3. Jamie - Complex PTSD and the Healing Power of Art
It’s PTSD awareness month and today’s conversation with Jamie focuses on her battle with Complex PTSD. I wasn’t aware of this different type of PTSD before Jamie shared her story with me. My assumption is that many of you haven’t heard of Complex PTSD either so here’s a brief description from sources that I’ll include in the show notes.
Complex PTSD is caused by chronic, long-lasting traumatic events, rather than short-lived events and usually involve some sort of emotional or physical captivity. There are many symptoms of Complex PTSD, some of which are shared with regular PTSD. One of the symptoms that seemed to come up a lot for Jamie is called emotional flashbacks. Emotional flashbacks are sudden and often prolonged regressions to the frightening circumstances of childhood. Because most emotional flashbacks do not have a visual or memory component to them, the triggered individual rarely realizes that she is re-experiencing a traumatic time from childhood.
I met with Jamie in her home in New Orleans on June 14th, 2019 and we discussed the challenges and the triumphs that she’s experienced on her journey.
I make reference to interviewing a doctor about PTSD and vets. The psychologist I was referring to is Hector Garcia and his TED talk can be found at https://www.ted.com/talks/hector_garcia_we_train_soldiers_for_war_let_s_train_them_to_come_home_too?language=en
Jamie references receiving treatment in West Virginia that was key in helping her recover from Complex PTSD. Intensive Trauma Therapy can be found at https://traumatherapy.us/
Jamie mentioned a book off mic that has really helped her on her road to recovery called Complex PTSD: From Surviving To Thriving by Pete Walker. The author’s website also seems to have extensive resources to help understand and manage complex PTSD.
Jamie talks about receiving help in Montana, where they diagnosed her with CPTSD. The name of the organization is Western Montana Mental Health Center. The therapist who helped Jamie in her recovery while in Montana is Sadie Smith, who now practices in Denver, CO.
An article on verywellmind that seems to do a very good job of describing Complex PTSD and its symptoms.
Robert Henri was quoted at the end of Jamie's story.