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Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Hi Bridget, I am really sorry to hear of your trauma, and I thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.

In answer to your question:
Exposure therapy is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy technique that is often used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Usually it is used in conjunction with other CBT therapy.

It is a safe and proven technique when used by an experienced, licensed therapist who specializes in these kinds of conditions and treatments.

It has been shown to help a person overcome the anxiety and fear associated with PTSD and the associated traumatic memories.

Exposure therapy is intended to help the patient face and gain control of the fear and distress that was overwhelming during the actual trauma. But it must be done very carefully so as not to re-traumatize the patient.

There are several ways it can be approached, but usually the therapist works gradually up to the most severe trauma by using relaxation techniques and starting with less upsetting life stressors or by taking the trauma one piece at a time.

This is called desensitizing, which is the basis of what Exposure Therapy is all about.

You need to work closely with your therapist and are not forced to engage in treatment you feel uncertain about, or are too afraid of. You need to work up to the hardest bits. And it can take a lot of time and patience by both the patient and the therapist.

Exposing someone to their fears or prior traumas without the client first learning the accompanying coping techniques — such as relaxation, mindfulness, or imagery exercises — can result in a person simply being re-traumatized by the event or fear.

Therefore exposure therapy is typically conducted within a psychotherapeutic relationship with a therapist trained and experienced with the technique and the related coping exercises.

When looking to engage in exposure therapy look for a psychotherapist with experience or a specialty in this kind of psychotherapy.

Because of the potential for harm with this therapy it is not recommended to use an inexperienced therapist.

But when used properly and professionally, exposure therapy is a safe and effective psychotherapeutic technique.

I hope this explains the procedure to you Bridget. Are you considering seeking this type of therapy yourself? Has it been recommended to you?

Also I am really sorry to hear that you are not feeling well right now. I sincerely hope you are feeling better soon. I look forward to hearing from you again.  Heart

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Hey @Sherry, welcome to the forum. I see @Zahlia tagged me here as I too live with complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome due to sexual abuse and adult rape.

I am so glad you can now write about it - the silencing of ourselves (and the silencing by others who reject our lived experience or blame us for being the ones who speak of it) is something I lived with for a very long time. 

Flashbacks, nightmares, triggering, feeling contantly anxious and unsafe take their toll on us. I too live with a chrnic pain syndrome - following a back injury. I sometimes think my crumbling spine is a life metaphor.

I hope you continue to wade through the river and find reeds to clutch to if the torrent becomes too much.

<3 I am in a very struggley place a the moment so will leave it at that.

ALL strength courage to you, to all of us as we live the best we can.

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD


Thankyou so much for your reply. You are so right - rape does impact for life and I do believe that silence is fairly typical. I think that may be slowly changing for the better though, or I hope that is the case anyway.

What a dreadful ordeal to have to go through for a 5yo. And from people of authority. And you have lived with that for a long time Ffm48, I am truly sorry for that. My heart breaks for that lost little girls innocence.

Yes I too was diagnosed with PTSD as well as OCD, anxiety of course (as PTSD comes under the umbrella of anxiety) and also occasional bouts of depression. The depression is usually related to a back injury I have and is very painful at times.

Like you, I believe the exposure therapy has helped to desensitize some of the triggers which used to cause so much distress. The ones I know and expect I can now mostly deal with reasonably well.

But also like you, there are always new and unexpected triggers which rear their ugly head when you least expect them.

So yes I too am pleased I endured the riggors of Exposure Therapy. It also made this years EMDR more bearable too I think. So that was a good thing also.

Yes I have been told that you cant cure PTSD, that it is simply a matter of desensitizing as much as possible and then learning how best to deal with the symptoms of PTSD.

My psychologist was a specialist in Trauma Therapy and also CBT, so I was lucky that I had both in one package. Great for me because it meant I didnt have to go through it all over again twice.

The EMDR therapy is meant to concentrate more on the emotional side of things, and I do believe it has helped.

I look forward to hearing from you again Ffm48 and I will try to find some of your posts elsewhere, and follow you.

Thanks again.

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Thankyou for your reply MoonGal, especially since you are feeling very fragile yourself right now. I am very sorry to hear that. And I hope you start to feel better soon.

Yeah, despite a lot of therapy over the past 18 months, I still experience flashbacks, nightmares, triggering, lack of sleep, constant anxiety and fear.

My chronic pain is also as a result of a back injury. And when that is really bad, it seems to make everything else worse as well. And that is also when I become depressed.

Sounds like we have a few things in common MoonGal. I look forward to when you are feeling a little better and speaking with you further.

Thankyou very much for taking the time to respond. Please take good care of yourself. xx

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Hi @Sherry,

Just wanted to pop in and say hi.

I'm not really in the place to talk about it much at the moment, but I relate to some of what you have been through. I've never been formally diagnosed with PTSD, but I've done EMDR and some other therapy which helped a lot.

Lovely to meet you and I hope things go better for you soon, and I'll pop back and chat more when I'm up to it in the future. :-)


Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Bec, thankyou for your reply. And I am sorry I cant reply properly, as I havent yet worked out how to do the @ thing yet. So I do hope that people are getting my responses to them.

Bec I am really sorry you are not currently in a good place. But I do understand .. totally. So its okay, I would love for you to get back to me when you are able to though.

It is great to meet you also Bec. Talk soon I hope.

Thankyou for touching base nonetheless. Maybe soon?

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Hi @Sherry, if you're up for some chats and levity, pop by the beer garden.

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Oh, and to do the @ thing,
Hit reply, type in @ and then a drop down list will appear and you can select someone.
Or just type in @and their name and it should appear as a link once you submit it.

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD


Okay thanks. Although I dont think it worked? Should I be using the Quick Reply or the Reply?

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

@Former-Member. Actually I think it did work. Yay!

Now, where will I find the Beer Garden?

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