Why You Can’t Just ‘Get Over’ C-PTSD

I am having a really, really bad day today. I am depressed, tired & can’t even focus on the simplest things. Even writing this simple entry is already a challenge for me. I have no desire to do anything, even the things I enjoy the most, like reading or knitting. This happens sometimes- I call it a bad C-PTSD day. Days like this remind me just how serious this disorder is. I have no control over these days- they just happen when they want to or following some especially stressful event, & are as debilitating as they want to be. I absolutely hate not having control over my emotions! I’ve always had extreme control over them, & when I don’t, it scares me. It’s just one more frustrating part of C-PTSD.

C-PTSD & PTSD are much more than just bad thinking patterns- they mean that trauma has physically damaged the brain. Trauma can cause neurological changes in your brain! If you have PTSD or C-PTSD, &…
-your short term memory isn’t what it used to be, that is because the hippocampus actually shrinks. That is the part of your brain that is responsible for short term memory.
-you have trouble finding the right words, that is because the prefrontal lobe, which is responsible for language, is affected by trauma.
-you have problems regulating your emotions, that is because your amgydala has enlarged. The amygdala is responsible for regulating emotions, & when it is in “overdrive” for a long time, it actually enlarges.
-you always feel afraid, that is because your medial prefrontal cortex (responsible for fear & emotional responses) doesn’t regulate well after trauma.

When I read things online saying faith in God will “get you over” PTSD/C-PTSD, or “you can’t live in the past forever,” or “Think positive thoughts!” I want to read the above list of brain damage caused by trauma to the person saying those things. If “getting over it” was only so easy! No amount of positive thoughts can fix the physical damage of C-PTSD. And, because I have it doesn’t mean I’m living in the past, constantly thinking of the traumatic events I’ve experienced. I don’t think of them often, in fact. As for faith in God? I absolutely believe God can heal anyone from C-PTSD, all things are possible with Him. However, I’ve learned something about God- although He doesn’t put it on anyone to suffer, He can use my suffering to help other people. He has used so much of what I’ve learned since developing C-PTSD to help others who suffer with it too. And, since mine developed from an abusive childhood at the hand of a narcissistic mother, I’ve also been able to share what I’ve learned about narcissistic mothers as well, helping many other people. Good has come from this awful disorder!

If you too, live with PTSD or C-PTSD, please remember what I’ve said, or print it out (that’s what I’ve had to do since I can’t remember it). It is an actual physical injury to your brain. You can’t just get over it, so be patient & understanding with yourself, & don’t let anyone make you feel bad for having this disorder! ❤

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6 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

6 responses to “Why You Can’t Just ‘Get Over’ C-PTSD

  1. Thank you for sharing this great information. I too suffer from PTSD and have been in therapy for years, not only for that, but I also have a long list of other invisible chronic illnesses and pain, along with some other mental health diagnoses. I was under the impression that it could be cured. I was wondering why it wasn’t going away after so much therapy and really working on how to control my emotions. Thanks, again. I learned something new today. Hope you’re having a “good” day. Take care.
    Peace,
    Tammy:)

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    • Thank you for writing, Tammy. 🙂 I’m sorry for all you’re going through! There isn’t a high rate for curing PTSD, unfortunately, but symptoms can be managed at least. Don’t beat yourself up for not being better by now.
      Learning to manage symptoms takes a lot of time & practice. It’s far from a perfect science- everyone is different.

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  2. Thank you Cynthia. I’m sorry you go through this too. I’ve got plenty of time for hard work and practice. I did it forever with meditation and now I’m really good at meditation most of the time. I was wondering if you would mind telling me what you do to manage your symptoms? I manage mine by meditation, medication,nice massages every night, therapy, and lots of hard work and patience. And, now we have a nice night away every month or two. Our new thing is going to B & B’s because there are so many within 45min. – 2 hours away and the owners are always so nice and we have roam of these huge houses the whole time we’re there. We can use any part of the house at any hour. They stay in the basement so we have a lot of privacy having access to the whole house. with a few other couples only. I love to get away, but to feel at home at the same time. Most of them have a hot tub outside, and an outdoor in ground pool. I practiced meditation for quite awhile and stuck with it and I’m really glad about that because now I’m really good at meditation most days, like today. Meditation, to me, is the one thing I would have to say works the best if I were to only do one thing each day.. Enjoy your day. Take care.
    Peace,
    Tammy:)

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  3. Hi, Tammy! It’s great you’ve found so many cool things that work for you! Nightly massages sound like heaven! 🙂 I like what you said, “I love to get away, but to feel at home at the same time.” I understand that- I so want an RV because I think it’d be exactly that. I could sleep in my own bed every night, if the agoraphobia gets bad, I could go “home” no matter where I was.. seems like the perfect solution.
    Anyway to answer your question, to manage my symptoms, I have to slow down & focus. I’m not sure how to describe it more accurately- I just get alone (maybe in the car if I’m out & have a panic attack, for example), & try to ground myself. Grounding for me involves touching or smelling things that are strong on the senses, such as smelling a strong perfume or scent, or touching something that is very coarse or very soft. I also focus on how my body feels, & try to control it. I can focus on my breathing & slow it down (usually anyway) to a normal place.

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  4. Reblogged this on cynthiabaileyrug and commented:

    I was talking with my husband about this post from yesterday, & I loved what he said. He said, “I don’t think C-PTSD means you can’t let go of the past. It ,means the past won’t let go of you.”. Isn’t that a good way to describe it? It’s so true! I don’t often think of the traumas that caused me to get this disorder, yet the damage remains many years later.
    I just thought I’d share this interesting perspective… 🙂

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