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Post traumatic growth. Is there such a thing?


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So after my diagnosis of PTSD and subsequent counselling to help me deal and manage its effects on me that I have come to realise that I am now a much stronger and resilient person than i perhaps ever knew I was pre SAh . I sweat the small stuff less these days, rarely worry for long about much and have come with time and distance to appreciate the changes the SAH and its effect have given me. I speculated about it a bit in the Lost and Found thread on here.

I saw a great quote the other day that said somethjng like 'be kind but take no *****' and that just about sums me up these days and I just like me better. Maybe it's just im just so happy to be here ,be purposeful and get some more days under my belt.

Anyhow There is a growing body of evidence about post traumatic growth and I just wondered what members of this group thought about that or whether they think it's just hokey.

An article on a recent study if it's of interest http://time.com/3967885/how-trauma-can-change-you-for-the-better/

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Hi Daffs!

 

Post Traumatic "Growth"?  Is the inference that PTS can be healed over time?  I can throw this out there = an inpatient psychiatrist came to visit me post coma.  After talking to me for a while (I had no idea who she was and just rattled on for a while lol) and telling her some of my childhood stuff, she was kind of freaked out and said "you have pts from 2 separate things.  She was stunned.  I like to think my original PTS has - or had - mellowed some but that is a hard thing to understand when you have it.  I used to think it was hokey but now I'm not so sure.  I have a history of depression, some extreme - so maybe it was caused by original pts and I just didn't realize it.

 

But, having said that, if you are asking if by "growth" it might mean it gets worse over time - I'm not sure.  Maybe.  And in what form?

 

Curious too

Carolynusa

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Hi Daffodil

I found BTG quite early on in my recovery and have found it very helpful, but this is my first post as I can very much relate to this topic.

I had my NASAH on 8 Jan 2016 and was diagnosed by lumbar puncture on day 6. 12 weeks on I feel I have come through the experience relatively unscathed. I am still a little fatigued with occasional headaches/neck pain and unremitting insomnia but I do feel some semblance of normality returning.

I have previously suffered with recurrent episodes of depression which I have managed to keep at bay for the last 2 years with exercise. When I left hospital post SAH with no physical stamina I did fear the depression would return. This has not been the case. I still get low and emotional but have found that the negative self talk that has plagued me for years, fuelling the depression, has quietened.

Since experiencing the SAH I have felt compelled to be nice to myself! I may even have metamorphosized into a 'glass half full' person. In the last 12 weeks I have had many moments of exhilaration at the most seemingly insignificant of things. It has been odd to read other posts elsewhere from members grieving for their former selves whilst I just hope to hang on to the new me.

I do understand that other experiences of SAH have been more traumatic and disabling than mine. I too may have some of that in store for me as they did find a 2mm unruptured aneurysm at the origin of my right opthalmic artery. I am due an MRA in September to check on the aneurysm. The lovely neurosurgeon told me not to worry about it, so for now I'm not.

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Susan, that is just lovely to hear and I imagine that is the effect that I was curious about. I know that my experiences from my Sah and its legacy have changed me forever, some in ways I don't like too much but also in other ways which I do. I'm so glad you are doing well and thanks for making this your first post!

Carolyn, it is a interesting point of view they are exploring that the very same trauma that can bring on PTSD can also trigger alternative or co-incidal reaction of personal growth or emotional change that is positive for some people; they feel freed from previous concerns or stronger from their experiences. I think they mean that with time and a shift in outlook with fresh perspective ( and less pain) that people can see they have grown positively from the experience. Maybe it's just spin but I truly hope the growth is not referring to an increase of the 'less nice' trauma effects

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I truly hope that from trauma whatever shape or form that some people can find a positive, an inner strength, a better understanding of life, a greater sense of purpose..all of these things.  For me though I think there are too many factors that will determine whether you have a good outcome (mentally) or not.
Lets take illness for example as that is what we have all experienced.  I think it all depends on how badly you have been affected, how good your recovery has been, how much you can do, how much you can't do. How much you feel you have lost and how much you have gained.

 

Recovering from an illness such as ours is so complex for each individual someone who was outgoing and gregarious might suddenly find themselves withdrawn and quiet.  A quiet person might suddenly feel they are going to take on the world just go for it.  Then there is everything in between.

 

I think its down to the individual person and how they want to change their lives now.  I think some people gain some sort of inner strength but I think there are an awful lot of people who don't it might simply be down to someones personality such an individual thing.

 

A good little article Daff but for me it might just be hokey (love that word!)... Talking of words Daff what's the 5 * word you have blanked out??

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Momo. I kind of agree with you I think that illness and trauma is very personal and always unique to the circumstance and how you react and experience it especially when it is a brain injury. Complex is a good word in recovery Momo and applying a label of 'PTG' to how some people react is definately a little hokey ( got to use it again!)

I may like to hope that most people over time can find something positive comes from their experience but know just as well that the outcome for many may mean that's not always possible. I still have days when I rail and rally against my defecits but know they pale to nothing compared to how they were initially and Those that other people contend with permanently.

And the 5* word?....just my Brain error of one star too many!! Well I am on BTG for a reason ;)

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5*  I'll call it being here with Family and Friends,  unlike others who never made it to where we are at now.

 

We are the lucky ones who are here to tell our stories and perhaps give them,  who like me, thought it was the end as I knew it.

 

PTSD was where I was when I found this site but a little happiness and laughter about what happened to us All and how we and family coped was brilliant.  It was like talking to another who knew me so well.   So like with any friend we tell our fears and tears and come away happy with a smile and sometimes a lighter heart and less down.

 

Be kind to yourselves All BTG'ers xxxx

 

Win xx xx

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Hey

 

people who are having a hard time dealing with the SAH and change find it weird when I say, 'Its probably the best thing to happen to me' ok in that I mean I'm a stronger person, I don't suffer fools, and if I have to I will just walk away...

 

However I do float in and out of gloom time and I think the person I am now helps with that...

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I think I suffered and possibly still suffer from a bit of PTSD. But like Louise I think in some ways it is not only one of the most important things to happen in my life but the RESULT and outcome is probably one of the best.

 

Had I not had my NASAH I would still be living the life I had been and although I thought I was relatively happy I now realise I was not. SAH made me change my values and step back and look at what was really important in my life.

 

Number 1 was my family, I realise now that they are most important and my relationships have changed as a result.

 

Number 2 was my friends. You certainly find out who your friends are -enough said!

 

Number 3 is work and the role it played in my life. At that time I worked flat out for little thanks. Changing my job is probably one of the best things to come out of my SAH, something I would have never contemplated if it and subsequent events had not happened.

 

I am so happy in my new job and people who used to work with me have remarked that I look happier. I feel happier in myself too but like Daff I don't 'take prisoners ' now, life is too short and I think the awareness that mine could have been prematurely reduced reinforces that attitude.

All in all life is good for me now and I will say this site and the wonderful people on it have helped me reach that point.

Clare xx

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I think I am still a bit too much in the midst of dealing with the after-effects of my brain haemorrhage to truly assess this, but I find it an interesting idea.

 

I know I have definitely changed as a result of my brain haemorrhage, however I am not sure how you could live through something like that and not be changed. Beyond the physical and cognitive changes I am left with I can also relate to the stepping back and looking at what is important in life. Potentially this could be seen as growth as I think it makes you think more about what you are doing in life and if it is truly worth your time and effort.

 

Gemma x

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