ADHD And Money Management


Welcome back!

Disorganization, impulsivity, and procrastination can create money problems for those with ADHD. It is not uncommon for sufferers to have high debt, and more arguments with significant others over money. It is a constant struggle, as the bills pile up.  Here is an ADHD Money Management Action Guide.

Prioritizing: make a budget that drives your priorities.

  • Gather a pen, paper and all of your bills or a bank statement.
  • Write out your monthly household bills – estimate high for utilities.
  • Include money for miscellaneous expenses and recreation.
  • If you have pets, include an estimate for vet care, feeding, grooming, etc.
  • Annual expenses are divided into monthly payments.
  • Include 5-10% for savings, if possible.
  • Pay off credit cards and loans with interest before savings.
  • If you can, pay additional money on your mortgage, car payments and credit cards.

Planning: develop systems for managing your mail and paying bills.

  • Set up a process for managing mail. 
    • Get three boxes or baskets, a recycling bin and a shredder.  
    • One box/basket is for bills, one for mail to read later and one for outgoing mail. 
    • Put these by the door where you get the mail.
    • Sort the mail into boxes/baskets before putting it down elsewhere.
    • Most of your mail will go in the recycling bin. 
    • Shred things with your name and identifying information.
  • Set up a system for paying bills (Bill Pay through your bank is recommended).
    • Figure out how you want to pay bills – monthly or twice each month.
    • Set a day and put a reminder on your calendar or alarm on your phone.
    • Get the bills due from your inbox, sit down and pay the bills without interruption.
    • Repeat for each pay date.

Follow-through: use cash for things you usually pay for with debit/credit cards. 

  • Gather several envelopes.
  • Label each one (gas, food, laundry, hair, pet care, recreation, miscellaneous, etc.).
  • Put the amount of cash you have budgeted for each item in the envelope.
  • Each time you buy something, use the money from that envelope.
  • Try not to spend all of the money before you get paid again, and add it to your savings. 

Your ADHD does not have to lead to financial disaster. You must have a plan. Of course, you might feel embarrassed, but you should not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I hope you found these tips useful!

Until the next post, 

Best,
Juan

How To Study When You Have ADHD


In 2010, just two months after completing a three year BSc in Florida, I relocated to the UK, to commence my MSc. One year, 195 credits. Looking back, I wished I had taken the part time, two year option. It was one wild year! Though I did graduate with Merit, had I chosen the two year option, my final grade would have been with a Distinction- the highest in the British education system.

 I remember the long sleepless nights. Not much time to date, even less to enjoy more of life. What if II had to contend with ADHD? Oh boy! It’s not easy for most people to study. It’s even more challenging for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Those with ADHD have above normal levels of hyperactivity and a below normal ability to focus on a single task. This makes studying especially difficult for adults and children with ADHD. If you are enrolled in school, diagnosed with ADHD, perhaps the following strategies can make studying less challenging:

  1. Remove distractions.  Most of us are easily distracted these days. Those with ADHD are even more susceptible. It’s worth the effort to create a place to study, devoid of distractions as much as possible. A completely bare room with a desk and maybe a clock is ideal. The fewer the number of distractions the better.
  2. Focus on one task at a time. No one is particularly good at switching back and forth between tasks. This is even more challenging for someone with ADHD. Choose a task and commit to working on it until either the task or the allocated time is complete. Then, take a break and move forward.
  3. Take regular breaks. There are people with very short attention spans that have accomplished amazing things by alternating 10-minute work periods with 10-20-minute breaks. A break doesn’t necessarily mean sitting there staring into space. It can be a good time to do a chore around the house, do some pushups, or call a friend.
    • Find the right ratio of working time to break time for you. You’ll never know what works for you without experimenting. There’s a right combination for everyone.
  4. Avoid waiting until the last minute. Plan ahead. Look at your schedule and begin working on papers and studying for tests well in advance. Avoid the temptation to cram the night before. It’s a poor strategy for anyone, but can be even worse for someone with ADHD.
  5. Exercise. Exercise can help to bleed off some of the excess energy that can make it hard to sit still and get to work. It is a great remedy for a variety of ailments. Regular exercise can be a tremendous boost to your ability to focus and study.
  6. Try taking a nap. Naps are a wonderful tool for some but seem to help others very little. Again, experiment and see what works for you. Try short naps, long naps, and everything in between. A little sleep can reset your brain in a way that simply relaxing cannot.
  7. Schedule study time. Have a schedule that you stick to. A routine can be highly beneficial and ensure you don’t fall behind. Catching up is always challenging but is especially challenging for someone with an attention disorder.
  8. Talk to your school. Your school might have accommodations for students with learning challenges. You might be entitled to free tutors, altered testing conditions such as a private room, or additional time for tests. This is true from elementary school to college. You’ll never know if you don’t ask. What do you have to lose?

If you or someone you care about has ADHD, you know how challenging it can be to sit down, focus, and study. However, the tips above can help anyone to be more effective at studying whether they have ADHD or not! 

The key is to experiment and to keep an open mind. The right solution might surprise you. Be sure to get in touch with an appropriate medical professional if a satisfactory result isn’t attained. The right medication, treatment, or expert advice can make a huge difference.

Until the next post,  ADHD and Money Management,

Best, 
Juan

Hybrid Work Guide For Adults with ADHD


More than two years ago, most of us experienced the sudden shift to remote and hybrid work. Undoubtedly, it has been a rocky road for many working adults. The challenge can be even greater if you have ADHD.

You were probably happy to say goodbye to your daily morning commute. On the other hand, you may now be dealing with new concerns like Zoom fatigue and feeling less connected. Your old routines have disappeared, and it’s difficult to concentrate.

How can you work productively and protect your mental health while you’re doing your job at home? Here is a short guide to hybrid work for adults with ADHD. I know, I know..where was this guide two years ago, when I needed it?!

Tips for Video Conferencing

Daily traffic rose 535% on Zoom in 2020. The increase in video conferencing is even greater when you take into account many companies use multiple platforms. Becoming comfortable with new ways of communicating is essential.

  1. Move around. Being on camera reduces your mobility, so you wind up feeling more restless. Walking around the room occasionally and sitting on a stability ball will help use up some energy.
  2. Stand back. The constant eye contact during video calls can be overstimulating. Stand or sit further away from your screen to increase your personal space. Watching yourself can be tiring too, so most platforms have options to turn off the self-view.
  3. Look away. Relieve mental and physical strain by shifting your gaze away from the screen periodically. Glance up or fix your eyes on an object in the distance.
  4. Use audio only. Be selective about turning your camera on. Assess your company’s rules and culture first to avoid causing any friction.
  5. Schedule breaks. Video calls can make a desk job even more sedentary. Pause at least once an hour to stretch and take deep breaths.

Tips for Other Hybrid Work Issues

When your boss and coworkers are miles away, it’s up to you to stay organized and motivated. Try these tips for developing coping strategies that will help you focus:
  1. Take your medication. Many adults diagnosed with ADHD take medication as part of their treatment plan. Follow your doctor’s recommendations to help control your symptoms even if you’re staying home more.
  2. Plan your day. Structuring your time makes it easier to regulate yourself. Set reasonable expectations and block out enough hours for your top priorities.
  3. Designate a workspace. Putting boundaries between your personal and professional responsibilities will help you avoid distractions. Turn a spare room into an office or tend to business in one corner of your dining room table.
  4. Clear away clutter. Messy surroundings lead to greater anxiety and wasted time. Clean up after yourself and get rid of possessions you no longer use.
  5. Add storage. Visit office supply and home furnishing websites to shop for organizing solutions. Maybe you’d rather use baskets than filing cabinets.
  6. Post reminders. Find ways to prompt your memory. Hang a chalkboard above your desk. Put sticky notes on your refrigerator door and bathroom mirror. Set alarms on your phone to remind you to go to meetings or move on to your next task.
  7. Find a partner. Do you miss the social support you had at the office? Ask a coworker or friend to help you stay on track. Check in with them each morning or lunch hour.
  8. End your day. You might forget to shut down when you live and work in the same place. Maintain balance by sticking to a reasonable quitting time. 

For adults with ADHD, adjusting to hybrid work requires some thought and effort. However, there are advantages too. You may have more flexibility to structure your job in a way that reduces stress and allows you to make the most of your personal strengths.

Until the next post-How To Study When You Have ADHD,

Best,

Juan

 

Dealing With ADHD At Work


 

Does your boss keep giving you the same feedback? You need to follow instructions and pay more attention to details. These could be signs that you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

More than 8 million adults struggle with ADHD. If you’re one of them, you may have trouble keeping track of multiple projects or even showing up for work on time. The symptoms can vary widely in intensity, and many cases go undiagnosed. 

While ADHD can make getting and keeping a job more difficult, there are coping strategies and other resources that can help. Let’s get it!

ADHD in the Workplace:

  1. Limit distractions. A quiet environment will help you focus. If you don’t have access to a private office, maybe you can work in a conference room or turn your desk to the wall. Minimize interruptions too, like checking phone messages and email.
  2. Clear away clutter. Is your phone buried under piles of paper? Tidying up will save time looking for lost items and reduce anxiety.
  3. Plan your schedule. Managing time can be tough when you have ADHD. Use an app or a paper appointment diary to block out time for activities and meetings. Check your to do list during the day to ensure that you stay on track.
  4. Create reminders. You can also use technology or post-it notes to jog your memory. Set an alarm for staff meetings and write yourself messages about filling out timesheets and sending your boss a birthday card.
  5. Move around. Relieve restlessness by taking breaks. Go for a walk at lunch. Make phone calls standing up.
  6. Change roles. Maybe you can develop a career geared toward your personality. Many adults with ADHD flourish as entrepreneurs, using their creativity and energy.
  7. Boost your self-esteem. While you’re finding your path, remember ADHD can be frustrating. It can also cause misunderstandings with your colleagues. Build your confidence by taking care of your health and advocating for yourself.

More Help for ADHD:

  1. Tell your boss. ADHD is a condition recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act. You may be able to arrange accommodations to make your work life more comfortable and productive.
  2. Consider disability benefits. If your symptoms are so severe that they prevent you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) payments. Working with a lawyer can help you understand the process.
  3. Talk with your doctor. It’s important to get diagnosed if you think you may have ADHD. Your physician can recommend an appropriate treatment plan and helpful lifestyle changes.
  4. Consider medication. ADHD can often be managed with a combination of therapy and drugs. Your doctor may prescribe stimulants, as well antidepressants. If you’re unable to take stimulants, there are alternatives.
  5. Join a support group. As much as your family and friends try to help you, you may still want to talk with others who have similar symptoms and experiences. Organizations like Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) can help you find self-help groups online and in your community.
  6. Find a coach. What if you need some assistance with implementing what you learn? Working with a coach who specializes in ADHD can help you master new lifestyle skills.

Some very successful business leaders and celebrities have used their ADHD to their advantage, and so can you. Think of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, Micheal Phelps the GOAT Olympic Swimming Champ,  or Gymnastics Great Simone Biles. Find a career that suits your strengths and ask for help when you need it.

Until the next post – A Hybrid Work Guide for Adults with ADHD,

Best,

Juan

 

Adult ADHD: The Facts


 

May is here!

Hopefully, you are having a much better Spring weather.  

If this is your first time stopping by, a big hearty WELCOME.  To my faithful subscribers, you are appreciated! If you ever need to get in touch, please send a message using the Get In Touch tab. I respond to all messages within 24 hours. In continuing with the mental health series,  ADHD is the focus for this month.

 

According to the American Psychiatric Association,Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. ADHD also affects many adults. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excess movement that is not fitting to the setting) and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur in the moment without thought).  It is more common among boys than girls.

STATS
About 4-5% of the population were diagnosed with adult ADHD before the diagnostic criteria changed in 2013 to include adults. That number may be substantially higher now. 60% or more of those who have ADHD symptoms as children or teens continue to have these traits as adults, including those who were never officially diagnosed. Only 10% of adults with ADHD are currently getting treatment. (Russell Barkley, 2010)

Causes of ADHD
Lower activity levels in the Prefrontal Cortex where attention is controlled is believed to cause ADHD. The lower activity levels are caused by:  

  • Genetics  
  • Lack of Dopamine and Norepinephrine 
  • In less than 10% causes may be environmental, due to illness or head injury, including birth. 
  • Fewer than 5% of these are believed to be from use of alcohol, drugs or nicotine during pregnancy. 

ADHD Diagnosis:
Previous DSM- IV guidelines specified that symptoms must be present before the age of 7; in the DSM-V, that has been changed to age 12.  

  • Adults need to exhibit five symptoms from at least one category, primarily hyperactive or primarily inattentive, or symptoms from both for the diagnosis of ADHD Combined Type. 
  • The symptoms must  lead to impairment in at least two areas of life: work, relationships, social, financial, parenting, home, etc.  
  • Adults with ADHD must have symptoms present since childhood unless caused by a head injury or other trauma.
  • The symptoms must occur in two or more settings.
  • Many adults with ADHD were not diagnosed as children, but find they still have problems in adulthood. If the symptoms have been present since childhood, particularly problems in school with academics and/or behavior, is is possibly undiagnosed ADHD.  (DSM-V, 2013)

Symptoms:

  • Many people have characteristics/traits, but do not show problems with executive functions.
  • They may be very active and high energy, but do not interrupt others, losing track of thoughts, forget things, struggle with disorganized, have problems listening, etc. 
  • These people generally do not meet the criteria for ADHD, and should be evaluated for Anxiety, Bi Polar II or Cyclothymia.

Until the next post, Dealing with ADHD At Work,

Best,

Juan

The Simplest Ways to Practice Self Care When You Have PTSD


Anyone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder knows how debilitating it can be. While many people with PTSD require professional treatment, there is still a lot you can do on your own to mitigate your symptoms and move toward good mental health. It can’t hurt to give a few strategies a try.

  1. Engage your creative mind. Studies have shown that engaging in creative activities can help with PTSD. Using your brain to create something new is a powerful process that requires using your brain in unusual ways. This seems to be soothing to those with PTSD. Consider these suggestions
    • Painting
    • Drawing
    • Sculpture
    • Inventing
    • Composing music
    • Creative writing
    • These are just a few examples.
  2. Communicate your needs with your social circle. If you don’t like to be touched, let people know. That’s better than sitting home alone to ensure that no one touches you. If you want to avoid certain topics, speak up, no one can read minds. Letting others know your limits will reduce your anxiety as well as that of everyone else in your social circle.
  3. Relax your body regularly. A relaxed body will help your mind to relax, too. There are many ways to do this, such as self-hypnosis, progressive muscle relaxation, sauna, hot tub, and guided meditation. Experiment and find the most effective and convenient way to relax your body each day.
  4. Consider acquiring a service animal. For some people, there’s nothing more relaxing than a dog or other type of animal. They don’t pity you, ask annoying questions, or judge you in any way. They just love you. Anyone, whether they have PTSD or not, could benefit from the right pet.
  5. Meditate. Meditation is a powerful treatment for PTSD for several reasons: It teaches you how to focus, how your mind works, and allows you to explore thoughts and ideas in a controlled and distraction-free environment. Meditation requires practice, but it’s a very simple process. 
  6. Be present. When dealing with a flashback or highly disturbing thoughts, stay present with your environment. Focus on where you are. What can you see? Hear? Smell? Feel? Keep your mind in the present moment. This is also a useful tool for staying focused. When your attention wanders, bring it back to your environment.
  7. Avoid ruminating. Rumination is just a bad habit in general. Instead of sitting around thinking about the past, future, or other made up scenarios, get busy and do something instead. Get out of the house. Mop the kitchen. Mow the grass. Watch a movie. The activity doesn’t matter, as long as you keep your mind active and avoid thinking excessively.
  8. Find the right therapist. Find a therapist that has a lot of experience in dealing with PTSD. It’s very important you are comfortable with him/her.  Some therapists might have the right skills and experience but be a poor fit. Consider interviewing a few therapists to find the right fit. Many mental health professionals provide free consultations. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious matter, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take outside of a clinical setting to speed your healing. Meditation, taking part in creative activities, staying busy, and setting limits are just a few of the ways you can make life easier for yourself.

Get professional help, if necessary, but take responsibility to do what you can to help yourself.

To Your Success,
Juan

Tips To Master Anger and PTSD Management


You would probably name fear and anxiety, as symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, anger is another common sign. Knowing what to expect can help you or a loved one to get the help you need.

There are many reasons why PTSD may make you feel angry. It can be a reaction to past events, or it can be tied to your current circumstances, if you feel misunderstood and frustrated. You may be angry at others or yourself. You may also use anger to cover up other feelings. While anger is natural, it can interfere with your happiness and relationships. It’s important to learn how to manage your emotions, so you can feel more comfortable and in control.

Anger Management Techniques You Can Use:
External events may sometimes be beyond your control, but you can choose how to react. Changing your thinking and behavior can help you to feel calmer and cope with your emotions.

  1. STAY ACTIVE. Regular exercise reduces stress. Lifting weights or taking a walk outdoors may also provide relief, if you’re starting to feel irritated.
  1. REST AND RELAX. Your body and mind need time to heal. Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night and find relaxation practices that work for you, like listening to music.
  1. REACH OUT. Talk about your feelings with family and friends you trust. Let them know how they can help you.
  1. SLOW DOWN. Anger can make you say things you’ll regret later. Count to ten or spend some quiet time alone. It will be easier to react constructively if you give yourself a chance to cool down.
  1. KNOW YOUR TRIGGERSDo traffic jams or uncooperative coworkers make you see red? Plan ahead for challenging situations. Soothe yourself with a cup of tea and rehearse different ways to respond.
  1. THINK POSITIVE. Look on the bright side. Notice the pleasant things that happen each day. Watch the sunrise, and play with your children. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself.  Use kind and encouraging words.Suppressing anger can backfire, but sincere humor helps. Find something funny to say about slow wifi and noisy neighbors.

Other options to consider:

  1. TRY CBT. Are you concerned about how long and expensive therapy might be? Many experts agree that cognitive behavioral therapy is preferable for PTSD, and it usually requires only a few months to reduce anger and anxiety.
  1. JOIN A GROUP. You may also benefit from talking with others who have had similar experiences. Ask your primary physician or therapist for a referral, or call a local hospital to ask about what support groups are available in your area.
  1. KEEP A JOURNAL. Writing about your feelings can help provide clarity. You can keep your journal private or share it with your therapist.
  1. MAKE ART. Creative activities are another way to deal with strong emotions. Working with an art therapist can give you more insights and an opportunity to discuss what’s on your mind.
  1. CONSIDER MEDICATIONYour therapist may recommend medication to help you manage anger, at least temporarily

Developing compassion for yourself and getting the treatment you need can help you to manage anger and other symptoms of PTSD.  Let it be the first step in helping you to lead the happy and fulfilling life you deserve.

To Your Success,
Juan

Things You Should Know About Seeking Treatment For PTSD


There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to PTSD, and it most likely will not be resolved in a short amount of time. Furthermore, if there are comorbidities involved, it will take longer for the therapist to determine what diagnosis and treatment are appropriate. The type of treatment you or your loved one receives is up to your therapist, but below are some common forms of treatment.

Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a specific type of therapy used to help people change the way they view trauma. It has been effective in helping reduce symptoms of PTSD, and many mental health specialists recommend this course of action. It’s thought to be one of the most effective treatments available. Trauma changes the way a person feels about themselves and the world, often causing them to develop an overly negative and hopeless view of things. This type of therapy can help them begin to reprocess the way they think about things. 

Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Since avoidance is a symptom of PTSD, therapists will sometimes use a treatment called Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE). This treatment helps people confront the things they’re avoiding in increments. This type of therapy will induce more anxiety and stress than CPT typically does, so therapists will try to equip their patients with anxiety-reducing coping skills.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EDMR is a different kind of treatment than talking through traumatic events. Instead, the patient is asked to think about the traumatic event while the therapist directs their eye movement. It’s thought that the eye movement while remembering a traumatic event can help drain the emotion and negative feelings attached to it. This type of therapy is still relatively new and is considered a non-traditional form of therapy. 

Medication For PTSD
For some, medication may be helpful in addition to therapy. According to the National Center for PTSD, antidepressants are sometimes effective for treating symptoms of PTSD. These types of medications include SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). Your doctor or therapist can help you determine if medication might be right for you.

Treatment for PTSD may not be a cure, as with most mental health disorders total recovery can be difficult or unobtainable. However, many people who receive therapy see a significant and life changing improvement of symptoms. For some, therapy may even lead to a near absolution of symptoms. 

If you’re suffering from PTSD or you know someone who is, know that there are people who can help:

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
  • For veterans, the National Center for PTSD is also available by calling 1-800-273-8255 or you can reach online here: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

Hotlines are a good short-term solution, that should be followed up with therapy work from a trained professional. Build up a support network of people ready and willing to help when symptoms of PTSD become overwhelming.  Be patient with yourself (or your loved one) because PTSD is a real disorder that requires time and care to improve.

Remember, setbacks don’t erase all progress. For best results, learn all you can about PTSD, seek professional help, and keep your focus on healing. 

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Simple Guidance on PTSD, Behavior, and Relationships


People with PTSD are more likely to engage in risky or destructive behavior. If PTSD is triggered by trauma, doing something that might lead to additional trauma, is difficult to understand. It’s a common belief people with PTSD turn to these behaviors as a way to escape the symptoms of PTSD, especially intrusion. Those who use drugs or alcohol may be using them as a coping mechanism, to avoid thinking about their original trauma. It may also be a way to assuage guilt or shame associated with the trauma. 

Types of risky behavior may include:

  • Gambling
  • Drinking
  • Drunk driving
  • Aggression
  • Drugs
  • Unsafe sex with strangers
  • Extreme sports without regard for self-protection

This self-destructive behavior may diminish symptoms of PTSD momentarily, but ultimately the stress of these choices prolongs PTSD symptoms, and make the disorder worse. Dr. Naomi Sadeh, an Assistant Professor the National Center Boston VA/Boston University, is quoted saying: “for individuals with PTSD, exposure to new stressful events will often prolong their symptoms and can even make them worse. So these findings suggest that treatment providers should ask trauma-exposed veterans about reckless behavior to make sure they are not engaging in harmful behaviors that could make their PTSD symptoms worse”. When it comes to treating PTSD, a therapist will try to address any risky behaviors, to help reduce the risk of continued trauma. 

PTSD AND RELATIONSHIPS
It’s no secret that PTSD can strain relationships, particularly with a spouse or partner. There have been many cases of strong marriages unable to withstand the effects of severe PTSD. Though both may want to maintain the relationship, there are times the issues care extremely difficult to resolve

In 2019, Meagan Drillinger wrote a piece for Healthline called “6 Things I Learned From Dating Someone With PTSD.” In the article she explained, “For three years, I was in a relationship with a man who experienced PTSD symptoms daily. My ex, D., was a decorated combat veteran who served in Afghanistan three times. The toll it took on his soul was heartbreaking.”

She went on to say: “being the partner of someone who has PTSD can be challenging — and frustrating — for many reasons. You want to take away their pain, but you’re also dealing with your own guilt at needing to care for yourself, too. You want to have all the answers, but you often have to come to grips with the reality that this is a condition that can’t be loved out of someone”.

If you are in a relationship with someone who has PTSD, you can’t heal them with support. You can make their road easier, but your loved one should seek professional help, to get the tools and resources they desperately need.

Things that you can do that might help ease their burden and lessen the strain in your relationship:

  1. Understand that PTSD is real. Perhaps one of the first steps in helping someone with PTSD, is acknowledging it’s a real disorder that produces real symptoms. Though mental disorders are difficult to understand or relate to for those who are not experiencing them, to people with the disorder, it is very real and very debilitating.
  2. Give them room not to talk. Talking about a traumatic event might help someone who has PTSD, but that doesn’t mean they’re always willing or able to discuss the details of their trauma.
    • Their resistance to talking about the traumatic event is not a sign of being unloving or untrusting, it’s more likely because they want to avoid thinking about the event. Bringing it up often is more likely to cause them to pull away and become uncommunicative.
    • Gently encourage them to talk about it when it seems appropriate but allow them to be the one to discuss it when they’re ready.
  3. Work with a routine. A routine is a good way to help establish order in your home for a person suffering from PTSD. Doing this can give a person with PTSD a sense of security and stability and provide comfort in a world that feels chaotic and out of control.The schedule you use will be different than someone else’s, but it may include exercise, meditation or prayer, planned mealtimes, and daily chores.
  4. Learn more about PTSD. Educating yourself on PTSD will be one of your biggest strengths for helping a loved one, and help you cope with the reality. You can do this by reading, watching videos, talking with other people who have PTSD, or discussing it with a therapist.
  5. Understand that caregiver burden is real. Taking care of someone struggling mentally or physically can be extremely stressful and draining.This experience is commonly perceived as a chronic stressor, and caregivers often experience negative psychological, behavioral, and physiological effects on their daily lives and health.

Every moment of every day can’t be consumed with PTSD. Take time to do things that you love and enjoy. You can also try finding a support group, or community of people dealing with the same thing. To help lighten this load, if you’re a caregiver, it’s a good idea to take time for yourself.

In closing, if you are a caregiver, seek loved ones in your life and allow them to be part of your greater support network. Outside help is essential for helping you and your loved one cope.  Although some may feel there’s a stigma getting professional help, this viewpoint is becoming less common, as people open up about mental health issues. There is no shame in it. 

To Your Success,
Juan

Things You Likely Didn’t Know About The Types Of PTSD


Welcome back!

Although major symptoms are similar across the board, there are different types of PTSD. Depending on type, symptoms may be more severe or long-lasting, or they may require different types of therapeutic treatments. Given how detailed my last two posts concerning the subject matter might be, don’t be afraid to take it all in small, bite sized pieces.

COMPLEX PTSD
PTSD may have become more familiar to the common person, but there is a lesser-known variation of PTSD called complex PTSD (c-PTSD). The traditional form of PTSD may emerge after a single traumatic event. An example may be a life-threatening car crash. A person who lived through a car crash may find themselves afraid of driving, avoid getting in the car or driving in traffic, and have other symptoms associated with PTSD.

C-PTSD, on the other hand, is the result of repeated or ongoing traumatic events. Those who develop c-PTSD may have suffered ongoing childhood abuse, neglect, or repeatedly witnessed violence acted out on someone else.  C-PTSD is more often associated with people who experience trauma in their childhood. It affects development, since they’re exposed to trauma during a highly developmental time in their life. This term is not in the DSM-5, but it is a term that mental health workers use to help describe the difference between someone who has experienced a single traumatic event, and one that has experienced chronic trauma, especially in childhood. 

Symptoms of c-PTSD are similar to PTSD, but they also include additional behavioral differences:

  • Negative self-view. Those with c-PTSD may think very poorly of themselves or may carry ongoing feelings of guilt, shame, and helplessness.
  • Trouble controlling or regulating emotions. An explosive temper, given easily to sadness, or even have feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts.
  • Difficulty developing or maintaining relationships. Trouble trusting others and will avoid starting relationships.
  • Dissociative symptoms. Disconnected thoughts, memories, actions, difficulty concentrating, and identity.  Some develop alternative identities. It’s a brain’s defense mechanism that tries to escape reality. Some people may also suffer from amnesia. Therapy can help people diagnosed with c-PTSD, but it’s usually a longer process and takes more effort from a therapist and patient to undo the damage done in childhood.

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS
PTS or Post Traumatic Stress is actually not a type of PTSD, but it could be a precursor for it.  Those with PTS experience many of the same symptoms as PTSD such as avoidance or nightmares. The difference is that those who suffer from PTS experience those symptoms with less severity and for a shorter period of time. People with PTSD will continue showing those symptoms for longer periods of time and with greater intensity. 

According to Dr. James Bender of the Deployment Health Clinical Center: PTS is a common, normal, and often adaptive response to experiencing a traumatic or stressful event. Common occurrences, like car accidents, can trigger PTS as well as more unusual events like military combat or kidnapping. Almost everyone who experiences a scary situation will show at least a few signs of post-traumatic stress. Symptoms from PTS will subside after a few days and they won’t interfere with a person’s life in any meaningful way. The traumatic event may make them more careful in the future, but it won’t stop them from living their life normally.

COMORBID PTSD
Those with comorbid PTSD are people who have both PTSD and another mental disorder. In this case, someone may have PTSD and depression, or PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety, depression, and substance abuse are the most common types of comorbidity with PTSD. It’s estimated that as much as 80% of people with PTSD have another co-occurring psychiatric disability.

Thanks for being here! Your readership of my blog is much appreciated, and I hope it has been a learning experience thus far. PTSD sufferers often exhibit risky behaviors, which often affects their relationships-the focus of the next post.

Hope to have you!

To Your Success,
Juan