This is a book about PTSD and how trauma changes brain chemistry. Here are a few things I found interesting:
- Trauma results in fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think.
- The stress hormones of traumatized people take longer to return to baseline and spike quickly and disproportionally in response to mildly stressful stimuli.
- Depersonalization (feeling nothing) is one symptom of massive dissociation caused by trauma.
The author also covers various treatment options and the effectiveness of each one. This is an interesting book and I highly recommend it.
The book, The Age of Anxiety, is a collection of stories from people that deal with anxiety disorders and panic attacks.
They do a wonderful job explaining the symptoms in a relatable way and talk about coping mechanisms that work for them.
If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety or panic attacks, this book would be a beneficial read.
Major depression feels like:
- You are drowning and you reach up for help, but no-one is there.
- You have to act calm on the outside, but inside you are screaming in agony.
- You are trapped in a cage and you are pacing back and forth like an animal.
- You have a pressure cooker inside your body and it is about to explode.
- You are alone in the world, because you are unable to connect to people. You cannot relate to them and they cannot relate to you.
- There’s a dark cloud looming over you.
- There’s a monster inside of you and it is crushing your soul.
The weather has been dismal for a few days now.
The sky is a dull grey color, which strangely resembles cigarette ashes.
There is daylight, but there is no sun to be seen.
The rain and the heat mixes to create an oppressive humidity in the air.
I look out the window, but my view is distorted by raindrops.
My mood is impacted by the dismal day.
My emotional state is gloomy.
I have weather induced doldrums.
I want to hibernate until the sun returns.
If anyone needs me, I will be hiding under the covers.
After the recession, Alabama struggled with the budget. A plan to cut expenses was needed, so the legislators decided to cut funding to the Department of Mental Health by 50% over a 5 year period.
Hospitals were closed and the community resources that remained were stretched way beyond capacity. People needing treatment would have to wait for 3 or 4 months, by then a minor problem could easily become a crisis situation.
People in need of mental health treatment didn’t just disappear, so what happened to them? When faced with a crisis, some of them ended up in jail. I was reading an article (WHNT.com) that stated 30% of the population in the Huntsville jail are there for mental health reasons.
The legislators are starting to notice the result of their decision years ago. It cost a lot more money to house someone in jail then it does to treat them in the community or to care for them in a hospital setting.
A committee has been formed to discuss the current problem. The legislators are concerned, not because of the amount of people whose lives have been ruined by the lack of treatment. They are concerned, because it is costing them money.
I suffer with binge eating disorder. I feel like my mind and my body are not communicating. I eat until I am so full that I am in pain; however, my brain is screaming for more food.
I finally talked to my doctor about it yesterday. He gave me some information about binge eating disorder. I learned the disorder has a genetic component and research shows people with the disorder tend to have a chemical imbalance in the brain.
The doctor developed a treatment plan for me and gave me a follow-up appointment. I believe working with my doctor and attending the Celebrate Recovery meetings will allow me to finally beat this disorder.
When you are suffering from a major depressive episode:
- Your body feels weighted down. Even simple tasks, like getting dressed, take an enormous effert.
- Everything in life seems pointless. Each day is just a drudgery.
- There is an overwhelming exhaustion that cannot be cured, no matter how much you sleep you are still tired.
- You try to remember this is only a relapse. You try to maintain hope, because without it there would be no reason to live.
- You want to cry out for help, but that would take to much energy. Instead, you just curl up on the bed and suffer in silence.