Trail Mix

Quick Energy for Your Journey Through Life

The Devolution of a Diagnosis: PTSD, Part One

Child abuse is the largest single public health issue in America.
Mary Sykes Wylie, PhD

We currently wage war on drugs, poverty, terror, cancer, gangs, women, and Christmas (according to some). Why no war on child abuse if it’s such a big deal? Better still, why not a child “love-in” (a term from my generation where we professed to make love, not war, supposedly)? Wouldn’t that pretty much take care of all those other wars, over time? Wait a minute, you were expecting another installment of my “Evolution of a Diagnosis” series on PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)? Now I’m using the word “devolution” and talking about child abuse. What’s all that about?

The Evolution of a Diagnosis: PTSD, Part Deux

Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.
Dave Pelzer

Note: This is the second part of a series on the evolution of the diagnosis called Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. While it’s not necessary to have read the first part, it may be helpful in giving you some context and an understanding of the terms used here.

One of the significant changes in the DSM-5®’s criteria to meet the diagnosis of PTSD has to do with the age of the person in question. Specifically, the authors have: (a) singled out children of age six or younger and (b) changed the criteria (the set of relevant symptoms) for those children ever so slightly. Such children don’t need to have quite as many symptoms as people older than six. This seems mildly interesting to me in a positive way. But my attention really gets drawn to the fact that the authors single out criteria for younger children at all. Let’s call this “the good news.”

The Evolution of a Diagnosis: PTSD, Part One

Trauma is in the eye of the beholder.
Dan Metevier

You have probably heard of PTSD, especially if you know someone who has served in the military. This “mental disorder” diagnosis stands for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. It was developed following the Vietnam war in recognition of the sometimes terrible after-effects of that war on many of the people who participated in it. For example, I once evaluated for disability insurance a Vietnam vet whose job was to load onto a helicopter the bodies of his buddies who had died that day. He did this all day long, day after day. Needless to say, he was not doing so well. I thanked him for his service and sent him on his way, with a tear in my eye.

What is the Problem Right Now?

Narrow your life down to this moment. Your life situation may be full of problems – most life situations are – but find out if you have a problem at this moment. Do you have a problem now?
Eckhart Tolle

A saleswoman named Jessica worried constantly about money. She had just moved to San Diego from Sacramento and, while she wanted to establish herself at a new company there, she did not quite know how to go about it. In the meantime, she had no income and her savings were starting to dwindle. She talked to many people about this and got a lot of advice. But she still could not shake this constant worry. She needed to find relief soon!

The Paradoxical Theory of Change

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
Carl Rogers

Try that quote on for size and see how it fits for you. Does this seem right? How can this be? What does he mean by “accept?” How can I accept my shortcomings, dysfunctions, etc.? If I accept them, then why change? But I want to change!!

The Secret to a Happy Marriage

Marriage is the process of choosing the right woman with whom to be incompatible.
Evan Esar

I’ve been married a good long time, over 30 years at the time of this writing. And, so far, so good, I’m happy to report. Because of this, people have asked me, “What’s your secret?” In the past, I’ve fumbled to answer this question, feeling embarrassed not to have a quick response. But, now I think I’ve finally figured it out and I want to share this wonderful secret with you.

So, at long last, here it is, the secret to a happy marriage:

Dr. Dan is fully booked and is only available to current and former clients.

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