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 that I keep running into: What is the difference between healed and cured? What does it mean to be cured? What are the other stages that lead up to it?
How are they like? And how do I know? Since this seems to be a place of confusion and rather important for those recovering - I thought it was long overdue we tackle this topic. So let us talk about it.
It is incredible how much false information, lack of information and misdirections are there for PTSD - for something that is around for so long that is really surprising. Especially with war putting an acknowledged spotlight on it.
This is one of the more surprising ones on my end. But I also know that this nightmare of an illness tries to take any hope from you and often you can’t even imagine life without it anymore.
So what is the light at the end of the tunnel? The silver lining? That is what we will get into this episode - and the stages before how they look like.
I want to add before we start, that this applies to EVERY PTSD you have. They can have different states independently from another or depending on another.
We will go through the stages and we start with hidden, then we continue with uncontrolled, contained, healed and - finally - cured.
The first stage is the hidden one, as where you have PTSD but don’t have really any of the symptoms. You have avoidance behavior to keep you save from triggers and other symptoms. But you often notice weird symptoms.
Maybe you even notice that you have memory gaps. There is also the case that you might have absolutely no emotions regarding the trigger core. You might suspect something, but since you can still avoid it, you most likely will.
This usually gets skipped if the cause for Trauma was an extreme life event.
The second stage is that your symptoms are uncontrolled, usually happens after PTSD fully broke out. Which means they happen randomly and you are unable to contain them and living life is barely possible.
Often this leads to more and more of an escalation of these symptoms. It is simply put - the illness without check and bounds, where a healing progression is not really possible, without containing the illness first.
As therapy tends to make things unstable for a bit and furthers escalation in the uncontrolled stage. It is of utmost importance to control the situation as much as possible as soon as possible - be it with help from someone else or by yourself.
The third stage is that your symptoms are contained, you still got them, but you got it mostly under control. Often this is achieved via medications. There is also barely any escalation of your symptoms, but they are slowly getting worse usually.
You can manage your day mostly, best with help of course, and know when to expect symptoms and the like. This state is the minimum necessary for therapy. Most are in this stage - in my experience so far.
The fourth stage is that your symptoms are healed, which means no longer symptoms. Finally! This is the point where most people stop therapy and are the lucky ones. This stage you can gain relatively easily if the trauma is small enough.
Though often these people find themselves gliding back into PTSD, getting sometimes symptoms or relapsing. That is because the illness is still there - it just no longer has noticeable symptoms. It is almost like you went back to the first stage - the hidden one.
On a side note, when you need to take medications and still have symptoms, you are NOT healed you are in the third stage contained, unlike some believe.
The fifth stage and the final one is cured. This is the stage where you don’t fall back, it doesn’t come back and so on. But where is the difference? Well, the difference is, that the topic has become a neutral one for you. It doesn’t really bother you anymore.
If you can talk about the core of the trauma like you can talk about the weather, then you are most likely cured. It doesn’t affect you anymore. Not saying that if you relive the memories that you won’t relive the stress about that moment, but that is it.
Though it is of UTMOST importance that what you feel is easy and relaxedness and not no emotions. No emotions means your brain shut off the memory to avoid getting harmed. The key emotions are being at peace and at ease.
Which does not mean that you think it is okay what happened - under no circumstances. It just means - to put it bluntly - you just don’t give a fuck anymore. Similar of how seeing an ex, even if the relationship went badly, shouldn’t faze you.
Seeing them after many years should just make you go “oh… it’s ex” or if it was a nasty breakup “oh… it’s insert-insult-name-here ex” and then you continue with your life undisturbed.
Which is the same aim we have for our PTSD - for it to be a thing of the past that is basically forgotten.
That was it for todays episode, I hope you found it helpful. Hope you are safe and well. And as always, 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.