Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a very real thing, though most doctors of any brand that I have ever spoken to do not know how to help someone who suffers it. After a major shock in my life, which led to the disassembling of everything that I cherished in life, I unraveled at every level and lost nearly 40 pounds. I went to internal medicine doctors, psychiatrists, Jungian analysts and acupuncturists.  Across the board the diagnosis for my symptoms was PTSD. I applied myself in every way possible to what helps were offered, but ultimately no one really knows what to do. It remains a deep mystery, because the psyche itself remains a deep mystery. Psyche is the irrational world, the one that does not respond to medicines and rational models of treatment or such formulas for intervention. My doctoral work in depth psychology and specifically my work with dreams and shamanic dimensions of the psyche have been a saving grace, but the mystery remains.

Yesterday all of the furniture in my house was rearranged by a gifted friend who I invited to help me with it – an answer to a prayer for change and certainly a magical response to a ritual I have been doing to invite the future and clear the past. But today the PTSD has kicked in. Apparently my deep psyche is responding as though my whole world were undone and disassembled all over again, a raw re-living of the deepest trauma. My mind understands, is happy and very grateful – my body and the disease are causing paralytic states and anxiety attacks. The mind and the body, the rational and the irrational – these are all different worlds with different sets of rules. I am grateful to be inside this disease of PTSD as a doctor rather than outside of it, because I am imagining that only from in here can I help find a cure.  In this, on this day, I find a goal and a purpose.

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One Response to “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”

  1. Karen Nilsen Says:

    Your work with my dreams has helped me immeasurably when other kinds of therapy (talk therapy. EMDR) couldn’t help me. At least for me, and I imagine some others suffering with these wounds and scars on their spirits, the dream symbolism and archetypes helped me process my emotions in a way that traditional talk and group therapy never could. I think that traditional kinds of therapy made me intellectualize my pain, whereas you can’t intellectualize your dreams–they don’t happen in the rational frontal lobe realm but deep in the seemingly irrational, emotion-driven subconscious. For me, dreams have the been the key to reach my locked-away emotions and feel them in the moment instead of months later.

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