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From the pen of a 40 + year old survivor of childhood abuse. She is being treated with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

“It has been interesting uncovering the damage to an 8 year old psyche and its impact on the present. I admit it has been unsettling having what I thought was “a slightly rougher than normal childhood” to a very destructive experience. So much lost time and opportunities to be forward looking and happy. I feel that I am grieving again for a lost childhood and happiness only this time for the right reasons. It is a more peaceful grieving if there is such a thing, much less anger and unsettled feelings. I am letting go of internal blame for not being someone’s twisted version of perfect. The EMDR has helped the logic process it through. I thank you for not suggesting that I have to forgive or “get closure” with my family. That would not be productive. There is no hope that things would change. If there was any chance for changes to occur, it would have happened years ago before I walked away. Her instability is so profound that it takes precedence to saving any possible family bond. I can understand what has happened to her in her own childhood, the glimmers of reality that became evident as I grew up. I do not forgive her decisions but I let go of their impact and control over me. Is that the same thing? Probably, but the word forgiveness is not something I care to use with my childhood. The road ahead looks more peaceful, and perhaps there will even be a small piece of joy to be had.”

Are you interested in learning more about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy? Contact me today for more information.


Healing Depression

If you have been subjected to sexual abuse in the past or recently, you may suffer from a variety of symptoms, depression being one of them.

Depression may exhibit itself in various ways. Symptoms may include low self-esteem, changes in your sleeping habits, weight loss or gain, anxiety, mood swings, failure to enjoy the things you used to, changes in your sex drive, decreased energy levels, a sense of being numb, feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, and a general lack of interest in life.

If you suffer from depression due to sexual abuse, you may feel that the abuse has changed you and your identity Perhaps you feel that the abuse has “spoiled” you and you will never be the same again. The future may look dim.

The key thing to remember when you are feeling depressed is that any of the above symptoms are a normal reaction to abuse – and with the right kind of help, they can be overcome.

If you can't lift yourself out of your depression, seek help from a therapist and/or a doctor. Click To Tweet

Depression affects people differently, and thus, different types of treatment may be prescribed by your therapist, depending on the severity of your depression.

Counselling & Techniques

Counselling can help you alleviate depression and help you better cope with the negativity in your thought patterns. There are now a number of research-proven techniques such as EMDR that can be very effective for resolving depression and other symptoms related to sexual abuse.

In addition to counselling, having supportive people in your life to talk to can also be helpful. Apart from friends and relatives, there may be support groups in your area that you can seek out.

Exercise & Meditation

You may be advised to exercise because it helps increase the amount of endorphins in your body. Exercise can also give you an opportunity to feel better about yourself and your body, and perhaps give you a chance to interact with people. Mindfulness meditation has also been shown to be very effective for depression. In some circumstances, a doctor may prescribe medication to help you overcome your depression.

What works for one person may not for another. The most important thing is that you seek help and keep trying methods until you find out what works best for you.

Over time, you will find a treatment that can help you successfully overcome depression.


How to Overcome PTSD After a Traumatic Experience

If you’ve had a traumatic experience that has lead to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) you may wonder if your symptoms will ever go away. You may feel like you are living a nightmare and may never be the same again. The traumatic experience may have occurred in your early life or adulthood. It might have been a one-time event, or it could have been a series of recurring events.

Common causes of trauma leading to PTSD are abuse, accidents, natural disasters, etc.

Common Symptoms of PTSD After Trauma

After a traumatic event, it is common to “relive” the traumatic event when a reminder of the situation confronts you. You may feel guarded, easily startled, and irritated. You may avoid people and places that stir up the memories. Perhaps you isolate yourself from people and you may feel numb. You may have trouble sleeping or eating. You may feel insecure and out of sorts much of the time.

Thankfully, there are a number of treatment methods in the psychotherapy field that are extremely effective at providing relief of PTSD symptoms. These methods are well researched and based on the latest brain science. They can often be used in conjunction with one other.

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

EMDR is one of the most researched backed techniques for resolving PTSD and trauma. It works on the level of how the brain processes memories. The technique can often quickly resolve troublesome symptoms including disturbing emotions and body sensations associated with the traumatic event.

After repeated EMDR sessions, the memories and associated feelings and body sensations lose their intensity and eventually are no longer “triggered” when you are reminded of the event.

Mindfulness Therapy

Mindfulness Therapy allows you to focus on the present, and to accept your feelings and emotions as they are—without judgment. You allow your feelings to flow through you without getting caught up in them.

As you as practice mindfulness regularly, your awareness improves and your response to situations that remind you of the traumatic event lesson. The symptoms of trauma that are locked in your nervous system are gradually released.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a popular form of therapy that is used to help resolve many problems, including depression, anxiety and PTSD. It involves examining negative and often irrational thoughts and replacing them with more positive ones. CBT also has a great body of research proving its effectiveness.

These and other methods of therapy have all been shown to be effective at reducing and healing symptoms of PTSD. A therapist can help determine what the best approach is for you.