Kathy’s Place

{July 25, 2007}   The National Center for PTSD

The National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) aims to advance the clinical care and social welfare of U.S. Veterans through research, education and training on PTSD and stress-related disorders. This site is an educational resource on PTSD and traumatic stress, for veterans and also for mental health care providers, researchers and the general public.



13 Bodacious Ways to Be Nice to Yourself

Just as there was a time when “google” was not a verb, there was also a time when “bodacious” was not a word. It is said that bodacious is a blend of “bold” and “audacious” created in British English dialect late in the nineteenth century.

So, print out this blog and save it for one of those days when you need to find bold and audacious ways to be nice to yourself. Yes, I believe that we can master our emotions, and that we can shift our default positions and become healthy. And I also know that we’ll always have days when – no matter how hard we try – trying hard won’t do it. On such days, the best thing to do is to just give in and be really nice to us. Tomorrow we will thrive because of today’s kindness.

Here are 13 bodacious ways to be nice to yourself:

1- Decide that you’re going to be nice to yourself for the next __________ hours

The worst thing you can do is say, “Yea. Hmm. I’m feeling frantic. I should be nice to myself. That’d be good. Maybe I’ll try something. But first let me just check my email…” This will most likely perpetuate the frantic. The best thing you can do is to decide that for the next hour or five, you’re going to be exquisitely nurturing. You’re going to let everything stop, and you’re going to be nice to yourself. This decision is the fierce mothering part of you that steps in and begins the nurturing. The wimpy wavering email-checking part of you is the addicted unhealthy part.

2 – Get a pedicure

Visit one of the places at the strip malls. Sit in the rumbly chairs that don’t really do much but shake up your intestines. Bring your iPod and listen to music. Flip through stupid magazines to see if Paris is back in jail. It’s not exactly a spa. But in some ways it’s more fun. Spas can just be so much pressure!

3 – Buy something at full price

We make ourselves tired trying to save money in every last area of our lives. The amount of energy we waste on trying to get “deals” is not worth it much of the time. If you see something you love, then get it. I’m convinced that we’d all be so much happier and wealthier if we just got exactly what we loved without looking at the price tag and wasting time constantly looking for sales.

4 – Give away ten dollars

Yesterday I walked around town with my friend Suzi. We passed two women sitting on a bench, and one of them said, “Do you have a quarter?” Suzi, being the most generous person I know, instantly took out her wallet. The woman said, “How ’bout a five?” And Suzi laughed and said, “Hey, the price just keeps going up doesn’t it?” And she gave the woman a ten. She didn’t struggle with it. She just acted on her belief in abundance and wealth. (And Suzi is quite wealthy, I might add.) It was a joyful moment for me to witness the wide-eyed pleasure that these women got from getting a gift so huge. In an abundant and exciting world, giving is getting.

5 – Take a nap

Favorite thing: I climb into bed for a nap in the middle of the day. Within minutes comes the soft ploop of cat paws on the cover. I can almost hear the cat thoughts: Hmm. The human has decided to lie quietly. I’d like to take part. Then the paws walk all around me until they find the very best spot for settling. A few more minutes will pass. Then the next set of paws. And the same routine. Of course, eventually the dog has to get in on the action. This crams up the whole bed. But it makes me smile every time. And it makes for a happy community nap. Naps are necessary.

6 – Swing on a swing

I love swings. Any time I find a swing, I swing on it. My favorite swing these days hangs by long ropes from a big oak tree on the campus of Warren Wilson College. I go there just to swing on that swing. It always makes me happy. Who cares if you look or feel stupid? Adults can be so boring. Teach them that they don’t have to be.

7 – Jump on your kid’s trampoline (Or on your friends’ kid’s trampoline)

I was at a cocktail party a month ago. The adults were up on the deck watching the little kids jump on the trampoline. At one point, all the kids ran inside to do something. I put down my wine, kicked off my shoes and ran for the trampoline. Two other women joined me. We laughed and jumped for about 15 minutes. It was the most fun I had all week.

8 – Have no more than 2 items on your to-do list

I found a to-do list of mine from many years ago, stuffed in one of my writing notebooks. It had 32 items on it. I read through them, stunned at my insanity. I’ve come to realize that a day should have no more than one or two priorities for completion. When you get those two items done, congratulate yourself, and be happy.

9 – Order food to be delivered

I’m committed to health and eating mostly vegan. And I love preparing meals. But some weeknights, it’s just necessary to let someone else do the cooking. I’m lucky to have a great delivery service in my town. I don’t mind the extra expense if it allows me a night of no clean up, and a little extra time to write.

10 – Take a long walk with your dog

Many people get home from work and march their dogs around the block with a grim look on their face. It’s just another to-do item checked off the list. Take your dog for a long happy walk. It’s fun to see the delight and presence of a dog on a walk. It will absolutely lift your spirits. In these long days, my husband and I take the dog out to the farm at Warren Wilson College every night. She tries to play with the chickens and the horses. Occasionally she gets so excited that she runs in circles. (She’s part border collie.) And I get to watch fireflies and chew on mint leaves. I cherish those moments.

11 – Get on a prayer list

12 – Read a fun mystery

Part of the pleasure of going to the beach is that we allow ourselves the happiness of lounging around reading stuff that we wouldn’t be caught dead reading on the subway. Why is that? Are we so married to our egos that we’d rather not be happy in our everyday lives? In Janet Evanovich’s book How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, a reader poses a question. The reader asks Janet how she stays upbeat all the time. Janet’s answer is that she only reads and watches happy things. It was so matter-of-factly-unpretentious that I stopped in my tracks. I’m so used to artists and best-selling authors putting up such a front about their reading habits. And it’s refreshing to hear someone say, “Hey, I like to read happy things. I refuse to read dark stuff. Enough said.” (If you need a fun place to start, try somthing by Carl Hiaasen. Like Skinny Dip.)

13 – Step AWAY from the computer

Everyone needs a break from email and search engine blah-blah, and blogs. (Yes, even this one!) Don’t include your computer in any of these activities. I promise, your computer won’t take it personally! (Neither will this blog.)

{July 25, 2007}   101 Things To Do in 1001 Days


My 101: (*Monthly Items are listed in Red so I can remember!)
1. Acquire a better-paying job
2. Acquire a creative job that makes me happy
3. Spend a lazy week in Falmouth, MA on the Cape by myself or with a s/o
4. Clean out my car (7/4/07)
5. Find Mr. Right
6. Get engaged ( + or – married) to Mr. Right
7. Get pregnant after married to Mr. Right
8. Save & maintain $1,000 in my savings account
9. Meet 3 online friends in person (0/3)
10. Buy new glasses
11. Buy my own home
12. Get a massage every month (1/30)
13. Have a great 30th birthday (7/4/07)
14. Finish counseling with a clean slate (7/07)
15. Buy Morgan & Chris their much overdue Wedding Gift
16. Visit Uncle Fred, Michelle D, & The Keysors in FL
17. Send out 1 Make a Child Smile gift a month (0/30)
18. Do Blogathon 2007
19. Visit Tiffany in Boston
20. Attend a wedding
21. Do Blogathon 2008
22. Visit Amy S., wherever she happens to be living
23. Teach Lola to shake
24. Get a passport
25. Return to the Caribbean
26. Keep a plant alive for a year (new plant 7/4/07 to ?)
27. Get some old pictures blown up & reprinted for my parents, bro, and Dottie
28. Create 30 pieces of art or poetry (0/30)
29. Speak at one survivor event
30. Send my Parent Pal 1 gift/card a month (0/30)
31. Be a Christmas Elf in Dec. 2007
32. Be a Christmas Elf in Dec. 2008
33. Buy art from Leah at Blue Tree Gallery
34. Commission a watercolor/ink painting of Maisie & Lola from Pugcasso (cost–$85)
35. Buy myself something off my amazon wishlist 5 times (0/5)
36. See the remaining Top 50 Indie Movies from IMDB (13/50)
37. Send 5 meaningful hand-written letters via usps (2/5) (dad, emmi & jon)
38. Learn 29 #’s of Pi (don’t ask)
39. Get my wisdom teeth taken out
40. Learn basic Spanish
41. Read at least 50 books (0/50)
42. Have dinner with my College Friends
43. Have professional headshots taken
44. Write my parents a letter thanking them for everything they’ve done for me
45. Finish 2006 City Taxes that I keep forgetting to do!
46. Finish my Purple Journal so that there are no blank pages left
47. Share purple journal with someone who will understand the importance of what’s inside
48. Compile my journals/notebooks into some kind of a loose-knit memoir
49. Do NanoWriMo in November 2007 & “Win”
50. List my nice, yet unused, clothing on craigslist
51. Get a front-end alignment on my car
52. Get my brakes checked, oil changed, & tires rotated
53. Get a flat screen monitor
54. Finish writing this list (7/5/07)
55. List all read & non-keepable books on Paperback Swap (7/23/07)
56. Recruit more members for TBC
57. Perform in a musical
58. Perform in a play
59. Visit Heather, Chris, Topher, & CLOC friends in NYC
60. Attend a concert
61. Attend a Broadway musical
62. Do something nice for myself on 2/15 (0/2)
63. Go to the zoo so I can see the Manatees
64. Meet at least 1 of my “cancer warriors” (like Eden)
65. Meet the Thomas Team in person
66. Teach a dance class
67. Visit Leffingwell House Museum (my heritage) in Norwich, CT
68. Participate in a Make-A-Wish Foundation event
69. Buy an entire TV series on DVD
70. In the winter, spend a night in a nice hotel with a pool & order room service
71. Spend a weekend in a bed & breakfast with my s/o
72. Attend a dinner theatre performance
73. Research my family history/geneology on both sides
74. Finish whitening my teeth
75. Make a homemade Valentine Card for someone (heart & doily style)
76. Wear my nightguard regularly (pd $750 for the darn thing!)
77. Go to a CAPA Summer Movies showing
78. Get a formal family picture taken of my parents, bro, sis-in-law & me
79. Give my dogs a bath & cut their toenails
80. Buy a cardigan for work (it’s freezing there)
81. Go on a weekend trip with my girlfriends for girly time
82. Visit Walt Disney World & stay in the Pop Century Hotel
83. Go out for the purpose of going dancing.
84. Make a Mix CD for Jen with all our band & show choir songs on it
85. Find & watch my 13th birthday vhs tape (aka, the day She got her period)
86. Show “Awesome Music Video” to someone special (7/21/07)
87. Go to Europe on a home exchange with Natalie
88. Volunteer for an entire year at Children’s Hospital
89. Buy myself some flowers
90. Take an art or writing class
91. Teach a voice lesson
92. Stop drinking pop for 7 days in a row
93. Design a piece of jewelry
94. Keep my car clean of debris & junk for 7 days in a row
95. Buy a microwave
96. Make jello that actually sets & tastes like jello
97. Make a purse (out of anything)
98. Get a facial
99. Write a poem for someone
100. Go karaoking & win money for it
101. Make a new list when this one is completed!

{July 25, 2007}   Self-Injury Awareness

Self-Injury Awareness

This information was obtained from and is credited to Deb Martinson.

How do you know if you self-injure?
Answer these questions:

1. Do you deliberately cause physical harm to yourself to the extent of causing tissue damage (breaking the skin, bruising, leaving marks that last for more than an hour)?

2. Do you cause this harm to yourself as a way of dealing with unpleasant or overwhelming emotions, thoughts, or situations (including dissociation)?

3. If your self-harm is not compulsive, do you often think about SI even when you’re relatively calm and not doing it at the moment?

If you answer #1 and #2 yes, you are a self-injurer. If you answer #3 yes, you are most likely a repetitive self-injurer. The way you choose to hurt yourself could be cutting, hitting, burning, scratching, skin-picking, banging your head, breaking bones, not letting wounds heal, among others. You might do several of these. How you injure yourself isn’t as important as recognizing that you do and what it means in your life.

If you would like do a Self Assessment Test, please go here and click on “self-assessment” in the left-hand column. The test provides you with questions and allows you to email the answers to yourself for further learning.

Why do people deliberately injure themselves?

This may be the aspect of self-harm that is most puzzling to those who do not do it. Why would anyone choose to inflict physical damage on him or herself? Because they cannot imagine themselves doing such a thing under any circumstances, many people dismiss self-injury as “senseless” or “irrational” behavior. And certainly it does seem that way at first glance.

But people generally do things for reasons that make sense to them. The reasons may not be apparent or may not fit into our frame of reference, but they exist and recognizing their existence is crucial to understanding self-harm. With understanding of the reasons behind a particular act of self-harm comes knowledge of the coping skills that are lacking. When you know what skills are missing, you can start trying to introduce them.

What self-injurers say self-injury does for them:

*Escape from emptiness, depression, and feelings of unreality.
*Easing tension.
*Providing relief: when intense feelings build, self-injurers are overwhelmed and unable to cope. By causing pain, they reduce the level of emotional and physiological arousal to a bearable one.
*Relieving anger: many self-injurers have enormous amounts of rage within. Afraid to express it outwardly, they injure themselves as a way of venting these feelings.
*Escaping numbness: many of those who self-injure say they do it in order to feel something, to know that they’re still alive.
*Grounding in reality, as a way of dealing with feelings of depersonalization and dissociation
*Maintaining a sense of security or feeling of uniqueness
*Obtaining a feeling of euphoria
*Preventing suicide
*Expressing emotional pain they feel they cannot bear
*Obtaining or maintaining influence over the behavior of others
*Communicating to others the extent of their inner turmoil
*Communicating a need for support
*Expressing or repressing sexuality
*Expressing or coping with feelings of alienation
*Validating their emotional pain — the wounds can serve as evidence that those feelings are real
*Continuing abusive patterns: self-injurers tend to have been abused as children.
*Punishing oneself for being “bad”
*Obtaining biochemical relief: there is some thought that adults who were repeatedly traumatized as children have a hard time returning to a “normal” baseline level of arousal and are, in some sense, addicted to crisis behavior. Self-harm can perpetuate this kind of crisis state
*Diverting attention (inner or outer) from issues that are too painful to examine
*Exerting a sense of control over one’s body
*Preventing something worse from happening

These reasons can be broadly grouped into three categories:

Affect regulation– Trying to bring the body back to equilibrium in the face of turbulent or unsettling feelings. This includes reconnection with the body after a dissociative episode, calming of the body in times of high emotional and physiological arousal, validating the inner pain with an outer expression, and avoiding suicide because of unbearable feelings. In many ways, as Sutton says, self-harm is a “gift of survival.” It can be the most integrative and self-preserving choice from a very limited field of options.

Communication– Some people use self-harm as a way to express things they cannot speak. When the communication is directed at others, the SIB is often seen as manipulative. However, manipulation is usually an indirect attempt to get a need met; if a person learns that direct requests will be listened to and addressed the need for indirect attempts to influence behavior decreases. Thus, understanding what an act of self-harm is trying to communicate can be crucial to dealing with it in an effective and constructive way.

Control/punishment– This category includes trauma reenactment, bargaining and magical thinking (if I hurt myself, then the bad thing I am fearing will be prevented), protecting other people, and self-control. Self-control overlaps somewhat with affect regulation; in fact, most of the reasons for self-harm listed above have an element of affect control in them.

How do I stop?

There are several different flat-out-crisis-in-the-moment strategies typically suggested. My favorite is doing anything that isn’t SI and produces intense sensation: squeezing ice, taking a cold bath or hot or cold shower, biting into something strongly flavored (hot peppers, ginger root, unpeeled lemon/lime/grapefruit), rubbing Ben-Gay® or Icy-Hot® or Vap-O-Rub® under your nose, etc.

What can I do instead?

One way to increase the chances of a distraction/substitution helping calm the urge to harm is to match what you do to how you are feeling at the moment.
1. Take a few moments and look behind the urge. What are you feeling? Are you angry? Frustrated? Restless? Sad? Craving the feeling of SI? Depersonalized and unreal or numb? Unfocused?
2. Match the activity to the feeling. A few examples:

angry, frustrated, restless
*Try something physical and violent, something not directed at a living thing:
*Slash an empty plastic soda bottle or a piece of heavy cardboard or an old shirt or sock.
*Make a soft cloth doll to represent the things you are angry at. Cut and tear it instead of yourself.
*Flatten aluminum cans for recycling, seeing how fast you can go.
*Hit a punching bag.
*Use a pillow to hit a wall, pillow-fight style.
*Rip up an old newspaper or phone book.
*On a sketch or photo of yourself, mark in red ink what you want to do. Cut and tear the picture.
*Make Play-Doh or Sculpey or other clay models and cut or smash them.
*Throw ice into the bathtub or against a brick wall hard enough to shatter it.
*Break sticks.
*I’ve found that these things work even better if I rant at the thing I am cutting/tearing/hitting. I start out slowly, explaining why I am hurt and angry, but sometimes end up swearing and crying and yelling. It helps a lot to vent like that.
*Crank up the music and dance.
*Clean your room (or your whole house).
*Go for a walk/jog/run.
*Stomp around in heavy shoes.
*Play handball or tennis.

sad, soft, melancholy, depressed, unhappy
*Do something slow and soothing, like taking a hot bath with bath oil or bubbles, curling up under a comforter with hot cocoa and a good book, babying yourself somehow.
*Do whatever makes you feel taken care of and comforted.
*Light sweet-smelling incense.
*Listen to soothing music.
*Smooth nice body lotion into the parts or yourself you want to hurt.
*Call a friend and just talk about things that you like.
*Make a tray of special treats and tuck yourself into bed with it and watch TV or read.
*Visit a friend.

craving sensation, feeling depersonalized, dissociating, feeling unreal
*Do something that creates a sharp physical sensation:
*Squeeze ice hard (this really hurts). (Note: putting ice on a spot you want to burn gives you a strong painful sensation and leaves a red mark afterward, kind of like burning would.)
*Put a finger into a frozen food (like ice cream) for a minute.
*Bite into a hot pepper or chew a piece of ginger root.
*Rub liniment under your nose.
*Slap a tabletop hard.
*Snap your wrist with a rubber band.
*Take a cold bath.
*Stomp your feet on the ground.
*Focus on how it feels to breathe. Notice the way your chest and stomach move with each breath.
[NOTE: Some people report that being online while dissociating increases their sense of unreality; be cautious about logging on in a dissociative state until you know how it affects you.]

wanting focus
*Do a task (a computer game like tetris or minesweeper, writing a computer program, needlework, etc) that is exacting and requires focus and concentration.
*Eat a raisin mindfully. Pick it up, noticing how it feels in your hand. Look at it carefully; see the asymmetries and think about the changes the grape went through. Roll the raisin in your fingers and notice the texture; try to describe it. Bring the raisin up to your mouth, paying attention to how it feels to move your hand that way. Smell the raisin; what does it remind you of? How does a raisin smell? Notice that you’re beginning to salivate, and see how that feels. Open your mouth and put the raisin in, taking time to think about how the raisin feels to your tongue. Chew slowly, noticing how the texture and even the taste of the raisin change as you chew it. Are there little seeds or stems? How is the inside different from the outside? Finally, swallow.
*Choose an object in the room. Examine it carefully and then write as detailed a description of it as you can. Include everything: size, weight, texture, shape, color, possible uses, feel, etc.
*Choose a random object, like a paper clip, and try to list 30 different uses for it.
*Pick a subject and research it on the web.

wanting to see blood
*Draw on yourself with a red felt-tip pen.
*Take a small bottle of liquid red food coloring and warm it slightly by dropping it into a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Uncap the bottle and press its tip against the place you want to cut. Draw the bottle in a cutting motion while squeezing it slightly to let the food color trickle out.
*Draw on the areas you want to cut using ice that you’ve made by dropping six or seven drops of red food color into each of the ice-cube tray wells.
*Paint yourself with red tempera paint.

wanting to see scars or pick scabs
*Get a henna tattoo kit. You put the henna on as a paste and leave it overnight; the next day you can pick it off as you would a scab and it leaves an orange-red mark behind.

Assessing your immediate need to self-injure-


{July 25, 2007}   Important Definitions

Important Definitions

Here are some helpful definitions I verified on Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary. If you want any others added, please email me in the contact section!


Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): raped; rap·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin rapere
1 a archaic : to seize and take away by force b : DESPOIL
2 : to commit rape on
– rap·er noun
– rap·ist /’rA-pist/ noun

Function: noun
1 : an act or instance of robbing or despoiling or carrying away a person by force
2 : unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent — compare SEXUAL ASSAULT, STATUTORY RAPE
3 : an outrageous violation

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English assaut, from Old French, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin assaltus, from assalire
1 a : a violent physical or verbal attack b : a military attack usually involving direct combat with enemy forces c : a concerted effort (as to reach a goal or defeat an adversary)
2 a : a threat or attempt to inflict offensive physical contact or bodily harm on a person (as by lifting a fist in a threatening manner) that puts the person in immediate danger of or in apprehension of such harm or contact — compare BATTERY 1b b : RAPE

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English vyctym, from Latin victima; perhaps akin to Old High German wIh holy
1 : a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite
2 : one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent
as a (1) : one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions
(2) : one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment b : one that is tricked or duped

Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): co·erced; co·erc·ing
Etymology: Middle English cohercen, from Anglo-French *cohercer Latin coercEre, from co- + arcEre to shut up, enclose — more at ARK
1 : to restrain or dominate by force coerce the irreligious — W. R. Inge>
2 : to compel to an act or choice coerced into agreeing>
3 : to achieve by force or threat <coerce compliance>

Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): sur·vived; sur·viv·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French survivre to outlive, from Latin supervivere, from super- + vivere to live — more at QUICK intransitive senses
1 : to remain alive or in existence : live on
2 : to continue to function or prosper
transitive senses
1 : to remain alive after the death of
2 : to continue to exist or live after
3 : to continue to function or prosper despite : WITHSTAND
– sur·vi·vor /-’vI-v&r/ noun

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English fer, from Old English f[AE]r sudden danger; akin to Latin periculum attempt, peril, Greek peiran to attempt
1 a : an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger b (1) : an instance of this emotion
(2) : a state marked by this emotion
2 : anxious concern : SOLICITUDE
3 : profound reverence and awe especially toward God
4 : reason for alarm : DANGER

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, delinquency, guilt, from Old English gylt delinquency
1 : the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving a penalty; broadly : guilty conduct
2 a : the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously b : feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy : SELF-REPROACH
3 : a feeling of culpability for offenses

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English scamu; akin to Old High German scama shame
1 a : a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety b : the susceptibility to such emotion
2 : a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute : IGNOMINY
3 a : something that brings censure or reproach; also : something to be regretted : PITY b : a cause of feeling shame

Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -lat·ed; -lat·ing
Etymology: back-formation from manipulation, from French, from manipuler to handle an apparatus in chemistry, ultimately from Latin manipulus
1 : to treat or operate with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner
2 a : to manage or utilize skillfully b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage
3 : to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose

Function: intransitive verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin consentire, from com- + sentire to feel — more at SENSE
1 : to give assent or approval : AGREE
2 archaic : to be in concord in opinion or sentiment

Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): forced; forc·ing
1 : to do violence to; especially : RAPE
2 : to compel by physical, moral, or intellectual means
5 : to achieve or win by strength in struggle or violence

Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -cut·ed; -cut·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin prosecutus, past participle of prosequi to pursue — more at PURSUE
transitive senses
1 : to follow to the end : pursue until finished 2 : to engage in : PERFORM
3 a : to bring legal action against for redress or punishment of a crime or violation of law
3 b : to institute legal proceedings with reference to intransitive senses : to institute and carry on a legal suit or prosecution

Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French resister, from Latin resistere, from re- + sistere to take a stand; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at STAND
intransitive senses : to exert force in opposition
transitive senses
1 : to exert oneself so as to counteract or defeat
2 : to withstand the force or effect of

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, from Late Latin seduction-, seductio, from Latin, act of leading aside, from seducere
1 : the act of seducing to wrong; especially : the often unlawful enticement of a female to sexual intercourse
2 : something that seduces : TEMPTATION
3 : something that attracts or charms

Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French offendre, from Latin offendere to strike against, offend, from ob- against + -fendere to strike — more at OB-, DEFEND
intransitive senses
1 a : to transgress the moral or divine law : SIN
b : to violate a law or rule : do wrong
2 a : to cause difficulty, discomfort, or injury b : to cause dislike, anger, or vexation
transitive senses
1 a : VIOLATE, TRANSGRESS b : to cause pain to : HURT
2 obsolete : to cause to sin or fall

Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural stig·ma·ta /stig-’mä-t&, ’stig-m&-t&/; or stig·mas
Etymology: Latin stigmat-, stigma mark, brand, from Greek, from stizein to tattoo — more at STICK
1 a archaic : a scar left by a hot iron : BRAND b : a mark of shame or discredit : STAIN

Function: noun
1 a : exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse (as in effecting illegal entry into a house) b : an instance of violent treatment or procedure
2 : injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation : OUTRAGE
3 a : intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force
b : vehement feeling or expression : FERVOR; also : an instance of such action or feeling c : a clashing or jarring quality : DISCORDANCESafe
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): saf·er; saf·est
Etymology: Middle English sauf, from Old French, from Latin salvus safe, healthy; akin to Latin solidus solid, Greek holos whole, safe, Sanskrit sarva entire
1 : free from harm or risk : UNHURT
2 a : secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss b : successful at getting to a base in baseball without being put out
3 : affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty

Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French accepter, from Latin acceptare, frequentative of accipere to receive, from ad- + capere to take — more at HEAVE
transitive senses
1 a : to receive willingly b : to be able or designed to take or hold (something applied or added)
2 : to give admittance or approval to
3 a : to endure without protest or reaction b : to regard as proper, normal, or inevitablec : to recognize as true : BELIEVE
4 a : to make a favorable response to

Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): be·lieved; be·liev·ing
Etymology: Middle English beleven, from Old English belEfan, from be- + lyfan, lEfan to allow, believe; akin to Old High German gilouben to believe, Old English lEof dear — more at LOVE
intransitive senses
1 a : to have a firm religious faith b : to accept as true, genuine, or real
2 : to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something
3 : to hold an opinion : THINK
transitive senses
1 a : to consider to be true or honest b : to accept the word or evidence of
2 : to hold as an opinion :

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse traust trust; akin to Old English trEowe faithful — more at TRUE
1 a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b : one in which confidence is placed
2 a : dependence on something future or contingent : HOPE b : reliance on future payment for property (as merchandise) delivered : CREDIT

Function: noun
1 archaic : TRUST, RELIANCE
2 a : desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment ; also : expectation of fulfillment or success

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin respectus, literally, act of looking back, from respicere to look back, regard, from re- + specere to look — more at SPY
1 : a relation or reference to a particular thing or situation
2 : an act of giving particular attention : CONSIDERATION
3 a : high or special regard : ESTEEM b : the quality or state of being esteemed c plural : expressions of respect or deference

{July 25, 2007}   Grounding Techniques

Grounding Techniques

What are Grounding Techniques? These are ways to either calm yourself down when you are jumpy and upset (aka having an anxiety attack or “freaking out”) or to bring yourself back into reality when you are zoning out/can’t get out of bed!

For when you’re in a Hyperaroused state (fight, flight, or freeze):

*Place heavy blankets on lap/across body
*Wrap tightly in blanket or try wrapping arm/legs in ace bandages
*Herbal tea/drink of water
*Chewing gum
*Rocking or steadily swinging
*Hot shower/bath
*Focusing on calming scenes
*Soft/low lighting
*Soft/slow music
*Reptitive sounds (white noise or relaxing ocean)
*Soothing scents like vanilla or lavender (candles/lotions)
*Strong Hugs
*Humming or Singing Quietly
*Gentle yoga/stretches
*Head rolls
*Leisure walks/bike riding
*Heavy work/resistance (rowing, weight lifting, jogging)
*Soft materials/textures (flannel, fuzzy, velour)
*Visual labeling (”I see the tv, the sofa”)
*Beanbag tapping
*Any social interaction

For when you’re in Hypoaroused mode (numb, no feeling, zoning out):
*Holding ice
*Cool room
*Air blowing across skin (fan, roll car windows down)
*Spicy food
*Sour or fireball candy
*Standing on your toes/balancing
*Cold water/washcloth to face
*Strong colors/lights flashing
*Quick paced/off beat/loud music
*Dancing to music
*Unpredictable sounds (birds chirping, talk radio, sports broadcast)
*Strong scents like citrus, pine/smelling salts
*Light touch (feather)
*Forceful handclap
*Positive form of pain (rubber band snapped on wrist)
*Aerobic exercise
*Singing loudly
*Power walking/running
*Rough or prickly material (velcro, sandpaper, sticky)

*Document created by Mt Carmel Behavioral Health, Columbus, Ohio

{July 25, 2007}   Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


What is it? Do I have it?

A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:
1. The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others
2. the person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Note: In children, this may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior

B. The traumatic event is persistently reexperienced in one (or more) of the following ways:
1. recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions.
2. recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: In children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content.
3. acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including those that occur on awakening or when intoxicated).
4. intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event
5. physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event that occur on awakening or when intoxicated).

C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by three (or more) of the following:
1. efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma
2. efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma
3. inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
4. markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
5. feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
6. restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
7. sense of a foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)

D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma), as indicated by two (or more) of the following:
1. difficulty falling or staying asleep
2. irritability or outbursts of anger
3. difficulty concentrating
4. hypervigilance
5. exaggerated startle response

E. Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in Criteria B, C, and D) is more than 1 month.

F. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
*The previous information is located here.

Symptoms of PTSD are generally of three types:
Intrusive: Dissociative states, Flashbacks, Intrusive emotions and memories, Nightmares and night terrors

Avoidant: Avoiding emotions, Avoiding relationships, Avoiding responsibility for others, Avoiding situations that are reminiscent of the traumatic event

Hyperarousal: Exaggerated startle reaction, Explosive outbursts, Extreme vigilance, Irritability, Panic symptoms, Sleep disturbance

*Intrusive memories and emotions interfere with normal thought processes and social interaction.

*Flashbacks feature auditory and visual hallucinations. For example, the sounds and images of combat often comprise the content of flashbacks experienced by military veterans. Flashbacks can be triggered by ordinary stimuli such as a low-flying airplane or a loud noise, anything that brings to mind an aspect of the event. Nightmares and night terrors also feature aspects of the traumatic event.
*Dissociative symptoms include psychic numbing, depersonalization, and amnesia.
*People with PTSD commonly avoid stimuli and situations that remind them of the traumatic event because they trigger symptoms.
*People experiencing hyperarousal symptoms are always on the alert for danger or threat and are easily startled.

Complications develop in people with chronic PTSD and delayed onset PTSD. These include the following:

*Alcohol and drug abuse or dependence
*Chronic anxiety
*Depression and increased risk for suicide
*Divorce and separation
*Low self-esteem
*Panic attacks


1. Debriefing (i.e., crisis intervention): Debriefing sessions are usually conducted as soon after the event as possible. The session usually lasts about 2 hours. A debriefing session typically involves a discussion of the event, the person’s reaction to it, and coping strategies. Debriefing sessions are commonly used to help rescue personnel, classmates of students who die in auto accidents or as a result of a violent attack (e.g., victims of random shootings), and survivors of terrorist attacks (e.g., bombings of public buildings).
2. Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is generally necessary in the treatment of PTSD, whether it is conducted in individual therapy or in “survivor group” therapy. Survivor groups may be associated with or may refer group members to local community agencies that offer therapy and support for victims of rape, domestic violence, combat, natural disasters, and so on. The goal of psychotherapy in the treatment of PTSD is to help the person address and manage painful memories until they no longer cause disabling symptoms. This begins after establishing a safe relationship between the client and therapist. The process involves gradually working through the traumatic event and the patient’s reactions to it, validating the patient’s experiences, repairing damage done to their identity, and dealing with loss.

3. Community agencies:
4. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a specialized form of psychotherapy that is used almost exclusively for treating PTSD and its associated conditions, including depression. EMDR typically is integrated into a conventional psychotherapy regimen and is not used alone to treat PTSD. The theory behind EMDR is that stimulated rapid eye movement may help in the psychological processing of trauma. It is thought that the day?s events and our reactions to them are processed during REM sleep . In a controlled EMDR session, moving light is used to induce rapid eye movement.
Because it is a new method of treatment, only a relatively small number of patients have been treated with EMDR for PTSD. However, the EMDR Institute reports that there are more controlled studies of EMDR and its effects than of any other trauma treatment. The EMDR Institute states that an estimated 1,000,000 people had been treated by 1995, with varying degrees of improvement. Some, but not all, studies document improvement after relatively few interventions.

*The previous information is located here.

Many people suffer from PTSD, but are either unaware that their condition has a name, or they wish to deny it. Here is a site that contains many tests that may help you decide if you are suffering from PTSD.

{April 8, 2007}   Hello world!

YAY!  I have a blog and I think I’m going to have a good time with this!

et cetera