Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Post Discharge Rant on PTSD Treatment

NOTE: This post was originally written June 2, 2013, but for some reason, I never published it. At that time, I was clearly struggling with the changes that needed to be made to manage my illness, and my most recent post "Did my PTSD Treatment Aid my Recovery?"seems to indicate "so far so good". I think you'll definitely notice the difference in tone between this post and the last which is further evidence you have the power to heal.

Okay, I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in one of the best trauma programs in the county, and it was paid for by my insurance. I received something that so many Canadians cannot afford or must wait years to receive while suffering silently. I cannot adequately express the depth of my appreciation. That being said, there's something they didn't teach us.

It's a soft place to land inside. The environment is so supportive that some people don't actually want to leave. All meals are prepared, we receive group therapy three times a week, each patient has an around the clock nurse, our only responsibility as patients is to attend therapy and workshops on Loss, Re-enactments, Self-nurturing etc, and to focus entirely on our healing.

So when you get out, when I got out, sure I have all these great tools and a better understanding of my illness, but my only focus is no longer applying the tools and my healing because now I have children to care for, a mortgage to pay, a house to maintain, friends to support, shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, appointments, you get the picture. How do I fit in meditation, relaxation, healthy self rewards, leisure activities, journal writing, and self nuturing, and I'm not even back to work yet! The fact has already been established that PTSD sufferers don't tend to their own needs; now we have been taught how to do that but in reality, there is no time to do that!! They don't tell us that!!! They don't tell us how incredibly difficult it is going to be to change, in my case 40 years of behaviour! They don't tell us that we're going to fail almost everyday for a very long time at implementing these changes. They don't tell us that our feelings of inadequacy are going to be reinforced by these expected failures. They don't tell us that a behaviour must be repeated something like 70 times before it becomes habit. They don't tell us that changing our brain structure is going to take a great deal of time, determination, perserverence, strength, stamina, and support and there will be times when we will feel hopeless, depressed, even suicidal! They don't tell us that we need to want, really want to heal, because it's going to take a shit load of work to do it!

A soft place to land is great, but a little "tough love" would have better served me in facing the overwhelming reality I am now facing. Being the perfectionist that I, and most of us, are I am really pissed at myself right now, and I'm really pissed at them for not preparing for THIS part. Life outside? Sucks!

Suicide rate is highest among people with PTSD, and one in ten Canadians has illness. That statistic is prior to treatment I would assume, and I'd be curious to know if it's higher post treatment. Knowing what to do and not being able to do it is kinda hopeless. It's kinda like expecting a chair bound person to be able to walk.


Do the stuff people say you shouldn't. Do the stuff that seems impossible, silly, difficult, immature, irrelevant. We can creat...