Understanding the importance of mindsets is critical to healing. Let’s talk about what patients with PTSD have said and what it means to have PTSD.
Patients with PTSD have said…..
- “In war, you die a death that you live with for the rest of your life.”
- “The vision of horror was now permanently stamped in my mind.”
- “When you get back to the world, your traumas become your everyday struggles.”
- “What do you do when you don’t know what else to do?”
- “Before therapy, I didn’t understand why I was acting the way I was acting.”
What it means to have PTSD (mindsets)
All or Nothing Mindset
- In combat, less than a full effort can get you hurt or killed.
- Also, there are times when being very passive can keep you alive.
- “Gray areas” become viewed as dangerous and unhelpful to our survival.
Now or Never Mindset
- In combat, if you wait you might never get a second chance.
- This sense of urgency stays with many veterans and service members after a trauma.
- This approach is then applied to most every situation they will encounter.
- No mistakes are allowed——–mistakes will get you hurt or killed.
- Anything less than perfection is unacceptable.
- This is an attempt to maintain an ultimate level of control.
Denial of Personal Difficulty Mindset
- In a combat situation, a vet handles anything thrown at his or her way.
- It is easy to believe that is the way things are supposed to be in the civilian life.
- Vets have the belief that their best efforts kept them alive, why should they do any less now?
Worst Case Scenarios Mindset
- In traumatic experiences, survival is the bottom line.
- If we are prepared for the worst, we can probably handle anything else that comes along.
- This is a way of “preparing mentally” to avoid being caught off guard or traumatized again.
- “I have seen the absolute worst things in the world.”
- “I’m permanently damaged because of what I’ve been through.”
- “What’s the use?”
A person’s mindset guides the way they go about doing things. It is a large part of being mentally healthy. Unhealthy mindsets can also perpetuate the symptoms of a mental illness.
Mindsets play a large role in how we manage the PTSD symptoms. To get better, we must examine our mindsets and replace the harmful thought patterns. While new mindsets often “feel’ strange or untrue, more accurate and productive ways of viewing the world help us cope more effectively.
Recovery requires an openness to seeing things differently and reworking and understanding and conclusions.
Can you answer the following questions?
- Is it possible that I might have been wrong about a few things through the years?
- Could it be that my knowledge and insight have been limited by the PTSD symptoms?
- Is it O.K. to change your thinking to get better?
This should explain why understanding the importance of mindsets is so important.