Post Traumatic Stress During the Pandemic by Rene


PTSD: Diagnostic Criteria | What You Need To Know - Hill & Ponton, P.A.

PTSD can manifest itself in many ways.

1) A life-threatening event. This includes a perceived-to-be life-threatening event. …
2) Internal reminders of the event. These symptoms typically present as nightmares or flashbacks.
3) Avoidance of external reminders. …
4) Altered anxiety state. …
5) Changes in mood or thinking.
Because people might expect these signs to come on right after the event, they may not know what is happening if symptoms manifest 6 month after when the trauma might have been long past.
One of the best methods in addition to medication and other forms of therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD AND anxiety.
It is in short a system that allows people to stop troubling or racing thoughts (that result from changes in mood and altered anxiety state that really can distort the way we normally think and challenge), and replace those thoughts with better ones.
For example, an individual might blame themselves for things that were out of their control or others that may not in reality be responsible. They may also have a fear of objects places or people that trigger anxiety or avoidance of the trauma. The bible has been an invaluable tool in helping me personally to combat anxiety during these times because the bible goes to the most stable part of our being and that is our faith.
Our faith is a powerful weapon against fear, trauma, and anxiety because it takes the focus off of us to solve problems when we feel powerless, and plugs us into a God who can provide solutions to our problems because he is all-powerful. If anyone is reading this who might feel they are suffering from symptoms of PTSD or anxiety over the troubling things they see around them, (or are experiencing first hand) I want you to stop and find a quiet place to think.
Allow what is bothering you to come to the surface and then mentally stop the thought that is troubling you and examine it. Take it apart and make it stand trial against reasonable questioning. Will what has happened or what I am afraid of threatening me at this moment? Am I safe at this moment? Why am I safe at this moment? What help do I have at this moment that is guaranteed and accessible to me right now?
Before this thought becomes stressful to you recall scripture to mind that can command a believer to not be anxious about what we are suffering.

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Remind yourself that these are not suggestions. If it were not safe to believe this OR if it were impossible for us to surrender our worry and anxiety to God (to yield to him in these moments) then would God would have spoken through the prophets and Jesus in the bible? “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
If we are worried about whether or not God is still with us remember, “Do not fear because God is with you (Deut. 31:6). 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
If we have trouble in believing that God loves us then believe that he loved his perfectly righteous son whom he gave for us in order that we might be saved. This is an immutable fact!
None of us are outside of God’s love (unless we have taken the mark of the beast or are unrepentant sinners) and we should not let our environment dictate where God is or is not in our lives. God is above our thoughts and is not subject to the whims of our environment and therefore sees clearly what to do, and more importantly when to do it for each of us. Despite whether or not we are capable of seeing it ourselves during a crisis.
What we perceive as changes in our life may ultimately have little to no bearing on what God thinks of us and we should not use our present circumstances as a measure of what our relationship with God is presently. Job and his situation is a good example. We should also praise God in our difficulty because we may be going through tribulation and have a unique opportunity to show what the faith of righteous man when he trusts God is capable of Proverbs 27:11 Be wise, my son, and make my (Jehovah\’s) heart rejoice, So that I can make a reply to him (Satan) who taunts me.
What I also like to do is grab a list of scriptures that outline what my obligations are to God as a believer in that I “must” wait on him patiently, pray constantly, and do everything reasonably possible to resolve my problems and (up to and) following that, rely on God.
In reality, I must as a human being acknowledge my limitations and imperfections in that I was not created to navigate any aspect of my life without guidance. No believer should blame themselves when they are confronted with situations in which there is no clear solution. Sometimes one of the hardest things to do as a believer is to wait when you have no other cards to play and you have done everything that you can “Reasonably do” in your situation.
Psalm 46:10 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

I like to remind myself that God is with me even when I make financial, ethical, moral, or any other decisions because he knows I am imperfect. God has promised to help me in any situation I find myself in regardless of how I got there if I come to him with a sincere and humble spirit. If I am willing to yield control and simply acknowledge the reality that my problems are bigger than I feel I can navigate them, and that it would be short-sighted of me to not believe (the reality) that God is waiting and has already helped me. God has and always will help me even if I do not always understand what is happening or know how to plan my next steps.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do so much more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
One of the most valuable features of what I will jokingly call “Spiritual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” is that it stops thoughts from producing a stress response. Stress responses in of themselves are a gift. The mind takes information in and if the mind decides you are in danger or need to act, the body prepares itself in that your senses become very focused, your body releases glucose and energy stores, muscles tense, cortisol is released. This happens because your body is preparing to defend itself. But when we are actually in no present danger (but experiences stress remembering trauma or fear we will be in it) this process wears the body out, and leaves the individual in an aroused and exhausted state and unable to have energy and resources to deal with other problems they may face.
Our stressful situations may be one that lasts longer than we ourselves have the resources to endure becoming chronic responses to how we are feeling. This will become depleting and will exhaust our internal and external resources. It is vital that we plug ourselves into an inexhaustible resource that is God through prayer and supplication as we can and will give out if our trials exceed our ability to cope. But God can through prayer refill our depleted resources both physical, emotional and spiritual if we rely on him. But also keep in mind that trial and stress can produce good as unlikely as it may seem.
Romans 5:3-4 ESV More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
When we feel a stressful thought the body sometimes has problems recognizing whether it’s in genuine trouble and this is the problem with PTSD as our bodies are acting on what our mind has determined to be real. Imagine that one kid in your class that sets the fire alarms off when there is no fire. The whole school scrambles and responds in order to get to safety. Well if this happens at unexpected times and quite often you can imagine the stress this would cause. Imagine if the school had cameras and could see Billy triggering the fire alarm and could tell everyone it's ok, it's just Billy again, the response would be very different.
This is why I urge everyone to keep a few things in mind when coping with stress and PTSD. Stress responses are normal even if you have PTSD. God knew this when he made us. What he has called us to keep in mind though is that while we are in Satan’s system, Satan knows that he can trigger our fire alarms if we let him. But keep in mind that when we reflect on God, his promises, and our faith, that even when we are not in control, God is always in control. We can then isolate and manage our stress responses scrutinizing when we have thoughts and feelings of panic or alarm in order to determine when we are in actual danger of a fire and when Billy is setting the fire alarms off.
Remember always there are limits to what we as humans can do. We can’t read other peoples minds, we can't predict the future, but we do have an obligation to do what we can to be obedient to our faith, and that God sees us and has not let go of us even when we think we are in a hopeless and desperate situation.
This is an unprecedented time for me and probably many from my generation. But what I have learned through this ordeal is that we have a higher calling to defend our faith through our acts of kindness to one another, to show compassion to ourselves in being patient with our limitations, and to rest firmly on God and his absolute guarantees of salvation for not only the greatest of us but also the least. May God’s blessings and kindness be with every one of my brothers and sisters out there who are still hanging on and keeping their faith. I love all of you.
Sister Rene

10 Responses to Post Traumatic Stress During the Pandemic by Rene

  1. jacqueline says:

    I was thinking Rene, so much is changing now and people’s response shouldn’t be the same as it was pre-pandemic.

    Pauses and a sabbath is necessary after events. For instance.
    Relationships are ending. Don’t go get another, Stop, breathe enjoy the new normal without a partner.

    Death is occurring, it is okay to stop, crying hard, mourn. It is not a sign of weakness for a man to just cry hard at the loss of both parents, their spouse, cousin, uncle aunt.

    A sabbath, a week month before you do anything in a changed situation.

    The old financial rules don’t apply. Investment in a home has always been a great idea for security but not now if your home is in Ca. or New York or any city where the cost of the home or living is high. Buying smaller might be the best bet.
    The pandemic has changed everything.

    • Rene says:

      Jacqueline,

      This sadly is the normal other ordinary people in other places have had to face. When war or famine or natural disasters destabilizes others I think it was difficult for people in stable situations with a long history of personal and generational stability to comprehend that kind of loss. I think that it is a bitter but necessary lesson that is teaching all of us why we need God’s kingdom so desperately. I know from personal experience that losses in my life where I had not experienced them before has taught me how fragile things can be and how reliant I am not in my home or car or even my family and friends but God because these things can sadly be taken away as many are now tragically experiencing. This is transitioning into a new reality for all of us and we all need above all else patience with ourselves, and others as we we all find new ways to cope with our collective losses. Taking a breath and mindfully living in the present allowing ourselves to grieve not only the loss of the things that matter the most to us, but to also grieve our lost sense of normal. Thank you for your insights as usual they are very helpful in these sad times.

      • jacqueline says:

        Rene, while we here in the USA are with creature worship, this is happening all over the world, all of 2020 and into 2021. Something is happening in the heavenlies!
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4OnhWTcioo

        • Rene says:

          One of the problems that I encountered frequently in my quest to find the true religion is the notion that God fits neatly into our own doctrine. God wont do this until this happens or this prophecy is what will happen and it can and will only look like this when it happens. I think that we need to be like the Virgins who brought extra lap oil and for me that means patience in God and the knowledge that I need to be prepared to accept anything that God does and allows regardless of how it fits into my religious and world views. I will agree with you that I feel something is happening in the heavenlies and I hope we as individuals are preparing ourselves for whatever it manifests itself to be. This is a faith and endurance run as no one is able to work spiritually the way in which we were able to prior to these events plaguing us currently.

          • jacqueline says:

            Rene, I have quit looking for “THE” true religion. I have found from a study with our little Bible Fellowship and on many others that I attend online that we are all little groups of 2 or 3 or more being led by the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible. There are so many Christians out there just using the Bible.
            We have learned that the Bible doesn’t teach these doctrines and dogma. ie, there is no chapter on where are the dead, resurrection chapter, 144,000 or remnant chapter.No Shunning chapter no chapter at all on governing body, no purgatory or virgin Mary chapter.
            These are made up doctrines by the various money-making organizations and religions that control their members.
            This I believe was the great falling away Jesus foretold. But, now you see persons leaving these huge Churches and Organizations.
            Studying the Bible personally with prayer and with others satisfies now my quest for Truth.
            Something I never found in the two religions I have belonged to.
            I know not to even consider some of the others, although they like our fellowship have some things right.

            I will never join an organized organization or a huge fellowship. Some of the other fellowships find that if they get over 12, it’s time to split it into two groups because you can’t consider everyone’s thoughts and what they see. My last experience was a lateral move and in some ways backward. But it is the journey and I learned a lot of what is definitely deception, not to do creature worship or worship a group of men.
            It will impede the Spirit. That’s what I am learning. There are so many great small Christian groups out there! Also some of the pastors of organized groups on youtube are just excellent.
            They recognize the need to help those that won’t come to organizations anymore.
            One thing that I find odd is the watchtower governing body will sue you on copyright infringement if you share their information on any platform. Strange and odd, but since it isn’t based just on the Bible I guess it is their intellectual material.

            • Rene says:

              Jacqueline,

              I always and will always believe that Jesus said the Holy spirit goes where it decides it wants to go and I for one am glad of it.

              • jacqueline says:

                Rene, I think of where he told the disciples that he would send one back just like him according to the Greek word. He would be a helper and He would be with them always. He said He couldn’t come unless he, Jesus, left.

                I don’t know if it was because he had to ask his Father to send him as he said, or he had to appear before the Divine Court and Jehovah as the Lamb that took sin away. I also notice that the word Advocate in Greek meant someone just like him.

                He never calls the Holy Spirit it! But rather HIM.hmmm

                John 14:15-19 ” 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you.

                In order to grieve the Holy Spirit, he would have to be an entity ale to discern and have emotion.
                I don’t know what he is or what sort of divine one he is but he has a powerful effect on our group and individuals when you read the Bible or pray even. Sometimes helping you find the words.
                Old testament brothers had the Spirit cause them to act but it didn’t stay or indwell as it was promised to Christians after Christ. Samson was an example. (Judges 14:6, 19; 15:14).

                • Rene says:

                  Jacqueline,

                  Fascinating subject indeed. I want to read up on the subject before I post but you make some very thought provoking points. I think my original thought about the holy spirit and I think that it is indeed a sentient being capable of emotion and discernment is that he/it is not subject to the confines of any one religion.

                  • jacqueline says:

                    Rene, I agree it is not confined to any one religion. How any religion could think that as big as this world of worshipers of Yahweh and Jesus is.
                    I am going to pull all of the scriptures where the Holy Spirit is mentioned and see if I can see a pattern of sorts.
                    I am listening now to a very informative talk on youtube. Went for a walk and he got my attention.
                    Tell me what you think if you have time to listen.
                    It is about “Small Group Study” that is popping up all over the world.

                    The Pope told Catholics to try and get these groups back to the Universal church (catholic).
                    He said “Small Groups” do not have the Holy Spirit. And some Catholics are trying to obey him but that will be a hard fight or no fight for me because I made that decision against the Catholic Organization when I was a child and saw how they disrupted our community and their pedophilia sickens me.
                    This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3b17TGbzDA&t=1281s

  2. Rene says:

    I dont know how you make things look so amazing but wow. I love it 🙂

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