POST TRAUMATIC GROWTH

Do you know someone with PTSD? In the last couple years, I have learned the importance of “Everything has an opposite”.  The opposite of a negative mindset is a positive mindset.  The opposite of being sad is being happy.  This may seem like pointless information, WHEN you listen to this episode you will discover that even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has an opposite.  Surprisingly enough, military people aren’t the only ones to suffer with PTSD.  In fact, you will find out exactly who is effected by this disorder and how people can conquer it.

 

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WHAT IS POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER?

I will be sharing with you information on POST TRAUMATIC GROWTH.  Have you heard of it??  I would Explain it as the opposite of POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.  That is probably more familiar to you than the other…  It is a huge passion of mine to simplify information and share it with you all LIPTalk Nation.  I know many people who have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and well let’s face it, I know very FEW who have been diagnosed with post traumatic growth.  In fact, when I have mentioned to people that there is such thing as PTG, I get strange looks.  Looks of doubt. Or Looks of “That sounds too good to be true.”  I have even had a friend ask me if I was serious, because they thought I was joking.  SO, What is POST TRAUMATIC GROWTH?  Well, Of course I’m going to define our terms, but I want to make sure you all understand what PTSD is first.

…when I have mentioned to people that there is such a thing as PTG, I get strange looks.

If you have listened to my story, which is Episode #9, No Longer a Slave to Fear,  than you have heard me say that I had PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Now, I was labeled a lot of different things, but I think to some up all of my ailments and symptoms they would go under PTSD.  To make the terms even clearer, this information isn’t to diagnose anyone.  If you can relate to any or all of these symptoms, I just want you all to know that I understand and that I’ve been there too.

The definition of PTSD is an anxiety disorder which develops as a result of an extreme and often unexpected event or series of events. These events can include but are not limited to those that are related to war and /or military combat, physical or sexual assault, accidents, and natural or man-made disasters.  This definition comes from conrod.org.au …And according to PTSDUK.org, Some of the Symptoms include:  increased anxiety, irritability, sudden outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, cry easily, panic attacks, tense muscles, flashbacks, nightmares, aches and pains with no apparent cause, suicidal thoughts, self harm and substance abuse. This is not a complete list of symptoms, but I think it gives you all a clear idea of what people go through, who have PTSD.

The definition of PTSD is an anxiety disorder which develops as a result of an extreme and often unexpected event or series of events.

The Reason why I had PTSD is that I personally experienced a trauma in my early childhood. The trauma I experienced is sexual assault known as molestation, and to this day, I still can’t recall how many times…. But, Most people often think that PTSD effects only military people who have witnessed severe combat. So, I guess I’m bringing to light that PTSD doesn’t just effect military people but all kinds of people.  It could be someone who has experienced domestic violence, rape, abandonment, a car accident, a sports accident, a house fire or even a loss of a loved one.

I personally didn’t start experiencing any symptoms of PTSD until I was 20 years old. That’s when I shared, for the first time, with someone, what happened to me.  But the next 17 years were quite the battle.  I faced bulimia, TMJ, anxiety attacks, depression, bipolar, over active thyroid, low blood pressure, chronic pain, countless sleepless nights, high risk pregnancy with an over active uterus (the medical team couldn’t figure out why) I’ve had 2 cyst’s burst at the same time… I faced the ridiculous cycle of feeling guilty, then being mad because I felt guilty and that would go back and forth. I know what it’s like to cry for hours at a time….. Sometimes the flashbacks would be so vivid I would cry myself to sleep; and some of the worst days of feeling unworthy was when I was pregnant.

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Often times I hear people tell me that I almost come across too positive about my story.  Or people question whether or not I really ever suffered from depression.  I hear, “Were you really as emotional as you say you were?” because you seriously sound happy.  I don’t want to downplay at all what I went through or what many of you are going through right now.  My response to those who think I come across to “positive” is this: I have overcome the feeling of guilt.  I have shared my story countless times to where I have given myself permission to heal.  I no longer dwell on the past. My Past does not define me. I no longer believe that “I’m not good enough. I’m not strong enough, and I’m not smart enough.  You see, I simply decided I didn’t like feeling like a victim.  I didn’t like crying all the time and I didn’t like being controlled by past past. I decided to change my mind.

Then there was that day, I decided to stop running. I decided to confront myself; and Now? Now I live in the moment.

You see I am just a girl from a small town, who had a bad thing happen to her; who decided to suppress it for a long time.  Who eventually told someone about it, which caused a lot of bad things happen mentally and physically; And for a really long time I tried to run away from myself. Then there was that day, I decided to stop running. I decided to confront myself; and Now? Now I live in the moment. I Believe that I am wonderfully made by God.

Over a year ago, I discovered that Post traumatic Growth was a thing.  I was listening to a TED Talk by Jane McGonigal (watch below), and as I heard her give the definition of PTG, I started smiling and realized then that everything really does have an opposite.

After all, I had PTSD…. so could one really conquer this?? The answer that I have found and personally experienced is YES!!!  That’s really what I want to talk about today.  The opposite of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is Post Traumatic Growth.  As I researched PTG, I knew more people needed to know about it.

 

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WHAT IS POST TRAUMATIC GROWTH?

According to WIKIPEDIA, it refers to a positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges in order to rise to a higher level of functioning.  Did you catch that LIPTalk Nation?  A Positive psychological change!!!  That’s exactly what happens when someone decides they want to stop suffering from depression or anxiety.  It happens when you go from a negative mind to a positive mind.  Which is what we are all about.  The concept is quite simple; but not as simple as just moving on and getting over the trauma.

I have discovered, in my research, that there are five areas of Post Traumatic Growth:

  • You treat others the way you want to be treated,
  • You have the sense of anything is possible,
  • you become resilient when faced with adversity,
  • you become more spiritual and
  • You Live life to the fullest by reaching your goals and living your dreams.

In Live Happy Magazine, PTG is referred to as having “Super Hero” like powers.  Because one who overcomes a trauma knows how to bounce back and help others.   I love that!  This is why I say, To have feelings is a Super Power.  A person before a trauma is pretty strong, going through life with a bit of ease and faces hard times in stride.  However, when someone experiences a trauma, this person then becomes overwhelmed with fear of facing life, has panic attacks,  and is constantly dealing with guilt and anger.  The thought of getting out of bed becomes the difficult task of the day.  When a person overcomes trauma, they become stronger than they were before the trauma happened, hence the “Super Hero” like powers.

In Live Happy Magazine, PTG is referred to as having “Super Hero” like powers.

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This is FANTASTIC NEWS LIPTalk Nation!! There is hope for every person facing depression and anxiety, No matter what you have gone through in your past.  I believe that God did not call us to suffer, but to CONQUER.   You don’t have to believe me, but My definition of anxiety is creating an environment that’s not really there.  If we free our minds of suppression, then we free our minds for innovation.  Imagine if we decided to allow ourselves to feel instead of suppress, whether it be anger, sadness or even confused, we would then experience more ideas and follow through on them.

So even though I have a bad thing happen, I choose to conquer.  I choose to tell my story.  My question to you LIPTalk Nation is ARE YOU WILLING TO SHARE YOUR STORY? You can Conquer!!!  If you are thinking, “so many people have it worse than I do” but you still suffer from depression, or PTSD, than I’ve got to point out to you that you are probably living in denial.

This isn’t all the information on PTSD or PTG but I wanted to start raising awareness for people to start focusing on the right information.  There really is an opposite to everything.  Which one do you want to dwell on?  I will ask the question to you again, Do you like feeling depressed or have panic attacks?

There really is an opposite to everything.

I have developed my own method to help people CONQUER depression and anxiety, which includes how to have POST TRAUMATIC GROWTH.  IF, you are interested, reach out to me by email to laura@lauraspragg.com or visit liptalknation.com.  Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to find out when we will be doing live webinars so you can learn how to be the best version of yourself.  Our community is growing and momentum is on the rise.

Thank you for reading this blog on Life In Purple.  Where the broken can heal and the successful can conquer.  If you’re thinking that this blog was just for you, or you have a story to share that connects with other blogs or episodes,  I would LOVE to hear from you.  Send me a quick email to Laura@lauraspragg.com or check out our website at www.liptalknation.com. Let’s all rise together and create a community that stops the negative talk.  We ARE wonderfully made.  What you say is what you become.

Laura Spragg is a speaker and the host of the growing podcast and blog: Life in Purple – A place that fosters the journey of new perspectives, renewed energy, and a passion to be the best version of ourselves. Visit our Website or Facebook page to learn more… who doesn’t want a little extra positive in their life?
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