Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Complex PTSD

Communicating more. Answering a frequently asked question. "What is complex PTSD?, How is that different from PTSD, chronic or acute PTSD.

Monday, 9 June 2014


One of the common things I tend to be talking about with people at the moment is this terrible business of what my sister and I have nick named 'Looping'.

Looping from our perspective is defined as 'something- be it  a physical action, internal thought or external that dis-empowers you by your inability to control or choose to have its company'. 

Now I tend to mostly have only 'internal thought' and 'speech' looping

So I will write from that aspect.  My aim is to communicate some of the things I have identified.

My 'loops,' as I posted previously, are repeating suggestive voices, unfinished lines of music and external speech rules which must be completed in order for speech to move forward to another subject. I am never without noise in my head because of my tinnitus, so I see that as my base level on a 'good' relaxed day.  However I am learning now to be able to map the relationship between life stressors and the other 'loops'.

But another strange common denominator seems to be appearing in the patterns, and that is the frustration of being unable to complete.

 I'm staring to learn that you either give in to 'looping' and it rules you or, as I am trying at the moment, you try to embrace part of what drives the loop to start again and that for me is a great fear of finishing.

I'm not going to say that I understand this because I don't, I just know that when say a song line is repeating 'she sailed away, she sailed away, she sailed away'; I might as well be wading through setting concrete to get my brain to go 'she sailed away on a lovely summers day on the back of a crocodile'.  If by some miracle I manage it, it will quickly be replaced by another line from  another song.

So I have to ask myself is it worth the fight and the frustration, or do I just pack it away with the ringing/ banging and 'get on' with my day?

It's a catch twenty-two because mentally you then must find something equal to or above in intensity to be able to ignore all the other 'looping'. Achieving this will often mean rapid thinking, rapid speech or strenuous physical or repetitive movement.

It's hard to write this blog as I don't have any set solutions, I just know that I journey along a road of ups and downs. Days of coping, and some days of hiding. Maybe I just now accept the journey for what it is unknown. 

I have found comforts though that make a level of peace achievable and I share with you two of my best helpers. 

1. TV
Watching a few episode of a series back to back on a bad day can be like manner from heaven. This does unfortunately means that nothing else gets done however as I'm sure other 'loopers' will agree, piles of washing and 'must do's' can take  second place if you are actually in a position to get calmer for a day.

2. Music
This is my gem. I am often seen wearing headphones and what I do is choose a song that I can cope with and set my phone to repeat that song. It has been known for me to listen to a repeating song all day and all the next day until things calm done. What I find is that, where as my 'loops' don't end, the song does end and then it starts again and finishes again. This gives me such relief  and a sense of 'winning' as I  know I am not going to get stuck, the phone in a way takes control, guarantees to carry me over  into wonderful endings.

It's all a wobbly wobbly world, we all have our quirks. I'm aware I've not finished this blog, as I have not written about speech patterns or put a proper ending to anything but, ironically I need to go and fold some books now to calm down. Thank you for reading and thank you for journeying with me.