this. he is going to be seeking assistance from the VA for it(today, in fact), however i know full well that the odds of him actually recieving help are small to non-existant. i also know there is no magic pill for him to take that will fix him.

so i would like to ask if people have ways of dealing with anxiety, as well as depression. i've suggested that he cut back on caffeine already, eventually i will ask him to try doing without. he does meditate a bit.

are there specific meditations, and what are they?

what specific calming herbs/essential oils/music?

i hope to provide him with coping skills and mechanisms so he can live a fuller life until such time as he can get the help he needs.
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« Reply #1: May 15, 2008, 01:55:11 pm »

are there specific meditations, and what are they?

what calming herbs/essential oils/music?

Well, music has really worked for me in the past.  I find lyrics to describe my situation and sometimes repeat them like a mantra (using f'ex Gypsy by Stevie Nicks, I would say "I have no fear, I have only love). 

I find that meditation is really helpful whether or not you choose to use a mantra.  I like the idea of a mantra because repetive things are often soothing.  Your friend may also want to explore the various breathing techniques used in meditation to calm the rapid breathing (if he has panic/anxiety attacks). 

For herbs and oils...uh, lavendar and chamomile is good...and also Mint (for mental clarity) and Cinnamon (for depression). 

He may also want to wear a calming color like blue...

And most importantly, your friend must see a therapist to work out these issues.  These suggestions will only help with the symptoms, he must get to the root of the problem to overcome it.   
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« Reply #2: May 15, 2008, 02:05:07 pm »


And most importantly, your friend must see a therapist to work out these issues.  These suggestions will only help with the symptoms, he must get to the root of the problem to overcome it.   

thank you for your input.

unfortunately, the only help he can get is from the va. the odds are on him being ignored as so many other vets are.

alternative therapies may be all we can do for him to help him stabilize enough to get a job that has health insurance.
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« Reply #3: May 15, 2008, 02:09:11 pm »

thank you for your input.

unfortunately, the only help he can get is from the va. the odds are on him being ignored as so many other vets are.

alternative therapies may be all we can do for him to help him stabilize enough to get a job that has health insurance.

How sad. I hope he can see a therapist and get help at some point.

I forgot to mention that the cinnamon for depression is from my own upg, so it may or may not work for your friend.
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« Reply #4: May 15, 2008, 02:39:15 pm »

thank you for your input.

unfortunately, the only help he can get is from the va. the odds are on him being ignored as so many other vets are.

alternative therapies may be all we can do for him to help him stabilize enough to get a job that has health insurance.

And just today I was reading where the VA is being encouraged NOT to diagnosis a vet as PTSD.  **sigh**
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« Reply #5: May 15, 2008, 03:46:06 pm »

alternative therapies may be all we can do for him to help him stabilize enough to get a job that has health insurance.

Well, he's taken the first step and is asking for help.  Here's hoping the VA connects him with a therapist who can.

That said, if you're looking into alternative therapies, have you considered bio-feedback?  I've had opportunity to try out Journey to the Wild Divine.  It's an interesting concept.  Wikipedia's stub on it is pretty accurate from my experience.  I haven't actually taken the full journey just tested the demo and what I saw impressed me.  I could definitely see where it could be useful.

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« Reply #6: May 15, 2008, 08:19:00 pm »

And just today I was reading where the VA is being encouraged NOT to diagnosis a vet as PTSD.  **sigh**

and the super crazy thing with that is that I believe it was the VA that originally funded some great research into curing it with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming therapy. A therapist I know told me that, but I can't find that citation, so can't say for sure. EMDR is used for all kinds of PTSD, from sexual abuse in childhood to  short-term trauma, like surviving car accidents. It totally changed my life.

http://www.emdria.org/ is the website, there is also a lot of stuff on the APA site about it as well.
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« Reply #7: May 19, 2008, 12:27:59 am »

i have a dear pagan friend who is suffering from this. he is going to be seeking assistance from the VA for it(today, in fact), however i know full well that the odds of him actually recieving help are small to non-existant. i also know there is no magic pill for him to take that will fix him.

so i would like to ask if people have ways of dealing with anxiety, as well as depression. i've suggested that he cut back on caffeine already, eventually i will ask him to try doing without. he does meditate a bit.

are there specific meditations, and what are they?

what specific calming herbs/essential oils/music?

i hope to provide him with coping skills and mechanisms so he can live a fuller life until such time as he can get the help he needs.

I have PTSD, and have had the diagnosis for about 9 years now. I was lucky enough to receive full disability benefits earlier this year, after finally having the full support of my doctor AND a therapist and just lucking out, I think. It seems to be as much luck, as hard work and legitimacy, when applying for benefits and I hope your friend received them.

Depression is only one small facet of PTSD, and so treating for that is like addressing just a symptom. The best thing that he can do is find a therapist that he trusts and can see. Even seeing a therapist once a month (if he can't get free or cheap welfare) is much much better than not seeing one at all. Just the process of learning how to talk about the trauma will help him more than say a course on a particular herb will.

However, I do believe that Zoloft is specifically indicated for PTSD sufferers. I was placed on it for 6 months but it did nothing for me or the flashbacks, but a friend of mine with less severe PTSD does pretty well on it.

I find gentle therapies help me, such as using flower essences / rescue remedies. I find that PTSD gives me a really jarring / jangling energy (all that fight/flight response body activity, I suppose), and anything that soothes that keeps me grounded. I would also recommend meditation techniques that can keep the body active; walking meditations, meditations that involve artwork or art therapy, and those that involve repetitive movement like say... running your hand through grain over and over again. Focusing on that can also help keep the flashbacks at bay.

Anything that aids with sleeping, or sleep nourishment can help. Flashbacks / nightmares tend to strike the worst then, and so things like lavender, sandalwood, not eating too close to going to bed and things like that can help make sure that any sleep that he gets is at least more restful. I personally found that temazepam helped with my sleeping; but again, it didn't get rid of the flashbacks or nightmares.

Everything I use holistically is mostly supportive. But the thing that's helped me the most has been the therapy. That said, I've seen about 9 therapists over the past 9 years for my PTSD and it's only been this year that I've found one that is capable enough to deal with my level of PTSD, whom I trust, and who will give me a fairly good, regular rate. Persistence is absolutely necessary with seeing therapists, because he may find that the first one he sees isn't right, or doesn't help. There are a lot of GOOD therapists out there, and trauma counsellors, but willingness to find them and stick it out is what will make it work.

If I think of anything else holistic I'll add to it. Things like regular gentle exercise and having a healthy diet can help. I know that my flashbacks (oddly) get worse when I have a lot of synthetic sugars and bad fats. I think my body just doesn't like it very much.
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« Reply #8: May 19, 2008, 12:36:56 pm »

I have PTSD, and have had the diagnosis for about 9 years now. I was lucky enough to receive full disability benefits earlier this year, after finally having the full support of my doctor AND a therapist and just lucking out, I think. It seems to be as much luck, as hard work and legitimacy, when applying for benefits and I hope your friend received them.

Depression is only one small facet of PTSD, and so treating for that is like addressing just a symptom. The best thing that he can do is find a therapist that he trusts and can see. Even seeing a therapist once a month (if he can't get free or cheap welfare) is much much better than not seeing one at all. Just the process of learning how to talk about the trauma will help him more than say a course on a particular herb will.

However, I do believe that Zoloft is specifically indicated for PTSD sufferers. I was placed on it for 6 months but it did nothing for me or the flashbacks, but a friend of mine with less severe PTSD does pretty well on it.

I find gentle therapies help me, such as using flower essences / rescue remedies. I find that PTSD gives me a really jarring / jangling energy (all that fight/flight response body activity, I suppose), and anything that soothes that keeps me grounded. I would also recommend meditation techniques that can keep the body active; walking meditations, meditations that involve artwork or art therapy, and those that involve repetitive movement like say... running your hand through grain over and over again. Focusing on that can also help keep the flashbacks at bay.

Anything that aids with sleeping, or sleep nourishment can help. Flashbacks / nightmares tend to strike the worst then, and so things like lavender, sandalwood, not eating too close to going to bed and things like that can help make sure that any sleep that he gets is at least more restful. I personally found that temazepam helped with my sleeping; but again, it didn't get rid of the flashbacks or nightmares.

Everything I use holistically is mostly supportive. But the thing that's helped me the most has been the therapy. That said, I've seen about 9 therapists over the past 9 years for my PTSD and it's only been this year that I've found one that is capable enough to deal with my level of PTSD, whom I trust, and who will give me a fairly good, regular rate. Persistence is absolutely necessary with seeing therapists, because he may find that the first one he sees isn't right, or doesn't help. There are a lot of GOOD therapists out there, and trauma counsellors, but willingness to find them and stick it out is what will make it work.

If I think of anything else holistic I'll add to it. Things like regular gentle exercise and having a healthy diet can help. I know that my flashbacks (oddly) get worse when I have a lot of synthetic sugars and bad fats. I think my body just doesn't like it very much.
please remember, he will be dealing with VA counselors, so he has very little choice in who he sees. also, even though there is a major precipitating event, it is currently highly unlikely that he will get the correct treatment.

thanks though.
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« Reply #9: May 19, 2008, 07:54:05 pm »

please remember, he will be dealing with VA counselors, so he has very little choice in who he sees. also, even though there is a major precipitating event, it is currently highly unlikely that he will get the correct treatment.

thanks though.

Is it compulsory that he only see a VA counselor and not look without for a qualified trauma counselor on his own terms and own time? Or in the US, are you completely bound by law to only see the VA counselor if you want to get disability benefits relating to wartime PTSD?

I don't have wartime-related PTSD, so aside from being pushed onto government-endorsed counselors when I went for benefits, I wasn't forced or made to see those counselors and I still receive benefits. My psychologist is registered and so I wasn't restricted in that way.

It would be incredibly unfortunate if that was the way the military worked it; but somehow, unsurprising. I've heard so much about the medical system in the US. Sad It seems completely unconducive to healing.
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« Reply #10: May 19, 2008, 08:58:12 pm »


I don't think benefits are the focus of sunny's question.  She seems more to be asking about things that will help her friend cope and stay functional while he works on a long-term solution.

i hope to provide him with coping skills and mechanisms so he can live a fuller life until such time as he can get the help he needs.

Absent
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« Reply #11: May 19, 2008, 09:01:45 pm »

I don't think benefits are the focus of sunny's question.  She seems more to be asking about things that will help her friend cope and stay functional while he works on a long-term solution.

I guess in that case there's everything I originally said - but my confusion arose over whether her friend only was able to or was restricted by law to see counselors recommended by government (if they are likely to be so bad).

But in terms of short-term suggestions until a good counselor is found, I would still go with diet / rescue remedies / walking meditations etc. All the stuff I originally suggested.
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« Reply #12: May 19, 2008, 09:24:35 pm »

I guess in that case there's everything I originally said - but my confusion arose over whether her friend only was able to or was restricted by law to see counselors recommended by government (if they are likely to be so bad).

But in terms of short-term suggestions until a good counselor is found, I would still go with diet / rescue remedies / walking meditations etc. All the stuff I originally suggested.

From what I recall of the physical disability process in America (California); while one was *required* to see the states doctors, who would give an assessment on the states dollar, one always has the option of seeking treatment independently on their own dollar.

When coming to terms for a financial settlement rather than just treatment, additional specialists are often seen.

It sounds to me though, in this case the desired outcome is getting better rather than financial compensation, so hopefully referrals to the right people will be a possibility later in the process.
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« Reply #13: May 19, 2008, 09:26:22 pm »

It sounds to me though, in this case the desired outcome is getting better rather than financial compensation, so hopefully referrals to the right people will be a possibility later in the process.

I hope so too, PTSD is such a yuck disorder (ah, how's that for articulate? *sigh*) without having to deal with  all the surface / political nightmare stuff that can come around it.
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« Reply #14: May 20, 2008, 10:49:54 am »

I don't think benefits are the focus of sunny's question.  She seems more to be asking about things that will help her friend cope and stay functional while he works on a long-term solution.

Absent
exactly. compared with another acquaintance of mine, his ptsd is not that bad, but it could cause safety issues if he were to black out in a non-secured environment.
right now he is just 4 months, if that much, out of the army. he has relocated up to a new area and is trying to find work. depending on where he finds work it could be quite awhile before he can get private health insurance, if ever. his first priority is to not be a couch surfer.
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