Tomorrow is a New Day: Managing C/PTSD

I’ve had C/PTSD symptoms since age seven. Back then, the diagnosis PTSD was reserved for Veterans who returned from war on foreign lands with these symptoms. Later, they recognized that those embroiled in another kind of war going on at home exhibited the same symptoms. So, they identified another category of post-traumatic stress called C/PTSD (complex) for those who were repeatedly abused, or had many episodes, and we’re traumatised psychologically by those who claimed to love them. You will sometimes see people refer to C/PTSD as post-narcissistic stress disorder or PNSD, but it’s the same thing.

As someone who has had these symptoms since childhood, I can tell you with 100% certainty that there are remissions (gets better) and exacerbations (gets worse) depending on who and what is going on in your life at the time. Mine can be so missing in action, no one would know I have any sort of anxiety, depression and panic attacks at all. I’m a happy, productive, and efficient member of society slaying my day and taking names. Other times, it’s so on top of me like a heavy wool blanket in summer, I can’t escape the suffocation of it and have to retreat to my bed for days from the physical limitations and chronic pain I have as a result.

Based on my symptoms, a doctor was absolutely sure, seventeen years ago that I had M.S. (multiple sclerosis). He actually bet me that that’s what I was dealing with, but my MRI came back clean and therefore a diagnosis could not be made. This many years later, I know my symptoms to be the exaserbations of a nervous system that is being assaulted.

Sometimes, I need to search my environment for the offending culprit. Is it me? Am I taking care of myself? Resting? Eating well? Am I over-extending myself? Is it someone else? Is there something I’m tolerating that is toxic to me? Is someone causing me pain? Is it environmental? Is the space crowded and noisy? Am I on edge? Other times, it’s very apparent what is bothering me and no search is needed. Depending on the day, and the amount of symptoms I’m managing, I can deal fairly well, to not at all.

Some days I’m a trooper and I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. Then, there are days I can barely walk without assistance due to the debilitating muscle stiffness and chronic pain.

CPTSD or PNSD is so much more than any meme can include. And as you can see, most informative memes only include the psychological aspect to it, not the physical toll this takes on the body.

If this sounds like you, where you have an increase in psychological, as well as physical symptoms that prevent you from enjoying life, only to find you improve again… only to get sick again…. and there is a pattern of remissions and exacerbations, (and all other testing is normal, ) you could very well have C/PTSD or PNSD.

I can also tell you with 100% certainty that there is no cure for this. You only learn to manage it. So seek out love, light, and help when you’re in need and know that tomorrow can look and feel completely different than today. You got this! 💪🏼💥🥊


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