Triggers and the Hangover

Most people know what a hangover feels like: headaches, dizziness, sickness, a sense of a hazy existence. Some claim to have their personal “cures”- mine happens to be complaining to the wife and hating the world around me.

Although, traditional ‘morning after night’ hangover is different in symptoms of psychiatric discontent, in my experience there is little different in the body’s response to a long night out.

I’m speaking specifically about complex post – traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), because this is what I know, but I’m sure this is something people who live in all sorts of conditions of mental health experience.   I heard before that the word “adrenaline hangover” and I understand that there is something similar here. 

An adrenaline hangover is often experienced after you have produced a fight or a flight response — a panic attack, a trigger, an “episode,” extreme stress, etc. It is like you are someone who has severe anxiety and spends the day doing something emotionally tiring or hard for you, and then you experience reservoir-like symptoms afterwards. I think that a C-PTSD hangover is at least somewhat different for me. Doing something that makes me anxious is quite different from experiencing a C-PTSD trigger response.

Often, I can get in touch with a trigger, heal easily, and be OK within a few minutes, and sometimes it can affect me for days. It’s sometimes just a reaction, a physical and emotional response, and then a recovery, but often a reaction, a response, and then a feeling that some sort that positivity has been drained out of you for days to come. I have known it to last weeks.

It’s a constant reminder of your pain, and it leaves you in a state of everything your body does to respond to it, which can make it very hard to get back to your day-to-day life when you’ve undergone a stimulus.

Social Isolation

The other evening, I was talking to my wife, when she asked me, ” Have you been out of the house today”? Not a hard question to answer… or so I thought. I sat there and said, no not today and we continued on discussing something that one of the kids did earlier that day at school.

That simple question, had me thinking, ” when was the last time, I left the house in order to engage in some form of meaningful interaction with the world around me”. Please don’t get me wrong,  I do  go to school a few days out of the week and I also take my kids to practices and attend my weekly counseling session. Yet, I could not recall the last time, I had left the house to go and do something that wasn’t “mandated” in the rule book of adulting. At this particular time, I believe it was going on two weeks. Two weeks of no true interactions with others, besides my family. Two weeks of basically moving from one safe area to another… Two weeks? No, it couldn’t be long, could it?

Social withdrawal is avoiding people and activities you would usually enjoy. For some people, this can progress to a point of social isolation, where you may even want to avoid contact with family and close friends and just be by yourself most of the time.

Maketheconnection.com
https://maketheconnection.net/symptoms/social-withdrawal

Left unchecked, social withdrawal or isolation can lead to or be associated with depression and suicidal ideology. A side effect of isolated oneself is loneliness. This occurs when a person feels they are isolated and where there is a difference between the social relationships they have compared to the social relationships they want.  Social isolation is an impartial judgement that somebody’s social relations and social networks are lacking.

When you find yourself demonstrating antisocial behavior, it’s important to:

  • Address what’s causing you to want to be alone.
  • Reach out to your friends or family members even though it may be the last thing you feel like doing. Research shows that spending time talking with family or friends improves your mood and has a positive effect on health.
  • Connect with Veterans’ groups or participate in clubs or hobbies focused on something you enjoy.

Southern California Veterans Coalition is based on three pillars of healing, Communication, Education and Socialization. We understand the danger in veterans isolating themselves and falling into the abyss of depression. In order to combat this issue, we hold veteran events, educational seminars and opportunities, with support to help their local communities and have get back to doing the things they enjoy in life.

If you are a veteran or you know of a veteran, who is showing signs of withdrawing and isolating themselves, please contact Southern California Veterans Coalition because we have been there and we understand.

Five Coping Strategies For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be far-reaching and debilitating. The symptoms of PTSD can have a detrimental impact on your mental health, physical health, work, and relationships. You may feel isolated, have trouble maintaining a job, be unable to trust other people, and have difficulty controlling or expressing their emotions. Even though you may feel as if you have fallen into a dark hole of depression, anger, and frustrations. 

“’ People with PTSD are six times as likely as someone without PTSD to attempt suicide. High rates of deliberate self-harm have also been found among people with PTSD.” 

Matthew Tull, PHD;Coping With PTSD; VeryWellMind.com;2019
https://www.verywellmind.com/coping-with-ptsd-2797536

By Learning healthy strategies for coping with PTSD is possible and can offer a sense of renewal, hope and control over your life. 

We will be going over 5 individual coping skills that follow under emotional and physical and social coping skills.

Emotional and Physical Coping Strategies

1. Practice Mindfulness

Just beginning with one or two minutes per day of quiet mindfulness can feel like a victory. The goal of that time is to stay focused on the present without any threat of fear or judgment. Gradually add more time as you go, offering yourself moments to experience a sense of calm and learn how to balance yourself if you begin to feel overwhelmed or anxious.

2. Exercise

Research has shown that physical exercise can help our brains better cope with stress.4

In fact, psychologists suggest that just a 10-minute walk per day can offer benefit to our mood and help to relieve anxiety and depression. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get started.

Matthew Tull, PHD;Coping With PTSD; VeryWellMind.com;2019
https://www.verywellmind.com/coping-with-ptsd-2797536
  • Find an activity you enjoy
  • Set small goals
  • Be consistent
  • Listen to music or podcasts while you exercise
  • Ask a friend to join you
  • Be patient with yourself
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Make sure to dress for the weather

3. Participate in Counseling

Having a trained person available to offer support and guidance in your recovery is a key element to long-term success. Find someone you feel comfortable with, that you find trustworthy and knowledgeable, and be consistent in attending your sessions.

Social Coping Strategies

4. Spending Time With Others

Spending time with supportive friends and family can make a significant difference in your mood and outlook. 

 It can be helpful for all parties—both you and your loved ones—to have time to spend together. Some ways to spend time with others can include things like:

  • Going for a walk
  • Have morning coffee
  • Play a card game
  • Talk on the phone
  • Share funny stories

If you don’t feel ready to talk yet, you can also sit quietly in the same room to read a book or the newspaper. Simply sharing the same space quietly can feel comforting. 

5. Educate Yourself and Others

Educating yourself on the symptoms and treatment, it is important to seek out safe people to connect with who can support you in your recovery journey. By learning about the condition, you can have the words to more clearly explain to others what is happening for you and ask for what you need.

The Importance of Self-Care

People all have different requirements for self-care, but in general, the goals of self-care are to find a state of good mental and physical health, reduce stress, meet emotional needs, maintain one’s  relationships, both romantic and platonic, and find a balance between one’s personal and academic or professional relationships.

Meeting one’s own needs tends to make a person more able to help and support others and, generally speaking, to obtain more happiness, and fulfillment from life. In order to facilitate your own healthy routine to make sure your needs are met, it can be helpful to develop a self – care plan centered on :

  • Physical Self
  • Mental Self
  • Spiritual Self
Self-Care Motivation

Filling In the Cracks, By Being Our Own Advocates

“According to a Washington Post report, 19 suicides occurred on VA property between October 2017 and November 2018.”

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/three-veterans-in-five-days-die-by-suicide-at-va-facilities-1.576761

Is it not bad enough that our nation’s veterans are killing themselves at a reported rate 0f 20 plus a day? Is it not bad enough that veterans seeking and asking for assistance are being told to wait months on end until they can get an appointment? Is it not bad enough that our nations veterans are falling through the cracks?


11% of the homeless adult population are veterans.

National Coalition For Homeless Veterans

http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics/#facts


It takes more than doing ice bucket challenge or 22 push-ups, yes, these viral phenomena bring awareness to the issues, but they only last for a second or until the next viral sensation arrives. It is up to us, in the veteran community to use our stories, use our selfless service and our leadership skills in order to advocate for ourselves. 

 “According to the latest VA data, 20 veterans die by suicide every day. Of those deaths, 14 are not receiving VA health care.”

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/three-veterans-in-five-days-die-by-suicide-at-va-facilities-1.576761

There are numerous veteran organizations, charities and non-profits that have made it their mission to provide the support and structure for veterans to come together, share that sense of comradery and begin to take their lives back. These organizations and the people who run them all share in the creed of, “You are Never Alone”, and where the Department of Veteran Affairs fails you, we as a community will be there to help fill those cracks. 


A simple gesture, can go a long way.


The best thing about helping a fellow veteran is that you don’t have to be affiliated to any organization to do so, all it takes is some empathy, understanding and the willingness to just sit there and listen. It may be as simple as sending a text or calling that friend or battle buddy that you haven’t spoken to in a while, or that simple look, that makes them know that you understand. So many of our veteran brothers and sisters are falling between the cracks and is up to all of us to fill seal those cracks.

If you are a veteran or know of a veteran in need or is looking to make a connection please contact us at  socalveteranscoalition@gmail.com or socalvetcoalition.org 


The Headspace and Timing Podcast

Headspace refers to the bolt and cartridge case of the round for the M2 .50 caliber machine gun being in alignment. If they are not in alignment could be potentially catastrophic to the gunner and would also put one of the biggest battlefield assets out of the fight. Timing refers to the adjustment of the gun to ensure that the firing takes place when the gun is recoiling. Both are imperative for the gun to work properly.

Angry Staff Officer
Point of Decision

We plan on discussing randomly chosen blog topics that will be featured on our site in regards to the veteran lifestyle, resources, history, education and laws that may affect them and their families. Just like the M2.50 if our headspace is not aligned with the rest of ourselves, then we are out of the fight.

Follow the link to our first installment of The Headspace and Timing Podcast. We reviewed last week’s blog article, To Address the Veteran Suicide Crises, We Must Acknowledge it’s History.

https://podomatic.com/embed/html5/episode/9554688?autoplay=false&#8217; height=’208′ width=’504’frameborder=’0′ marginheight=’0′ marginwidth=’0′ scrolling=’no’ allowfullscreen></iframe>

To Address the Veteran Suicide Crises, We Must Acknowledge it’s History

In 2018, 33-year-old American Marine veteran Justin Miller died by suicide in the parking lot of the very organization he had turned to for help. After four days in the Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital, Miller had been released and immediately took his own life. Between October 2017 and November 2018, 18 additional suicides were recorded on VA campuses around the country. As recently as Aug. 7, 2019, another veteran took his own life in a VA parking lot.

Simon Harold Walker, ”To. Address the Veteran Suicide Crisis, We Must Acknowledge it’s History”,Time Magazine, 2019
https://time.com/5670036/veteran-suicide-history/
TIME

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