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PTSD, Professional Counseling, Patience and Prayer

by Sim Lee  
5/22/2019 / Self Help


"Where there is no guidance, a people falls,but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14 ESV

No matter how well you deal with life's problems, we all have had those bad experiences that can take their toll upon our health and happiness. Some will stay in our memories and regenerate the stress of all of our original reactions, causing us to re-live the trauma of that most negative moment. It is a cumulative process that only worsens with time. (PTSD: post-traumatic stress disorder, can be experienced by all ages and personal situations.)

The frontal lobes of the brain store our memories and their related emotions, be they good or negative. The good ones usually take to that better place when something triggers that memory, but the negative ones can affect physical changes over time such as developing allergies or panic attacks and/or depression symptoms. (A word of caution here: having Lyme disease can mimic both of these symptom groups as well as symptoms of pancreatitis.)

Professional help is always advised to learn how to deal with and try to control negative memories, but there is something that you can try as well:

Several times a day, focus on the best memories of your life, perhaps those of your accomplishments or among your joys, be it a child, your marriage, or receiving a degree or an award. The goal is to have these good memories become the strong ones in your daily recall, eventually surpassing those negative ones that you dwelt upon.

The negative memories will not go away, but they will diminish, and along with good counseling, hopefully the trauma they generate will diminish also.

Re-visiting your religious faith will give you an enrichment of strength to overcome trauma retention as well.

For many, there is peace in doing all these things (counseling, daily mental exercises and prayer)and this peace can extend as well to those who are concerned for your well being.

Note: The National Institute For Mental Health (nimh.nih.gov) advises those who want to help themselves while in treatment for PTSD who should:

1. Talk with your doctor about any treatment options

2. Engage in mild physical activity or exercise to help reduce stress

3. Set realistic goals for yourself

4. Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can

5. Try to spend time with other people, and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Tell others about things that may trigger symptoms.

6. Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately

7. Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people.

Sim Lee is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.

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