Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about something quite overdue: What do I do after I got my diagnosis? What am I supposed to do now? There isn’t really an instruction manual for that. Many just know they need therapy.
After receiving the diagnosis many are left clueless what to do next, which leaves them vulnerable and confused, which is why I wanted talk about it.
I have to admit I kinda jumped over this point, because it was an non-issue for me. I knew what I had to do. Though I ran immediately into the problem that most people run into: I couldn’t get into therapy.
Even though I had the advantage that I knew what was wrong and what I needed - I didn’t get any. I was long term - therefor I didn’t get a spot. I kept contacting centers until I contacted the university clinic.
They agreed, if I allowed a student to therapy me. Which was fine with me, as I knew I was quite knowledgeable and just needed pointers. Which she provided. Sadly most aren’t as lucky as I was.
It is hard to find someone who truly knows what to do with severe trauma. Which leaves many just out of the loop and not knowing where to turn to. Doing nothing or worse fall prey to predators.
I was surprised why my episode “PTSD and its symptoms” was in such high demand - until I realized how bigger this problem was than I thought. Which changed my perspective - and plans - entirely.
So let us get into the first steps.
The first and most important step is to clear your schedule. Check everything you do and check if you REALLY have to do it. I mean EVERYTHING.
There is a lot of things we do because we do them. We had so far no reason to stop doing them - but now you received a serious diagnosis - so it is now time to pull the ripcord. Now is the time for pragmatism.
The faster you do that - the faster you get a good footing. Of course you are not supposed to kick out everything that isn’t essential like eating or sleeping. It IS important to have moments of joy and success moments.
But first we must clear our schedule from anything that we don’t need to survive… and then check those things IF we need to do them or so often or if we can do something more effective instead or the like.
It is very helpful to make a list of the non-survival things and rank them in their value and how much you need them. If possible use it to combine or find better alternatives.
It is crucial to free the schedule as much as you can.
The clearing the schedule serves multiple purposes. One of them is to get energy. You are most likely running on your last reserves and you need all the energy you can get. Even if you are still in a good spot.
It WILL get worse. The healing process is enormously energy consuming - so the more you have the better you heal. And getting energy while you are healing is a difficult process - so it is better not to rely on it.
Energy will be your most important factor to manage - as it is the factor that decided success, speed and smoothness of the healing process. And it will be your safety cushion in case something goes bad.
You need to free up as much as you can so you have as much of it as possible at your disposal. As soon as your brain has enough energy it will start the healing process and try to tackle the issue.
See the energy as your troops, any knowledge you gain regarding the topic is their Intel and the more energy - the better they are equipped. So the more energy, the more likely the success and the smoother it will be.
Cut out potential threats
Second step is to cut out all potential threats - at least for now. It is unwise to keep ignoring your triggers and the like, but at the start - when you have no idea what is going on - it is better to cut them out of your life.
That can be people, media, books, areas, cars - anything really. Regarding people I just want to say: Just because you cut them out for now, doesn’t mean you can’t rekindle or continue your relationship with them.
It is important to create a safe zone - as in a zone where you are safe from threats - and the like - to your mental health. It is important to note that this zone is meant as TEMPORARY shelter.
If you try to stay in the safe zone it will get over time smaller and smaller. This place is meant to catch your breath before you go at it again. This is just to counter your strong vulnerability due to this illness.
Last - but not least - step is to get help. That doesn’t just refers to professional help. This can be a chat group you regularly in or a gaming group you play with … anything really that helps your situation.
Getting help is a great thing - I know for many this will hardly be their reality - but see if there isn’t a way you can get help besides a therapist. Be it books, groups, self-help-whatever or the like.
Every bit that helps is a good thing - but be careful that there aren’t any strings attached. You belong now to a vulnerable target group - which means you are getting preyed upon. So be very careful.
Good friends are always a wonderful thing, but especially now they can be invaluable. Otherwise I can only recommend pets. Careful though with accepting help that has an unknown price. The vulnerable and desperate ones have always been the main target for vultures. Be careful, watch yourselves and take very good care of yourself.
That was it for todays episode. Hope you are all are safe and well. As usual, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast, information regarding therapy you can find under johannadraconis.com/Therapy and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.