24. Michele Rosenthal on Healing from PTSD

Michele Rosenthal: Healing and PTSD

Today we hear the courageous journey of a little girl that nearly died from a reaction to antibiotics. She suffered from PTDS for many years before overcoming it and living a life of serving others.

Join us as we hear the story of Michele Rosenthal’s healing rampage. The audio is available on most of the platforms you listen or here on Anchor.

Michele Rosenthal is an award-winning PTSD blogger, bestselling and award-nominated author, host of the radio program, Changing Direction, and founder of HealMyPTSD.com. A former faculty member of the Clinical Development Institute for Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, Michele is also a trauma survivor who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for over twenty-five years. Then, she launched a successful “healing rampage.” Michele has been 100% free of PTSD symptoms for almost a decade. Her most recent books about trauma include Before the World Intruded: Conquering the Past and Creating the Future, Your Life After Trauma: Powerful Practices to Reclaim Your Identity and Heal Your PTSD: Dynamic Strategies that Work.

During this interview we hear about:

  • Suffering from an allergic reaction from medication and having two severe burns
  • Having sleepless nights full of nightmares,
  • Being fearful of medication or worse a fear of dying from a reaction to anything you put in your body.

Michele had only a 30% chance of survival and after surviving, she lived with PTSD for decades. She went on a healing rampage and was able to completely heal her PTSD, being symptom-free for over 10 years.

If you are living with PTSD or supporting someone who is, it may be hard to believe this is possible. Michele dedicated years of her life to learning about PTSD and now helps others overcome it. By listening to this interview, or reading this blog post, my hope is it brings you a light of hope in the darkness you may be living in now.

Michele survived a rare allergic reaction to a medicine that burned two layers of her skin from her body. She was told the illness kills 70% of its victims and that she wouldn’t be able to survive a reaction again.

She became afraid to take the medication in fear that she would have to go through this experience again. Her mother had her see a physicist as she was worried that Michele would have a hard time with everything she had gone through.

The only way Michele could manage the overwhelm from her experience was to be silent. She met with the psychiatrist and they sat in silence the whole time, Michele was in silent mode. The psychiatrist told her mom not to worry, she was a kid and would bounce back.

She didn’t bounce back and in about 6 months she had a lot of PTSD symptoms that no one recognized until years later. It became so bad she ended up being forced into therapy.

Michele took matters into her own hands and figured out she had PTSD. She then found a trauma therapist that led her to the path of healing.

***You can take your own case, as different as it may be, and do your own research as well. You can reach out to people, like Michele, and read all the amazing information she has collected over the years to help you find the path for your healing***

She tells us you get into a lot of warped and distorted beliefs after trauma. Michele believed that the world was unsafe, she could die at any minute,  no one could protect her and she developed a very strict eating disorder.

She felt it would be safer not to put anything in her body, and didn’t want to eat because it could kill her.

“Those  post-trauma beliefs that become so distorted actually provide you the roadmap for healing.”

Once she identified she had some issues she was able to focus a part of her recovery on that. She was able to take the distorted trauma beliefs and find a way to get from A-Z where you are released.

She tells us she is still cautious about her body, and wears a medical bracelet and maybe a little over the top to make sure no one gives her Sulpha, however, she now likes her body and eats and lives in a healthy way.

You can listen to the interview above to hear all the details, she talks about dissociation and how people with trauma experience it. I asked her to explain her Near Death experience and she shares it with us.

 I love you, Thank you, I’m dying. (25:00)

Michele had a Near Death Experience and tells us she felt so held within loving energy, so connected to a universal source of energy and she felt so very safe. She saw the white light and experienced total relief of fear in dying.

From her own experience and reading about others, she feels the detaching from the body is very peaceful.

She felt suspended between the tunnel and the hospital room, halfway between one world and the other. Her parents were sitting on either side of her bed and she wanted to thank her parents and tell them goodbye. She said three sentences,  I love you, Thank you, I’m dying.

This happened 10 or 12 days into her illness, and she had been screaming in pain for days. Her mother didn’t skip a beat and used humor to keep Michele in our world. She said, “Michele, no one who has been screaming as much as you in the past couple of weeks could be dying”.

It tickled Michele and was life-affirming. Her mom couldn’t touch her because her skin was raw, so she put her eyes very close to Michele’s eyes. She told her, “Courage is a choice,  find the strength to pull yourself through this moment and come back here.”

If we really want to live, sometimes we can force ourselves to survive. Michel did what her mom told her to do and because of that moment, she’s still here today.


What happens when the body can no longer handle the stress? The body responds and it will send a message things are no longer ok. Michele had a complete and utter meltdown, triggered,  because a doctor gave her a medication she had an adverse reaction to that decimated her for a week.

Her liver, stomach, small intestine, bones all had troubles. Her medical file was so thick, and nobody could figure out why it was all happening.

When she got into recovery, she resisted at first and expected her therapist to do the work, and not much happened at first.

Then she began to practice Transcendental Meditation, she did EMT, EMDR therapy and other therapies geared to remove trauma.

This reduced her symptoms, but she wanted to eliminate them. She went on a 10-year healing rampage and did eliminate all her symptoms. Here is the page on her blog if you would like to learn more: PTSD Treatment: Alternative Treatment 

Friends and Community with PTSD

Michele’s friends didn’t know what was going on with Michele. She had nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance, mood alterations, and was terrified. It was hard for her family because she had a lot of rage and directed it at her mom because she felt safest with her.

Once she figured out she had PTSD, it helped everyone to get on board. It was still really hard and she didn’t have any friends. She was essentially really alone. She felt it was easier to manage her recovery alone so she didn’t have to explain to others.

Michele supports others to have a healing network and did begin to slowly build her own as she began her recovery. The more courageous she felt, the more she was able to ask others for what they needed. She found a partner that was able to support her and allowed him to support her.

I am so very grateful that Michele graciously donated her time to share her story with us. If anything she said helps you, please reach out to her and let her know so she can keep giving her time to help others heal.

Thank you for listening or reading this interview. Feel free to share your experience or ask any questions in the comments below.

If you are living with PTSD or supporting someone who is, it may be hard to believe this is possible. Michele dedicated years of her life to learning about PTSD and now helps others overcome it. By listening to this interview, or reading this blog post, my hope is it brings you a light of hope in the darkness you may be living in now.