Tag Archives: ptsd

Hormones and Depression

How the body works

Hormonal imbalances 

Hormone imbalance has been known to contribute to a variety of problems from pains to cramps to mood swings to anxiety and depression as well as a number of other problems. These hormone imbalances are especially troubling for women who have more of a natural hormone fluctuation than men. Some symptoms of low estrogen for example include foggy thinking, hot flashes, depression, memory lapses, forgetfulness, sleeping problems, and problems with bone density. Some symptoms of high estrogen include anxiety and irritability, cramps, and increased triglyceride levels. Some of these symptoms are very similar to hormone imbalances from thyroid dysfunction. Hyperthyroidism can cause hand tremors, nervousness, hot flashes, sweating, joint pain, insomnia, and poor concentration. Hypothyroidism on the other hand can cause exhaustion, constipation, weight gain, feeling cold, depression, and puffy eyes. As you can see the symptoms of estrogen imbalance and thyroid hormone imbalance are very similar as are the symptoms of some other hormonal imbalances. When the endocrine system is struggling there are a number of ways we can help it regain balance including getting enough sleep at night, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and listening to the signals your body is sending you!

References: http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/hormone_balance.html

 

Exercise – My Ability to Cope with Trauma

Exercise: My Ability to Cope with Trauma

_______ I like to be with people

_______ I am open to new experiences

_______ I do what I say I will do

_______ I am an agreeable person

_______ I believe my power lies within me

_______ I am confident in my own ability to cope with situations

_______ I try to find meaning in what happened to me

_______ I try to break down bad situations into manageable parts I can handle

_______ I am motivated to solve the problems that occur in my life

_______ I am generally an optimistic person – I can see more positive than negative

_______ I take control in situations whenever possible, or I try to take control

_______ I like a good challenge and I rise to the occasion

_______ I am committed to overcoming the bad things I have experienced

_______ I have a good social support network and there are people I can talk to

_______ I understand my life’s circumstances are what I can and cannot do about them

_______ I have a sense of humor

_______ I have a sense of hope

_______ I like to try new things or look at things in new ways

_______ I am open to how other people feel

_______ I am an action-oriented person, I would rather do something than have it done for me

_______ I try to make plans and structure my own life

 

 

 

What do you notice about yourself when reading the statements you checked?

 

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How many items did you check? ___________________________________________________

 

Did you notice a pattern between those you did check and those you didn’t check?

 

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Tell me a bit more about your strengths and skills that have helped you get to this point:

 

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Trauma Related Beliefs

Trauma Related Beliefs

Check the beliefs that apply to you and then write about a situation in which that belief was created. Try to be specific when describing the situation, are any of these situations trauma related?

_____ I believe I am a victim and that my troubles are someone else’s fault

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that I can’t do things because I am physically or emotionally incapable of doing them. (“I can’t” generally means “I won’t or “I don’t want to”)

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that my actions don’t impact others. My actions don’t harm them or cause them emotional pain

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe I am unwilling or unable to put myself in others’ place

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe I am unwilling to do something that is disagreeable to me

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe I have no money, time, etc., to spare when other people ask me to do things

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I develop aches and pains in order to avoid doing things that I don’t want to do

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe I often don’t have enough energy to do things – particularly when I don’t want to do them

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that I don’t have to live up to obligations – It’s ok to say “I forgot” or just ignore responsibilities

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that I frequently expect others to do what I want them to do, even if they don’t understand my reasoning

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe I am entitled to use others’ property as if it were my own, and to borrow things without permission

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that my “wants” are really my “rights”

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that others betray my trust regularly and therefore cannot be trusted at all

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that things will happen because I think they will

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that I can make decisions without finding out the facts

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that I am right and that my point of view is right, even when evidence says that it’s wrong.

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that even when I am proven wrong I must cling to my original position

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that thinking ahead and planning ahead are unnecessary or not useful

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that I am always supposed to win and that failure is not an option

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that fear is a weakness, so I deny that I am afraid even when I am

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that expressions of anger, like direct threats, intimidation, sarcasm, or passive-aggressiveness, are good ways to get what I want from people

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that if something doesn’t turn out the way I expect it to I will be criticized and found to be a failure

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that I will be let down by others

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I will win in any struggle because I have power

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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_____ I believe that debating is enjoyable in and of itself

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

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A Multi-Phase Safe Trauma Treatment

A Multi-Phase Safe Trauma Treatment    By: Angela Englander June 8, 2015

Phase one: Education about the therapeutic process

Discussing goals

Making a plan for treatment

The client and the therapist form a working partnership and start figuring out how to work together effectively

 

Phase two: Focusing on emotional competence

Emotional awareness

Learning about the importance of emotions

Learning what emotions feel like in the body

Learning what triggers emotions and how to regulate emotions

Learning your limits with emotional intensity

Developing effective emotion regulation skills

The emotional intensity rating scale

 

Phase three: Understanding dissociation

Managing stress effectively

Anchors, grounders, and transitional objects

Developing a feeling of safety

CBT and DBT skills building exercises are incorporated

Body awareness

 

Phase four: Working through the trauma at a safe pace

 

  • It is extremely important not to jump into talking about the trauma before the right skills are in place. If emotion regulation skills, a sense of safety, patient-therapist trust, and a comfortable pace are not in place this can be very painful and destructive for the client! Rushing in to talking about a traumatic situation will cause high levels of distress and pain for a client. If the client is not able to regulate that stress, they may re-experience the trauma in their mind which is re-traumatizing.

In The Face of Tragedy

In The Face of Tragedy

By: Angela Englander March 30, 2015

In our lives there are moments that change us forever, huge moments and small moments. Some of the events have very positive effects such as meeting someone you fall in love with or getting into college. Other events have a very negative influence over our lives such as break-ups, death of a loved one, or abuse. How we experience our tragedies and the supports that fall into place after (short term and long term) make all the difference.

A variety of short term feelings, thoughts, and experiences may happen following a tragedy including intense feelings of fear, anger, sadness, confusion, being disoriented, and feeling helpless. Many people also feel guilty or blame themselves, believing they could have stopped the tragedy from occurring or prevented the damage. What happens if you don’t get the support you need though and these feelings don’t go away?

For many people trauma becomes another aspect of their day to day experience, through flashbacks, nightmares, phobias, anxiety, panic attacks, and memories playing in their head. Unfortunately the more these thoughts and feelings are pushed away the stronger they get. Through working through and talking about the events and learning healthy coping mechanisms you can gain your life back. Healing does not erase the pain that was felt or bring back the loss but it gives validation to the experience. Healing allows us to accept the situation and forgive ourselves and be at peace. This internal peace is worth the temporary pain and suffering. You deserve to be happy and healthy and continue to live your life.

Every day we continue to heal and get stronger, we learn about ourselves and our journey in this life. Another way to heal is to focus your traumatic experiences into advocacy and making a difference. This change allows people to become more connected and make a huge difference in the lives of people who have experienced similar events. There are a variety of advocacy initiatives currently happening all over the world, if there isn’t one happening that helps you heal from your experience you can always create one. The power is in your hands!

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please feel free to e-mail angela@waystowellbeing.ca and I will get back to you. Today is a day of healing.