Depression, Anxiety and Trauma

I have worked with some of the most complex trauma, some of the most profound depression, and some of the worst anxiety. People who have lost entire lives, families, people who haven't gotten out of bed or left the house for years, people who can barely go outside, and take 2-3 sessions of just breathing with me through abject panic before they are able to tell me a little about themselves.

 

One of the most common things I am asked in my practice is "will I ever get better?"

The answer is always yes.

Will you ever have the life you once had? No

Will you ever un-know what has happened to you? No

Will you ever feel the same way about certain people or places again? No

Will you ever look at the world the same way again? No

But you will get better. 

Christopher Robin said it best in Winnie the Pooh, "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

You have survived everything that has happened to you to date. You have been crushed by grief, defeat, shame. You have lost, had to move on, had to rebuild a thousand more times than you wanted to, but you have. The fact that you are here reading this is one of the greatest testaments to you.

I want you to think about your first breakup, or the first time you went to a new school or a new place? Do you remember the fear, the sadness, the complicated feelings you had in the moment? And yet, chances are some of those memories will make you smile (especially the breakups that happened in elementary, middle and high school).

Memories never leave us, but they can lose their power. It is their loss of power over you, and your empowerment to move forward with the new knowledge and experience you have that leads to "better."

What your better looks like is up to you, but here at Autumn Leaf, we will listen to your story, walk with you down the historical and painful paths, help you rebuild, reframe, and move on from what tried to destroy you. 

Depression, Anxiety and Trauma are a part of life, but they do not define it. Come get help. We're waiting for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redditor GSnow's advice on grief and loss, as reported by Upvoted

To read the article, please go to https://www.good.is/articles/best-comment-ever

Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents.


I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.

 

As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

 

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

 

Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.

 

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.

 Carilyn Ellis, PsyD, MSCP

3857 Wolverine Dr NE, Office C6

Salem, OR 97305

Phone: (503) 856-6430

Fax: (503) 877-1920  

Email: AutumnLeafTherapy@gmail.com

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