scholar, artist, community organizer


Apps I Love: PTSDCoach


excerpt from Femme Filth #4: The Healing Issue

As many of you know, i suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a debilitating mental health condition that some people develop after experiencing trauma, from life-threatening events such as combat, natural disasters, sexual violence, and even car accidents. The four types of symptoms of PTSD are:

  • Relieving the event (nightmares, flashbacks, bad memories)

  • Experiencing more negative beliefs and feelings (guilt, shame, inability to trust, loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, a feeling the world is dangerous, numbness, an inability to experience happiness)

  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event (avoiding places that remind you of the event, even talking or thinking about the event)

  • Feeling keyed up or experiencing hyperarousal (feeling jittery and on-alert, trouble concentrating or sleeping, sudden feelings of anger or irritability, increased startle response, unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking, smoking, substance use/abuse, and driving recklessly)

Needless to say, it's not a pleasant experience. Thankfully, there's an app called PTSDCoach which can help you manage your symptoms! PTSDCoach is an amazing, FREE, app developed by the VA to support trauma survivors. You can learn about PTSD and professional care; take weekly self-assessments to track your symptoms over time; and use symptom management tools developed for specific emotions (i.e. you can select "reminded of trauma", "unable to sleep", "disconnected from reality", "angry", and so on) to provide you with coping mechanisms to address the distress you're experiencing. There is also a list of specific tools you can utilize without inputting your symptoms (for example, if you feel numb, dissociative, and don't know how you're feeling). Some of these skills include deep breathing, changing perspective, grounding, and positive imagery (to name a few) and you can find professional care and support through the app as well. You even have the ability to set up your own personal support network!

If you're in intense distress and thinking about harming yourself, please reach out for support and call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for help.

Wishing you the best in your healing process!

xoxo Karina Killjoy