Btw my personal tatoo is Justice symbol and it’s obviously the logo of this website.
On Friday, November 13 2015, a series of terror attacks erupted in Paris. They were mercilessly launched on people gathered at various social outlets and events in order to maximise the carnage. A football match was the first target in this co-ordinated killing spree. This was followed by shootings at restaurants and cafes and finally a metal concert in the Bataclan Theatre. Hostages were taken there also. A total of 130 lost their lives and over 4,000 were injured, almost 100 seriously. These were the most serious attacks on the city since WWII. Isis claimed responsibility.
It is no surprise that the impact of these attacks on the psyche of those involved, both directly as victims and less directly as observers, has been studied in depth by psychiatrists and psychologists, as have attacks in other locations. The London bombing and 9/11 attacks in New York have both generated large volumes of research information. In the April issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, a paper exploring the impact of the Paris attacks, headed by Dr Stephanie Vandentorren, of the French Public Health Agency, has been published.
Two groups were studied. First responders were fire officers, rescue workers and so on exposed during the first 12 hours after the events. The second group were witnesses – those who were themselves under threat of being killed, held hostage or injured or had seen somebody in that position, or heard of a close relative in that predicament. These could be either directly exposed or have witnessed them from their homes. Seeing these events only on the media did not constitute exposure. Various face-to-face structured interviews were administered and over 400 people were interviewed.
Among rescue workers, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was diagnosed in 3pc and an anxiety disorder in 14pc. Among civilian witnesses, more than 15pc were significantly distressed, 25pc had possible PTSD, while 18pc were diagnosed definitively with it, and 10pc had depression. As expected, those indirectly threatened had lower levels than close relatives of victims, and the highest rates of mental health problems was in those directly threatened.
Almost half of civilians had more than six months treatment for a mental health problem, compared with a third of first responders. However, most had returned to work six months after the attack. These results show that first responders had lower rates of mental health problems than civilians and they required less professional help.
This study shows that people witnessing traumatic events are more vulnerable to mental health problems than are first responders. It may be that the training those in rescue and first response teams receive helps them withstand the distress of their direct involvement. It is also likely that if they had concerns about mental health difficulties developing after the attacks, they pro-actively sought help as a preventative measure and needed it for a shorter period.
During their training, they will have been made aware of the help that it available should they ever require it. Civilians on the other hand may feel less entitlement to such help and may defer seeking it until their distress is much more incapacitating.
The positive finding, that all but 6pc returned to work, shows the power of healing. Similar results were described following the 9/11 bombings and the London attacks. Either time or therapy seems to have benefited those who were suffering in the aftermath. This surely proves the resilience that human beings are endowed with, enabling them to deal with major traumas and to emerge from the quagmire of distress that engulfed them.
Resilience is determined by several factors. The personality of each individual is probably the single most important element, while the presence of support from family, friends and the community is next. Having a person to talk to is undoubtedly beneficial. The scientific literature on resilience has been developing in recent years and it also describes the value of positive coping, religious coping, having a sense of purpose in life, and altruism.
It is comforting to know we are not long-term victims of the events that befall us. Rather, we are strong and can emerge from the suffering of terrible events with more compassion and a better understanding of life.
Hi, I am the author of my new baby born book titled « PTSD Beautiful Trauma », a memoir of my journey coping with PTSD, after Paris attacks (2015-2016). My workplace was involved in both attacks, January and November. After Charlie Hebdo’s board office’s attack and the printing house’s owner held hostage my hotel was the theater …
It was september 2015, I finally got my sick leave after a long stressful time and, not by chance, I went to the doctor office to ask for a ( life changing ) prescription. When I came out I got a burn out sentence. Yes, it was happening to Me, for real.
“Me? Mrs Perfect and Wonder Woman? Go away.”
Time to make a point, to say the least, and realise which were my real needs and prior Values.
My memoir is half journaling, half potential distopic sci-fiction. Definitely, it was my best company, and writing has been the first self-help therapy. It’s everyday struggle for survival, when everything literally burns inside out, and you go through your Dark Night of the Soul.
As soon as I finished to rewrite it for the third time, I sent to Italian publishing editors. To be honest, I was contacted only by one, small editor from Rome, who asked me 1500 euros to publish it. Forget it. Italy is one of the few countries left not yet involved in any of latest terrorist attacks, it goes without saying that there is a lack of empathy. It’s okay.
Thank you for contacting me in case you are interested in being my editor for my next book on Stigma, which is a reportage, in the Shakespeare’s language. Before I repeat the awesome experience on Amazon.
Me too, I have been in and out Facebook, and MySpace, when it was the time for going social. People see you leaving and back, and again, they might be confused and wonder about our mental and social stability.
They are right. The point is, … who cares? Do you miss something? Photo albums from your friends holiday vacations, do they really mind about yours? What are you eating, at the restaurant, when you finally quitted attending restaurants can be so frustrating, right?
Dating with someone pretty, because she is on the Facebook, posting sexy pictures, and she is adding you on her agenda. Wow.. tomorrow it will be another one, more interesting than you. Oh, really?
Are we serious? Is this the global era? Where socialising means anything but scary social autism? Is that any common reasons for we are here on the WP reader to like and reblog about our own misery? lol
So, I wish you well, dear camerade, you know, a doctor once said to me “life is simple”. Something has broken, in the social media era, and we are leaving that world which doesn’t mirror our true Self, .. got it? Is there any balance between staying on the Facebook to keep connected to others and feeling isolated doing your life on your own?
Of course, when I see that girl filming her self while spending a lunch break with you it’s annoying, miserable, but except that you want eventually to kill her, what’s wrong with her? she wouldn’t be as much inspiring with or without her You Tube Channel on hair style, and that’s ok. Shallow people do exist and live their life showing off 3 quarters of their time. Noisy. Dull, lacking brightness. Apart from their sparkling silver open toes shoes. That’s a fact.
Find your joy in your own pleasures, that’s a good idea, as far as keeping away from news for a positive mental health preservation.
Ho’oponopono thing says: “I’m sorry, please, forgive me, I love you”.
We shall do that every morning looking at our face in the mirror. It enhances inner peace ( self care ) and social media anxiety goes to the bin.
I’ve been watching the social media frenzy die down for awhile now – the Facebook craze was at it’s peak a few years ago just like Myspace had it’s fun days when I was a teenager and now I’m not sure if that even really exists anymore. I kind of miss when Facebook just had […]
When I first started this blog, I wanted to put black on white my personal experience refered to PTSD after Paris attacks. First, because I felt a need to leave a legacy, and second, I wanted to share my journey to Self discovery and possibly, to different ways to get better and, yes, change your life.
During two years I have been writing every day, a memoir, in case I turned into madness, or long term memory loss, or something very bad could happen to me. Well, I have felt in danger, as if I was going to die, for any reason, until today. The question of “what the hell am I doing here” is still quite present. A need for serving others, too.
It took me several years until I could face 9/11 again. Especially, after Paris attacks, and the call I personally did to my mum after 13th november that was on the same tone.
Michael Moore did his job, I am not here to judge or speculate hypothesis of any kind.
Yesterday, after watching “Origins” with Michael Pitt, I went through life stories of children who witness their previous lives memories from 3 to 9, or shall I say, death memories. One of these children spoke about remembering the way he died, falling down one of the Towers. And I’ll spare you details. Believe it or not.
Tonight I went on the You Tube and, if you want to share with me, this is one of the most incredible stories I ever heard. It’s not a movie, it’s a true story. And of course, I will omit desperate cases, or anything might not be respectful of all the victims.
Subtitles are in italian, but no worry, he speaks in american english. The message he is giving at the end of the speech is not granted. Sometimes it takes a whole life to catch it.
The PTSD Beautiful Trauma Project was born in France, in 2018, after 3 years from terrorist attacks to the “Charlie Hebdo Magazine” Board Office. Despite not being an activist, neither politically, nor labour councillor, I felt soon concerned and, in fact, I was. They say that, if you want to grow and evolve, in a lifetime, you get what you need, and not what you want. This was my case.
After multiple and unfortunate events, in Paris suburbs (2015), I woke up from burn out one mild day in mid-September, and I finally began my journey with struggling with PTSD as trauma survivor.
The social, both personal and professional, context I have been through this Parisian terror season, not only put me in a diseased mental health condition, but also forced me to a life-changing transformation. Understanding, first, talking and taking actions, in the aftermath, were the only way to move forward.
Today, although, my work position is still in progress, as well as my emotional, physical and psychological state, my Body/Mind Health and Wellbeing are developing and improving one day at time. Panic attacks are over. Anger is a best friend of mine. Finally, I could find my purpose, and stick into my big dreams and life goals.
One side, the technique of Self-Discovery, thanks to the professional help of a kind lady, from the Occupational Psychologist Service, led me to a process of looking at my own identity, and therefore finding my True Self (Empathic and Highly Sensitive). On another side, my personal journey with PTSD recover was a chance to explore my potential, gifts and spiritual Path.
What could I ask more from a tragic event, and a chaos state of mind, other than survival? This project and my present life driving’s force speak out loud.
A couple of valuable aims will be sharing my personal tips about coping with PTSD, and ultimately, co-creating a community around Mental Health awareness, as well as Common Values.
Motto: What goes around comes around
We are all related.
If you agree, we – as human beings – were born to be a whole, balanced, and strongindividuals. Greek philosophers, and physicians, say that the natural state of things is calm and, sophrology – the science that studies the Consciousness – promotes body, mind and spirit harmony (SOS = free from diseases, balances. PHREN = diaphragm, emotional heart and by extension, spirit, conscience. LOGOS = Science, study, speech).
So, naturally, PTSD occur as a consequence of a lack of it. The fact is that you don’t realize at which cost, until your life becomes a mess, when you finally admit that something has broken, and you need help to fix it. It can be a physical wound, or invisible, when it concerns heart and soul, or if you are blessed enough, as brits would say, both.
Before 2015, I used to practice Yoga, once a week, basically to keep healthy, in a good shape and mood, it was relaxing, and I could fully stretch my body, especially my neck, happily turning 40.
After the 2015 events (january and november), I got completely unbalanced, both emotionally, and physically, put on weight, panic attacks, anger outbursts, no way to do my job anymore, like dealing with typical visitors problem solving (e.g. lost baggages, fully booked restaurants,..), or simply baring mood swings of my bipolar colleague. As soon as someone started crying or yelling for any reason, my self defense felt in danger (“that freeze, fly or fight thing”).
In february 2016, I was diagnosed obviously inadequate to my position, until today.
For the short storytime, I knew panic and fear on a terrorist attack at workplace and PTSD soon started with insomnia, poor emotional intelligence like Hulk’s syndrome, inability to put words on my own feelings, anxiety and fear of going crazy, exhaustion and chronique fatigue disease, after sleep burn out, tremors (mouth, legs, hands), tachycardia, and memory loss, just to mention a few. Others symptoms you can’t just describe, like a sort of electrochemical pinching in your veins, especially in legs, or warmth flames in the back, which give you the right sense of burning inside.
“A short circuit of your soul.”
It goes without saying, my health was severely damaged, as you know stress is quite dangerous for neurons, once they are gone, they don’t regenerate, so you start aging earlier, that’s also why, today, it’s not so rare to see stress effects in people who suffer Alzheimer’s syndrom much younger than 60, or stroke and heartattack victims.
By the way, I lost three colleagues between 27 and 43, in 5 months, does it count for stress disorders statistiques? Of course, it doesn’t, except if you can prove it. And you can’t. Occupational joke between Medicine and Managament states that it’s confidential.
During my journey, back from burn out, I have been told several times that this is the illness of the strong. And this is one of the main reasons why I feel a proud trauma survivor, today. Of course, you have to consider a deep cleaning of your personal life, as well as a full transformation of your jobcareer and lifestyle.
You can’t figure out coping with PTSD and holding on the same life schedule than before trauma. It involves stop overthinking, letting go, and modulating negative emotional responses compared with the healthy controls.
“You need some yoga in your life.”
Yoga practice really made a difference for me. It brought “justice” to my body and mind, especially since I am doing it regularly, almost everyday.
Check out Ted Nevins’s story “a soldier’s surprising journey to becoming a yogi” on the following: Warrior Spirit Retreat
Thanks to a welsh penpal, and army brit, nicknamed Salad Dodger, my attention was caught by an association for Combat Stress, and reading an article I was quite shocked, because some of my burn out symptoms were perfectly matching with war vets PTSD, after battlefield.
This study led me to another article written from the american journalist, Sebastian Junger, published by Vanity Fair, who experienced PTSD on his way back from Afghanistan, where he spent 15 months on a mission with a Battle Company.
“Sometimes, we ask ourselves if we can save the vets, I think the real question is if we can save ourselves.”
To resume up, PTSD symptoms can be:
via What’s PTSD?
What stand emotions for ? Why can they be negative, and not only positive, and how can we better manage the negative ones ? Especially, after burn out, or trauma ? Do we feel the same at same level? Of course, we don’t. Since we are unique beings. Unique hearts and minds.
As unaware empath and higher sensitive person, I struggled to gain emotional balance all my life. In forty three years, I have been thinking : « This is my fault. I am not strong enough. I won’t ever fit in the box »
To be honest, fitting that box, the more I try, the more I fail. When you come up to be forty, and you knoe that you are not a girl anymore, and still don’t feel elderly either, finding harmony within becomes a priority. You get to be aligned between your mind and heart. Emotion is the connection between feelings and thoughts. When you feel sad, angry, joyful, stressed out, sit down, reconnect with your breathing, and listen.
What that emotion is telling you ? Stay with that feeling, …
A few days ago, I found this french-canadian project called « Paris Mem », which invite victims from Paris attacks, or family members, to start a therapy with this pill which erases short-term memory. The pill is already used in anxiety therapies, and the purpose is to delete negative emotions from your brain.
For sure, pain of loss and terrible souvenirs do influence your life, and choices. But do you really think that « the quicker the better » ? If emotions are there to connect our selves with our true Self, and others, what about putting them off ?
Ever heard of risks of alienating ? And schizofrenia ? If you separate your inner Self from mind control, what will you become ? Are you sure is that quicker ?
« Waking up » from my anxiety medical treatment took me less than my doctors believed. And still, I feel lucky. In mid 90s, the neuropsychiatry said to my mother that in order to regain my memory back from treatment, it would take twenty years.
What if … what if, I started my psychoterapy at age of 21? what if, I became aware of being a higher sensitive person, and taking responsability of my being an artist. Or, at least, start improving my skills, and believe in Me. What If, I took actions alone, and not under the influence of an over controlling, loving, motherhood. Love you, mom, but perhaps tourism wasn’t the best option for me. And it’s time, now, to drive on my own.
Today, I am leaving a job, because of my medical restrictions, which include dealing with massive public and conflicts management ; in a few words, avoiding stressful situations with guests relations. Me, overwhelmed ? Yes, so what, from now on?
Btw, when I affirm that my healing process started with meeting Native Americans, I really mean it. My friend’s father, Leon Goodstriker, was a reputed Medicine Man from Canadian Blackfoot Indian Reservation. Rufus and George came to Italy for giving speeches in bio conferences ; George was recovering from alcohol addiction, as many Native Americans, unfortunately. He inspired me so much. Nineties were the ideal time for Indian Americans to cross overseas and come teach their culture to Wasicu, the whitemen. Some of them did it only for money. A sort of historical revenge, but a few whom I was honoured to meet, became friends for life. And still are.
Rufus, didn’t do anything special to me, we just discussed, and I guess he capted me. The kind of person who can feel you. Or perhaps can read your aura. He just smiled at me, and had a good laugh. I was kind of surprised, because I didn’t expect them to be so hilarious and holding that huge sense of humour. Like we could laugh about anything, especially life and death. I mean, we struggle to live and then, we die. Aint’it worth a fabulous laugh ? His face is very expressive, and peaceful. His son, Leon, who is school bus driver, in Edmonton, today, and played a good role in Last of the Mohicans, remind me of that great figure of his Father. And make me smile.
Isn’t that a great start for healing ? I mean, laughing. It is. It helps putting a distance between you and the past events you have been through. It helps regulating your heart breathing, and it puts happiness hormones at work ( oxitine ).
What about feeling numb, now ? How can you find a purpose to your struggle, if you delete negative emotions like pain, anger, sadness ? What about personal growth, life questioning, and karmic debt ? What if these experiences, that we have been through, were necessary to our own Soul Progress?
« Karmic debt refers to the amount and type of experiences the individual must go through or endure, to explore his own beliefs of separation as well as emotions and feelings caused by them, in order to ultimately resolve them into spiritual truths and healing. Karma is always negative and heavy. »
“There’s a lot of stress out there, and to handle it, you just need to believe in yourself; always go back to the person that you know you are, and don’t let anybody tell you any different, because everyone’s special and everyone’s awesome.” – McKayla Maroney
Sleep deprivation, anxiety, overthinking, anger and frustration, can lead to over producing the hormone called Cortisol. These factors elevate stress hormones and can have negative impacts on the brain, including the hippocampus. When I slept 3-4 hours per night, due to chronic stress and trauma, my nervous system short-circuited. In bed, before falling asleep, my legs used to shimmer, not like normally would when you are shy, or cold, for example, but more like convulsions. Until 1 am.
The same, at work, once a guest lost his bag from airport, and asked for help, in tears, getting angry cos I didn’t show very proactive or empathic ( airports procedures can be very slow and frustrating on the phone ), but real fact is that I was so fed up that I had my hands shimmering without any control. Simply, I couldn’t stand complaining about minor matters than a terrorist attack any more. That means I was overreacting to any stressful situation. I couldn’t put any distance at all. Anytime I felt in danger, my body started shaking. It could be an unhappy guest, or a couple quarrelling on the street, or police cars with blue lights … my body put me in fight or flight protection’s system.
Adrenalin and cortisol, when produced in overdose, stimulate your body so much that the memory of the traumatic event keeps this process of shaking. Then your body is releasing the massive energy slowly anytime it is possible, in order to calm down and relax. So trauma manifests him self by this loop of neurobiological response that keeps you blocked in a physical and mental prison. Until the signal of « danger is over » comes to your body. And your plus energy flows away, naturally.
It’s like we have to say to our body : « Ok, now you can let go, danger is over! »
Imagine a gazelle escaping from a lion, that is so-called « fight or flight » scheme, when adrenaline and cortisol are at theur top production. Now, can you figure out the same gazelle after one year and more holding on escaping ?
It scents blood.
“It has long been established that stress-related illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) trigger changes in brain structure, including differences in the volume of gray matter versus white matter, as well as the and size and connectivity of the amygdala,” says endurance athlete, coach and author, Christopher Bergland.
Theferore, if you are interested in taking care of your brain, I invite you to learn more about chronic stress effects on your amigdala.
Of course, I am a caffein addicted. And sometimes I try to change my habit into a healthier one, like green tea or chai, ginger and so on. But it’s really heavy for me that I am Italian. Bad habits, bad heritage.
Stress can kill you, you have to be aware of it. If you have a chance, it might as well save your life. It depends if you have the chance to recognize it, and say STOP. Or someone else will do it for you.
That’s fine. Except it might be quite late for your brain’s damage. Neurons gone; and you lost. Preferably, left alone. Nobody holding your hand. Can you figure it out?
Burn out is called “strong disease”. I am a case study. And following are real facts.
In 2016, at work, right after november 2015 Paris attacks, in four months, I lost three camerades. Age 27, 38, and 43. The last one had four children, and had an argument with the manager, at 7 am. He fell for a stroke. They waited for help, and he was brought to hospital by helicopter. When you have a stroke timing is essential. You get 4 hours time before it’s too late. Also brain functions damages can be relevant. While director called all teams in a room, to announce us that our english colleague was lying in be at hospital, his parents were on their way to decide to unplug his machine. They said it was not related to work, or stress disease, nobody could prove it, anyway. In three days afer his unlucky accident, we were collecting money to burn his body. Three days and your own truth is blowing in the wind.
The others two, stroke again ( bad feeding habits, obesity realated? ), and infarctus, this one, after a ride on a bycicle, early in the morning. He was 27, and worked in the restaurant’s kitchen. He also had an argument, with managament, before going home. I could notice, the higher rate of casualties happen in food&beverage environments, where the talk and hierarchy are much alike army.
A few other colleagues from reception had health issues during summer 2015. The time of my panic attack. « It is personal ». « She is anorexic. » « She takes heavy treatments for breast cancer. » « She is just tired. » And me, I was – obviously – too sensitive.
Researchers who conducted a study on the effects of stress and stroke measured chronic stress in 5 major areas:
Use this list to assess where your chronic stress is coming from.
Nobody could mesure Stress Conditions, because there is no way to put a code for stress. Stress is defined a personal and individual response to danger conditions. We are unique individuals with different responses.You can’t put responsability to bad behaviour of someone or bad management. That’s also why it is so much important that you take responsability for Your Self. And Self Love starts with learning to say “NO”, or “ENOUGH”. Didn’t you have enough yet? Did you learn to put your borders?