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Introduction to PTSD Sourcebook Work

I recently started to again read the book The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook by Glenn Schiraldi. I have re-read the first 5 chapters plus chapters 6 and 7. I find the book to be a very valuable resource and hope to work my way through it’s entirety by the end of 2012. I am in no rush, but will share what I am learning here.

To see all related posts click the tag “PTSD Sourcebook“.

PTSD Cost Benefit Analysis

On page 61 there is an exercise to weigh the “benefits” and draw-backs of having PTSD. Simple but powerful. This exercise helped me to gain perspective.

Anxiety by Hito76

Benefits of PTSD

Benefits of PTSD, or “secondary gains” you may be receiving from being diagnosed with PTSD or other mental issues may keep you from getting better. It is best to know what may be holding you back now.

Following is a list of the personal “benefits” that I receive from having PTSD:


  • Excuses for not being very successful
  • Excuse for way of living my life (i.e. lack of social life, missing work, financial issues, etc.)
  • Excuse not to change or grow


  • Ability to deny feelings, such as anger and resentment
  • Ability to deny sexuality
  • Ability to live in the past so I do not have to plan for the future
  • Do not have to expand view of self beyond symptoms. Don’t have to find a real identity. Can be defined by symptoms and don’t have to think of self as a real person.


  • Belief that others help or like me because they feel sorry for me
  • Keep friends who are also not well
  • Keep unhealthy relationships without having to assess them
  • Total family separation without thought or guilt

Disadvantages of PTSD

Following is a list of the disadvantages of PTSD as I have experienced it:


  • General and acute
  • Light sleep, awaken often (to every noise)
  • Panic attacks
  • Phobias
  • Physical manifestation of anxiety (see health issues)
  • Social seclusion

Health issues:

  • Blood pressure issues (High and low)
  • Caffeine addiction
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to eat or exercise healthfully on a consistent basis
  • Inability/unwillingness to be physically healthy
  • OCD tendencies
  • Physical symptoms (nausea, dizziness, illness, intestinal issues, etc.)
  • Stress


  • Body image issues
  • Constant confusion over the right thing to do, severe self-doubt
  • Fear of self (see below)
  • Feeling of inadequacy and wrongness; guilt
  • Feeling of intrinsic badness
  • Lack of friends and close relationships
  • Lack of hope of someone who will understand me
  • Overcompensations
  • Worthlessness and general low self-esteem


  • DID
  • Financial issues (from lack of work and missed time)
  • Flashbacks
  • Inability to deal with dead animals or spiders
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Lack of general hope for future
  • Loss of religious faith
  • Nightmares and terrors
  • No family
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Over-analytical thinking
  • Overwhelming feelings
  • Self injury
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Trust issues

Feelings on Exercise

As you can see the disadvantages far out-weigh the “benefits” in my analysis. Making the discomfort of getting better worth the work.

Related Resources

My Monster Has A Name… actually many. This blog is a safe place for me to share my healing journey from childhood abuse. The topics covered are at times controversial, offensive, horrific, and hopefully sometimes inspiring. Thank you for sharing in my journey.