PTSD–The Real Cause and How to Treat It

The Real Cause of PTSD Reactions and How to Treat It

A woman has a surprising realization about herself when she listens to a recording of a conversation she had with an "attacking" friend. This video snippet is a "Nugget" from Video Chat 213


The Cause of the PTSD of Feeling Attacked by Others

I know a very angry, victimy woman. She can go on for days about how life has been cruel and unfair.

I had previously told her that people are not nearly what she believes that she makes every person into the monsters who raised her and have hurt her. She told me in this conversation that we had, that she had visited a friend that she'd always thought was critical, unfeeling, unkind, blah blah blah on and on. She stuck a recorder in her pocket and recorded the conversation with her friend. It was a three-hour conversation.

At the end of the conversation, she thought, “There, see? She is, she's all those things I've always said—critical, unfeeling, unkind, blah blah blah.” And she listened to it and discovered that she couldn't find a single attacking moment in the entire three hours, that her friend hadn't attacked her at all. The cause of her PTSD-reaction was all her pain, carried over from the past, that colored every conversation she's had since.

It was also easier for her to do it the next day than to make that assessment right during the conversation. Why? As soon as somebody speaks to her, boom, she reacts. She reacts to defend herself. And she's put herself in that hyper-vigilant PTSD state where then every subsequent word, every subsequent tone of voice, gesture, facial expression, body posture, becomes an attack. So, during the conversation, she can't tone it down. It's just an automatic thing with her. The next day, without the woman sitting in front of her, she wasn't in that hyper-vigilant state and could hear the truth.

We have to stop repeating the past. Past judgments change with present experience but if we've already made the judgment, we can't have new experiences, we just have old experiences over and over again, reinforcing past judgments. This lady had the courage to listen to it without making a judgment to start with. And as a result of that experience, as a result of feeling loved by more and more people, she's going to gradually, it's not going to happen overnight, be able to have more and more conversations with people without reacting in that hyper-vigilant reactionary PTSD way. It's very cool.


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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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