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I surely am not alone.
Hello @parus. Thank you for your interest in starting a conversation centered around PTSD. We have had many members discuss PTSD on Connect.
I would like to invite @missyb57, @amberpep, @tartanandi, @leticia, @blindeyepug, @painwarrior, and @jimhd to share their experience with PTSD.
@parus, I see that you had mentioned your PTSD in a few other discussions, but if you are comfortable, is there something specific about PTSD you would like to share with the other members on Connect? Or maybe a particular aspect of PTSD that you would like to discuss?
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I can assure you that you are not alone, @parus.
In addition to the Members that Justin has listed you can also search out PTSD discussions by going up to the search function at the top of the screen (it looks like a magnifying glass) and type in PTSD, then hit “enter”. You will see all of the posts that mention this very difficult disorder. You will certainly read a lot about experiences with PTSD and how varied those experiences are in their origin, but how similar they are in their effect on an individual’s’ life. Some cases of PTSD come from military experience, others from abuse experiences (either as a child or adult), the effects of being a victim of crime, or even from being in the ICU and having a near-death experience from health and/or accident incidents.
By reading through those posts you might see one that is similar to yours and you can begin to post with that Member about tools that they have developed to deal with PTSD. As we all live in community – it is wonderful to be able to share with others.
I have PTSD for multiple reasons. I was an EMT for a number of years, and saw a lot of grisly scenes, checking for pulses or signs of life on people in vehicles that were mangled, sitting with dead bodies, waiting for the coroner…; abuse by bosses; libel and slander; failed suicide attempts. I didn’t serve in the military, so it’s called civilian PTSD. I think everyone handles traumatic events in different ways, and it’s very misunderstood. People with PTSD have to deal with judgment, criticism, being labeled. Recovery, I would think, could be long and hard, and is paired with mental health issues, which complicates things. For me, it exacerbates depression and anxiety. One thing has an effect on the other. In therapy I’ve learned that traumatic events from the distant past still affect my depression.
Hi Jim, @jimhd, I appreciate your insightful explanation of your PTSD symptoms and their origins. Perhaps @parus will have some insight into PTSD now as well.
Hi all. I have civilian PTSD. Therapy has been very helpful for me. I used to have really vivid, violent dreams. I would wake up sweating with my heart beating wildly and confused about where I was. I dream in color and feel every emotion. Through therapy, I learned to interrupt my dreams, to be able to tell myself it is just a dream and switch to a better dream. At first I used to wake up and have to try to get back to sleep. But now I can transfer to a better dream. When I am awake, I used to have triggers. They would make me feel enraged or really sad and scared. Sometimes I would lash out and be angry at someone who had nothing to do with the real reason I was feeling angry. Or I would just start sobbing seemingly for no reason anyone could tell. My therapist taught me how to see the trigger as not real and not harmful. Hard to explain. My therapist said it is like a light switch and a light bulb. The “trigger” would switch the light bulb on. I learned that the switch and light bulb would always be there, but a trigger no longer had the power to “flip the switch to on.” I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone, but it really made sense to me. I still have nightmares at times and I still have triggers, but my reaction to them are really different now. I am much more comfortable and confident in my ability to stay calm or not fall apart than I used to be. It takes finding the right therapist. I have been through several therapist. I learned something from all of them. I used things that worked for me and ignored the rest. The one therapist did the most for me. I learned the most from him and found the most peace. It is a shame therapy can be so hard at times. At least for me. I have found that if I don’t feel comfortable or trusting or respectful of the therapist, it does me no good. A few of them I should have moved on from much sooner than I did! At any rate, I am proof to not give up!
I appreciate your sharing the tools that you use for dealing with PTSD experiences. Great work – you definitely benefited from the therapy you received and put the lessons you learned into practice.
For anyone living w/ PTSD symptoms vary. I had some terrible experiences w/ therapists and this did nothing but increase my symptoms. I was misdiagnosed and loaded up w/ anti psychotics which were so wrong-One therapist ended up w/ a 99 year suspension on her license and is still harassing and stalking me which is so difficult. I moved once and she found me…I did not file the charges against this therapist.
Living in fear is not the way to live out the rest of my life…I live in fear for my family too. I don’t know where 2 of my adult children live because of this mess w/ someone that was supposed to be helping…I find it hard to trust.
I have grand children too. I live in fear for them. This sicko caused much harm to others as well. One less predator in the mental health system.
Maybe I can get some help from others. I grew up being abused and did not know as I partitioned by brain into other parts and did not need to deal…now I am trying to have some kind of life and fear has driven me back from others.
I can understand that some have been helped by the mental health system…I don’t think there is help there or anywhere.
That was negative and also true.
@parus I am an incest survivor. I was physically and sexually abused as a child (we’re talking broken bones stuff). I also was sexually assaulted as a young adult by a stranger. I decided to not let my abuse or past define me. I am a SURVIVOR. I do not need to give my abusers the power to continue to hurt me through flashbacks and triggers. They certainly aren’t thinking on it any longer! A huge part of my childhood was taken – they WILL not take the rest of my life. It is MY choice. I am so very sorry you were not helped with therapy. There are some bad therapists out there, but there are many good ones. I am on medication for depression and find it really helps me. I know there are members in my own family who refuse to believe they have a mental illness (two are bi-polar and one is schizophrenic) and they “self” medicate with drugs and/or alcohol. It is so sad, as they are only making their life worse. There is no shame in having a mental illness. It is like any other illness. Your brain is an organ. If you had a brain tumor, you would get it looked at and fixed. But why people have a hard time with brain chemistry being out of balance and causing an illness (just like insulin in diabetes) is beyond me. I believe with all my heart and soul that there is help out there for everyone. Even if it is self education through books. The thing is, you must do all the hard work. Ignore what doesn’t work for you and really practice what does. I am so sorry you feel so hopeless (sounds like depression to me – been there, done that many times!). There are even some studies which show brain chemistry is forever altered in children who have been through continuous situations of abuse and extreme stress. But this does NOT mean you can’t live a good life. You don’t have to be a product of your past. YOU decide who you want to be mentally and daily work to accomplish that goal. I am by no means saying it is easy. It is HARD, emotional work. It has taken me years (and, yes, medication). But I am so much better than I used to be. I, personally, also find my strength in God. I truly feel He has given me the strength and wisdom to move forward. I no longer hate my abusers. I certainly don’t want to have lunch with them, but I can cast them aside in my mind with no anger when they pop up. So much is about changing the negative self talk, about replacing a negative emotion with a positive one. I will be praying for you. I know the road is long, but once you start putting one foot in front of the other and stop thinking about how far you have to go, you will see improvement.
I agree with @blindeyepug. I would not let one bad therapist keep you from seeking the help that you need.
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