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Topics - Gwyon

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Medication / NSAIDS sometimes helpful?
« on: February 16, 2018, 02:44:08 PM »
I have sometimes found that taking an NSAID -- for headache, muscle pain, etc -- will also ease my anxiety/depression.  There is evidence that there is an inflammatory aspect to effects of childhood trauma. Has anyone else experienced this effect of NSAIDS?

General Discussion / Reality check please....
« on: February 15, 2018, 04:14:57 PM »
Hello all,

I could use a reality check...

Do my posts seem to be helpful, responsive? Or do I come across as a "know it all" or one who "doesn't really get it"?

For some reason I'm fearing I'm out of step with rest of community.  And, as  per usual, I can't distinguish truth from my own internal narrative.

I do know this: while my life has been profoundly difficult compared to the bulk of my real-life peers, it pales in comparison to the trauma so many of you in this community are grappling with.

If my contributions are sometimes off the mark, please feel free to inform and enlighten me.


Medication / B12 lifting fatigue and disphoria
« on: February 10, 2018, 06:46:39 PM »
Want to share this discovery with you all...

I started taking B12 supplements a week ago and they are having a profound positive effect: less mental fatigue, and having moments of (dare I say it) contentment for the first time in many, many months.

What lead me to B12 was an increasing, debilitating mental fatigue and discovering that a B12 deficiency can be one of the causes. Futher reading pointed to the importance of B12 in neurotransmitter production and neuron functioning.  Got my B12 measured and it was low normal -- so my Dr was not concerned.  But there is lots of debate out there about what's normal (Japan and Europe have a much higher normal threshold ) and lots of evidence that older folks can show symptoms even in the low normal range.

So, I started taking 2000mcg per day (sublingual tablets) last Saturday -- am now switching to 1000mcg per day going forwar. By Monday my mental fatigue was lifting. And during the week i've had multiple moments of feeling just warm and good -- which is a blessed relief after months and months of dysphoria or just plain nothing. Only a week in now and i'm fully cognizant -- as are we all -- of how short lived these types of "medicine-based" improvements can be. So we'll see,  and I will keep you posted.

My theory: my dopamine and seratonin production was way low, and supplementing with B12 has brought them back up again. I suspect I had a mild B12 deficiency. But also, I think those of us with c-ptsd are particularly sensitive to such deficiencies due to our compromised brain chemistry, and the terrific cognitive demands of down-regulating our limbic systems.

I post this with mild trepidation,  knowing that what is helpful for one person does not necessarily help someone else. So look into B12 deficiencies and if it seems you fit the pattern I highly recommend giving supplements a try.

One more thing: one of the causes of B12 deficiency can be taking meds to control GERD, which lowers stomach acid and lowers release and absorption  of B12. And of course I bet this community has a high frequency of GERD sufferers.

Again, I'll keep you posted as to whether the positive effects persist over the coming weeks.

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Vacant soul
« on: November 13, 2017, 08:43:51 PM »
I'm passing through what i've come to call my times of vacant soul. Not depressed per se, not upset. A liitle sad and anxious, but mostly Just empty and disconnected from my values, truths, loves, hates. I can never tell whether this is harder than the periods of intense emotional pain .... but at least then I believe things.

Not responding to anything here these days as I have no emotional clarity about what I believe. But still feeling compassion for what I read here and wishing I had it in me to respond... so that's something at least.

Kind wishes to you all...

Podcasts, Videos & Documentaries / Tara Brach Podcasts
« on: November 02, 2017, 02:17:15 AM »
Listening to Tara Brach's podcasts has been extremely valuable to me in
beginning to develop compassionate awareness towards my inner life:

I particularly recommend these 2:

* On managing difficult emotions with RAIN: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture

* 'Healing Trauma: The Light Shines Through the Broken Places'

A lot of the threads here focus on personality disorders and other more "acute" mental illnesses in parents.  And these are indeed severely traumatic to children.

I think it's also important to recognize the significance of maternal depression -- particularly how it interferes with secure attachment in infants, which in turn leads to the abandonment issues that so many of us grapple with. 

Here are just a few references:

Pete Walker attributes the "Freeze/Dissociate" defense as largely attributable to profound abandonment in early childhood:


Neglect/Abandonment / Who else displays the Freeze/Dissociate Defense?
« on: October 29, 2017, 05:56:55 PM »
Pete Walker has an article describing a c-ptsd typology around the 4F's:

It us uncanny how well the Freeze/Dissociate Defense describes me. This is associated with the abandonment of early-life neglect. I'd be interested to hear from others for whom the freeze/dissociate type rings true.

I'm going to take a leap of faith here...

This morning I am experiencing my recurring EF of vulnerability, shame, and grief.  And it is a classic pattern triggered by starting to interact on this forum. I suspect most of you will recognize the pattern: i'm happy to find the community, I start posting thinking i'm doing it in all sincerity and openness (and to a large extent i am), and then I wait anxiously for responses, and realize that -- as per usual -- what I am really seeking is validation and connection, and when it doesn't come quite in the form I need then I start the inner shaming of "well of course, you aren't worthy of that. all these other folks may be, but you're not".  And of course I know intellectually this is not true, and I'm doing my "inner work" to process the emotional flashback.  But it is a common pattern, and insidious -- the very act of trying to connect, needing to connect, leads to a shamful rebound when I don't get what i think I need.  and of course, only I can give myself that. It's a catch-22 that I often struggle with.  Do other's recognize this pattern, and this catch-22 of engaging with others?

I'm curious if others experience this as part of their c-ptsd symptoms.  I often experience episodes of intense sadness/depression that I can only describe as "grief".  It includes intense emotional pain in my chest and throat, with moaning and dry sobbing -- to the point of being nearly unbearable.  In fact it is these episodes, if they last days and reach unbearable intensity, that lead me to substance abuse and suicidal ideation.

I've just recently learned about emotional flashbacks -- and the concept makes perfect sense to me and accounts for many of my intense emotional responses that seem untethered from the actual physical reality.  I'm thinking these episodes of grief are another example of an EF.  And I'm curious if others share this experience and see it the same way? 

If I do find others who share this symptom then I'd like to share coping strategies.  I am just at the begining of learning how to sit and work with it rather than trying desperately to make it stop.

Greetings community  :grouphug:

This is sort of an introductory post and I feel blessed to have found a community of people who's experience and struggles resonate so strongly with my own.  Thank you, @kizzie, for creating this space for us.

I believe that my core injury occurred during my first year of life and I'm curious to find others for whom this is also true.  I find this created a "unique" challenge for me in that I felt horrible from my earliest memories and experienced all the effects of c-ptsd as we all know them, but it was difficult to identify a source that could account for the severity of my challenges in a way that I could articulate to myself others.  It wasn't until I started becoming aware of the profound impacts of trauma and stress during the first two+ years of life, and started processing what was going on for me during that time, that I began my (still continuing) road of recovery. (And please know that in no way am I trying to make other experiences than mine somehow less traumatizing -- there are so many ways that we have been harmed, and our experiences so unique and nuanced -- that I would never minimize anyone's experience. If you are suffering, that is all that I need to know).

In my case, my family was in a violent disintegration when I was in the womb (my father was abusing my mother). My mother left my father when I was 6 months old, taking myself and three older brothers to live near her own mother. My mother was (understandably) depressed, unable to cope with an infant and 3 older children, and ended up being admitted to a hospital for depression for a few months during my second year (we apparently lived in a children's home during that period). 

All this is to say that during my first year of life I experienced the stress of witnessing anger and abuse in the household and most definitely did not receive any of the mirroring and secure attachment that an infant needs.  I'm certain that all the wiring for stress management, self-worth, and a positive sense of the world did NOT get laid down for me.  This was followed by continued trauma and shaming through custody battles and family dysfunction throughout my childhood.

Some of the resulting symptoms I've experienced are ones that most of us know well: painful chronic depression, a relentless inner critic, social anxiety and dysfunction, emotional flashbacks (of the "freeze" variety), dissociation during times of intimacy or stress, cognitive deficits (largely due to the cognitive load of managing all the other symptoms).  Most of my life has been a journey of re-parenting and building that wiring on my own and with the help of a few trusted therapists and loving friends.

One of the consequences of my trauma being so early in life was that my parents, siblings, others often told me that since I wasn't aware of what was happening back then, and that my parents were already divorced by the time I was "aware", that I was the least affected by the family dysfunction.  The "you don't have a reason to be so troubled" message, which of course was immensely invalidating and shaming, on top of the original injury.  (Adding insult to injury, as I like to call it).

I would be interested in hearing from others who's stories have a similar arc.  Did you also feel "wrong" from your earliest memories? What are some of the ways it has manifested for you? When and how did you first recognize that the timing of your trauma was a key factor, and start forgiving yourself?

And thanks. I'm glad to have found this group to share experiences and successes with.

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