Unspoken Symptoms of PTSD: Migraines

There are a lot of symptoms that come along with having PTSD. Some are fairly common and well talked about, such as flashbacks and anxiety. But there are some symptoms that you may not even realize are part of your PTSD. If you suffer from headaches regularly, and if those headaches seem to get so bad that you can no longer see straight and you feel the need to vomit, PTSD might be the culprit for it.

 

This is especially true for men. Although women are actually three times more likely to have either migraines or PTSD than men, men are more likely to have both at the same time. Basically, the chances of migraines being caused by PTSD are greater in men than in women.

 

PTSD is serious stuff, and it not only effects just what happens inside your head. It can be physically painful to relive your trauma over and over again. Your thoughts begin to take over and you can feel the panic rising. Your muscles tense up, your blood pressure rises, and your body releases all kinds of chemicals associated with fight or flight mode. Any one of these things can cause a headache on their own, but when you combine them all together, you get the perfect recipe for a serious migraine.

 

If you’re having headaches due to your PTSD, learn what your triggers are so you can avoid them in the future. Practice good self-care, and even consider taking some medication to help alleviate a headache when you feel one coming on.

Why Narcissists Hurt Their Loved Ones

Dealing with a narcissist can be a really difficult thing to do, especially when it is someone you are close to. Many times, you don’t realize that you have gotten yourself into a relationship with a narcissist until much later as things continue to get worse and worse, and they begin abusing you. In fact, they might not even act narcissistic at the beginning of the relationship.

Narcissists are predictable people, as they usually follow the same patterns of behavior. There are three stages of a relationship with a narcissist:

  1. Falling head over heels for you – In the beginning, the narcissist will want to do everything in their power to try to win you over because they want you. They believe you are the best thing to ever happen to them, and there’s no way you could ever let them down. You are the perfect person for them, and they want to show you by showering you with affection and gifts.
  2. Trying to fix you – Unfortunately though, the head over heels phase won’t last, and they’ll soon find flaws in you. They’ll start pointing them out and insist that you start changing them in order to make them satisfied. No matter how much you do to try to please them, it seems like it’s just never enough.
  3. Pure abuse – Soon, you’ll find yourself in the pure abuse phase, where life for you is miserable. The narcissist never has anything nice to say about you, and not only will they criticize you, but they will do it in public and around friends and family.

So why do narcissists always end up turning their relationships into nightmares this way? Wouldn’t they eventually learn that everyone has certain flaws that should be expected and accepted? Wouldn’t they soon be able to figure out that criticizing and putting their partner down is not a constructive way of handling conflicts?

As it turns out, there are two big character traits that those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder carry and these traits are responsible for the narcissist’s way of acting.

  1. Narcissists have no emotional empathy. Empathy allows us to feel and understand what another person is feeling. It is the thing that helps up to hold out tongues and think before speaking because we know that what we’re about to say could hurt them. We know this because we can imagine what it’s like to be in the other person’s shoes, then picture how we would feel if the same thing were said to us. Narcissists can’t and won’t do this. Even if a narcissist is able to intellectually understand that they might be hurting the other person, they don’t care because they are not personally hurt by it.
  2. Narcissists don’t have “whole object relations” or “emotional constancy”. This means that they think in extremes in terms of whether a person is good or bad. This is why at the beginning of relationships, a narcissist falls so hard and genuinely believes that person is perfection, but soon turns on them once they realize they have normal human flaws. Then, they can only think of them in horrible ways and are unable to see the good in them. This is where “emotional constancy” comes in, and it is when the narcissist is unable to maintain an emotional connection or good feelings about their partner when they fight or get upset with them.

The behaviors of a narcissist can sometimes seem like they don’t make sense and are completely unpredictable. But when you look at the bigger picture, you’ll find that there is usually a reason behind it all, and narcissists repeat patterns of behavior.

 

Unspoken Symptoms of PTSD: Hypervigilance

You’ve heard about the grand list of PTSD symptoms, but some of them can be overlooked or misunderstood. Have you ever heard of hypervigilance? Having hypervigilance means that you are constantly on the alert, looking for danger and waiting for the next attack to hit at any moment. People that are hypervigilant usually have a hard time relaxing, especially in public. They feel the need to always watch their backs and have a plan of escape or defense wherever they go. Does this sound like you? If you have PTSD, you likely have hypervigilance too.

 

Hypervigilance is a natural bodily response for having been exposed to dangerous environments for a long period of time, but always being on the lookout can be pretty exhausting. Your body can become tense from unease, creating stiff and sore muscles. Your lack of focus on anything else can also interfere with work and relationships with people. The stress and anxiety of it all can leave you feeling ready to collapse at any moment.

 

So what can you do to get some relief from hypervigilance? There are a few options available. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one that can help you learn to control the way you respond to the world around you, while Exposure Therapy is a great way to conquer your fears. Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy is yet another great form of therapy. If none of this enough, you can also consider taking different kinds of medications. If you want a more natural approach, you can try mindful training to help you be able to “live in the moment.”

 

PTSD is a difficult battle, but not an impossible one. There are lots of options out there to help you fight the symptoms and eventually overcome PTSD for good.

PTSD In Partnerships

Dealing with PTSD can be really difficult, but not just for the one with the diagnosis. If one person has it, it can cause friends and family to struggle too – just in a different way. If you are dating someone who has PTSD, you know that it can cause some tension in the relationship. This is especially true for people who suffer from Complex PTSD.

 

Complex PTSD (C-PTSD)  is very similar to normal PTSD, except the victim is unable to escape the stressful environment that is causing it. With time, people that suffer from normal PTSD can learn to cope with the event in the past and overcome the fears that arose from it. But with C-PTSD, there is no break from the event to give the sufferer any relief or time to heal.

 

Your partner having PTSD could be something you’re just now finding out about as you go further into the relationship. This can be upsetting and hard to deal with, especially if you feel that it is something that they have tried to keep from you. But remember that them admitting their weaknesses to you is a big sign of trust from them, regardless of how long it took them to come to you about it. For those that suffer from PTSD, problems like trust issues, anxiety, and paranoia are all part of the disorder, so the thing that they need most from you is your loving support and understanding.

 

The PTSD diagnosis could have also been given to your significant other during your relationship. If this is the case, remember that this is all scary, if not scarier, news for the sufferer than it is for you. Go to them with open arms, but also remember to give them the space they need too.

 

PTSD can be the root cause of many relationship problems, as it can make the sufferer feel less understood, which can fuel unnecessary arguments. Many PTSD sufferers also experience emotional outbursts, as they are unable to keep their emotions in check. Sometimes, these bursts are taken out on the person nearest to them. That person tends to be their significant other, which can cause even more fights. More fights can mean more time apart and even isolation from each other, causing a downfall in the relationship.

 

At least with normal PTSD, there is some hope that by getting proper treatment, the relationship can be restored and the two of you can go back to being normal and happy again. But when your partner suffers from C-PTSD, it can feel as though there isn’t an end in sight. Your partner likely feels hopeless and worthless, and understanding this can go a long way in keeping a relationship alive. Try to practice open communication, and always be there to offer support and motivation. Encourage them to seek help, and maybe even try couple’s therapy if you feel that things are just getting to be too much. Remind them that the pain is only temporary, and whatever is causing their C-PTSD is bound to be put to an end eventually.

A Rise In Homelessness

The capital of North Carolina has been booming for a long time, and it still continues to grow. But as more and more people and businesses settle here, the cost of living goes up. And that means the number of homeless people is increasing too. Even the employed struggle to keep a roof over their heads as low-income wages are beginning to decrease while the cost for rent increases.

 

Because of this, homelessness is becoming a real problem in Raleigh, North Carolina. During the 2016-17 school year, 3,465 students were found to be homeless, which is 2,940 more kids than just the year before. This is a scary number to look at. What could this mean for the upcoming generation?

 

Being homeless is serious stuff. It means bouncing around from place to place, creating never-ending instability. They are also more likely to end up in more dangerous and unhealthy situations, such as sleeping in the cold, standing on the side of the road, and taking help from strangers. All of this is a perfect recipe for high stress and mental health issues as a result. Worrying about their education is difficult enough for children and teens, but fighting to survive is a whole other level. It could cause issues that they might have to carry with them for the rest of their lives.

 

We all know what it’s like to have to face stressful situations in day to day life, but homelessness, especially in children and teens, is another level that could have a deeply negative effect on the mental health of the upcoming generation.

How to Identify and Stop a Narcissist BEFORE They Trap You

If you’ve just gotten out of an abusive relationship with a narcissist, it can be hard to begin dating again, for fear that you might end up in yet another abusive relationship. What if you find yourself repeating the same patterns and being with a narcissist once again? After all, if you were with a narcissist before, you might have just the right personality that attracts them. They thrive off of those that they can take advantage of and control. They like those that are all too giving and completely willing to put others first.

 

So here are a few things that you can do to avoid repeating those mistakes:

 

Choose Your Relationships Wisely

Don’t let yourself fall head over heels for someone without feeling them out first. Keep your distance when beginning new relationships, and really try to measure out their words against their actions. If they stay true to their words, there shouldn’t be much to worry about. But if they are constantly making empty promises, that could certainly be a red flag. If they seem to always be in competition with you to try to get the upper hand instead of accepting you as their equal, that is another big warning sign.

 

Expect Failures and Disappointments

This might sound a little harsh at first, but you should never let yourself get your hopes up with someone who you suspect is a narcissist. Don’t let yourself get sucked into their persuasive words and charm. Doing so only gives them more power over your emotions and well-being. Instead, have a backup plan for when they don’t follow through on their word.

 

Avoid Trying to  “Fix” Them

A narcissist can’t be helped, especially if they don’t want to be. They can even thrive off of the arguing and frustration that it can bring out in you when you find that you can’t save them. They know that in this way, they can get under your skin, and that gives them even more power. Instead, the best thing to do is to keep your distance, maintain your own personal boundaries, and even cut them loose completely.

 

Practice Mindful and Effective Communication

Good communication can go a long way in solving many problems. Most narcissists are likely acting from their wounds, and having an understanding of this could help you in how you deal with them. Regardless though, you must be assertive and not give them any opportunities to run you over. Learning to say no is very important, and if a narcissist does not respect your answers or wishes, let them know that there will be consequences, and follow through on them.

 

Narcissists are not fun people to have in your relationship circle, but sometimes it’s hard to not fall for their tricks. Luckily, there are ways to identify a narcissist before they are able trap you. Keeping a good distance from those you’re unsure about, expecting failures, maintaining boundaries, and practicing good, solid communication are all great ways to help avoid being sucked in by another narcissist.

4 Ways to Treat PTSD

Whether you’ve had PTSD for a long time, or you’ve just been diagnosed recently, you might be wondering how you can get back to your normal self and begin to enjoy life once again. There are many different approached you can take, but the best thing to do if to find what works the best for you. Here are 4 ways to treat PTSD:

 

Medications –

Medications are the most popular, and probably the best option for those with severe and debilitating PTSD. There are no medications specifically for treating PTSD itself, but many can help alleviate the symptoms. SSRIs are great for reducing depression and anxiety that comes along with having PTSD, and SNRIs are another option for reducing depression. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping any medications.

 

Psychotherapy –

There are a few different kinds of psychotherapy available, and these kinds of treatments usually go hand in hand with being treated medicinally as well. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy that focuses on thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Cognitive processing therapy is very similar, but has more to do with processing and analyzing the traumatic event. EMDR is another form of psychotherapy, and it uses your eye movements to help you process the traumatic event.

 

Alternative Treatments –

Alternative treatments include things such as trauma-sensitive yoga and acupuncture to help relieve the stress and anxiety that come along with PTSD. This kind of treatment tends to be more natural, less invasive and comes with fewer side effects.

 

Innovative Treatments –

These kinds of treatments are going to be much more creative. Types of innovative treatment include Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy to help desensitize the person from their fears and help them overcome their traumatic experience. Other innovative treatments involve using drugs such as ketamine infusions or MDMA to help lessen PTSD symptoms and calm the person down enough to be able to face their trauma more effectively.

 

As you can see, there are lots of different options for treatment out there. The internet can help you decide what you think will work the best for your journey to recovery, but always discuss your options with your doctor first.

Your PTSD Might Be More “Complex” Than You Thought…

Do you feel like you might be suffering from PTSD, but the events that have caused it still aren’t over? Are you still having to face the issue that is making your mental health decline? If so, you might have what is called Complex PTSD. Complex PTSD is what happens when a person can get no escape from whatever is causing their trauma. If you think this is you, then read more below to find out if you fit the symptoms.

 

Feeling Alone

Those that suffer from C-PTSD can have a really hard time trusting other people, and not being able to trust means not letting anyone in, and never actually being able to connect with others. This can also be fed by the victim feeling outcast for their differences. They can feel broken and useless, making them shy away from others and leading to aloneness.

 

Having Emotional Flashbacks

There are different kinds of flashbacks that people with PTSD can suffer from. One of them is emotional flashbacks, and this is where emotions from the past are triggered by something more minor. You might find yourself getting intensely emotional and overwhelmed for irrational reasons, and you can blame this on emotional flashbacks. This kind is the least understood of all flashbacks but is pretty common among those with C-PTSD.

 

Being hypervigilant

Hypervigilance is when you are extra aware of things and people. Many tend to scan a room upon entering it or sit with their backs against a wall. For those with C-PTSD, they can be hypervigilant about people. You might find yourself watching people for signs of lying or hurting you, such as watching their body language and movements, and their tone of voice.

 

Feeling Hopeless, Ashamed, and Depressed

When things seem like they’re never going to get better, it can bring on lots of feelings of hopelessness. Many even lose faith in their religious and spiritual beliefs. For physical and sexual abuse victims, they can be made to feel ashamed of who they are. They might feel dirty, disgusting, and worthless for how they’ve been treated. These kinds of thoughts can lead to depression and even suicidal tendencies if they continue.

 

Trying to Lean on Someone Else

When so much keeps going wrong, those with C-PTSD try to find relief by searching out someone to lean on. This desperations usually results in being in another toxic relationship that will cause even more trauma in the long run. For those that dealt with childhood trauma, they can have a hurt inner child, and this could mean seeking out a parent figure to take care of them.

 

Dissociating

When we are faced with never-ending trauma, sometimes the only way to be able to escape and cope with it all is to completely dissociate. A certain level of this is normal, and can even be healthy. But there comes a point when it can become very unhealthy and even turn into Dissociative Identity Disorder.

 

Staying Tense

Many people carry stress in their shoulders and necks, but for those dealing with C-PTSD, they carry it in their entire body. They can tense up and stay that way for long periods of time without even realizing it, waiting for the next attack to hit. This can cause unexplained muscle soreness.

 

There are a lot of symptoms that those with C-PTSD must face and deal with every day. Remember, there is hope for those that suffer, but it takes strength to get through. If you haven’t reached your happy ending, then it’s not the end yet.

Is PTSD Affecting Your Memory?

Do you often find it hard to remember simple, everyday things such as whether or not you brushed your teeth, or why you just walked into a different room? If so, it could be another symptom of your PTSD. Studies show that when you suffer from PTSD, the hippocampus – the region of your brain that is responsible for emotions and memory – is damaged, and can even shrink in volume up to 8%. So what can you do to help with the short term memory loss of day to day life? There are a few options.

 

Take Medication

Studies have shown that SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are good for more than just fighting depression. They can also improve memory skills. So if you’re taking an SSRI for PTSD, it will likely help decrease the short term memory loss that comes with it.

 

Reduce Environmental Stress

You can’t heal from a stress-related disorder if you never get a break from it. Remove yourself from the toxic environment, and it might help you to be able to think straight once again.

 

Practice Organization

If your thoughts are all over the place, write them down so you can make some sense of them. This way, you won’t have to rely on your memory so much, and you can trust what you have written down. Plus, studies show that the action of writing things down helps you to remember it.

 

Stay Away From Distractions

When you go to complete a task, try to do it with as little distractions as possible. If you’re going to get something from a room, be thinking about where it is so you’re prepared when you get there. If you’re cleaning or working, try turning off the electronics.

 

There are a variety of ways to help you with your short term memory loss. And as long as you stay positive through the whole process, things are bound to get better with time.

What will Happen with Kevin Spacey?

It’s a dangerous world out there, which is why the law was set in place to begin with. It is the duty of the law enforcement and court systems to keep its citizens safe and put away those that do harm to others. But sometimes it’s hard to tell who the real problem is in a situation.

 

Kevin Spacey, who many of us know and love from the show, “House of Cards,” was charged with felony sexual assault for an alleged incident in 2016. His accuser says that Spacey got an 18 year old drunk by buying him drinks, then without consent, shoved his hands down his pants and grabbed his genitals. The victim was a bus boy who had convinced Spacey that he was of legal drinking age, and it was said that he wanted a job and nothing more from Spacey.

 

It turns out that this was not the first time that Spacey would be called out for having sexual relations with boys and minors. Actor Anthony Rapp came forward admitting that Spacy had made inappropriate sexual advances towards him when he was just 14. Three more people spoke up later, admitting similar stories that had happened to them with Spacey.

 

With all of the accusations, it probably didn’t help that Spacey had come out as gay. After all the blame that was put on him, he even began receiving help in order to work through the trauma of it all.

 

Now, two years after the incident, Spacey has finally been spotted again. He was last photographed at the end of December as he was climbing into an SUV. He was wearing a big scarf that covered his neck and face, and a hat pulled down low to try to hide his identity as much as possible.

 

It must be hard to live through the embarrassment and shame of being accused of such horrible things, and no one knows this more than Kevin Spacey. It’s no wonder that he hid away from the world for so long. I think all of us would if we had that giant weight on our shoulders.

 

For those that are victims of narcissistic abuse, we get a taste for what it’s like to be accused of things we may not have actually done. Stories always get twisted around to make things seem worse than they really are and to make the truth harder and harder to find for everyone else. Do we truly know what happened between Spacey and the bus boy? No. So why should we always assume the worst? After all, Kevin Spacey has only charged with – not yet convicted of – a felony. Plus, would a predator really seek therapy like Spacey did? Spacey was looking for help to get through the whole mess, so it just doesn’t make sense. Things aren’t always black and white, and those that have dealt with narcissistic abuse should know more than anyone that you shouldn’t always believe in the very first thing you hear.