Not All Wounds Are Visible Part Two: How I Cope with Unworthiness and a Diagnosis

Now that I have shared that I have a diagnosis of PTSD from two traumatic events that you can read about here, I would like to share with you how I have learned to cope with not only the diagnosis and symptoms, but also the feelings of unworthiness.

According to the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) there are certain criterion or specifications that must be met in order to have a diagnosis.

“Diagnostic criteria for PTSD include a history of exposure to a traumatic event that meets specific stipulations and symptoms from each of four symptom clusters: intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. The sixth criterion concerns duration of symptoms; the seventh assesses functioning; and, the eighth criterion clarifies symptoms as not attributable to a substance or co-occurring medical condition.”

Check. Check. and Double Check.

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I have worked with counselors writing out the experiences, pretending they were movies, and much more in-depth therapies. I find they help for a while, make me become comfortable until there is a trigger such as a sight, sound, smell, or even a flashback that can be paralyzing.  Here are a few ways I combat my symptoms.

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Friday Letters 3.27.15

Dear Spring, I thought we were past this?  Freeze warning tonight? Seriously, get it together, wasn’t it 80 yesterday?

Dear AK, Thank you for being honest about being in trouble at school this week.  I know you will work harder to not play during lunch.

Dear Philippians, Way to call me out this morning.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.  2:14-15

I have been grumbling a little too much lately. I get it.  Hey, when is this two month study going to end?  There might be other books in the Bible I need to check out.

Dear Sadie, Thanks for being my accountability partner, not just in exercise but also in the rest of my life!  I am loving our 6 AM torture sessions work outs.

Dear Orchid on my desk, I loved you, I really did.  I know I don’t show it very well but I am just not very good with plants.  I don’t know if you will make it to next Friday, if not RIP.

♥ Elizabeth