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OSI-CAN Blogs

Updated: 2 days ago


There is hardly any research done on the specifics of taking care of personal responsibilities such as Budgeting and Personal Finances. When doing research on this subject, it was found that there is a condition referred to as Financial Trauma and Financial PTSD whereby the issues of finances caused sufficient stress to create PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). When speaking with Psychologists it is apparent that people with PTSD or Operational Stress Injury, tend to avoid the stress of personal finances. As a result, they have challenges with budgeting and financial planning of any kind and can be easily influenced into making poor decisions with the goal of getting out of stressful situations as quickly as possible.

According to the symptoms of PTSD as described by Psychiatry.org, those dealing with PTSD tend to have symptoms of what could be described as alterations in arousal and reactivity. Essentially this is a tendency to get very emotionally reactive with fear or anger at things that are even slightly stressful which results in responses like avoidance which in the case of finances, would be not doing a budget or even discussing a budget with those who can help.

However, there is hope that one can rebuild their life and their finances with therapy and time. A useful resource is an excel spreadsheet that helps to calculate budgets: https://www.mymoneycoach.ca/budgeting/budgeting-calculators-tools/budgeting-spreadsheet

Chantel Chapman, co-founder of the Trauma of Money Method and founder of What The Finances, takes a trauma-informed approach to financial education and says it's crucial to look at financial trauma on both an individual and collective level (https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/money/signs-of-financial-trauma). According to the article there are four signs of financial trauma:

  • Financial Avoidance - ranges from not opening bills to not taking calls from creditors or people who could help.

  • Overspending - or compulsive spending which could include eating out constantly or making major purchases with money that goes against budget (like spending money meant for a mortgage or rent).

  • Underspending - this is a lack of trust in spending money and avoids spending as much as possible.

  • Lack of Boundaries - this lack of boundaries is that people will not negotiate for their own worth and effort or will not have clear boundaries of whose role is responsible for those same efforts.

These signs could describe almost anyone with financial troubles but, they are especially problematic when someone with an Operational Stress Injury like PTSD is trying to heal and rebuild their life. Put these signs together with the symptoms of PTSD and you can end up with extreme cases of those same signs. The symptoms of PTSD include:

  1. Intrusion: Intrusive thoughts such as repeated, involuntary memories; distressing dreams; or flashbacks of the traumatic event. Flashbacks may be so vivid that people feel they are reliving the traumatic experience or seeing it before their eyes.

  2. Avoidance: Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event may include avoiding people, places, activities, objects and situations that may trigger distressing memories. People may try to avoid remembering or thinking about the traumatic event. They may resist talking about what happened or how they feel about it.

  3. Alterations in cognition and mood: Inability to remember important aspects of the traumatic event, negative thoughts and feelings leading to ongoing and distorted beliefs about oneself or others (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted”); distorted thoughts about the cause or consequences of the event leading to wrongly blaming self or other; ongoing fear, horror, anger, guilt or shame; much less interest in activities previously enjoyed; feeling detached or estranged from others; or being unable to experience positive emotions (a void of happiness or satisfaction).

  4. Alterations in arousal and reactivity: Arousal and reactive symptoms may include being irritable and having angry outbursts; behaving recklessly or in a self-destructive way; being overly watchful of one's surroundings in a suspecting way; being easily startled; or having problems concentrating or sleeping. (https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd)

OSI-CAN is a named project of the Canadian Mental Health Association SK Division. OSI-CAN is a free confidential, community based peer support initiative for currently serving and former military members, first responders, public safety personnel and their families. For more information, visit osicansk.ca

You can also contact us at 306-552-3801 or toll free 888-495-6068


We at OSI-CAN do not see PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a Disorder, we see it as an Injury you can recover from. If you are suffering from the symptoms of an Occupational or Operational Stress Injury, then a PTSD or PTSI diagnosis is not required to get our help!

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Updated: 2 days ago


Christmas and OSI's like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex PTSD do not go together well. Combine that with it being winter and Seasonal Affective Disorder comes along to exacerbate the symptoms, and you have a serious potential for negative consequences on decision-making influenced by sadness, grief, and anger. OSI tends to cause people to cover their true feelings of anxiety and depression by showing a happy face. For those dealing with PTSD, Christmas becomes a painful period with the stress of working to cover up their pain and look 'normal'. The result when covering up feelings that isn't successful can be tears, rage, shame, fear, guilt, and panic.

To deal with the Christmas season, you need to have the tools to plan out your strategy:

Choose What You’ll Do

Give yourself a sense of balance and control by making a plan, choose what you want to do or need to do then choose how long you have to or intend to be in that place.


Create an Exit Strategy

Not everything goes according to plan, and so you need a plan for before panic sets in. To stay calm and keep your mind at ease, having an exit strategy for when you have a panic attack or need a moment to breathe and calm down can help keep your calm.

It’s not your job to keep everyone else happy

To manage your PTSD with some effectiveness, remember that you need to develop a limit on your interactions and activities. You cannot keep everyone happy and so saying no and avoiding places and events that will set back your healing is not a bad thing.


Be Realistic

One person cannot attend every Christmas event over the holidays and should not be expected to. If you are getting overwhelmed, put yourself first and pull back on some commitments. You need self-compassion and need to take care of yourself.


Get Some Alone Time

Spending time alone isn't always just about avoiding stress, sometimes it is that time alone that can give you the energy to exist each day. Schedule time to be by yourself if your Christmas schedule is busy.


Don’t Think Ahead

Thinking about an event can add to the anxiety in one's mind, stick to thinking about one thing at a time as much as possible and one can have that much more of a chance at a peaceful mind this Christmas.


We at OSI-CAN do not see PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a Disorder, we see it as an Injury you can recover from. If you are suffering from the symptoms of an Occupational or Operational Stress Injury, then a PTSD or PTSI diagnosis is not required to get our help!


OSI-CAN is a named project of the Canadian Mental Health Association SK Division. OSI-CAN is a free confidential, community based peer support initiative for currently serving and former military members, first responders, public safety personnel and their families. For more information, visit osicansk.ca You can also contact us at 306-552-3801 or toll free 888-495-6068

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Updated: 2 days ago



Seek professional therapy and medical support If you’re not already receiving professional therapy and medical support for your PTSD, then it’s time to reach out now. Long-term recovery depends on a supportive network of trauma professionals. Effective therapy and treatment are also vital to maintaining healthy PTSD relationships. Learn about your PTSD What are your biggest triggers? What are your best ways to manage anxiety attacks, triggers and dissociative episodes? Learn what speciality PTSD treatments are available in your area and that might help your PTSD. And are there any new ideas about how to self-manage PTSD symptoms that you could investigate further? Address any substance abuse issues PTSD sufferers tend to have much higher rates of alcohol abuse and other substance abuse. While it might seem to help with your PTSD symptoms in the short-term, substance abuse will only have negative affects on your health and relationships long-term. Don’t let embarrassment stop you reaching out for help. Create daily habits to manage PTSD symptoms PTSD symptoms can be predicted at times, but more often than not there’ll be unexpected triggers or anxiety attacks. Regular healthy habits, such as mindfulness practice and exercise, can help manage PTSD symptoms. Therapists or psychologists can help you formulate a plan to work in with your lifestyle. Make the most of your good days PTSD is not a steady state. You already know you’ll have some good days, some great days, and some days when just getting out of bed is too much. Take advantage of those good days and teach yourself to truly live in the moment. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow isn’t here yet. Bad days will pass. And good days are here to be enjoyed. Connect with others who have PTSD Connecting with other PTSD sufferers can help you understand your condition and yourself better. It can be very supportive to talk with others who know first-hand what you’re dealing with. You may already be in a support group for people with PTSD. If not, try to find one in your area or search for an online community.


https://thislifethismoment.com/ptsd-relationships/


We at OSI-CAN do not see PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a Disorder, we see it as an Injury you can recover from. If you are suffering from the symptoms of an Occupational or Operational Stress Injury, then a PTSD or PTSI diagnosis is not required to get our help!


OSI-CAN is a named project of the Canadian Mental Health Association SK Division. OSI-CAN is a free confidential, community based peer support initiative for currently serving and former military members, first responders, public safety personnel and their families. For more information, visit osicansk.ca You can also contact us at 306-552-3801 or toll free 888-495-6068

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OSI-CAN Target Demographic

The target demographic of OSI-CAN are but are not limited to: former and serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Allied Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Frontline Protectors --- which include Municipal Police Services, CN Police Services, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Protection Services, Wildland Firefighters, Hospital Trauma personnel, Nurses, healthcare Workers, Social Workers, Animal Control Officers, Coroners, Indigenous Emergency Management, Victim Services Personnel, Emergency Communications Specialist, Corrections Officers, “Volunteer” First Responders, Conservation Officers, Aboriginal Emergency Services personnel, Tow Truck drivers who clean up accident scenes, Persons who in the performance of their jobs are exposed to criminal acts of Trauma like Prosecutors as one example, and their spouses/partners. This demographic was chosen due to the commonality of experiences they share through the service they provide to the country and community. We have a special interest and support volunteer first responders as they are not eligible for programs such as Workers' Compensation.
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