May 13 2011

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Best Tweets for Trauma and PTSD Survivors (05/13/11)

Best Tweets for Trauma and PTSD Survivors is a weekly Friday feature. My selections are entirely subjective, and I know it will never be possible to include every great resource tweeted. But I can try! I’ve personally read all tweeted links, and believe them to be of great value.

Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for content found on any other website. Stay safe, and don’t follow links if you believe you might be triggered by them. Also, I will not be re-checking links from older Best Tweets posts, and if the site’s archived URL is different from the one I’ve provided here, you may need to do a search on their site.

Please Share My Stuff! You can now “like” and “share” this post everywhere with the touch of a button or two at the end of the linked tweets! Feel free to do any or all of that! (And thanks.)

I am again “picture-less”, and will remain so until the photo memory thing gets straightened out, and I am overcome by the joy of self-hosting my blog. … Did I say that? ;)

Six Standalone Tweets to Ponder

@thereseborchard “Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.” ~ Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi

@LillyAnn “You are the tree falling in the forest. Stop worrying so much about who’s listening and get on with making some noise.”

@Tamavista “It is only by risking … that we live at all.” ~ William James

@HealingToolKit “Ever have a negative thought pop into your head uninvited? Ask yourself what emotion is attached and watch shift happen.”

@CarePathways “Growing spiritually is like walking up the down escalator; if we’re not moving forward, we’re sliding backwards.”

@drdebbiegrove “To live mindfully is to work at not letting the past or the future cling too tightly to you.”


Linked Tweets

Woefully Inadequate Governmental Priorities


@PsychologyNow VA Mental Health Care is So Bad, It’s Unconstitutional: So says a 3-judge panel
[SEO: This is shameful. “According to the article on TIME.com about the recent ruling, not only do some vets have to wait weeks to get in to see a mental health professional at many VA medical centers, but there’s often no significant triaging done. Actively suicidal vets may not get the care they need, before it’s too late. The result? Nearly one-third of the vets who end up committing suicide do so while under VA care. But two-thirds aren’t even being seen by the VA for a mental health concern.”]

@APAHelpCenter “Traumatized children now do not even receive a proper mental health assessment…”
[SEO: Do you see a pattern here? In the previous article, it was severely underfunded mental health needs of vets. This New York Times op-ed by Bessel A. van der Kolk (a heavy hitter in the field of trauma psychology) protests the proposed funding cuts in treating traumatized children.

“Inspired by the work of the National Center for PTSD, Congress authorized the establishment of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network in 2001 to evaluate and develop treatments for traumatized children nationwide, with a budget that is now $40 million — about the cost of keeping 40 soldiers fighting in Afghanistan for one year. President Obama’s 2012 budget has proposed a 70 percent reduction in financing for the network. That would be devastating for these children. The network has knitted together 130 clinics and universities in 38 states that specialize in helping traumatized children and adolescents. It has allowed the members to develop treatment programs and to hire and educate the staff to run them, enabling 322,000 children nationwide to get treatment from July 2002 to September 2009.”]

We, as a nation, owe so much more to our vets, and need to insist that our Congresspeople do the right thing by them. And we, as a nation, seriously need to take care of our children, because as Van der Kolk says, “Untreated, traumatized children become failing adults who populate our jails and overwhelm our human services agencies. Cutting the development of effective treatments will produce many years of increasing costs and unquantifiable human misery.”


The Rest of the Best


@DrBeckerSchutte Choices: A Powerful Influence on Depression. This powerful testimony captures the paradox of depression. (via @abeeliever)
[SEO: This new blog, Depression Diaries, is hosted by Amy Kiel, aka @abeeliever. She examines the notion that even in the depths of depression, we have choices available that can lessen the severity, or even prevent the lowest of the lows from occurring. “Even though I live with depression on some level on a daily basis, I can make daily choices to feel more powerful and be better armed for a surprise attack. I choose to eat foods that are healthy. I choose to participate in more in social activities. I choose to take time to myself and relax. I choose to do these things not because it cures my depression, but because it helps to protect me from it and to recuperate when times are extra tough.”]

@kruby 7 Ways That You Can Relax Right Now (via @AlwaysWellWithn)
[SEO: Although this post was written with an aim toward getting through year-end holidays, its tips are a little refresher course in relaxation year-round.]

@goodthingz 3 Ways Letting Go of Control Improves Your Life
[SEO: “When we control excessively, we are attempting to alter life’s moving currents and rhythm. When we do this, we are unable to see options and make choices that would significantly change our lives emotionally, creatively and financially. We become imprisoned by our fears, anger and resentment and are thus not open to the wonders that await us.”]

@SarahEOlson2009 Why Does Criticism Carry More Weight Than Praise?
[SEO: A detailed look at how we deal with criticism and praise. “Praise is nice but mostly rolls off my back while one solid criticism — even sensitively expressed — can put me in the fetal position. Is this just me?” No, we all live in a society which stresses performance and perfection, so it seems to impact a lot of people. But I’ll go out on a limb and say it impacts most trauma survivors proportionately more, if for no other reason than that we are hyper-aware of our vulnerabilities and flaws, and what we consider our failings. External criticism instantly validates them, and many trauma survivors don’t have the self-esteem or basic tools to defend against even good intentions, much less, maliciousness.

I strongly disagree with the author here: “And by good [criticism], I mean on the mark and not stupid. Because, of course, the criticism that hurts the most is the criticism that we know, deep down, is accurate.” I don’t know what “normal” people do with this, but a child abuse survivor’s concept of “accurate criticism” is so twisted and manipulated from very early in life that probably the opposite is more accurate. Beyond that, accuracy should not be conflated with “hurts the most”. That’s just a doorway to more abuse.]

@DrCarlHindy Even If We Could Erase Bad Memories, Should We?
[SEO: “In a study published in the April 27 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, a team of UCLA researchers reported that they’d actually discovered a way to erase long-term memories — at least when experimenting on small marine snails and on the snails’ neurons in petri dishes.” While science is a long way from implementing this in humans, it opens a discussion of the ethics, and probable unintended consequences, of even trying to do this. “I also wonder if it’s really possible to eliminate significant memories, even ones that are traumatic, and erase only the pain and damage — and not also an important piece of who that person is or has become.” In addition to discussing the identity issue, other current research projects aimed at reducing the fear behind traumatic memories are noted. Lots to think about for trauma survivors.]

@DeborahSerani Why antidepressants stop working (via @ssanquist)
[SEO: “One of the current theories for why antidepressants stop working is that over time the genes that produce enzymes that regulate the metabolism of medications become upregulated and consequently produce more enzymes.” Also discusses why, if you go off an antidepressant for awhile and then try it again, it may not be as effective the second time around.]

@psychcentral Thinking about meeting with your partner’s therapist? Some things you should consider.
[SEO: This post is written for the partner of someone in therapy, with the assumption that this person is healthy and supportive of their partner’s quest for better mental health. It describes why such a meeting can be beneficial for both people in the relationship, as well as give the therapist more information about family dynamics, etc. Offers a list of what you, the partner, should and should not do during a joint therapy session. If you are the person in therapy, and want to bring your partner into a therapy session, give them a copy of this article.]


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