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Topics - Scout

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Research / ADHD--who else has it?
« on: October 28, 2019, 05:23:07 PM »
Hi guys, I was wondering if anyone has any links, etc. about the possible relationship between ADHD and long-term trauma. I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, when my internist put me on a low dose of Paxil a few years ago because I was really struggling--shortly after starting Paxil, I would get scared while driving because I wasn't paying enough attention,  was almost missing appointments, and my general organization skills kind of fell apart,. My internist felt that the Paxil was eroding a lot of the stress responses I'd developed to overcome ADHD (frequent checking, lists, etc). He gave me a questionairre about ADHD, things like listening and ability to sit still, the regular stuff. By the time he got back, I had doodled all over it and answered "yes" to a lot of the issues. I always thought I was just spontaneous and creative, which is true, but there might be a bit more to it.

After going off both the Paxil and ADHD meds for a few years, I'm now trying just the ADHD meds and feel like it helps, although I hate taking any medication because of side effects, but also because I hate feeling broken, and like I need medication to help. It's not a forever solution for me, but things are really extra hard right now, so if the meds help me make better decisions and not get distracted as much, I'm okay to try it for awhile if it helps me heal more productively and experience less frustration. I want to find more whole/therapy based ways to overcome it, but the reality is that this is not going to happen today, or soon. I can take steps, I am taking steps, but it's not an overnight process even if I want it to be. So, meds.

I was wondering how many of you struggle with ADHD-type issues, and if anyone has links or articles about the relationship between ADHD and long-term trauma. The symptoms for PTSD and ADHD are starkly similar in many places, which makes things confusing for me. I don't want to take medication for something I don't have, but I also don't want to Not take medication if it actually is helpful. (Also, yeah, I pretty much do have ADHD. I just hate having another thing wrong with me, and I feel like "what if that's just my personality?" But then listening to my partner will be excruciating, and I'm like, yeah. ADHD.)

Thank you!

Books & Articles / information on breathing? aka, how to do it?
« on: August 20, 2019, 04:51:06 PM »
I suck at breathing. Absolutely suck at it. Which is weird to say--like saying, "oh, I am bad at blinking." Which, if I start to think about it, also becomes weirdly difficult. :)

But being bad at breathing is a real thing for me, and it's all the time. I'm developing a mindfulness and meditation practice (emphasis on the practice, meaning I have to work really hard at it), and something I keep on noticing, again and again, is that my breaths are shallow and sharp, and I keep struggling with it. I can force myself to "belly breathe," but breathing that way takes a lot of attention and is still really hard, and I'm supposed to not be doing an activity, just observing. So I observe how terrible and small and shallow these poor little breaths are, and then I think, woah girl. You got issues. And I'd like to solve them.

I have an asthma inhaler, but it doesn't always help. I also have Vocal Chord Dysfunction, which is surprisingly common in those with PTSD. (Does anyone else here have Vocal Cord Dysfunction? I am supposed to go to a speech therapist for help, but medical care here isn't too good and the few I've found never even call me back.) But even outside of asthma and allergies and Vocal Cord Dysfunction, the whole "breathing" thing is just not natural for me. I'm certain it has to do with the constant fight or flight mode of my upbringing, which was extreme, but have started to wonder if something really bad happened when I was an infant. It's odd not to be able to find out, but when I tell myself to just breathe naturally like a baby does, a technique I read about, it does not get better and I get this bad feeling. It's impossible to know if it's my imagination or not, but it would not be surprising if something happened. I can't fix that, but I can try to learn how to breathe now, at 35.

Does anyone else struggle with breathing, and what did you do? What resources did you find that were helpful? So much of what I've read about breathing is just woo-woo stuff that doesn't actually say much, or it just instructs you to breathe, which I evidently don't know how to do. Like googling "how to be a millionaire," and the results all just say "Go be a millionaire!" and I'm like, "Yes, duh, but How?"


Other / good CPTSD craft suggestions, like the glitter jar?
« on: August 13, 2019, 05:21:50 PM »
I made a glitter jar last week (glue, water, glitter, jar--easy) and I have really enjoyed it. It didn't take long to do and still gives me a sense of accomplishment and optimism--like, I wondered if a stupid glitter jar would be nice to stare at when I'm freaking out, and it kind of is, and no matter what the * is happening, I was capable of making that glitter jar, and look how shiny it is now. Well done, Scout.

What other good, happy, easy crafts do you guys know of that are good for us? Easy, pleasant, doesn't-take-weeks-to-finish kind of stuff?

Glitter on, (and contain responsibly)

The Cafe / pleasant shows and movie suggestions?
« on: August 13, 2019, 05:18:12 PM »
Hey guys! I posted this to a reddit page, but wanted to get your perspectives since you know a lot more about where I'm coming from, just knowing what CPTSD is.

I'm having a lot of trouble either focusing on or enjoying things I used to love. Drawing, art, crafting, and especially movies and television. Drawing and crafting require a lot of concentration and resilience, both of which have been in dire supply lately, but the problem with movies and television is that everything is so horribly sad, violent, or depressing.

Take that sweet little Disney film, Tangled--loved it when I saw it in my 20's, but now see her as a barely-surviving long term trauma victim of the narc stepmom. Waaay triggery. Many entertainment media are sneaky like that, and are actually incredibly violent, sad, or bleak.

I'm looking for things (including books) with the vibe of the movie Stardust--just a pleasant, regular movie with good scripting, decent acting, and good production quality. Or, if lacking any of those, just a feel-good movie that isn't faith-based or slapstick silliness.

Other movies I liked a lot: Cloudy with A Change of Meatballs, the first animated one ("Steve! Gummy Bears!"). I also enjoyed Failure to Launch (bc Bradley Cooper, Terry Bradshaw, and Kathy Bates are so great in it), Wedding Crashers, and for some reason You, Me, and Dupree. Practical Magic was a good one, and the Harry Potters and Lord of the Rings were good before I watched them way too many times. I tried to pop in LoTR again and the orcs were an instant turnoff.

I have a lot of triggers right now, and I'm looking to avoid:

--Any animal violence. At all. No dogs looking for dead Richard Geres, or Zooey Deschanel drowning kittens because she's too poor to pay for their vet bills. (I read on one forum the Golden Compass is good, but then read that a polar bear whacks off another polar bear's jaw and there is a lot of animal CGI violence.)

--Any real-feeling human violence. (Example: Big Little Lies is well done, but I can't get through it because it's too real. Silver Linings Playbook is supposed to be good, but I don't know how serious the mental institution stuff will get.)

--Avoiding dark comedies, as they are often more depressing than dramas.

--Shows or movies that seem okay at first but then turn on you. (Ex--Downton Abbey and Selfridge's seem fine at first, but then it's all blood, violence, PTSD, etc. in the later seasons).

I hope you guys will understand where I'm coming from with this request. I don't want to just avoid all triggers, but I need to create more safe spaces and learn that I can safely enjoy things again.

General Discussion / ceaseless panic--what do you do to fix it?
« on: August 11, 2019, 09:37:39 PM »
I have been having one long, incessant panic attack--All day. The mindfulness I've been practicing tells me I'm having a long panic issue, but I don't know what to actually do about it. I've been productive--I made myself practice having fun (since having fun has been hard or impossible lately, I call it "practicing having fun," which lowers the bar). I sorted some things in my office. I drew a picture.

But the panic, oh my God, the panic.

Two minutes of a mindfulness meditation helped, but not for all that long, and I can't sit around and meditate all day. Plus, the relaxation of meditation is having its own weird consequences--like after, I freak out about how zoney I feel (if that makes sense). I think it's too much oxygen or something, so I'm trying to ease in, not do 25 minutes like that one time and I felt high as a kite for an hour after and it was actually scary.

I had such a good, actually okay day yesterday, and then there was a trigger explosion when we thought we might drive 26 hours to see my husband's family (and the friends I think of family, who I thought I might never see again since we moved far away two years ago--not one person has visited). And we ended up deciding not to go, and I think going was just an excuse for me to do what I always do, which is transform the panic I always feel into some big activity.

But I do not want to feel this way, this constant, driving panic.

What do you do?

New Members / taking steps, so help me--and hello
« on: August 08, 2019, 04:45:57 PM »
How does one begin a post introducing oneself to a forum you are only in because you are profoundly wounded, lost, scattered within yourself?

I guess one begins by saying hello.

So, Hello.

I am 35, female, and was--well, let's sum it up with one blanket word: abused. I am the only child of narcissists, and I'm sure now either sociopaths or psychopaths (does it even matter, between those two?). For years after I cut off contact, I was certain one of them was going to try to kill me, but then I realized they never would--because they don't care. They never loved me, and don't care that I'm gone. And that's been a tough one to process, especially when you add up all the other CPTSD fun.

I've always gotten along best with cops or veterans--the fellow wounded, the fellow haunted, who have dwelled in * and understand. Sounds awful, right? Well, I also love rainbows and glitter, and none of my friends, the few I have, know who I am. I always befriended people like my parents, and that means I have no people. I live in a secret society of one, or so I thought until I found Supernormals by Meg Jay. Thank you, Meg Jay.

I am relieved that CPTSD is finally a diagnosis, but struggling with the lack of resources and information about it, and struggling more with that good 'ole Complex PTSD workbook--you all know the one--that keeps saying "talk to your therapist about this" and "grow in group therapy" that.

I live in a sparse state that has few, if any, resources for this, much less community for it. I know we're everywhere, but I can't find us. So against my own wishes that I stay off the computer, because I'm on it all day and I so want to be part of the IRL world that constantly scares and disappoints me, I am reaching out to try to find people. Through the computer.

Hello, computer. Hello, people.

You can call me Scout. And maybe sometime we can call each other friends.

To us,

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