Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

It takes time to adopt new language about mental health/illness. As I found out…


The language used in society about mental illness, increases mental health stigma.

People are not bipolar, they have bipolar.

People are not schizophrenic, they have schizophrenia.

People are not EMO, they have self harm behaviours.

People are not OCD, they have OCD.

People are not PTSD, they have PTSD.

I see language used continually, that further stigmatises mental health illness as something ‘bad’ and to be feared and something different to physical illness.

And it adds to the ignorance and wrong opinions so many have.

I’ve come to realise the important of using appropriate language and how this is vital to educating people and education is the only way to change anything for the better.

I also realise how easy it is to use wrong language. I did this myself in counselling this week…….. after tweeting about appropriate language. That is how easily done it is to say e.g “the bipolar woman” – instead of saying “the woman with bipolar”. I noted I did this, and corrected myself immediately. With my counsellor nodding along, as she does when I am on the right track. Continue reading


Dealing with stigma about mental health/illness/disorders, is a complex issue. Requiring empathy for others.

I see stigma everywhere. Including within the mental health industry and within those who are dealing with mental health issues. I see people with certain disorders, saying theirs is different, and shaming others in the process.

I see the deeper, bigger picture and do not want to shame anyone with mental health issues such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, autism etc.

I don’t intend getting bogged down by individual people’s opinions on certain mental health disorders, being treated differently to others, based on how they were caused. Fact is, most mental health issues, are caused by neglect and abuse in childhood. As most mental health issues, develop before adulthood. Along with genetic and environmental factors, adding to the likelihood of mental health issues developing.

I have the empathy needed, to see the whole and bigger picture about how the brain and psyche are affected by what happens to people and the resulting mental health issues. It is how people deal with that, that matters to me. How people treat others that matters to me. And shaming someone else, for having a mental health illness different to my own, is wrong. (Yes, how people treat others matters).

As the very inspiring Eleanor Longden stated in her amazing TED talk – she belives all mental health issues are ‘not about what is wrong with you, but about what happened to you’.


Schizophrenia, receives considerable stigma and shaming attitudes from many, and yet Eleanor has helped changed that. She was abused as a child, and the result being a ‘sane reaction, to insane circumstances’.  Continue reading


WHO stated severe PTSD – equivalent of being a paraplegic. Severe Depression – quadriplegic. Both…

While watching Australian Q&A this week, about mental illness, the following was stated in response to why mental illness is not considered as debilitating as physical illness….

WHO – World Health Organisation have stated…

Having severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is the equivalent of being paraplegic, and..

Having severe Depression, is the equivalent of being quadriplegic…

In terms of debilitating impact on life.

My thoughts go further, in stating Complex PTSD  – which is more debilitating than uncomplicated PTSD – there will be even further impact.

And for those who have these combined with severe depression, the impact can be even greater.

It is good to see mental illness being talked with much compassion, in a rational manner, where people are stepping up and confirming mental illness, is real and equivalent to physical illness, despite many people in society being unable or unwilling to accept this. Continue reading

Mental illness, does not negate personal responsibility for abusive actions.

Today in counselling, I brought up this bizarre belief many in society, including many within the mental health profession have…. of justifying/rationalising abusive behaviours… and ‘blaming’ mental illness. I see it all the time … “she/he can’t help it, she/he is mentally ill”. So unwise. Actually in most cases, yes they can help it. They made choices.

And the response was, an agreement that indeed not all mental illness means people are not responsible and conscious of their actions.

There are some mental illness, like psychosis, that does mean people are not consciously aware of their behaviours. But this a very small % of people.

To say narcissistic, sociopathic people, paedophiles, predators, con artists etc…. are ‘just mentally ill’ and ‘can’t help what do’ – is absolutely wrong. That’s not compassion/empathy. That is cognitive distortion – rationalising, denial, minimizing, justifying etc. That’s not dealing in truth.

Within most mental illness, people still know their abusive actions are wrong and they do it anyway. They are fully responsible for their actions.

Having a mental health diagnosis does not negate personal responsibility for actions. It is still choices people make. And people need to be made responsible for their actions. Continue reading