Saturday, April 4, 2009

PTSD Healing: Notes on Assessing Quality of Life

The usual Saturday feature, 'PTSD in the News: Weekly Roundup' is suspended this weekend as I have to go out of town. So, my friend Michael Coski is stepping in today with some guest notes about how we measure quality of life, and how that measurement can affect and motivate healing. You can watch a video of Michael on his 'Constructive Change' channel on YouTube.

Mike's thoughts and the process outlined below are a simple-to-use Cognitive Behavior Technique in which we... well, ah... cognitively assess where we are, what we are experiencing, where we're trying to grow toward, and the progress we're making in that effort.

'Reality always asserts itself' ~Ayn Rand

~ Quality of life as a tool/thermometer to be used for constructive change.

~ I view it as a number-line. As long as we are progressing forwards [to the right/positive numbers] then no matter where we are in life our quality of life is improving 'relative' to the context of our situation; it really doesn't matter where you are on the number line as long as the general consequence of your choices allows you to proceed to the right [adding to the quality of your life] rather than to the left [subtracting from your quality of life].

Pardon the crude diagram, for a visual:


~ Let's say I relapsed on some 'addiction' or had a death in the family or some similar stressor that would cause a 'reassesment of priorities/due to stress' and find myself on this crude [quality of life/number-line] at the mark labeled (-62). As long as I'm progressing or striving toward ' 0 ' , my addiction or stress will become more 'neutralized' and improve as a general result - and my quality of life will increase.

~If I don't neutralize the problem first I can never expect fate, reality, etc.. to honor my efforts... until effort in that direction & motive has been made.

~ Life may never really take off for me until I realize that I'm advancing beyond and to the right of that ' 0 ' neutral-mark.

~ When I do advance beyond that ' 0 ' margin and get into the positive 10s, 20s, etc., that's when
my relationships flourish and everything seems to fall into place.

~ Assessing where we are on a quality of life number line gives us a real-thermometer and helps us notice when our choices are taking us further away from the present quality of life we now enjoy.

~ It also helps us realize that if our present choices [or lack of] are hindering us from advancing to improve that quality of life, then improving or making attempts to improve our situations needs to become a priority.

(Photo: Kausthub)

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