badge postscript…

Posted on Saturday 28 July 2012

Speaking of PTSD, I spent the day working in the clinic, but I had an apprehensive background feeling all day. When I got home, I realized why. It’s the Olympics and tonight was the opening ceremony. As 30 year olds, we were spending two weeks at the 1972 Munich games when disaster struck, and then we were among the thousands that walked aimlessly in that beautiful Park when the Games were suspended and tragic events unfolded. The Games went on, but we were all dazed. We flew back to England where I was stationed from Fürstenfeldbruck Air Field [that’s where the Israeli athletes were killed a few days before]. The night we flew home, we were strip searched, and surrounded by scared soldiers with machine guns. When we got back to England, people asked what it was like, and I didn’t know what to say. I still don’t. I think of that when I see traumatized patients who have no adequate way to describe the fog of their experience.

So as much as I enjoy the Olympics, I alway have a periodic sense of dread. When the Olympics came to Atlanta in 1996, it never left me. After the bomb went off in Centennial Olympic Park, I had another unanticipated feeling – almost like relief. The bad thing had happened and I could let down my guard. Strange. I wouldn’t have said that being at those 1972 Olympics was traumatic, but it’s now forty years later, and some version of those feelings never fails to come up every two years during Olympic time, always catching me by surprise. Like most, I say "that was a long time ago – it shouldn’t still bother me." Well, it does. I think that’s a lite version of Terr’s #3, trauma specific fears [badge 3…]…
    July 28, 2012 | 7:27 PM

    always catching me by surprise.

    The way those traumatic memories and the feelings that go with them seem to sneak up on you, even with the most seemingly obvious triggers just adds energy to the blow. Is it losing a fight between remembering and not? It’s even possible, after being floored by the memory to keep forgetting what the trigger was and even to forget that the overwhelming feelings have a specific source. What’s wrong with me? Oh, yeah. What’s wrong with me? Oh, yeah.

    July 29, 2012 | 4:20 PM

    Another perspective on this phenomenon arose from the contribution of neuroscience for explanation of the “fight, flight or freeze”- universal response to terror. I have another name for what the DSM identifies as PTSD or GAD. the new term is “Maladaptive Survival Syndrome”— When we get the full gamut of survival juice in the absence of a real event, or opportunity to make proper use of the stuff.

    In my experience, the best treatment for * Malsurvi” is a combination of education about this amazing standard equipment — computer graphics enhance the miracle of the lymbic system, hippocampus…. et al… AND focus on self regulating the autonomic nervous system— mediating the physiological responses that are triggered, so that re-traumatization of the system is abated.

    I’ve appreciated the benefits of knowledge over fear and self control over feeling victimized as a very good foundation, a safe place to begin any talk therapy or make a choice regarding the actual meaning or potential benefit of the original
    traumatic event.
    Peter Levine’s “Waking the tiger–healing trauma” is an indispensable guide and support for achieving a *cure*. Yes, I used that four letter word that you never hear in connection with any psychiatric disorder. That;’s because: Maladaptive Survival Syndrome is NOT a mental/psychiatric disorder ! It’s just a glitch in our system that is hindering our 21st century evolutionary progress— as the only self- aware
    species and the only mammal that does not innately know that community building is the key to survival!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.