This is an aspect of the aftertime that is easy to overlook. Or perhaps we don’t want to examine it, because of the angst it brings. Regardless, the more informed & mentally prepared we are, the better off all of us, including our loved ones, will be.
(This is an attempt to summarize the traumatic effects the pole shift might bring. Im no expert, so please feel free to correct/chime in)
Also, dont forget to check the Survivor's mindset blog, on the front page of this ning.
Clearly, being able to face the future realistically is a great help in avoiding a breakdown. Mental illness is forced on one for a number of reasons. The genetic propensity for chemical disruption in the brain is one, which is why the propensity for mental illness runs in families. The inability to escape a situation deemed intolerable is another, the source of post traumatic stress in soldiers who are not allowed to leave the battlefield and are told to perform atrocious acts they would not normally perform. Great loss does not normally cause insanity but rather depression, and the antidote for depression is to take action. This is why we have advised that group leaders have an action plan for the hours after the pole shift, so that everyone is busy doing something, if only gathering the broken crockery and preparing a group meal. Exercise, and the mental mindset to take action to set things right, is a great cure for depression. ---- Zetatalk from Nancy's newsletter on mental trauma/ PTSD
And here is zetatalk on the post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) that may follow:
The temporary insanity that 43% of survivors will endure will be more akin to the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) suffered by soldiers in combat. Here, the mind splits during distress too great to bear, and the distress compartmentalized in an attempt to isolate the memories. Isolation may result, but any instance in the present that reminds the sufferer of the past trauma results in a sudden return to the scene. The PTSD sufferer may sudden find himself returned to a combat situation, with stories of returning soldiers hiding in the barn and shooting at the cows examples of the delusional state that can result. Survival communities will find many of their number irritable, suddenly lashing out without cause at others, or intractably fearful. Frank delusions may be present, where loved ones long dead are expected for dinner, or the dead baby is carried about and nursed. The mind heals over time, with pain fading from memory and replaced by more recent and pleasant memories.
One does not have to acquire PTSD to feel the toll disasters can impose mentally. The general irritability, loss of sleep, temporary sense of fear, temporary depression--these are things we can all be susceptible to. You can Youtube what the after effects to ppl in disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes (Katrina?), etc were like.
As disconcerting as it may be, you will be mentally preparing yourself.
Also, according to recent studies, MEDITATION is "A Surprising Treatment For Depression That May Be Just As Effective As Talking to A Therapist"
Will add videos on veterans with PTSD & cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).... (CBT is an approach that helps patients be objective about their depression &/or PTSD , instead of being arrested by it)
PTSD: Mental Health in the Wake of Disaster
Kobe Earthquake Disaster
Veterans describe an effective therapy method
Role Play: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Beliefs, Self-focus, and Behavior Related to PTSD
Why it is important to take care of the orphans in the aftertime.
A depressed person can sometimes think everything is falling on them. They start thinking in all or nothing terms & believe all is doomed. With such an attitude, they enter a vicious cycle.
Their depression leads them to think all is doom, or that they're a failure, etc. And because they believe this, they end up setting themselves for failure. And this in turn further feeds into the depression.
On the other hand someone else can help rationalize things & help them see through their distorted perspective.
A good brochure from U.S. Veteran Affairs on PTSD: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/understanding_ptsd/booklet.pdf
It Includes the commons reactions MOST ppl will have after a trauma (even if you wont acquire PTSD). It also includes the symptoms of someone who has PTSD & effective therapy techniques
A study that's been done of soldiers coming home from Iraq found that only 4 in 10 service members with mental health problems said they would get help. Some of the most common reasons they gave were they might be seen as weak, or it might hurt their military career.
The Types of Therapies useful for PTSD.:
In cognitive therapy, your therapist helps you understand and change how you think about your trauma and its aftermath. Your goal is to understand how certain thoughts about your trauma cause you stress and make your symptoms worse.
You will learn to identify thoughts about the world and yourself that are making you feel afraid or upset. With the help of your therapist, you will learn to replace these thoughts with more accurate and less distressing thoughts. You will also learn ways to cope with feelings such as anger, guilt, and fear.
After a traumatic event, you might blame yourself for things you couldn't have changed. For example, a soldier may feel guilty about decisions he or she had to make during war. Cognitive therapy, a type of CBT, helps you understand that the traumatic event you lived through was not your fault.
In exposure therapy your goal is to have less fear about your memories. It is based on the idea that people learn to fear thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind them of a past traumatic event.
By talking about your trauma repeatedly with a therapist, you'll learn to get control of your thoughts and feelings about the trauma. You'll learn that you do not have to be afraid of your memories. This may be hard at first. It might seem strange to think about stressful things on purpose. But over time, you'll feel less overwhelmed.
With the help of your therapist, you can change how you react to the stressful memories. Talking in a place where you feel secure makes this easier.
You may focus on memories that are less upsetting before talking about worse ones. This is called "desensitization," and it allows you to deal with bad memories a little bit at a time. Your therapist also may ask you to remember a lot of bad memories at once. This is called "flooding," and it helps you learn not to feel overwhelmed.
You also may practice different ways to relax when you're having a stressful memory. Breathing exercises are sometimes used for this.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is another type of therapy for PTSD. Like other kinds of counseling, it can help change how you react to memories of your trauma.
While thinking of or talking about your memories, you'll focus on other stimuli like eye movements, hand taps, and sounds. For example, your therapist will move his or her hand, and you'll follow this movement with your eyes.
Group therapy (Dont forget that you can help each other cope with the trauma you just experienced)
Many people want to talk about their trauma with others who have had similar experiences.
In group therapy, you talk with a group of people who also have been through a trauma and who have PTSD. Sharing your story with others may help you feel more comfortable talking about your trauma. This can help you cope with your symptoms, memories, and other parts of your life.
Group therapy helps you build relationships with others who understand what you've been through. You learn to deal with emotions such as shame, guilt, anger, rage, and fear. Sharing with the group also can help you build self-confidence and trust. You'll learn to focus on your present life, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the past.
4 common Symptoms of PTSD:
• Reliving the event (also called reexperiencing): Memories of the trauma can come back at any time. You may have nightmares or feel like you are going through it again. This is called a flashback.
• Avoiding situations that remind you of the event: You may try to avoid situations or people that bring back memories of the event.
• Negative changes in beliefs and feelings: The way you think about yourself and others changes because of the trauma. You may have trouble experiencing your emotions, think no one can be trusted, or feel guilt or shame.
• Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal): You may be jittery and on the lookout for danger. You might suddenly become angry or irritable. This is known as hyperarousal.
(There is a playlist linked to the video below from Veteran Affairs. Its informative & easy to understand)
Presentation on Understanding PTSD: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/understanding_ptsd/Player/launchPlaye...
Another Presentation on How to Treat PTSD: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/Public/understanding_TX/Player/launchPlayer....
Thanks Casey for your posts. Really good stuff and this blog in particular is a good one for more reasons than I can list. So many people suffering from PTSD these days and many of them don't even realize it or what it is- soldiers especially, but everyday people too are experiencing this exponentially. I expect as stated in zetatalk, that these 'human condition' mental problems will only continue to rise in the near future for obvious reasons so it does help to get educated on how it works and positive ways to help get through it. There are a lot of people that wrongly assume, ptsd can't happen to them... until it does.
There are a lot of people that wrongly assume, ptsd can't happen to them... until it does.
Could not have said this better myself. Trauma should be viewed as an injury, not as a weakness. If there is a chance of having some physical wounds during the shift, then mental "injury" is a possibility, too...
Risk factors (factors that are more likely to negatively impact a person) &
Resilience factors (factors that will minimize negative effects) of mental trauma after a natural disaster --
Social support is one of the keys to recovery after any trauma, including disaster.... &....
Over and over, research has found that coping self-efficacy - "believing that you can do it" - is related to better mental health outcomes for disaster survivors.
(An easy way to "believe you can do it" is to be well prepared...)
A key to recovery from disasters is feeling that you have the resources with which to rebuild your life. The most basic resources include food, safety, and shelter. Other important resources are family, community, school, and friends. In fact, having resources is so important that many programs for disaster recovery focus on providing practical help and building people's resources.
Also, 3 specific case studies of natural disasters (2 earthquake scenarios & the 2004 Indonesian tsunami) here: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/types/disasters/index.asp
How to cope with different Traumatic Stress reactions: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/treatment/cope/coping-traumatic-stres... &
Here are some videos role-playing different reactions you might come across after a disaster: https://www.youtube.com/user/PFAOnlinevideos/videos