note for Joe King

(part of the FB series...) TOPNOTE - This is not intended as a "you oughta try this" comment (and I hope I managed to write it that way). This is merely an inventory of some ideas and tools that have helped me without any expectation or wish to push an agenda on anyone. We have to delicately tiptoe around the triggers that linger like landmines in our own minds and those of others. It ain't easy y'all.

A friend who battles the challenges of CPTSD shared a moving post recently about being in a tough spot. Joe is a passionate advocate for survivors. Check out his org - www.otherlives.org if you're looking for a community of support online. I replied to his post thus: Fwiw, Gabapentin (which is a gaba agonist meaning it lowers gaba levels thus helping reduce overall anxiety by turning down the internal alarm system), an SNRI, and theanine have been a miraculous combination. Over the course of about 1.5 years I've gone from living in the rabbit hole to actually having time out of it. One other thing about Gabapentin it's relatively inexpensive, is processed quickly by the body (unlike reuptake inhibitors which take weeks to establish efficacy) and has none of the addiction risks of benzos.

A good psychiatrist is an amazing part of the team we need to support us in healing. And they are not easy to find. You need someone with the compassion to treat you as a whole person, not a clump of flawed pathological diagnoses. My Dr. was an internist prior to becoming a psychiatrist and he helped me understand that anxiety from PTSD is no different a chronic health issue than high blood pressure or cholesterol or insulin levels. There are many ways careful and consistent use if medication is part if a wise course of health management.

The drugs aren't the only thing. I have my wife, whose love of me is as boundless as it can be complicating at times. I don't yet know how to truly accept love. But I'm making progress. I meditate. I read, exercise, work... all these things contribute

Last thing, if you've not read anything by Joseph LeDoux I can't recommend him enough. He's a neuroscientist. The synaptic self really helped me understand some of what's actually happening between my neurons. The phenomenological experience of CPTSD is hellish. TSS helped me tremendously to build an understanding of the deeper "unseen" things happening in my brain. It's removed some of the shame to realize the shame itself is rooted as much in my flawed consciousness of myself as it is in a highly complex combination of neurochemical interactions, complicated brain systems, myelin deposits along certain circuits in the brain, and other natural and understandable responses I had to the traumas I endured. It's a juggling act to keep the two things - phenomenon and mechanical understandings in balance. But I have found it helps.

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