You may feel crazy but I assure you, you are NOT crazy. You are flooded with emotions, physical feelings that are a re-experiencing of the traumatic event(s). You have body symptoms, intrusive memories and flashbacks that are especially frightening when you have no idea why you are feeling like you do. On top of it your feelings do not fit with what is going on around you.

You could be at the grocery store and see a shirt like the one your father wore when he fondled you the first time at age 7. You feel as if you are 7 again and as if your father is inappropriately touching you again. Yet you know at some level that you are at the grocery to get milk and eggs, you really are 45 years old and that you are a physician with her own practice. Yet you move between the past and present struggling to understand what is going on. If you do not slip all the way into the past (full flashback) and disassociate (lose time) then you will probably be able to get out of the store and get yourself to a safe place. Until you understand what is occurring, and even when you do, it is a terrifying to have and fear it will continue to resurface.

The good news is that once you begin to identify these symptoms you can begin to use some techniques that will help you to ground yourself in the present. A couple simple things that you can tell yourself is “It is not happening now.” “I have already survived it.” “I am safe right now, right now I am safe.” “Nothing or no one is hurting me right now.” “I feel terrible but I am ok.” You may have to tell yourself this a 1000 times but the feelings will pass and you will eventually move from feeling shell shocked into a more ‘normal’ range of feeling for yourself.

If you would like to decrease or eliminate your PTSD symptoms please contact me. Research based treatment for PTSD is effective in 85% of the cases with a reduction in symptoms of more than 70%. You can do more than survive, you can thrive.


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