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June 2013

How to Prevent Intrusive Thoughts

A catch-22 of PTSD is that one can be so disabled by symptoms that it seems impossible to change the cycle. But it’s not impossible. The intrusive thoughts of PTSD begin a person’s descent into withdrawal, hypervigilance, and avoidance. But they can be stopped. Stop the PTSD Cycle Find something …

Intrusive Thoughts

My nightmares are more conceptual than concrete flashbacks. I don’t have them as often as in the past, but when I do, they sometimes wake me up. In the last one I remember, I was chased by zombies. Funny. A roommate told me that once I screamed in my sleep. …

June is PTSD Awareness Month

The U.S. Office of Veterans Affairs declares June – that’s this month, which is almost over – as PTSD Awareness Month. One out of 3 troops returning from deployment are being diagnosed with PTSD, but less than 40% of them seek help. Nearly 2 out of 3 of their marriages are failing. …

Ride to Big Basin

The splint on my finger was supposed to be on for another couple weeks, but I didn’t want to pass up the chance to ride with my old friend, Jason, visiting from New York. He rented a Triumph Scrambler and we rode south down Route 280 toward San Jose to …

All progress is not lost

It can be scary to be re-traumatized. It’s not fun losing one’s ability to focus, be present, or concentrate. But if progress has already been made, the effects of new traumas don’t have to last as long as previous traumas. It has been three days since hitting rock bottom in …

Back to work

Two questions arise in regard to returning to work: how is my ability to concentrate, and how well can I control my anxiety? My last job at a major educational publishing house required a high level of intelligence and at times hyperfocused concentration. It would seem unlikely that with PTSD …

Back to Recovery

I think my therapist was wrong this time about assuming I would be re-traumatized by recalling the 9-11 hotline situation. After clicking Publish, I cried, blew my nose, and then started feeling better. My numbness has turned to empathy. I look at strangers at happy hour enjoying each others’ company …

The night of 9-11

My therapist had advised me not to talk about the moment when I believe PTSD began to develop. He was afraid I would become re-traumatized. Since I’ve just been re-traumatized, now might be as good a time as never to write about what happened after the World Trade Center fell. …

Parking sucks on a sunny day

It’s perfect riding weather. There’s no fog. The temperature is in the 60s. The sky is blue and the sun bright. But I’m not riding. The plan was to try my brake lever to see if I could squeeze it without pain. And even if it hurt, I would have …

Prayer

The first time I ever said a prayer that wasn’t something someone told me to say was at London Heathrow airport. I was 21 years old and all of the sudden became ill. It was toxic shock syndrome from using a tampon too long and I felt like I was …