Self-Sabotage - episode #5 of The PTSD Academy Podcast
Read "Self-Sabotage: A Harbinger of All Things Bad" offline:

Episode 005: The Bottom Line Up Front is this: If you believe you deserve to succeed you will not self-sabotage.

Shame is Self-Induced

While that sounds simple on face value, the reasons behind low self-esteem come in infinite combinations. While helping a friend write a grant proposal for a non-profit, I developed a tool that has helped me solve complex problems in a simple way. Though my discovery here is in the realm of PTSD, it has ramifications elsewhere.

The Coulda Woulda Shouda Table:

Modern outpatient psychotherapy likes to “fix” every problem practically with 12, 1-hour sessions of individual talk therapy. Many have come accustomed to feeling ashamed to come to a counseling office, much less see a PTSD-specialized psychiatrist. Would you keep going if you expected to feel humiliated? Like you’re doing all the heavy lifting at home anyway, right? If you’re like a lot of people, the self-sabotage is for emotional reasons such as lack of forgiveness, particularly forgiving oneself.

The Vicious Cycle of Negative Thoughts and the Accompanying Feelings

Therefore, the problem of self-sabotage is usually one of two things playing back and forth against each other:

  1. Core belief of unworthiness, often due to guilt or abuse, usually invoking cognitive distortions for the condition to last for years.
  2. Persistent feeling of guilt or anxiety that seems to come first, then followed by thoughts of not deserving happiness. Remember, happiness comes during the active pursuit of a worthwhile goal – like writing this book!

Examples of Self Sabotage in PTSD Therapy

  • Not attending all of the sessions
  • Not making healing a priority in your life
  • Poor lifestyle decisions (nutrition and exercise)
  • Continued avoidance mechanisms (alcohol, work-aholism, emotion-stuffing)

How to End the Suffering of PTSD

Ever notice how we can sometimes make a bad situation worse? Unintentionally? When we define suffering as the emotional consequences of forecasting a negative future, we begin to see a way we can reduce the suffering. Grieve cleanly, cry and get it out – without unhealthy avoidance mechanisms. Then, when the feeling of sadness starts to subside, stop your thoughts from turning towards a negative future. Get up. And go do something else – move along with your day!

By Doctor Dan

[veteran, physician, psychiatrist]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.