Tuesday September 27th 2016

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PTSD support groups

Finding a PTSD support group

There is support out there for PTSD.  More on what is PTSD here. Support groups hold live, face-to-face meetings, virtual meetings online or even by email. The major benefit of getting PTSD help from others who have been through it is that we can all learn from one another and be a support person for others. Everyone’s story is different, but hearing of others who have had tough times somehow helps us not feel so alone.

Whatever group style you choose, however, be careful not to get into a victims group that focuses on being victimized. Be proactive to listen, and read the ongoing comments. Ask yourself if what is being discussed is helpful and growth oriented. You may find someone who can pass on info that will help you grow and mature as an individual.

Additionally, if possible I would recommend staying with the same gender. Quite often people who are suffering from PTSD or other disorders will react in one of two ways in a mixed group. They may either be triggered by the opposite sex and transfer issues onto other opposite sex group members, or they will pick out someone in the group that they will try to overpower and manipulate to prove to themselves that they are worthy and strive to get acceptance from that person.

Important PTSD support group tips

  • Be deliberate in your PTSD support group goals
  • Become committed and active
  • Don’t allow support meetings to become boring and predictable
  • Don’t give up
  • Focus on how you can help others
  • It is important not to have a pity party
  • Seek God’s will for you and the group

Top 3 places to find PTSD support

1. Go online for PTSD support

The best starting place to find an STSD support group is online. Spend several hours searching from the huge selection of support groups and forums, one that is right for you. The types of groups range from returning Veterans of war to mental, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse survivors.

Looking online, I have discovered groups that have ongoing symptoms of anxiety, depression, memory flashbacks, and might include people that have been diagnosed with Bi-polar, MPD, PTSD, and Borderline Disorders. I believe it is important to find those people you can relate to. Most all of these disorders tie into a past of some sort of real or perceived trauma.

NOTE: You can optimize your search by combining words such as “war veterans PTSD support group”, “bi polar PTSD group” or “sexual abuse survivor support group”. If you want to make sure that the group is about PTSD only, add “+PTSD” to your search box.

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2. Major U.S. cities offer more PTSD support groups

Finding a nearby major city is number two on the list of my suggestions for finding support for PTSD. It is important to find a local support group that can get together and compare notes. I don’t mean just any notes. I am talking about people who have suffered for awhile – sharing their survival and coping skills. A support group that share the successes and struggles. And this kind of contact can really help you in the healing proces

3. Starting a PTSD group

It is also possible to start your own PTSD group. Please wait awhile on this one, though. It is a bigger responsibility than just showing up for meetings.

To accomplish starting your own group I would suggest you connect with at least 3-5 people online that are all interested in starting a group. It can be a project that you do together that will cause bonding and team participation. Different websites that offer groups can help you begin the process.

I would suggest war veterans stay with other veterans and abused wives stay with abused wives. It is very important to have topics and maybe each week have an individual share different researched information. Have each member share how that info impacted them and if they agree or disagree.

When starting a group, decide what is appropriate to share and not to share with others outside the group. Decide the size of the group and if the group is closed to certain disorders or open for all who want to join.

Until next time…

Photo credit: varnent

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11 Responses to “PTSD support groups
Deb Conley
4:07 am June 30th, 2011

We are promoting a PTSD Awareness t-shirt and would love it if you could join us: PTSD Awareness

Steve
3:43 am July 3rd, 2011

I will also link to your promotion on my website and blog.

Deb Conley
4:37 am July 3rd, 2011

Thank you for adding me to your blog. I live with Complex-PTSD. I am female and birthdate is 06/25/1965. I have been in treatment for 17 years. I am disabled with PTSD. I have not abused substances. My trauma is very typical of others with c-ptsd.

Steve
8:52 pm July 14th, 2011

Deb,
I hope your 17 years of treatment have been helpful. Have you seen different counselors during this time? How have they helped you specifically? You can email me at s.m.jackson[at]hotmail[dot]com if you would like to keep things confidential.

I believe God intends for us all to be healed and not just live with the struggle.

I will pray that God will bring healing, so that you can get beyond the struggles.
Bless you,
Dr Steve

Deb Conley
10:34 pm July 14th, 2011

Steve,

I will give you the contact information for my treating psychologist and she can give you specifics. I had seen 5 counselors with varying credentials before finding my current psychologist. My medications been prescribed by physiatrist meeting for 15 minutes every 6 weeks for refills. In January 2011, my physiatrist stopped taking Medicare, so my medication is now prescribed by a family medical practice.

I began seeing this psychologist in 1997. I was still in the trauma (see c-ptsd) and working full time. I had a complete mental and physical breakdown in late 2004. I was not hospitalized by my choice because I had minor child to care for. This therapist treated me 3x – 4x a week for about 2 hour sessions for 2 years (2004 – 2007), the next 2 years (2007- 2009) 2x a week for about 2 hour sessions, the next 2 years to present 1x-2x a week 1/30 hour sessions. I finally decided to also take medications, prozac 60mg, halcion 2 x 0.25 (sleep), and xanax 3 x 0.50 in 2004 daily.

The patient/ therapist relationship is something that has to have established trust. With this therapist, I have trust. Also, most therapists are trained to show no reaction. I find this approach very non helpful, in fact for PTSD – C-PTSD can even be counterproductive.

I endured unthinkable abuse that was chronic and inhumane for decades. I needed to see a reaction from my treating therapist that they could verbalize, express and truly feel my pain. I needed the confirmation that indeed what I experienced was horrific. Without that sincere “getting it” from the therapist, I would have never felt heard and doubted my need for existence.

PTSD and C-PTSD has not standard treatment that works the same for everyone. There are too many variables. I can tell one 45 minute session once a month is useless.

After 7 years of heavy mediation, I am down to only xanax. I am also out of the trauma after decades of life and death. This has let me really have in depth processing not possible before.

There is much to my story and I will sign release of information with my doctor of you are interested in knowing more about my story and treatment. It is too much for me to tell and relieve it through telling.

Best Wishes,

Deb

darren
7:12 pm September 27th, 2011

hi sir i have sufferd ptsd since 1990 which i was 21, it was a coach crash which my pregnant, fiancee died and 11 others i was not that badly injured so i thought ,but 20 years on i am in counselling, i have not had much support from profeesional or family, i am only just now trying to accept my illness, ive suppressed many my thoughts by using cannibas for most of the time but now im in weekly counselling and a month off the weed, things are starting to happen as in acute dead people sightings i surpose they are acute flashbaks ive just started tamazipan only to help me sleep and stop some knightmares, any advice would be appriciated

9:28 am September 28th, 2011

Hi Darren, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Your realization to stop smoking cannabis and getting help is a great first step towards healing your mental and emotional wounds from the past. I have passed your message to Dr. Steve, who I hope will respond to your question personally. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you!

Dr Steve
2:15 pm September 28th, 2011

Hi Darren,
It is sometimes amazing to me how successful people become at putting away the pain. It is just not in our nature to grieve and move on. It is more our nature of stuffing, distracting, or numbing our hurt and painful feelings.

I want to commend you for getting help and making a decision to stop the weed usage. It is definitely the best thing to do.

I don’t know the kind of help you are getting, but to have flashbacks in fairly common. What is important is that you are able to process the loss of your girlfriend and unborn child and come to a place of healing the event and the past.

If you would like to keep me informed or maybe just talk, you can contact me at and I will get back with you.

May God Bless you my friend

darren
6:22 am September 29th, 2011

thankyou for your response, it was very warming and makes a change for someone to give me compassion, which as been rare to say the least, so thankyou again and hope to stay in touch,

Steph Pee
4:52 am May 31st, 2013

A good news, that there are many of the support groups who willingly offer their helping hands to the needy, most especially to for PTSD individuals. Sadly, most people are completely unaware of this, and easily losing their hopes. However, this, of course, will have the added benefit of aiding in the reduction of the concerned individual itself. No matter how severe PTSD may be it can take solace in the fact the condition can be treated, possibly with the help of people in a support group.

darren
7:24 pm June 9th, 2013

well still tricklinig along iin life lol, on and off the weed dvla took my driving license off me becuase i smoke weed even tho not whilst driving i do understand it not personal but on the losing side again split with wife last sept i think result of my illness, now a new journey in life again im hoping the nhs are getting me some emotional therapy but still looking for a ptsd group in portsmouth any help plz

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About Dr. Steve Jackson, DCC

Dr. Jackson received his Doctorate in Christian Counseling from Omega Bible Institute and Seminary in 2009. He developed the Christian recovery treatment programs for Calvary Rehab Center and the Genesis Center for Recovery. He has trained and practiced Christian Counseling in all areas of drug/alcohol/gambling/sex and relationship addictions. He currently has his own web based online program called 12 Day Rehab Systems, designed for those who can work on recovery while maintaining career and family obligations. Dr. Jackson has been clean and sober since 1984. Learn more about Recovery with Dr. Steve.

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