*All photos taken onsite at Soberman’s Estate.
What is PTSD?
PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), or CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) can be a result or residual effect from a wide range of traumatic events. Some of the more “common” individuals that often experience PTSD are Veterans, Police Officers, Firemen, First Responders, and Healthcare workers. It appears frequently in people that have been sexually/ physically assaulted or abused, involved in bad accidents, witnesses of violence and terror, or have experienced the devastation of a natural disaster. However, I think we often overlook or underestimate the traumatic impact of abandonment, neglect, racism, childhood trauma, verbal and emotional abuse, just to name a few.
I remember my first encounter with yoga. It was my freshman year in college. I took a yoga class. I remember writing for an assignment, “You can use your breath to help with many different things.” That was 14 years before I ever knew or thought that yoga and meditation would actually help save my life.
If you clicked on this article, there is a fair chance that the answer is yes, and that is not a bad thing. It may seem overwhelming, uncertain, and scary, especially of what others may think. If the answer is yes, all that means is there is a disease that needs to be treated. It is normal to feel resistance to a new chapter, there is always uncertainty in change. In truth, you deserve a life with joy, contentment, and self-esteem. Recovering from this disease is the beginning of a better life for the rest of your life. Shame typically stands in the way of starting treatment, and at Soberman's Estate, we teach clients how to let shame go, along with other issues that stand between the client and a better life.
It was the famed British psychoanalyst and pediatrician, Donald Winnicott MD who coined the term "false self" - a universal phenomenon that we all suffer from in a matter of degrees. To function in society we may have to say "please" when we are not pleased and "thank you" when we are not feeling any gratitude. This need to comply with social norms can go way beyond such niceties and can for instance suppress such basic human emotions as anger and sexual desire so that such expressions coming from the "true"self are unable to be processed, digested and made peace with.
Can mindfulness-based treatment modalities be more successful than psychotherapy to reduce comorbid opioid misuse and chronic pain? A recent (February 2022) clinical trial found that YES, it can.
This trial randomized 250 adults with comorbid opioid misuse and chronic pain. 45% of participants receiving mindfulness-oriented recovery training were no longer misusing opioids after 9 months of follow up. Only 24.4% of those who received group psychotherapy shared this success. In addition, those with mindfulness training also reported notable reduction in pain symptoms.
Mindfulness training included practices such as “meditation on breathing and body sensations to strengthen self-regulation of compulsive opioid use and to mitigate pain and opioid craving by reinterpreting these experiences... reframing maladaptive thoughts to decrease negative emotions, and engender meaning in life... and cultivating awareness on pleasurable events and sensations to amplify positive emotions and reward.”
Our article Mindfulness = Boredom + Curiosity goes further in depth about the essence of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a key in becoming connected, aware, and empowered. Benefits of mindfulness are nearly endless, including decreased depression, increased emotional regulation, reduced anxiety and stress, better memory, cognitive improvements, stronger relationships, better physical health and more (very well mind).
Soberman’s Estate provides tools and strategies to cultivate mindfulness for clients. One of the most accessible tools is breathwork, however there are different physical experiences that help different individuals tap into and strengthen their mindfulness muscle. Some clients learn the most mindfulness during yoga, equine therapy, art therapy, mala bead meditations, labyrinth walks, nature hikes, journaling prompts, medicine wheel sessions, intentional cooking and eating, music therapy, or more. Soberman’s Estate provides all therapeutic modalities onsite, so clients may find what works for them to ignite their recovery journey. We are proud to teach men to live a better life for the rest of their lives. ™