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July 2013

Recovery Process

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (edition IV), there are 17 criteria for diagnosing PTSD. I don’t remember how many my case met, though it was nearly all of them. Going through the list today, there is maybe one that still holds true: difficulty sleeping. That …

Caltrain Experience

July 22, 2013 New experiences are fun. It’s like making discoveries except that they are only new to the one discovering. This morning on the way to a new job, I was a relative explorer on the Caltrain commuter from San Francisco to San Jose. I rode Jessie to the …

Returning to the Old Normal

In January, I learned a technique known in Europe as TIPI. It’s a form of somatic therapy that is claimed to permanently remove the ill effects of emotional difficulties. Because of my immediate positive response to the technique and understanding of how it works (thanks to experiencing PTSD), the Director …

The Veterans Hospital

The Veterans Administration Medical Center off Clement Street in the city of San Francisco hosts studies on PTSD. Thinking that maybe I could get involved was one of the reasons for finding a place to live within walking distance. Maybe I could get paid to be a test subject. But …

Acceptance

Walking through Chinatown, I saw an Asian man wearing an army green shirt with an “Army Veteran” patch. I asked him where he was stationed. “The Philippines,” he replied. “Are you a veteran?” “No, but I have PTSD from 9-11,” I said. “Good for you!” he exclaimed. Nobody had ever …

Memory

Previous therapists at the World Trade Center health clinic didn’t explain much about PTSD. And I had resisted accepting the diagnosis for at least a year, which slowed me in understanding what the disorder is. Ironically, one therapist had written in my mental health notes at the time of diagnosis …