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Out of My Mind in Costa Rica-Living with CPTSD

Health & Wellness Podcasts

Out of My Mind in Costa Rica or OOMMCR for short is an effort to help those who suffer from PTSD and C-PTSD and support the people who love them. OOMMCR is a personal journal of my Hero's Journey mixed with clinical insights and stories of my trials and tribulations as a human being who was raised in an incest family. I'm a retired clinical social worker from California I hope this podcast will persuade you or someone you love to take positive steps towards healing the devastating wounds that resulted in the development of PTSD or C-PTSD.I am new podcasting, so please bear with me as I do my best to improve the quality of my content and the quality of my production. I am a stickler for detail, but I want this podcast to be like visiting an old friend. I want to credit Audionautix for my intro and outro music. It's a tune called Big Blues You can learn more about Audionautix at: http://audionautix.com.That said, let the pods begin.


Costa Rica


Out of My Mind in Costa Rica or OOMMCR for short is an effort to help those who suffer from PTSD and C-PTSD and support the people who love them. OOMMCR is a personal journal of my Hero's Journey mixed with clinical insights and stories of my trials and tribulations as a human being who was raised in an incest family. I'm a retired clinical social worker from California I hope this podcast will persuade you or someone you love to take positive steps towards healing the devastating wounds that resulted in the development of PTSD or C-PTSD.I am new podcasting, so please bear with me as I do my best to improve the quality of my content and the quality of my production. I am a stickler for detail, but I want this podcast to be like visiting an old friend. I want to credit Audionautix for my intro and outro music. It's a tune called Big Blues You can learn more about Audionautix at: http://audionautix.com.That said, let the pods begin.





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Episode 37: C-PTSD and Brain Fog - I Can See Clearly Now

Episode 37 C-PTSD and Brain Fog I Can See Clearly Now April 27, 2022 Today I want to talk about Brain Fog which Merriam-Webster defines as: "A usually temporary state of diminished mental capacity marked by an inability to concentrate or to think or reason clearly."This condition is characterized by excessive cognitive fatigue.” Well, that about sums it up for me. The past several months I have been really out of it and Brain Fog is the only explanation I have found that makes sense. I’ve been dazed and confused for so long it is beginning to be my normal state of mind. Then what? Here’s a good example of Brain Fog. When I was preparing this episode, I completely lost track of what day it was and this morning about 9am, I realized I had an eye exam at the main hospital in San Jose at 9am, a 2-hour drive. The appointment was scheduled for 9am, so I missed it. For weeks, I’ve been anxious and fretting about driving into the city to get my eyes examined. The good news is I don’t have to drive to San José, but the bad news is I still need to get my eyes examined. There is definitely something going on with my left eye and who knows when I can get another appointment. The Brain Fog once again was successful in sabotaging me. Brain Fog does this frequently. It is becoming harder and harder to take care of what needs to be taken care of. This is the main reason why I am focusing on Brain Fog today. As usual, below are some links to even more information about PTST and Brain Fog. My life with Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder – Tereza's Health Blog (wordpress.com) PTSD & Brain Fog - The Trauma Practice Mental Fog, Stress, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) | HealthyPlace GET OUT OF BRAIN FOG from Complex PTSD - Bing video Understanding Mental Fog And Complex PTSD | by Annie Tanasugarn, PhD | Invisible Illness | Medium


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Episode 36: C-PTSD and Starting Over-With a Guest Appearance by Shame

Episode 36 C-PTSD and Starting Over…Again! Been Here Done That March 29, 2022 In this episode I am talking about starting over and I want you to know that it is NOT easy. I am 68 years old and after the crashing and burning of my marriage, I sit here, on the side of a hill in Costa Rica, contemplating the kind of new life I desire. I’m no spring chicken and my body reminds me of this on a daily basis if not an hourly basis. It is now a nightly routine to wake up at 3am needing to go to the bathroom. I don’t know how he does it, but my cat, Don Gato seems to know the exact time when my bladder is full and he wakes me up. Personally, I think he does this because his bladder is full and he cannot go outside without my help. The way I look at it, we have a symbiotic relationship and mutually support each other. This has not been an easy episode to produce, because the topic matter is overwhelming. The thought of selling everything I have and moving back to the US is a big piece of meat to chew on. Below are a few websites that may be of help to you if you are finding yourself in a position of turning your life upside down and sideways no matter how old you are. Since I am 70-years-old, these articles are going to be more focused on starting over as a senior, but all of us who find ourselves starting over, regardless of your age, can benefit from the wisdom held within these articles. I am 72-years-old and this time I began starting over a couple of years ago when I separated from my wife. (Still not divorced…yet!) This article by Noel from the Financial Geek gives solid advice to seniors who are looking at starting over at this stage of life. Starting Over at Age 60? 7 Things You Should Consider (thefinancialgeek.com) Starting Over at 70? – I'm Not Dead Yet! (josaia.com) is a short read and focuses on motivating those of us in this situation. This article supports anyone starting over to start with yourself. Examine your needs, your motives and your resources before you bite off more than you can chew. A Simple Guide for Starting Over in Life | by Vishnu*s Virtues | Medium Since I am in my 70’s here an article just for us. Change seems to get more difficult as we age and people starting over as seniors, have special needs to consider. Starting Over at Age 60? 7 Things You Should Consider (thefinancialgeek.com)


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Episode 35: C-PTSD and My Expat LIfe - No Matter Where You Go, There You Are.

Episode 35 C-PTSD and My Expat Life No Matter Where You Go, There You Are. October 4, 2021 Shit! Has it been a month? I am so sorry, and I apologize for my lack of production lately. I am still working my way through the blues, but the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and another wonderful day is on the horizon. This week I am compelled to share a few things about how the hell I ended up in Costa Rica in the first place. I hope you are at least entertained by my musings, but what I really hope is that Out of My Mind in Costa Rica – Living with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress is a beacon of light for you and a factor influencing you to take care of yourself first, knowing that if you are well, then you can tend to the needs of others. As usual, I have compiled a few websites that shed a bit more light on today’s subject. I hope that these small, seemingly trivial acts will stimulate you to do what you need to do to heal from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. If you are not struggling with C-PTSD then you may have more questions than answers. Julie Maida writes about the key things we all wish others would know about this condition. What Someone Living with Complex PTSD Wishes You Knew - Julie Maida (julie-maida.com) Here is a very concise article written by Shirley Davis which was published at CPTSD Foundation. Straight forward and to the point. The Difficult Road to Intimacy: Living with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder | CPTSDfoundation.org Friendships are relationships and at times they are the most intimate relationships in our lives. Here’s a clear article written by Ashleigh Golden, PsyD that helps you to understand the conflictual nature of relationship with people who have C-PTSD. CPTSD and Relationships: Why Conflict Happens and What To Do (psychcentral.com) I have just completed a vast amount of research seeking some information on what living with C-PTSD as an expatriate is like and what kind of special challenges beset people in this situation. Nothing, nada, zero is what I found. It looks like I need to do an episode of Out of My Mind in Costa Rica-Living with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress focusing on life as an Expat, regardless of where you are in the world, and you have C-PTSD. Wouldn’t you know it, another thing I need to do myself. Expect that sooner, rather than later. Hell, who knows, maybe next week. Meanwhile give a listen to my current version of Expat life when you have C-PTSD.


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Episode 34: C-PTSD and Working Through the Blues - Mama Told Me There'd Be Days Like This

Episode 34 C-PTSD and Working Through the Blues Mama Told Me There’d Be Days Like This September 17, 2021 Yes, I am still working through the blues. What can I say? It is what it is, and this is my river, and this is how it is flowing at the moment. I don’t want to be a Donny Downer, but you decide for yourself. I am sharing a little bit about my process and what makes is work for me. Life seems to be a reminder that we need to keep on our toes and keep moving forward, wherever that may be for you. For me it is just a matter of loving myself and keeping my commitments to myself. Each day I strive to do better than the day before. Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t. You pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on that pony. Here are a few websites I found that punctuate today’s theme, More of the fucking same thing as last time. But different. Give it a listen and you be the judge. Scary Mommy is a great resource for people in all kinds of recovery. She recently posted this article and it gets right to the heart of the matter. I Have CPTSD: Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (scarymommy.com) Vicki Peterson published this intriguing article on The Mighty.com and offers a clear explanation as to the differences between Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. When Complex Trauma Is Misdiagnosed as Anxiety | The Mighty Out of the Fog does a great job of getting down to brass tacks. This article gives a great overview of CPTSD, treatment and the process of healing. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) — Out of the FOG CPTSDfoundation.org is doing a lot of great work with helping people resolve their own particular version of CPTSD. The Final Six Symptoms of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder | CPTSDfoundation.org


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Episode 33: C-PTSD and Being Stuck in the Mud - Not The First Time, Probably Not The Last

Episode 33 C-PTSD and Being Stuck in the Mud Not the first time, probably not the last. August 2, 2021 This week I am talking about being “stuck in the mud”. I’m spinning my wheels and I got no traction. It’s beginning to trouble me. The good news is that doing this podcast is regenerative for me. I know I have been really inconsistent these past couple of months, but I believe I am on the upswing after increasing my Fluoxetine to 40mg/day. This seems like an appropriate dose for the moment. Don’t think that the medication is the only thing that is making a difference. I have had a lot of time to think and thinking I did. I thunk and I thunk and I thunk. Now I’m exhausted from all of the thinking. Today’s episode: C-PTSD and Stuck in the Mud details these struggles as well as some ideas to break the logjam. I’m not completely out of the woods yet, but the sun is shining and my mood is improving, poco a poco. I am encouraged. If it weren’t for this podcast, I would not be able to say this. I owe much of my improvement, which is marginal at best, to my listeners. You folks who consistently listen to Out of My Mind in Costa Rica. You have my heart and my dedication. Now, let me share a few websites that help to put an exclamation point onto this week’s episode. My friend, the friend, whom I highlighted a couple of weeks ago, recommended a book by Pema Chӧdrӧn, entitled When Things Fall Apart. It is a Buddhist perspective on coming to terms with and resolving life’s most painful moments. Its approach is familiar but the practices she described are revolutionary. Not to mention, they are extremely challenging to undertake. The Pema Chodron Foundation – The Buddhist Contemplative Tradition Michael G. Quirke, LMFT presents a very good article for those of you looking to establish a foundation for your recovery. Recovering from Complex PTSD: 3 Key Stages of Long-Term Healing (michaelgquirke.com) Suzanne Jessee, M.A. in Huntington Beach, CA provides another perspective on the 3 stages of C-PTSD recovery. The 3 Stages of Complex PTSD Recovery (theravive.com) Mandy Lo of TraumitizedAspie writes an excellent article covering a wide range of trauma information and recovery information. Check it out. How Does Complex PTSD Affect Interpersonal Relationships? – TraumatizedAspie.com David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor provides some great guidance on how to tread your path of healing. Given the complexity and interpersonal nature of Complex-PTSD, it is critical to be patient and pay attention to the little things. 6 ways to recover from Complex Trauma or Complex PTSD | counselorssoapbox


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Episode 32: C-PTSD and Letting Go - Release and Find Peace

Episode 32 C-PTSD and Letting Go Release and Find Peace August 27, 2021 Today’s episode I am talking about letting it go. Everyone says this, but what the heck does it actually entail? How does one let go of experiences that have been buried to the bone? Well, I take a stab at this topic today, and I hope you will find it engaging and moves you to let go. Even if a little bit. A little bit is better than not at all. Poco a poco. Una cosa por vez. As usual I have discovered some wonderful websites and people who are doing amazing thing in the world of healing from PTSD and Complex PTSD. I hope you find them helpful. Dr. Schwartz help people to understand that nature of barriers to healing from Complex-PTSD. This article highlights the ways we struggle when adapting to a new, healing way of being. Overcoming Barriers in Complex PTSD | Dr. Arielle Schwartz (drarielleschwartz.com) David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE) gets to the point on what keeps us stuck in our pain. Can't Let Go Of Childhood Trauma? Here's Possible Reasons Why (childhoodtraumarecovery.com) K.J., through her own story, helps you understand what Letting Go is and how to do it. Letting Go of the Past When You Have PTSD | The Mighty Here’s a YouTube video by Healthy Place that hits the nail on the head when it comes to letting go. PTSD and Forgiving Yourself, Letting Go of Self-Blame | HealthyPlace - Bing video


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Episode 31: C-PTSD and Empathy

Episode 31 C-PTSD and Empathy The Role of Empathy in Healing C-PTSD July 29, 2021 This week I am talking about Empathy. You know, the power to be with the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another. It’s a special trait that everyone should work on developing as much as possible. Empathy is the glue that holds relationships together. No empathy, no relationship. It’s that simple. Here’s a sweet article on listening. Remember, listening is loving. 5 Simple Keys to Helping Your Partner Feel Heard | Psychology Today We have probably experienced this with our partner on more than one occasion. Is It Possible to Lack Empathy? (psychcentral.com) Here’s the official Webster’s Dictionary definition of Empathy. Empathy | Definition of Empathy at Dictionary.com This another wonderful article by Pete Walker. I really encourage all of you dealing with C-PTSD to look into this man’s work. It is absolutely exquisite. More and more traumatology pundits list attachment disorder as one of the key symptoms of Complex PTSD (pete-walker.com) Finally, here’s a nice article by by Matthew Tull Ph.D. Self Compassion | healingcomplextrauma (healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com)


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Episode 30: C-PTSD and Friendships - A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

Episode 30 C-PTSD and Friendships A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed July 11, 2021 I recently have been in email contact with a dear old friend. A friend who also happens to have been my friend since 1984 when I was working at the Sacramento Children’s Home. He was a group home social worker at the time, and I was preparing to get into graduate school. We hit it off right away and were fast friends until, over 30 years later, he too became the victim of one of my emotional flashbacks. There is no need to go into the details here but suffice it to say it was a tsunami for both us and it buried my heart for many years. Six years after our estrangement, this man had the courage to reach out to me. I’ve always been a sucker sincerity and courage. What follows in this episode is a series of emails we have exchanged over the last 72 days. I hope the connection between he and I resonates with you and compels you to consider reaching out to a long-lost friend of yours. Break the silence. I plan to, that’s for sure. As usual, I am sharing some websites that I think will enhance this email exchange between two old friends who have been on the outs for some time. Enjoy the podcast and please tell your friends you love them. Here’s a nice article by Jay Polish on how C-PTSD can impact relationships. How Complex PTSD Can Affect Relationships, According To An Expert (bustle.com) One of my favorite people out there helping people with Complex PTSD is Anna Runkle. She’s the Crappy Childhood Fairy and there is more information about her and her programs at the link below. CPTSD: How to Have Better FRIENDSHIPS - The Crappy Childhood Fairy I find a lot of good information on this website. I highly recommend you cruise around and check it out. C-PTSD and Interpersonal Relationships (psychcentral.com) Heidi Fischer writes this nice article on being in relationship with someone with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. Struggling With Friendship With Complex PTSD | The Mighty


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Episode 29: C-PTSD and Complicated Grief - Am I Being Redundant?

Episode 29 C-PTSD and Complicated Grief - Am I Being Redundant? June 20, 2021 Today’s episode is about what I call Complicated Grief. Let me say this about complicated grief, it’s complicate and it’s that simple. The past couple of weeks have I have been submerged into a pool of depression with little energy and zero motivation. My mind, of course has been plenty active and I began to think about the depth of the depression I was feeling felt like more than simply depression and I reached the conclusion that I must be experiencing a very complicated grief. There were certainly plenty of losses, both personal and professional, so why not. I discovered that the DSM 5 has identified what it calls Pervasive Grief Disorder or PGD. In this week’s episode I review the criteria for PGD at it applies to my fucked-up life. I also look to figure out what is keeping me from moving past the pervasive grief and into a healing state. This means I must be stuck somewhere in the 5 Stages of Grief and by the end of today’s episode, I figure it out. As always, I want to give you more than just my opinion about what is going on and what to do about it. Here are some websites I found to be informative and helpful to making my point about Complicated Grief. It’s a real thing and I believe that people with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress also experience this type of grief. The problem is that we cycle through the grief, over and over and over again until we simply cannot do it any longer. This is where I am at. Thank you for being here. The Columbia Center for Complicated Grief does a nice job of describing why they exist. It’s a short read, but it could really open your eyes. The Columbia Center for Complicated Grief I’ve shared other articles posted by verywellmind.com. This article gives you an overview of the grieving process and can help you get started with understanding your own grief history and its impact. The Five Stages of Grief (verywellmind.com) Disturbmenot.co has compiled a list of 33 statistics what will, undoubtedly blow your mind. Check it out. 33 Important Depression Statistics to Be Aware of in 2021 (disturbmenot.co) Since I talk about smelt fishing in this week’s episode, this video is for the uninitiated. It is hugely entertaining. Which is why so many people go smelt dipping. Plus, the little buggers are delicious with some French fries and a nice cold beer. SMELT FISHING in Lake Superior (HUGE NETS FULL) - Bing video


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Episode 28: C-PTSD and Recovering from COVID - You seriously do not want to get this virus.

Episode 28 C-PTSD and Recovering from COVID You seriously do not want to get this virus. June 2, 2021 Well, it now appears I am not just under the influence of COVID-19. I am clinically depressed. Isn’t that just peachy? So, I thought it would be helpful to add some information about depression just in case the pandemic has also given you the blues. You may want to go back and listen to Episode 15: C-PTSD and Depression. There is some good stuff about depression in that podcast. Gary Gilmour wrote a nice piece for Psychology Today. He is Vice-President of Preclinical Research at COMPASS Pathways. Check it out. What Goes On in the Brain of a Person with Depression | Psychology Today The Psychiatrist-In-Chief in the Department of Psychiatry of Massachusetts General Research Institute, Maurizio Fava, MD has written on the rise of depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. Depression on the Rise During COVID-19 (massgeneral.org) The Mayo Clinic has posted an article on COVID – 19 and Your Mental Health. This is an article you may want to take seriously. COVID-19 and your mental health - Mayo Clinic Arash Emamzadeh, administered the UCLA Loneliness Scale-3, a measure of loneliness, and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a screening tool for depression, to 1,013 people from 50 U.S. states. Here’s what he learned. COVID-19 Pandemic: Loneliness, Depression, and Suicide | Psychology Today


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Episode 27: C-PTSD and COVID -19 Part II - Buckle Your Seatbelt

Episode 27 CPTSD and COVID -19 Part II Buckle Your Seatbelt May 24, 2021 I’ve been sick for the better part of the last 10 days and today I am telling you all the nitty-gritty details. What was I sick with? It turned out to be COVID-19. It has been a hell of a week and I am grateful to be feeling 10,000% better today. Besides being sick, I was given permission to read a letter from a new listener and I am introducing a new Sponsor; Out of My Mind Art at www.outofmymindart.com Out of My Mind Art is known for it’s Magic Wands and Twisted Wire Novelties. Check them out. 100% of the proceeds go to the support of the arts. Here are some websites that help give more focus to today’s topic. Melanie Greenberg Ph.D. published an article in Psychology today which looks at Post-Traumatic Growth. What on earth is that? Post-Traumatic Growth During a Pandemic: Is That a Thing? | Psychology Today I stumbled upon an article by Stephanie Foo. I didn’t know about her before I read her article, but I know about her now. I heartily share her perspective as a person with C-PTSD who is also leaning into the wind in these COVID times. Stephanie Foo is a writer and a journalist working on a book on what it’s like to recover from complex PTSD. She has worked as a producer at This American Life and Snap Judgment, and her stories have aired on shows like Reply All, Radiolab, and 99% Invisible. She is also a 2019-2020 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Coronavirus mental health: Why having PTSD feels like a superpower right now for some - Vox Huffington Post has a really interesting article which could help you to discover if the pandemic has traumatized you. Gets you to look at a lot of key factors of PTSD. 7 Red Flags You're Experiencing Trauma From The COVID-19 Pandemic | HuffPost Life Medical News Today has a detailed article on the impact of what they are calling: COVID-19 anxiety syndrome. This is a very reliable source for sound medical information. What is COVID-19 anxiety syndrome? (medicalnewstoday.com)


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Episode 26: C-PTSD and COVID-19 I’m Fully Vaccinated-Now What?

Episode 26 C-PTSD and COVID-19 I’m Fully Vaccinated-Now What? May 13, 2021 In this week’s episode I talk about how the pandemic has impacted me and what role did Complex-Post Traumatic Stress play in how I am managing my experience with COVID-19. For me, I take it one day at a time and on occasion, I take it one hour at a time or one minute at a time. For me the key is to be mindful and if you forget, that’s alright you can always return to being mindful any time you realize you were not being mindful. Chew on that for a minute. While you are chewing on that last comment, here are some websites I found that may contribute to the discussion. Thank you for listening to Out of My Mind in Costa Rica – Living with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. This is a very vivid personal account of Jackie Armstrong, a woman with Complex PTSD and how COVID-19 impacted her life. Her story is very powerful. How the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Triggering My Complex PTSD (yahoo.com) This is a nice article published in the Medical News Today newsletter. It gives a brief overview of PTSD, pinpoints the specific things you can do if the pandemic is impacting you or someone you love who has PTSD. PTSD and coronavirus (COVID-19): Symptoms and how to cope (medicalnewstoday.com) COVID-19 affects us in many ways, one of the ways is by traumatizing people. Here’s an article by William A. Haseltine Ph.D. published in Psychology Today. COVID-19 Traumatic Stress Disorder | Psychology Today The Effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on PTSD is a no nonsense article from the US Department of Veteran Affairs. Lots of good stuff here. Effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on PTSD - PTSD: National Center for PTSD (va.gov) Feel free to email me about any of these articles. I am happy to talk with you about them. ray@rayerickson.com


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Episode 25: C-PTSD and Baby Steps - Am I Feeling Better or Is It Prozac?

Episode 25 C-PTSD and Baby Steps Am I Feeling Better or Is It Prozac? April 29, 2021 In this episode, I am talking about feeling better on a more consistent way. This enhancement in my mood also corresponds to the window of effectiveness for Fluoxetine which is better known as Prozac. It doesn’t matter to me because the experience of feeling better is motivating regardless of it’s source. My role is to build on that emotional and cognitive shift taking place into a better world for myself and for the people I love and care about. I am taking Prozac, which is classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibiter or an SSRI. This class of anti-depressant has been shown to be just as effective in treating depression as psychotherapy. There are currently 15 different name brands of SSRIs using six fundamental compounds. For more information click on any of the links below. Lexapro (escitalopram), Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Celexa (citalopram), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Paxil CR (paroxetine), Brisdelle (paroxetine), Sarafem (fluoxetine), Luvox CR (fluvoxamine), Prozac Weekly (fluoxetine), Pexeva (paroxetine), Selfemra (fluoxetine), and Rapiflux (fluoxetine). In the Costa Rican healthcare system, I was given the choice of Prozac, Prozac or Prozac. So, I chose Prozac. Dr. Arielle Schwarts has been writing about the journey of healing from Complex-PTSD for years. Healing Complex PTSD and Dissociation | Dr. Arielle Schwartz (drarielleschwartz.com) Here is the official government site on PTSD. I have given you the link to their information on Complex-PTSD. Complex PTSD - PTSD: National Center for PTSD (va.gov) I have given you this resource before. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Complex PTSD Healing | CPTSDfoundation.org Thrive After Abuse has a YouTube Channel and they are doing their part in helping people with Complex-PTSD. Healing from Complex PTSD: Relaxation and Affirmation Video - YouTube


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Episode 24: C-PTSD and Anger - The Ugly Underbelly of Complex PTSD

Episode 24 C-PTSD and Anger The Ugly Underbelly of Complex PTSD April 22, 2021 Today I am talking about anger and if you have C-PTSD, then you know anger. It’s not that you feel angry, but more that you look beneath your anger to the vulnerable parts of yourself. Today I try to give you an idea of the roots of my anger and the impact of growing up within an incest family. There is surprisingly little written on the relationship between C-PTSD or PTSD and anger, even though angry outbursts are part of the diagnosis. I find that only a little bit odd. Well, here are some websites that may help you with your own concerns or you are concerned about a loved one. Regardless, check these sites out. Maybe you will find them useful. It’s good to know what your footprint is when you are triggered. Do you fight? Do you flee? Or Do you freeze or fawn? We tend to be in one of these categories. Trauma Responses : Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn? (childhoodtraumarecovery.com) Pete Walker is a guy I have stumbled upon who has built up a very nice library of articles, books, audiobooks focused on Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. I highly recommend you check him out. More and more traumatology pundits list attachment disorder as one of the key symptoms of Complex PTSD (pete-walker.com) Here’s Pete’s website. Pete Walker, M.A. Psychotherapy (pete-walker.com) Here’s an organization I have just begun a relationship with. Look for my articles on their blog page coming soon. CPTSD Foundation There are 3 types of anger associated with Post-Traumatic Stress. Roland Bal suggests an interesting approach to taming the anger within you. Learn more about this by clicking on the link below. Complex PTSD and Anger: Looking at The 3 Types (rolandbal.com)


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Episode 23: C-PTSD and Perseverance

Episode 23 C-PTSD and Perseverance Keep on Truckin’ April 15, 2021 Today’s focus is perseverance, something I believe many of you will relate to. I bring this up this week because the road has been a bit difficult to traverse over the past few weeks. I believe I am coming out the other side of darkness, thanks to my persistent perseverance. I am sure you have done your fair share of persevering which will make today’s episode of Out of My Mind in Costa Rica particularly interesting. Come on in. Give it a listen. Here are a few websites that may or may not be aligned with today’s topic, but you will find they all have really good information for you regardless of where you sit in your recovery. Everyone knows the story of Sisyphus, but do they? Here’s a short video that will familiarize yourself with this Greek deceiver of the Gods. Sisyphus: The Man Who Deceived the Gods - Greek Mythology Stories - See U in History - Bing video This a one of the most influential books I have ever read. When you heal the shame that binds you, you heal yourself for life. Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw (goodreads.com) Here’s a fantastic article. Be ready for a big read. There is lots of information here that may need to be absorbed bit-by-bit. Thank you Eggshell Therapy and Coaching for your work. Toxic Family Dynamics and Complex PTSD (C-PTSD) | Eggshell Therapy and Coaching Here is one woman’s journey to healing her Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. Her story is a good jumping off place for those of you seeking alternative healing practices. She achieves remarkable results. Complex PTSD: How I'm Recovering My Ability to Self-Regulate (recovery.org)


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Episode 22: What's Going On? - Emotional Overwhelm

Episode 22 What’s Going On? Emotional Overwhelm April 8, 2021 Today’s episode is no more than a brief explanation about why I have been MIA the past couple of weeks. I know there may be a few of you who may be concerned, and I want to set you mind at ease. Unfortunately, I don’t have the energy to give you any resource links this week, but if my plan goes well, I will be back next week with a full-length episode for your listening pleasure. Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding. Ray


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Episode 21: C-PTSD and More Grief - And The Grief Goes On

Episode 22 C-PTSD and More Grief And the Grief Goes On March 25, 2021 Yeah, the grief continued all through this week. Remember last week when I talked about grief has no time restrictions? Well, last week really proved this to be true. Last week’s episode I focused on the 5 Stages of Grief and how you too will go through these stages, even if it is for the loss of your favorite fountain pen. This week was more like surviving the grief and I tell you all about it in this week’s episode. I took some bold moves to combat the ongoing and what seems like everlasting grief this week. I had pretty good results as evidenced by the fact that I actually was able to produce an episode this week. As usual, here are some websites that offer more information about grieving when you have Complex Post Traumatic Stress. An Evolutionary Framework for Understanding Grief by Randolph M. Nesse. This is an academic projects and packs a lot of punch. If you have an insatiable thirst for knowledge then this article may interest you. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~nesse/Articles/Nesse-EvolutionBereavement-2005.pdf Here’s a brief article on accessing your need to grieve those childhood losses that so many people with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress experience. https://mindkindmom.com/grief-complex-ptsd/ Here’s a series of relative articles that are much easier on the brain that the more scholastic articles I am sharing this week. I hope you like them. https://cptsdfoundation.org/category/grief/ I just discovered Pete Walker as I prepared this week’s podcast. He has been through it all and has lived to talk about it. Not only that, but he has also dedicated his professional career to helping people with Complex PTSD. My hat’s off to you, Pete Walker. http://pete-walker.com/managingAbandonDepression.htm


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Episode 20: C-PTSD and Grief - The Unrelenting Shadow of Complex Trauma

Episode 20 C-PTSD and Grief Grief-The Unrelenting Shadow of Complex Trauma March 18, 2021 Elisabeth Kübler-Ross brought clarity to the grief process when she identified the 5-Stages of Grief. Regardless of the culture, all grieving people experience these 5 stages. Grief applies not only to human losses, but inanimate objects as well. Let me illustrate how I grieved the loss of my favorite ink pen. It’s not just any pen, it was a perfect pen. I paid a lot of money for that pen and I had that pen for many years. It was more than just a pen. Do you get the idea? I am really attached to this pen. Keep that in mind because people tend to get extremely attached to people. Whether it’s people or pens the stages of grief are there. Stage 1: Denial: “Where the hell is my pen? I can’t believe it’s not here. I always know where that pen is.” This is denial. “The pen can’t be gone, it’s still here, somewhere. Denial gives a little cushion against the pain of our loss and opens the door to anger. Stage 2: Anger: “Damnit! Where is that pen? I hate it when I can’t find my pen. I am such an idiot. This really pisses me off!” Here we have anger. Anger at the pen for being lost and anger with myself for losing it. This begins an effort to bargain the loss back. Stage 3: Bargaining: “I know it has to be around here someplace. Maybe it’s in the kitchen. Is it in my coat pocket?” This is bargaining, with the hope that the loss suddenly shows up. This is fueled by fear that the loss is real. When we can’t bargain the loss back then depression sets in. Stage 4: Depression: Eventually, I realize my pen is really gone, and I become sad and depressed. “I really miss that pen. It was a really good pen. I feel really bad about losing it.” This is the beginning of letting go and I am preparing myself to accept the loss. Stage 5: Acceptance: Which brings me to acceptance. This is where all of the pieces of my grief come together and opens me up to life again. In this case, life without my favorite pen. “Today, I’ll buy a new pen.” The 5 Stages of Grief are a real thing. Test yourself with them. What have you been able to successfully grieve and what are you still struggling with? Perhaps a loss so personal, that it has been impossible to look at until now. Now is the time to grieve. Be proactive and when you find yourself dealing with loss, then remember these five stages of grief. If you nurture yourself through your own grief process, then your load will be lighter, and you won’t keep getting stuck in the past with a bucket full of unresolved grief. Here is a brief article that talk directly to grief and Complex PTSD. There are also more resources in the body of the article. http://thebereavementacademy.com/grieving-complex-ptsd/ Here’s an article that asks 5 questions related to Complex-PTSD and grief. There is some real good information tucked into a short article. https://www.socialworker.com/feature-articles/clinical-intersections/grief-trauma-and-complex-trauma-5-questions-answers-social-workers/ This is a great article if not a bit wordy. Stay with it and you will gain a lot of insight as well as some good practices to explore if you want to go deeper into your grief. http://pete-walker.com/pdf/GrievingAndComplexPTSD.pdf


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Episode 19: C-PTSD and Communication - Good Communication Communicates

Episode 19 C-PTSD and Communication Good Communication Communicates March 11, 2021 Would you like to improve your communication? Here are Four simple steps that will make an immediate impact. Implement these strategies into your repertoire and life will get better. I Messages have two “I’s” in them. Like your head has two eyes. It is basically a three-step process. Step 1 State how you are feeling. 1. I feel sad … 2. I feel happy … 3. I feel anxious … Step 2 State the experience. 1. when I am not included in your plans. 2. when I see your smiling face. 3. when I get no response from you. Step 3 Together they go like this. 1. I feel sad when I am not included in your plans. 2. I feel happy when I see your smiling face. 3. I feel anxious when there is no response from you. Repeat step 1, 2 and 3 as often as you need to. Stonewalling turned out to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. The moment I realized I have been stonewalled for years, I realized that the jig was up and I had only one choice left. https://www.kylebenson.net/stonewalling/ I cannot stress enough the role that Attachment Styles and Communication come into play when it comes to healthy relationships. Here are a couple of sites that take a closer look at attachment theory and how people with C-PTSD have less social support. https://www.yourtango.com/2019329229/attachment-styles-that-affect-your-communication-skills-relationships https://sciworthy.com/people-with-complex-ptsd-report-less-social-support-than-those-with-ptsd/ Alexander Draghici, MS, LCPC, from e-counseling.com has come up with 20 things NOT to say to people with PTSD. E-Counseling is an online mental health resource for people seeking support, advice and a connection to a licensed counselor. https://www.e-counseling.com/ptsd/things-not-to-say-to-someone-with-ptsd/


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Episode 18: C-PTSD and Cannabis

Episode 18 C-PTSD and Cannabis Don’t Bogart that Joint My Friend March 4, 2021 Today I am going to share with you my 50+ year love affair with cannabis. I first began smoking cannabis in January 1970 and I never looked back. Beginning as freshman at Western Michigan and continuing through today. I have never tired of the experience of being under its influence. So, you might ask, “Why are you not smoking for the month of March?” I don’t have a big answer to that. It just seemed like a good thing to do at the time. Today is Day 4 of this cleansing which includes alcohol as well. I just wanted to see what would happen when I stop smoking and drinking for a month. I will keep you informed about my progress. Meanwhile, here are some websites that hopefully will expand you understanding of the impact of cannabis not just on me, but on society as well. I support the legalization of cannabis as well as the decriminalization of all recreational drugs. The war on drugs has reaped havoc on our society and disproportionately punished tens of thousands of innocent people who were simply trying to get through the day. Thanks for coming by and I hope you enjoy today’s episode. Let’s start off with an article that was published in High Times magazine. To no surprise this article is leaning towards the benefits of cannabis for those who’s lives are in turmoil due to PTSD and Complex PTSD. https://hightimes.com/health/treating-complex-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-c-ptsd-with-medical-cannabis/ Here’s the Wikipedia article for Cannabis Use and Trauma. There are many affiliated links available on this web page for further exploration of the relationship between cannabis and trauma. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_use_and_trauma In the Canadian publication The Conversation, they report on the positive impact that cannabis use has on people diagnosed with PTSD. Canada could soon be a leader in the research for the impact of cannabis on Complex PTSD as well. https://theconversation.com/cannabis-shows-potential-for-treating-ptsd-new-study-125370 Here’s an article from Psychology Today that points out a phenomenon that occurs with frequent use has on the brain and our natural occurring cannabinoid receptors in our brains. This was something I didn’t know about. It’s a very interesting read. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/healing-addiction/202006/how-cannabis-defeats-itself-when-used-too-frequently