There’s so much confusion in the medical community with PTSD so it’s no wonder that us moms don’t even realize that it can happen to them. A huge misconception we have in our society is that PTSD can only happen to soldiers. Other example could be a traumatic injury, a car accident, etc.
Some people can even be in denial because in retrospect, the incident causing the PTSD wasn’t “as bad” as a major car wreck. Yet they meet the require. We all respond to situations differently, so whether or not you’ve rated the incident a certain way, what matters most is how it affected you personally.
I felt the need to talk about this on our podcast because of the confusion. If you’re dealing with PTSD, it’s important to get the diagnosis so you know how to move forward, but also for your family to understand and support you on your healing journey.
So it’s worth exploring if you have it, if you’ve had a traumatic birth experience or a miscarriage. This is super important to discover not only for yourself, but without addressing it, can develop into other maternal mental health disorders with no bonding, which can lead to issues in your child.
And our medical professional aren’t well versed in this, so we hope you use this to empower yourself and get to the bottom of your issue.
PTSD Criteria (taken from the DSM)
Criterion A (one required): The person was exposed to: death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence, in the following way(s):
- Direct exposure
- Witnessing the trauma
- Learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma
- Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma, usually in the course of professional duties (e.g., first responders, medics)
Criterion B (one required): The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced, in the following way(s):
- Intrusive thoughts
- Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders
- Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders
Criterion C (one required): Avoidance of trauma-related stimuli after the trauma, in the following way(s):
- Trauma-related thoughts or feelings
- Trauma-related reminders
Criterion D (two required): Negative thoughts or feelings that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):
- Inability to recall key features of the trauma
- Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world
- Exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma
- Negative affect
- Decreased interest in activities
- Feeling isolated
- Difficulty experiencing positive affect
Criterion E (two required): Trauma-related arousal and reactivity that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):
- Irritability or aggression
- Risky or destructive behavior
- Heightened startle reaction
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
Criterion F (required): Symptoms last for more than 1 month.
Criterion G (required): Symptoms create distress or functional impairment (e.g., social, occupational).
Criterion H (required): Symptoms are not due to medication, substance use, or other illness.
- Dissociative Specification. In addition to meeting criteria for diagnosis, an individual experiences high levels of either of the following in reaction to trauma-related stimuli:
- Depersonalization. Experience of being an outside observer of or detached from oneself (e.g., feeling as if “this is not happening to me” or one were in a dream).
- Derealization. Experience of unreality, distance, or distortion (e.g., “things are not real”).
- Delayed Specification. Full diagnostic criteria are not met until at least six months after the trauma(s), although onset of symptoms may occur immediately.
You have to be diagnosed by a provider for it to be a true diagnosis. It’s best if it’s a mental health provider. The psychologist will do a thorough clinical interview.
Healing Techniques For PTSD
- Self-care, self-nurture
- Get properly diagnosed
- Work with a multidisciplinary team
- GO TO THERAPY!
- EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
- Spiritual work
- Yoga/Body movement/Exercise
What Do People Often Confuse PTSD For?
Practitioners often confused it with postpartum depression in moms, anxiety disorders, and panic disorder.
Why Do Different People React Different to the Same Event?
- We don’t know
- The meaning behind the event (shame)
- Developmental stage
PTSD In Your Body
When PTSD occurs, a chemical imbalance happens, there’s not enough glucose stored in the brain tissue. So if there isn’t enough glucose to feed your central nervous system, emotional upheaval can create a lasting effect like PTSD.
Root Cause Of PTSD
Simply put, it’s lack of glucose in your body.
Healing Foods For PTSD
You can get glucose in through fruit. Wild blueberries, melons, beets, bananas, persimmons, papayas, sweet potatoes, figs, oranges, mangoes, tangerines, apples, and raw honey are all great for getting in your glucose. A snack I’ve been obsessed with lately is apples with caramel apple dip. It helps me get in my apples and dates and are kid approved.
You lose trust with PTSD. You want to create new experiences that are positive reference points. So whatever meditation you try, journal the activity and take notes of how you feel and be in the moment. It’ll help you become aware of the goodness that is around you and help you retrain your thoughts.
- Put a puzzle together: Signifies the order that can emerge after chaos.
- Painting or drawing: Helps you pay attention to the beautiful details in the moment.
- Call a friend for lunch: Helps you reconnect to those essential parts of yourself.
- Watch the sunset: The sunset signifies your trust as being gone, and the sun rises restoring your faith. If you don’t have the time, just be conscious of when the sunsets, and take a moment and be aware that it’s setting.
- Guided meditations: Download the app Insight Timer for a variety of meditations. UCLA has great resources from their meditation lab. Try a search in the Appstore, there’s a plethora out there!
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