A New Perspective On PTSD By Dr. Lisa Cooney
PTSD is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a label used to describe how your body locks into itself a pattern of abuse and trauma that gets repeated again and again.
It may be 2016 yet with PTSD your body thinks it’s still stuck in the past during that event or events you want to forget.
If abuse is the invisible cage (thousands of clients that I have worked with describe living with abuse like living in an invisible cage), PTSD is the welding on the cage that makes sure you stay put: trapped in your past abuse (or trauma) forever.
PTSD is not just something that affects soldiers and veterans. It is considered a psychobiological mental disorder that can affect survivors of:
• Natural disasters
• Terrorist attacks
• Major losses and
• Assault or abuse
PTSD afflicts approximately 24.4 million people in America. This is equal to the total population in Texas, where I live! Here are a few other statistics about
• On average, 8% of the population will experience PTSD at some point in their lives
• Women are twice as likely to suffer from PTSD
• Almost half of all outpatient mental health patients have PTSD
• There is a heavy economic burden to society with PTSD and other anxiety disorders: the annual cost of treatment (and misdiagnosis) is over $42.3 billion
(Statistics from: http://www.ptsdunited.org/ptsd-statistics-2/)
The symptoms of PTSD can look so many different ways:
• Difficulty with concentration
• Avoidance (of places or people that remind you of your past abuse or trauma)
It can also look like being in a constant state of hypervigilance; never allowing yourself to rest into yourself, your body, your life or a relationship.
What would it take to unlock PTSD from your body?
Many practitioners recommend therapy and medications for overcoming PTSD. Yet I have another perspective…
First of all, let’s get beyond the label. How can anything good come of telling yourself you have a disorder? Is this creating a sense of limitation or a sense of possibility? Is this empowering you or keeping you trapped in a disempowered state of helplessness, feeling like you can’t do anything to stop the PTSD episodes?
Now I wish to acknowledge the psychological world and the huge contribution they’ve made to identifying the symptoms of PTSD and giving it credibility; acknowledging it was/is an issue that requires support.
But what I am offering is a new perspective on PTSD: think of it as the Potent Transformation of Spacious Dissipation.
What does this mean?
We know we were abused. We are learning and waking up to the pervasive nature of abuse and how it impacts us on all levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, psychically, sexually, financially; the way you talk to yourself; the way you teach others to talk to you.
But it’s time to hand the abuse its pink slip. Its time is done. It doesn’t get a severance package. Use your potency to transform the density and constriction in your body into the spacious dissipation of the power you truly be and get free.
PTSD seen in this light becomes another possibility for moving beyond abuse, for unlocking abuse from your body and remembering the magic you truly be.
With PTSD you get twisted up: you’re not able to be the potent transformation of spacious dissipation that you truly be. When you’re stuck in the constriction and heaviness of a label; of the point of view that it will take 10-20 years to overcome it; or that you have to take medication; or that you’ll never get through it… guess what? That will become your reality.
What if this is instead an invitation to commit to your potency? To your gifts? To sharing more of your brilliance with the world?
When you don’t speak about it; when you don’t reach out and ask for support; you are continuing the cycle of abuse. You are becoming your own perpetrator.
But there is a possibility beyond locking and limiting yourself into the trauma of what occurred in the past. You no longer needing to numb out with drinking, debt, sex, drugs. You no longer have to accept years of medication as the answer to your PTSD.
Every moment you have a choice: to fight, take flight or freeze or become the potency you truly be. Most of the time you are re-acting to the hard wiring of what was. It takes a commitment to yourself and your life to navigate your way forward beyond the reaction and the wiring.
Everywhere your hope got covered with defeat; your joy was sucked out of you and became anger; your happiness became shame; your ease became struggle: all of this can get turned around when you step into being the potency you truly are. This requires you to see you are stronger and more powerful than the trauma, the accident, the abuse – whatever it was. This also requires you to be you BEYOND the abuse – this is the space that dissipates its disabling hold on you.
Viewing PTSD in this new way allows for more possibilities. I’ll be honest with you: it’s not always easy. This path of transformation does often require support and a tenacity to never give up and never give in to a label, an event, an abuse, that up till now may have been crippling you.
You are more than that. You are a walking, talking and breathing Potent Transformation of Spacious Dissipation.
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