Sunday, July 5, 2020

PTSD Patrol, daily messages to help you get out of your garage

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
July 5, 2020

We have been spending time with family and friends the last few days, practicing social distancing...which is extremely hard on a hugger like me. I was telling a relative why I switched to working with anyone with PTSD, instead of just focusing on veterans. With over 8 million people living with PTSD, plus everything else going on, those numbers are expected to grow. Then the question came up about why I do most of the videos in my garage.

A long time ago, there was a veteran I was having a hard time explaining what PTSD was and why it did what it did. He was running out of hope and so was I. We were near my car when it dawned on me that he understood his car better than he understood himself.

That was when I used "vehicle" as a metaphor for how to get from one place to another. It is easier to understand that we determine where we go, how to get there and how fast we travel, than it is to understand that the "vehicle" you live in, is really not that much different from the vehicle you drive. Basically, we're all in the garage.

The vehicles we live in (our bodies) face the same conditions the vehicles we drive do. There are road blocks, traffic jams, detours, other drivers, breakdowns and accidents. There are parts of our engines (our minds) that need to be serviced after diagnostic testing to see what needs to be repaired by a mechanic (mental health professional) who is trained to repair it. 

As for the journey itself, (our spirits) we need to be able to find the right road to get us where we want to get to (a happier life) with the vehicle we control. 

The logo is of a snowplow because no one get anywhere in a snow storm until the plows go out to clear the road, and that is my job. 

I survived things that could have killed me, statistically proven to cause PTSD, over 10 times. I had all the symptoms of post-traumatic-shock, which can develop into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Some factors that increase risk for PTSD include:

  • Living through dangerous events and traumas
  • Getting hurt
  • Seeing another person hurt, or seeing a dead body
  • Childhood trauma
  • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
  • Having little or no social support after the event
  • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
  • Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse
****There are other causes that you may have experienced, but not on the list. ****
This is where #breakthesilence comes in!
  • Some factors that may promote recovery after trauma include:

    • Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
    • Finding a support group after a traumatic event
    • Learning to feel good about one’s own actions in the face of danger
    • Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
    • Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear
  • You can heal if you know how to get there. Step by step, like following your GPS, you will get there on the easiest roads!
Everyday, until I run out of things to say, there will be daily messages to help you get out of your garage and back on the road to recovery so that you can #takebackyourlife from #PTSD

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