I’ve been going through The PTSD Workbook by Mary Beth Williams, Ph.D. and Soili Poijula, Ph.D.
Perhaps you’ve already been diagnosed with PTSD. If not, and you suspect that you might have it, this is a great book to help you understand if you have PTSD. If you determine that you have all the symptoms, or if you already know you have PTSD, there is much to be gained from this book.
I surprised myself when I turned to pg. 42, and began reading about Constructing a Trauma Inventory. I thought I’d addressed all the traumas in my life. But going over the list of possible traumas, I was shocked to see how many I’ve actually experienced.
We know that multiple traumas can cause Complex PTSD. And of course, we now know that Complex PTSD can cause digestive problems, chronic pain, cardiopulmonary symptoms, and sexual symptoms. The body remembers trauma.
Here are just a few situations that may cause PTSD, from the list:
- Surviving a natural disaster
- Witnessing a natural death
- Witnessing a violent death
- Being in an automobile accident
- Surviving an assault or mugging
- Being exposed to war
- Being sexually abused as a child
It is important to try and remember the events that have predisposed oneself to PTSD. While it can be painful and distressing, it can also be the beginning of healing. The authors note that you have survived the traumas and you have used many positive character traits to do so.
Going over this list was very enlightening to me. I believe recovery from PTSD is a life-long challenge, but it also offers us a way to truly get to know ourselves. Making a trauma inventory helps us see where we’ve been, what we’ve endured, and lets us put it it all into perspective. I highly recommend this workbook.