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PTSD and Me?

Nurses Stress 101 Article  
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Specializes in Wellness and Coaching for Women in their Third Act. Has 53 years experience.

Michelle Obama and Depression

It is a fact that more people other than front-line workers are under massive stress during these times.  I’ve been so focused on supporting the front-line that I forgot to pay attention to the rest of us.  That became a reality for me when a good friend, whom I have always perceived as a relaxed and fun guy shared that he was getting so depressed he finally went to the doctor to get some meds.  And then I heard that Michelle Obama is dealing with mild depression as well.

PTSD and Me?

These are her words of what she is experiencing.

  • Waking up in the middle of the night worrying
  • There’s a heaviness
  • Periods throughout this quarantine where I just have felt too low to exercise
  • Emotional highs and lows where you just don't feel yourself
  • Not fulfilling times, spiritually
  • Dealing with some form of low-grade depression
  • “Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.”

Michelle Obama suffering from 'low-grade depression': What is it and what are the symptoms?

This is from Michelle Obama - who is the picture of health and having it all together! So I needed to shift my thinking more globally to whom is at risk in general since current events have truly been a shock to the systems of all of us.

I now realize that this continuous exposure to negativity has led to a situation where everyone may be a candidate for PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Yes, it is not just for trauma victims and war veterans anymore. In my mind, we all have been traumatized to the max.

Check out this list of some signs of PTSD and see if you are at risk. Sometimes we don’t even know it until we put the signs front and center.

Are you troubled by the following?

  • You have experienced or witnessed a life-threatening event that caused intense fear, helplessness, or horror. (Pandemic)
  • Negative beliefs about oneself, others and the world and about the cause or consequences of the event
  • Feeling detached from other people
  • Inability to feel positive emotions
  • Persistent negative emotional state
  • Problems sleeping
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Problems concentrating
  • Feeling "on guard"

Here is the link to the screening tool from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America .

Of course, I am not assuming you have PTSD. I am only interested in sharing the signs so we can take action. “Knowledge is Power”. And as a first line of defense, I’m always in favor of stepping up “self-care” strategies before taking medication. One strategy that I have been using to manage stress for years is Tapping or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). I am amazed at the power of this simple tool and how it can bring down my stress level almost immediately and help me feel more relaxed and in control. So if you feel like you are on the path to PTSD, this might be a great tool to try first.

Here is what Tapping is all about

A combination of two therapies. From eastern medicine, you tap on acupressure points or meridians which unblocks stuck energy and allows it to flow freely again. From western medicine, you talk through issues while making positive statements while you tap.

This is a powerful tool for dealing with stress-overload. Here are just a few results from an extensive listing of tapping research studies.Tapping Solution - Science, Data, & Research.pdf

  • Cortisol Reduced by 24% After One Hour of EFT Tapping
  • Burnout in health care workers dramatically reduced by EFT Tapping. 4-hours of EFT Tapping produced a significant reduction in psychological distress, pain, and food cravings. Symptom severity and breadth improved by an average of 45%.
  • EFT Tapping Treatment Reduces PTSD Symptoms by 52% in Veterans
  • Healing After Natural Disaster: EFT Tapping Treatment Reduces PTSD to Subclinical Levels After 2 Days
  • Study shows EFT Tapping is a Fast, Long-Lasting Treatment for Anxiety. 76% of Patients Treated with EFT Experienced Complete Remission & Brain Scans Confirm Changes

So my gift to you is an EFT video I made for you to practice

Before you start, sit comfortably, get quiet, slow down your breathing, and assess your level of stress from 0 (no stress) to 10 (mega stress).

At the end, you will do the assessment again to see if you have lowered your stress level.

I have also attached a document of the script I used when making this video.

My hope is that this tool will make a difference for you and that you will share this with others. We all need to take just a few minutes each day to ground ourselves in self-care strategies that work because the turmoil of the life we are living today is not going away very soon. Please share what you are doing to keep your stress level down.


More resources

FREE interviews, tapping routines, meditations

Research and training

Tapping for Stress Relief - script and points.docx

Carol Ebert has 53 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Wellness and Coaching for Women in their Third Act.

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3 Comment(s)

I am grateful that nursing has included awareness for depression and PTSD for our soldiers. A specialized population that we have the privilege to serve. At work, morale is down, call outs are high, and they probably share several of the aforementioned symptoms.

Just my 2 cents here, but meridians, chakras, acupuncture, etc. in general are clinically disproven pseudoscience.

The only reason techniques like this or grounding work is because tactile sensation takes predominance over more evolved thought processes, and the disorder thereof. Tactile feedback equates survival from an evolutionary standpoint. You could just as easily break cyclical thought by burning your hand, but medication and cognitive behavioral therapy are a better and clinically proven effective treatment for reconfiguring dysfunctional neural pathways and their resultant behaviors.

I have chronic severe complex ptsd. People should get help before it spins out of control.

Edited by damianus

Carol Ebert, MSN, RN

Specializes in Wellness and Coaching for Women in their Third Act. Has 53 years experience.

On 8/14/2020 at 12:16 AM, damianus said:

Just my 2 cents here, but meridians, chakras, acupuncture, etc. in general are clinically disproven pseudoscience.

The only reason techniques like this or grounding work is because tactile sensation takes predominance over more evolved thought processes, and the disorder thereof. Tactile feedback equates survival from an evolutionary standpoint. You could just as easily break cyclical thought by burning your hand, but medication and cognitive behavioral therapy are a better and clinically proven effective treatment for reconfiguring dysfunctional neural pathways and their resultant behaviors.

I have chronic severe complex ptsd. People should get help before it spins out of control.

I am in favor is trying all modalities of healing to see what works the best. based on what your philosophy might me. As a nurse of course I tried the medical model interventions for my chronic headaches like drugs and counseling but didn't get relief because it was due to stress. My wise counselor suggested biofeedback which started bringing relief as well as other relaxation strategies. And when I found Tapping it really brought me instant relief within minutes. I am a person that would rather rely on self-care strategies than to always resort to drugs.

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