Nightmare's aftermath

Nightmare’s aftermath

PTSD nightmares just cause everything to be worse I call it Nightmare’s aftermath

One of the trademark symptoms of PTSD is the nightmares; a patchwork of post-traumatic memories that lurk in the shadows during the day and wreak havoc throughout the night. Maybe what lurks in the shadows during the day are the flashbacks?

In my view, these nightmares can be the cornerstone of PTSD’s power. I believe this because when I wake up in the morning with a deep sense of dread, it’s the nightmare’s aftermath that can derail the entire day.

With that said, this aftermath, may not be on your radar as a reason for your heightened symptoms during the day; but they very well could be the cause; a thought worth exploring I would say.

Think you may have PTSD? Go here: Symptoms of PTSD.

If the nightmares in themselves weren’t enough, the lack of sleep from them is intolerable at times. These two factors are, for me, at least, a recipe for a very triggered day.

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Every symptom is heightened; the startle response, the irritability, the flashback can be more pervasive and my mind thick with a mental fog. So thick in fact, that my thoughts strain to make their way through the merk.

The double-edged sword in all of this? The nightmare’s aftermath dominates the day. Not only because of the nightmares themselves but because of the overall lack of sleep.

So, essentially, the nightmares act as a terrifying ignition point and the lack of sleep is its steady state fire it produces. As many of you may already know, sleep is fundamental for good health and our mental health is no exception. In fact, a good night’s sleep is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your well-being; right up there with a good diet and exercise.

What can be done to quell the nightmares and get a good night’s sleep?

Fortunately, there are many things that can be done. For instance, getting a referral to a psychiatrist. I recommend them over a general practitioner simply because psychiatric disorders are their specialty. They can find the right meds to help you sleep and deal with the PTSD symptoms, like the nightmares.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on – Nightmare’s aftermath.

In addition, see a psychologist that has training in PTSD and its treatment approaches. They can train you in mindfulness and often have training in EMDER therapy; (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). A therapeutic approach that has been found to work well with people with PTSD.

And finally, the big three, diet, exercise and connection. They will take you a long way to feeling like you again. I know, the last thing you want to do is put yourself out there but let me tell ya, it’s good for you. Let’s not let the PTSD run the show.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed to be a cure all but if we can get the nightmares under control, we will sleep better and our PTSD symptoms will be more manageable. The elation I feel when all of these elements come together is amazing. This is why I continue to fight every day. Life is better when you set out to defeat the nightmare’s aftermath.

Thanks for reading Nightmare’s aftermath Pre-order Lemonade Stand Vol. III today

Lemonade Stand Vol. III is a collection of 20 authors who have PTSD because of their military and or emergency services background. They bravely tell their stories in hopes that will help end stigma within the services and within mental health in general. Its other objective is to give people who are afraid to speak a voice.

When I read the stories from the other authors, it was like I was reading the story of my own struggles. I quickly realized that this book will not only help those with PTSD but may very well provide their spouses and families with insight into their loved one’s mental illness.

Lemonade Stand Vol. III
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We must resist ourselves

we must resist ourselves

If we are to win the battle against mental illness, we must resist ourselves – John Arenburg.

Can I do this? Can I move on from this painful episode of my life? Or am I destined to be trapped in this ocean forever?

These questions constantly plague my mind; almost as frequently as my PTSD. While this may be true, I’d like to think that I’m doing okay, unfortunately, the consistency I need to defeat this beast simply isn’t there. Perhaps one of the roadblocks I am experiencing is my resistance to support.

Sure, I have goals and dreams, ambition and work ethic but essentially, like that of someone trapped at sea, I can only tread water so long until I tire and float backwards, to where I began.

my main weapon against my own tyranny is love.

I suppose that for someone living with a mental health condition, this particular battle comes standard. with all that said, it doesn’t make it any less exhausting. Yet, despite being tired, I have learned long ago that I am the only one that can save myself; for when I am drowning, it is up to me to reach out and find the help I need.

We must resist ourselves
we must resist ourselves

Of course, having a healthy dose of stubbornness goes a long way to ensure one’s survival. Like that of stubbornness, there are many more reasons that keep pushing me towards the shore. And while the length of my battle may defeat me at times, l shall stay the course and I shall survive, nay, I will do better than that, I will thrive.

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How you ask? Well, quite literally, my main weapon against my own tyranny is love; love for thy self and love for all those who see me through

This my friends is a sure way to drown

While we may want to run and hide, lick our wounds in secret, we will not survive alone. In fact, isolation can lead to a worsened mental health condition; or for some, the outcome can be dire.

Human connection and it’s impact on us

Truthfully, or at least from my point of view, we should be doing the opposite; resisting the perceived need to withdraw and hug it out with those who are in our corners.

Don’t you feel like sometimes you have a bit of self-sabotage going on? I know I sure do. On one hand, we feel like we are navigating these rough seas all on our own and on the other; we are ignoring those in the rescue boats all around us and those who are tossing us, life preservers. This my friends is a sure way to drown; something we have all been working so hard to prevent.

At the end of the day, we must resist ourselves, that temptation to go it on our own. While you may not feel worthy, I know you are and you mean so much to those who love you. Please, stop resisting the help that in reality, has a much better chance of getting you down the road to mental wellness.

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Getting Through Tough Times

In my experience mental illness episodes come and go and range in their seventy. They range from feeling slightly numb, anxious with a tiny sense of dread, to a debilitating, bedroom ridden lockdown where all I can see are the unpleasant memories that have accumulated over the years.

I hate these darker, totally reclusive days because I feel like they are sucking the life right out of me, essentially, I suppose that’s exactly what they are doing. With all that said, I always come through them to enjoy happier days, so when I am in this darkened place, I tell myself to ride the scary wave to its conclusion. There are always better days.

Thankfully, I don’t experience this level of mental pain all that often and when I do, it tends to be one day then I’m back on my feet; I may not be a hundred percent, but I can function well enough to force myself out the door.

What then gives me the ability to spring back from the edge? Two things, the tools I have learned and my willingness to acquire knowledge. They both take me steps further down the road to mental wellness. The following are a few things I employ to minimize the odds of the debilitating days:

Diet- Research has shown time and time again that diet and mental health go hand in hand. I eat mostly a plant-based diet. I have more energy and it lowers my anxiety to a level where I can manage the tough times much easier. I have an overall sense of happy when I eat better… Mental health benefits of a plant-based diet. I am not trying to convert anyone, I have found this eating style works best for me. Essentially, the better the food the better the mood.
Learn how to run

Exercise – As far as I am concerned, when it comes to managing anxiety, depression and other mental disorders, noting tops a good run or workout. I often refer to running and lifting as mother nature’s medication. For me, exercise and mental health fundamental. For example, a good jog increases blood flow to the brain, optimizing its function and thus reducing mental illness symptoms. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I can feel my mental health improve with each step and with every rep; give it a try.

Seeing friends and family – Family and friends are of the absolute importance to my mental health recovery, they have been the fuel that keeps propelling me forward. We are wired for connection, Social connection gives us a sense of purpose. Upon learning about this fact, I incorporated it into my wellness plan. Essentially, I force myself out of my home and make plans with those I care for most. 

Within these three staples that make up the bulk of my mental wellness plan, there are so many options for success. Diet you can flex a bit, In my case I go back and forth from veganism and vegetarianism; Exercise can totally be on your terms. Although it’s great to have a plan, you can fill it full of exercises you enjoy. They can be whatever you’re capable of. Keep in mind that exercise for men and women is a bit different.

The importance of human connection

 I lift light and run 10 to 15mins max, four days a week; Social connection can be making yourself go out to dinner with a good friend, going to a play with a  coworker or making memories with the family at home. Go for it, especially when your mental health condition flares, I’m betting you, most times, won’t regret it.

So, there you have it, these things get me through tough times. Why not give them a try to see which ones work best for you?

If you are suffering from PTSD, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!

If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada

Want help fund my book? donate: GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book