Month: January 2022

PTSD: Your Condition is Not Your Conclusion

By Maria Anna van Driel 

You have no clue when or how but, somehow you have slid into this odd air bubble filled with millions and millions of thoughts still, a deafening silence is what you hear when focusing on these thoughts.  Dozens of familiar and uncontrolled memories are flashing by still, somehow you do not quite recognize them. Even though you know that these thoughts and images are yours, being your past, it feels as if you hear and view someone else’s memories of which some even look as if they are written by an award-winning scriptwriter of the latest horror movie Netflix is broadcasting.

Against your better judgment, you try to get a grip on yourself but, whatever you do, your emotions and thoughts are one big mess! Where you once felt super excited you now feel numb. You are constantly alert, you lose your focus, and have trouble sleeping, “What the heck is going on, am I going nuts?!” Shame and anxiety start kicking in! “What will my surroundings think of me?  Will they think that I am batshit crazy?”

And so, you crawl into that, metaphorically speaking, ‘dark corner’, keep it all to yourself in silence because you feel that no one will ever understand what you are going through. “How do I explain this vivid effect that seems to have a tremendous impact on my thinking and behavior?” And, after a while, you retreat while trying to make sense of your emotions experiencing a bumpy roller coaster ride.

Do you recognize these, surface scraping, symptoms? If so, it might be that you, like me, are experiencing a form of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) what, according to many psychologists, is a mental illness and can be treated by you taking a huge amount of medications after they have been categorized you and, labeled you with a grim sounding disorder.

Even though the common thought of PTSD is involving the exposure of the frightening, stressful, and overwhelming experiences like being in a serious accident, being physically assaulted, being involved in a war – either as a civilian or as part of military operations, being involved in a natural disaster, such as a bushfire, flood or cyclone, being sexually assaulted or abused, it also involves the personal experiences of, among others, military personal, police officers, fireman/woman who are working under huge pressure and in unusual situations. Stories no civilian will hear…officially.

There is no doubt that almost everyone who experiences trauma will be emotionally affected, and there are many different ways in which people will respond. For some, the effects can last for years – or longer.  Luckily most people will recover quite quickly with the help of family and friends. Meaning, the symptoms of PTSD do not always have to last forever and can be reduced even without treatment from a therapist.

There was a time when I was in a really dark place

To unpack my story so that you have an idea of who I am and, why I speak with the passion that I speak with… as many know, I am the founder and owner of two scientific magazines with which I try to make science more accessible in a fun way and for all ages.  But I wasn’t always the publisher and editor of The Next Truth.  In my early 20ths, I was an armed, un-uniformed police officer arresting the scumbags. And for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like a failure. I actually felt successful and worthy. I felt like I was good enough.

But, as with everything in life, things have a run-up consisting of several little moments that accumulate day after day, week after week, year after year, and, ultimately, affect your behavior, thinking, and thus decisions.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, even though I have witnessed some of the grimmest and gory moments life has to offer, joining the force wasn’t a bad decision. At least, that’s what I realize today.

So, how did I, as a sensitive and empathic kid, end up in an invisible but armed team that was focused on arresting and interrogating, among others, drug dealers, human traffickers, psychopathic killers, (potential) bombers?

To read the full article visit CPTSD Foundation

Suck it Up and Get Over it Princes!

By Maria Anna van Driel,

Let me shock you here for a brief moment! Modern psychology is in the need to restudy and understand the invisible injuries of both PTSD and CPTSD. Because that is exactly what it is…an emotional injury and not a mental illness what has to be suppressed with brain foggy creating medication in the moment one is capable of making a clear distinction between the past and the present. Not to mention this magical antidote, aka forgiveness.

Titled “Spent,” this image by Daniel Sundahl was made around 4 a.m. after a busy night as his partner sat in the ambulance after a call. The repeated exposure to traumatic situations and stress can impact the mental health of first responders. It is time to help the helpers. (Daniel Sundahl,

Say, a police officer has experienced a kidnapping. I mean, their own. He/she has been kept in prison for a certain period of time by a psychopathic criminal, being threatened, being insecure if he/she will survive the situation. Most cops will have these thoughts of ‘Shit, why didn’t I saw this coming? I have been trained for these kind of situations!’

Some therapists will say ‘Hurry, hurry, you have to forgive yourself so that you can move on’. Or what about those people who have experienced sexual abuse as a child or, during their adult years? There are therapist who say, ‘You have to start to forgive, it will give you peace’.

My personal opinion straightforward? F*ck them! If you do not want to forgive the one who has wracked your life, than that is perfectly fine. You should not be forced to do this at all.

What a therapist can do, together with their client, is working towards letting it go. I mean, for the client to start feel comfortable with the fact that it has happened and that it is okay to be angry about it…among others. It is okay not to forgive these sadistic predators…and some people never will.

There are a myriad brilliant therapists who are practicing for years already and their clients are tremendously happy with their listening ear and the treatments provided. They feel comfortable while voicing their minds, experiences and emotions to the therapist. But, unfortunately, when it comes down to 1st responders a huge amount of these therapists are missing the point…big time!

9 out of 10 known and accepted treatments many therapists are familiar with, are not even reaching the first level of PTSD and/or CPTSD 1st responders are dealing with. (regardless if they are retired or still working in the field)

Why? Straightforward, drawing a happy rainbow while bringing up mom not sticking a bandage on one’s knee after a fall on the kindergarten playground, is simply not relating to the mind-set of someone who has experienced, for instance, a shootout, called in a KIA, collected body-parts a psychopathic (serial) killer left behind or have watched a child die. (regardless recently or (…) years ago)

Read the full article on Medium.