Parenting with Mental Illness: Patricia “PTSD Wifey” (Secondary PTSD)

Find out about parenting with secondary PTSD on bettysbattleground.com

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in the Pacific Northwest we are fully embroiled in Autumn. The air feels crisp, my daughters are noticing leaves changing colors, and the other day when I walked beneath a beautiful oak, I smelled that cool, mulchy scent that means Fall. Ahhhh…

Mid-October also means it’s time for this month’s Parenting with Mental Illness feature interview. On a side note, I’d love to hear from a dad one of these days. If you’re a father with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or another mental illness, please fill out the preliminary survey (that’s the PTSD link; if you need the general mental illness one, it’s on my guest post info page)!

Today’s feature is a mama who you may have seen around the PTSD blog community before. Patricia “PTSD Wifey” and I did a guest post exchange earlier this year. She wrote about secondary PTSD for Betty’s Battleground, and I wrote about PTSD nightmares for PTSD Wifey. Her blog also appeared on the recent Feedspot list of top 75 PTSD blogs, meaning three blogs that I’ve written on made the list 😉 She’s a vocal member of the PTSD community, and I am excited to present her interview today, in which she discusses her experiences with secondary PTSD, a lesser-known phenomenon that merits a ton more discussion.

Without further ado, let’s meet Patricia!

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Coping With PTSD Through Self-Harm

Learn how cutting myself helped combat dissociation and flashbacks-on bettysbattleground.com

Last week I published a research based article about 10 scientifically-backed reasons why humans self-harm. Today, I’m going to get a lot more personal. PTSD is an extremely difficult disorder to live with. Coping is a daily struggle. In the past year I have stabilized in a treatment program and made pretty big strides in my personal development. A few years ago, while living in Boulder, CO, I was introduced to mindfulness therapy. These therapies and supports have helped me come up with better coping mechanisms. Things like writing, exercise, reading, watching movies, yoga, mindful cooking or playing, and self care. But for a while, self-harm was one of my go-to coping tools.

Self-harm is a widely misunderstood phenomenon. Our social consciousness seems to center the discussion of self-harm around gothic teenage girls slashing their wrists for “attention.” I think that attention is hardly the goal of self-harm; most cutters or other type of self-harmers I’ve known have been very deliberate about hiding the evidence, but even if people are harming themselves for attention, I do not understand why that means we should not give it to them. Frankly, if one of my daughters started cutting herself in front of me for attention, I’d give it to her.

Anyway, a lot more people self-harm than black garbed teenagers, and self-harm has many more forms than cutting. The most prevalent forms of self-harm I have engaged in are cutting my body, and taking drugs. Drug addiction is a big massive subject in my life that’s gonna take way more than one post to discuss. This post is going to cover cutting as a form of coping with PTSD symptoms. I don’t believe in trigger warnings, because I have no idea what triggers you personally, but I’m telling you right now: THE SUBJECT OF THIS POST IS CUTTING. Take care of your own triggers and read wisely, please.

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Tales From The Other Side: Is PTSD Contagious?

Tales from the Other Side: A guest post series on www.bettysbattleground.com

Today’s guest post covers a topic that is not discussed often, especially within the PTSD community. Is PTSD contagious? Of course, in the common usage of the word “contagious,” it is not. PTSD is not a virus or a bacteria. You can’t get it from touching someone or breathing the same air as a trauma survivor. However, “witnessed PTSD” is a real phenomenon, one to which children are especially prone, but which anyone from any demographic can acquire.

This story is different even from that. Patricia Eden, or “PTSD Wifey,” as she prefers to be known, is a blogger and PTSD advocate who acquired PTSD after her husband experienced a direct trauma. Vicarious PTSD typically occurs when someone witnesses or hears about a highly disturbing trauma which someone close to them experienced. This wife claims, however, that she earned her diagnosis after a year of experiencing her husband’s PTSD symptoms. When I first heard this, I had a lot of questions. So I invited her to write this guest post.

The answer isn’t one that is easy for me to face. Earlier this week I explored the ways in which my mental health affects my family. My husband and I both have PTSD, and like anybody with PTSD, we both get triggered at times. My kids can share our air, our food, even our drinks without worry. But can they share our space when one of us gets triggered? When I read this essay, it made me realize all the more that we need more supports-not less-for parents with mental health conditions. We don’t deserve to have our children taken from us, but we do need reliefs and supports for our safety as well as our family’s.

PTSD Wifey discusses vicarious PTSD and its potential for contagion on bettysbattleground.comPatricia Eden is the voice behind PTSDWifey. She is a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife to an outstanding husband who is recovering from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and she has Vicarious PTSD. As the author of a unique blog written from the supportive partner’s perspective; PTSDWifey hopes to be an inspiration and a beacon of light for others affected by PTSD. She is working on registering as a non-profit to provide previously unavailable resources to families and individuals suffering from non-combat related PTSD & CPTSD. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and learn more about our invisible disease and find support, remission, and recovery! For more articles like this visit www.ptsdwifey.com  Don’t forget to say hello while you are there!

A guest post about vicarious PTSD

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