Stop saying PTSD (and TBI) is incurable

I came across a great post by Belleruth Naparstek over at Huffington Post about how well-intentioned professionals are running around saying that PTSD is incurable — an intractable condition.

Huh. How about that. Sounds to me like we’re all screwed, because a ton of people have PTSD, and it affects their families and friends and coworkers, and if it’s an intractable, incurable condition, we’re all stuck dealing with it for all time.

Which doesn’t sound right to me.

So, I’m glad Belleruth is talking about non-standard ways of dealing with it. And I have to think, also, about how I employ similar techniques to deal with the stresses of my TBI-related difficulties.

I strongly recommend the article. And the piece I’m taking away is:

[There are] consistent threads running through these approaches:
1. They first and foremost find ways to re-regulate the nervous system.
2. They destigmatize and normalize the experience by explaining PTS as the somatic and neurophysiologic condition it is.
3. They offer simple, self-administer-able tools that empower the end-user and confer a sense of mastery and control.
4. The interventions are cast as training in skill sets, not the healing of pathology.

They treat PTSD as a physical condition, first, and they teach people how to deal with that aspect of their lives.

I have found, in my own dealings with TBI-related stress, that this same kind of orientation helps a whole lot. I have to take seriously the physiological aspects of my condition, which tweak the psychological parts of me. And when I approach the situation with a physical orientation, the results really are like magic.

Except they’re not magic — they’re physiology. Which well-trained psychological professionals miss, because it all happens in realm of  a “frozen, primitive, pre-language experience – sensation, perception, emotion, images and motor reactivity – in the survival-based structures of the brain.”

I wonder… if people treated the stresses of TBI the same way that they treat the stresses of combat and other traumas, with this non-standard, non-talk-therapy approach, how much of a difference would it make? If I’m any indicator, that would be a whole lot of difference.

About these ads

Talk about this - No email is required

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s