I believe it was Kimberly who first introduced me to Dr. Porges‘ work (or Jean, both please forgive me for not being sure in this regard). He had found some very interesting and enlightening correlations between the fear response system in mammals and some aspects of symptoms of (C-) PTSD (I put the “C” in brackets, because the so-called experts aren’t in unison yet as to whether or not the two conditions are related or distinct from each other. For the time being, I’m assuming them to be related, albeit somehow different in their outcomes and hence set of symptoms. In my particular case, I could care less: I’m a victim of both anyway…). And now there are findings on the healing effects of Sudarshan Kriya that – amongst other things – confirm what I’ve been thinking, feeling, saying all along: Anxiety related dis-eases are the natural – and physical – response to extreme experiences! And they can’t be anything else in their physical expression than what the nature of their cause are: The bodily manifestation of a – or many – lethal threat(s)!
But let’s see first:
Now, after having read the article, I find it appropriate to nurture hope for a complete recovery from the outcomes of lifelong – if not inherited in my case! – post-traumatic stress disorder! (b.t.w. and again: Even the very wording is wrong in my opinion! It is not a dis-order as the physical manifestation to lethal threats has to be drastic in order to provide chances of survival for the individual and ultimately a species! In this sense it is completely in order! Give it a moment of thought, if so inclined…) In particular two phrases had all my attention right away: Breathing as the so far only known “manual override” to otherwise completely automated responses – and thus shut off from cognitive processes! – from the fear based brain circuits, i.e. the limbic system at large, as well as “recalibrate”. I had had sessions with a therapist about 10 years ago, when my divorce was “in the making”. I gave him a phone call at the peak of my despair in 2009 with one let-down after another by the classic medical/therapeutic system as well as unfortunate constraints in my health insurance policy and asked him point blank, if he could give me a diagnosis in a nutshell. He immediately remembered me and came up with the term PTSD for the first time in my ears and he also mentioned that with traumatic experiences, “the systems snaps into a mode different from normal operation”. Well… mine snapped into this mode probably as early as in the womb, but most definitely – and recordedly so! – a few weeks into my post-natal life. In other words: I never knew what “normal” life feels like for as long as I’ve walked the planet! But I still functioned. I won’t ever even understand my own-damn-self, how I managed…
At last, I had a diagnosis of what had been wrong with me all along. After that, I tried to find everything I could on PTSD and how to treat it. EMDR was being mentioned as rendering spectacular results, but – you might guess it – was not covered by my health insurance. And seeing as I had already gone bankrupt from the outcomes of my condition that rendered me disabled in 2008, I was in no position to cover the expense myself. Between this and getting turned down by the one hospital/research site I put my hopes in as far receiving appropriate/targeted treatment, the past six years were an oddyssee of trying to find help in a beyond-normal healthcare situation. In other words: Not exactly your joyful ride in a theme park… And so I found myself forced to look for options I would be able to put into action largely on my own.
This article offers a very fresh and promising perspective. All the more so, as it seems to imply a potential complete recovery, at least where the symptoms are concerned. Or enough healing to actually consider becoming functional in any given social context again (I do function in known contexts, such as with friends e.g.; but not under stress or pressure or only to minimal levels so any more. I do have new hopes to come around from that given the above). I’ve never asked for anything but that, but the fear based symptoms had taken complete hold of me over the past years.
There is something else, I may not have mentioned before: I also know that I fall into the category of hypersensitive – I prefer the term hypersensory – people according to Elain Aron. “We” feel every external stimulus more profoundly and harder, they also last longer and thus take longer to process. Hence, feeling overwhelmed and stressed out kicks in sooner than with other people. Add this to the C-PTSD – and you have a vague idea of what my life has felt like for most of the time: Like neverending H.E.L.L. on earth, especially with all the added stresses of keeping a modest material existence afloat! But now there is genuine hope. I might actually become well enough to have a life again. And so do you! Keep at it! They’re telling us, it’s worth it! 🙂
P.S. Why do catch phrases like “pull yourself together, man, man up” etc. not work? Find out here.