Like many CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder) sufferers I have been to numerous types of therapy which I am not ashamed to admit.
Some types didn’t help such as counselling and others did.
The most helpful form of therapy for me was cognitive behavioural therapy.
I last had CBT during my second year of university… so quite a while ago now but some advice from one of the therapists has always stuck with me and helped me in many situations and I thought I would share.
☆You’re allowed to react in response to a past trauma, whether that’s being moody, angry, sad, upset, etc. This is perfectly normal… BUT don’t let the past traumas control your emotions for long! Figure out a way to work past them, process them in whatever way that adapts to you.
The initial message here is when you are working past your traumas you need to embrace how they make you feel in order to work through them.
☆ Not everyone will understand your triggers and reactions because they haven’t gone through what you have, they will not understand or know your story. It is also not their responsibility to make changes for you although this doesn’t apply to family who may help you process the traumas by removing the triggers at first to make you feel comfortable whilst learning to process through them.
The initial message here is to stop the blame game! The majority of people do not know your triggers and they won’t be making your life difficult on purpose. Concentrate on your responses rather than replacing this with anger and blame for other people.
☆ Being upset isn’t manipulation, you’re allowed to cry. Your allowed to be upset, crying isn’t weak- this applies to everyone!
Sometimes a good cry helps to release a lot of your emotions and afterwards makes you feel relieved and better.
☆ One of the most important messages….there isn’t anything wrong with you. It is not your fault you have this condition. The brain works in complex ways and anyone going through trauma has a high chance of having this condition. It does not make you weak, damaged or any less of a person.
In fact it makes you resilient, strong and powerful!
☆ If your trauma is caused by childhood abuse of any sort your triggers put you into a state you were in as a child and this is ok. Eventually you will see it through the eyes of an adult and process it in different ways but firstly you will see the trauma as a victim and through the innocent eyes of a child because you were.
Processing trauma takes time.
☆Your brain is doing it’s job correctly to protect you from a threat or perceived threat, which is why you react; but now you don’t need these automatic reactions. This is something that you need to teach your brain out of, but it will take time.
Don’t beat yourself up for reacting your brain is trying to protect you in a weird sort of way.
☆It’s not clingy to have needs and want affection.
Affection or just a simple hug from the right person can make you feel so much better and releases oxycontin into your brain and makes you feel relaxed. It is perfectly natural to want human affection.
☆ It’s understandable to be confused and lost within yourself, and try to be what other people want you to be when you’ve gone through childhood trauma.
Everything will come into place if you don’t give up and keep working on yourself. Set up a support network around you that will help you on your journey.
☆You’re not to blame for reactions and emotions outside your control.
Again, your brain is protecting you sometimes to act without thinking is perfectly natural and despite having CPTSD everyone does it.
☆You can be whoever you want to be.
Your CPTSD does not define you! But like me you can use what you have learnt to help others and raise awareness.
☆Being aware of your good traits isn’t being narcissistic.
It is simple self care and actually helps more than you think. Your CPTSD constantly tries to tear you down why not pick yourself back up again. You are a powerful, wonderful human being.
☆ It’s healthy to reach out, whether you’re writing your emotions online or to a friend; it’s not attention seeking.
It is so hard to keep all these complex memories and feelings to yourself, it is perfectly natural to reach out to another in the same boat as you. There are lots of support groups out there if you need advice or just to let off what’s on your mind- theres lots of CPTSD groups on Facebook.
☆It’s understanding you may try to distract yourself by constantly wanting to be around people.
The distraction method sometimes is what you need but don’t rely on it all the time.
Well that concludes the tips given to me by one of my therapists a few years ago that I thought might be of help to others.
Feel free to share with others or comment.
Until next time,