Advertisement

by P.K. Philips

It is a continuous challenge living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and I've suffered from it for most of my life. I can look back now and gently laugh at all the people who thought I had the perfect life. I was young, beautiful, and talented, but unbeknownst to them, I was terrorized by an undiagnosed debilitating mental illness.

Having been properly diagnosed with PTSD at age 35, I know that there is not one aspect of my life that has gone untouched by this mental illness. My PTSD was triggered by several traumas, including a childhood laced with physical, mental, and sexual abuse, as well as an attack at knifepoint that left me thinking I would die. I would never be the same after that attack. For me there was no safe place in the world, not even my home. I went to the police and filed a report. Rape counselors came to see me while I was in the hospital, but I declined their help, convinced that I didn't need it. This would be the most damaging decision of my life.

For months after the attack, I couldn't close my eyes without envisioning the face of my attacker. I suffered horrific flashbacks and nightmares. For four years after the attack I was unable to sleep alone in my house. I obsessively checked windows, doors, and locks. By age 17, I'd suffered my first panic attack. Soon I became unable to leave my apartment for weeks at a time, ending my modeling career abruptly. This just became a way of life. Years passed when I had few or no symptoms at all, and I led what I thought was a fairly normal life, just thinking I had a "panic problem."

Then another traumatic event re-triggered the PTSD. It was as if the past had evaporated, and I was back in the place of my attack, only now I had uncontrollable thoughts of someone entering my house and harming my daughter. I saw violent images every time I closed my eyes. I lost all ability to concentrate or even complete simple tasks. Normally social, I stopped trying to make friends or get involved in my community. I often felt disoriented, forgetting where, or who, I was. I would panic on the freeway and became unable to drive, again ending a career. I felt as if I had completely lost my mind. For a time, I managed to keep it together on the outside, but then I became unable to leave my house again.

Around this time I was diagnosed with PTSD. I cannot express to you the enormous relief I felt when I discovered my condition was real and treatable. I felt safe for the first time in 32 years. Taking medication and undergoing behavioral therapy marked the turning point in my regaining control of my lifeI'm rebuilding a satisfying career as an artist, and  I am enjoying my life. The world is new to me and not limited by the restrictive vision of anxiety. It amazes me to think back to what my life was like only a year ago, and just how far I've come.

For me there is no cure, no final healing. But there are things I can do to ensure that I never have to suffer as I did before being diagnosed with PTSD. I'm no longer at the mercy of my disorder and I would not be here today had I not had the proper diagnosis and treatment. The most important thing to know is that it's never too late to seek help.

Read PK's Story in a MyAJC article

"I'm no longer at the mercy of my PTSD, and I would not be here today had I not had the proper diagnosis and treatment. It's never too late to seek help."

Comments

I suffer from a complex version of PTSD and as of late my symptoms have been getting worse and more extreme than ever. I have been to my doctors and the only solution they can offer me is an increase in benzos and sleeping pills. In my opinion both are not something that l want since l already have a drinking problem and an addiction to benzo.

I was hoping to get some feedback, knowledge, information or insight into anyone that suffers from PTSD and if the use of cannabis https://www.bonzaseeds.com/blog/flo/ has been theraputic on helping lesson the symptoms?

I have attempted to find articles on the subject but the studies that l seem to have found are inconclusive to if cannabis is helpful to those that suffer from symptoms. I am at my wits end trying to find an option that will help me be able to cope day-to-day with my symptoms as they are impacting my life in a very negative way.

So please any knowledge or personal experience anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully someone will be able to steer me in the right direction so that l can better manage my health and hopefully start to live my life.

Cameron,
I found your comment while looking for ways to manage my depression, anxiety, and ptsd. I too drink too much. I went to therapy for 7 mo. To a great therapist, and that's when I learned I had ptsd. The therapy was great because I understand what's happening better. I smoked weed for 25 yrs, I'm 42 now. And for a long time I think it helped. But I have a sensitive mind and body, and it eventually turned on me. Basically it increased my anxiety suddenly. After yrs of anti depressants and off and on benzos.. I have come to the conclusion that there is no cure, only management. I believe that if I didn't drink, things could be better, but I'm sure you know how that goes. I've resigned to the idea of maintaining my dose of Effexor while using benzos when I have the most difficult times. If you've ever gotten off of them..you know they are horrible to withdrawal from. I guess what I'm saying, is that you are not alone. And it makes me feel better to know the same. I wish you the best, only you can know what is best for you. Take care, and keep fighting the good fight!

LARRY DAWSON

August 26, 2019

In reply to by Kellyann Taylor

Eye Movement Desensitizion Reprocessing. I had tried this method when i was Medboarding out of the Army due to PTSD(Combat experiences).

Emily

September 24, 2019

In reply to by LARRY DAWSON

I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD approx a year ago as a result of trauma from events that took place over a couple of years. This was when I was 18 - 20, I am now 38. Its a relief to have a diagnosis and although I have received therapy on and off for years, most recently I begun EMDR, and found it incredibly helpful. I am still on medication however and wonder how I am going to go coming off it, as Ive been on it for over 15 years. In my opinion marijuana may only help temporarily (whilst high) you need to look after your mind, its already damaged enough.

Hi Emily,

So glad EMDR has been helping you!
EMDR has been a life saver for me. I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD in the beginning of this year. The cause being childhood sexual abuse as well as other traumas. I am 39 now and since EMDR I have had tremendous clarity. I had about 20 sessions over a span of 6 months earlier this year and plan on continuing once a month at least for the next year. It is no quick fix but does help you process your emotions from your trauma. Of course, you are not cured but it does help a lot.
I then came across Dr. Lipov's Stellate Ganglion block injection. I got the injections yesterday and have noticed less fear and dread. I am transitioning between tasks without freezing which is very unusual for me. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my body and am not feeling guilt like I usually do.
This move to Chicago has been a blessing since I have been treated from a trauma perspective since I have been here. I am excited to see what else I notice since I have gotten these shots. It will be great if it helps people heal quicker from their trauma. Just thought to drop a note since I haven't found too much around this treatment online. All the best!

Hi there, what are the injections you refer to as a new treatment method? I have complex PTSD from multiple childhood traumas. I had a complex work situation which caused a significant psychological injury (aggravated my ptsd as well as brought out disassociation and general anxiety). I feel like I went from
On top of the world and into a dark pit all in one swoop. Anyhow, I find edmr does help lots. BUT it is risky in a sense because it can trigger a new memory thru processing. Sort of like peeling an onion. I’m waiting for a psychological assessment on Oct 19 through workers compensation. I freeze completely between tasks still after two years. I can’t multi task and if I get any pressure applied to me I lose all coping. The other day my kids aged 8 and 10 were bugging me to take them
Fishing. I couldn’t handle the pressure and nearly burst into tears. I can’t deal with any work situation related to violence or that has parallels to my childhood or I will spend endless nights with nightmares. I have slept minimally in 2 years. I’m always looking over my shoulder to see if I’m actually going to be killed. I have horrific nightmares from violent incidents to my children being decapitated to other graphic images. I have tried sleeping pills, ativan - and even antipsychotics to try and alleviate these nightmares. I’ll wake up drenched with sweat and panicking. Then can’t sleep again. It is the most isolating thing I’ve done in my whole life. Family members say I’m on “stress leave” or “burned out.” My personal favourite is that I was told I had a demon attached to me and I should be prayed for.

Sorry to ramble - but if there is some
New treatment out there please let me know. I need to continue to the next chapter
In my life and this one just keeps going and going. It is affecting my whole family and the thing is - you’d never know it to see us. Invisible illness - it’s tough!

Thank you 😊

I too am diagnosed with PTSD and have had great success with cannabis as a medication. It helped me do the things I lost interest in. It helped me not be depressed. It helped me recall repressed memories. It really helped my recovery.

But absolutely at some point you have to stop. It does turn on you.

I pray that you get the help you so desperately need.

If you get a chance, please check out my new blog, www.refugeformisfits.com.

Hi Cameron,

Have you tried EMI (eye movement integration). I have CPTSD and it really worked for me!

Look I have PTSD to I know it’s hard marijuana help me with my PTSD so if you think that marijuana helps you with your PTSD. Then I suggest you do it if marijuana helps and calms you down and if marijuana helps decrease like helps you have less flash backs and helps your Ptsd then do it., try to stay positive tho if you start to get really negative thoughts change the negative thoughts to positive thought,. And pray for them to go away amen.!.

I have found Ketamine infusions to be the most beneficial for treatment of my PTSD and depression. I do not care for cannabis, so I don’t have anything to offer in that regard.

is beginning to strongly suggest that a lot of illegal drugs (LSD, mushrooms, ketamine) are incredibly effective and safe medicines for a variety of mental ailments, with a single treatment having effects that last as long as 6 months.

These are clinical treatments however.

I have also found Cannabis to be both beneficial for recalling memories & great to help lift my mood (depending on mood of room). It has also contributed to my anxiety....so I use sparingly. Very interested in hearing more about Ketamine Infusions? Do you have Therapist with you to help bring out memories?

I have a friend who says ketamine infusions do help with his PTSD (he was kidnapped and held at gunpoint hostage -- before eventually being shot in the back, fwiw). I have found they are very effective for treating depression but they are generally only a quick 2-3 week lift, not a permanent solution and are very expensive ($350 x 6 treatments for the full suite is not something many can afford on a totally ongoing basis.) It would probably be worth investigating though if you are curious although my guess is more effective for depression than PTSD. Best wishes to you and much love and light on your journey!

I am a sufferer for years since my daughter died 26 yrs ago. I suggest you also find a good therapist as well. Trying this new legal stuff without someone to guide you isn't a good idea, it's super potent. it does help me quite a bit and I have to be careful of "over-use". The weed is only one means for relief, your mind needs all the help it can get...like therapy!

@marijuana

Smoking weed is sometimes helpful as it helps to gain a different perspective from time to time. But that new point can sometimes be both helpful or worsening. It never seems to help in the healing and just ends up being an escape tool. For me it helps me sometimes face my true emotions as they are usually trapped.

I go to AA. Substances arnt good. You don't want to take pharmacy drugs but you'd take your own. Addiction is a coping mechanism of cptsd. I also go to ACAC meetings. I find these very helpful. I'm completely abstinent from all mind altering drugs.

To reply to Cameron Page,
I realise it was a year ago you wrote.
I hope you have found some relief with PTSD, it is quite an awakening when first diagnosed and realising that the visions or movies that the brain transports to aren't a normal occurrence in most people.
To realise that was quite a jolt for me.
Then begins a whole lot of lifetime junk surfacing.
Marijuana was one of the first things I attached to from 15-25 years of age, always alcohol as well.
The MJ is in my experience over a long term extremely debilitating.
It really took away what little confidence and drive I had.
Gave that up and lived free of illegal drugs for a good three years.
Then I found effedrine, pills, then powders, to crystal meth.
That made me feel levelled, I wasn't as highly strung and it helped bad dreams it gave me motivation and enough confidence to live the next 20 years fairly well.
That to came to an end to a means.
I needed help as I couldn't work out what was going on with me.
That's when I found out that the life I was dealt wasn't one you particularly choose.
All this time I wasn't really comfortable in the world except when I was out in the parks and gardens or with the fur babies or numb with the effects of alcohol and drugs or all.
People were ok in short bursts and I have great friendships luckily with the few that somehow understood me and were ok with it.
Now I know I have a disorder I am not sure whether knowing it has been something i am fighting with or for?
Am I trying to prove that it's not a possibility? Or trying to prove that I accept it but wont let it beat me although it is at the moment.
I find by getting support from my fantastic GP an great AOD Councillor, psychologist and various support groups helps identify many issues and lots of good suggestions from different people on how to think about this or how to get past certain things etc.
In this long answer to your question, medicating drugs don't help.
Work the toxic stuff through and yes it's exhausting and confronting but finally peace will come on each trauma once processed properly and understood.
Finally sleep will come without hot sweats and violent dreams and the dissociative episodes are less frequent.
Do the hard work find the right support and the shackles of trauma drugs and alcohol will slowly but surely be removed.
I am still ongoing treatment and will forever if needed, it is better than the darkness inside and the uncontrolled mental transport visions taking hold and gripping on to your freedom.
Sincerely,

J.
You're not alone.

I find canabis does work for me but i wouldnt suggest it to anyone unless they can afford 120 dollars per week for canabis. I got off benzos with the help of canabis and I feel much better now than when I was on benzos. Life on those pills changes you in a terrible way and drs shouldnt prescribe then when Bubba Kush does the same thing with out the terrible withdrawls and uneasy feeling.

My therapist wants me to spread the word on this subject. I’ve been in therapy for four years and it wasn’t until I began smoking that I was able to get to the root of the problem in my life. My emotional connections with people and myself were null and void. I still struggle some days. I don’t want to leave the house and when I do I’m usually on edge. I went through I time period where I couldn’t accept this was my life. I longed for the days I’d feel the way I used to. Trying to escape the never ending thoughts of terror or always being on alert. I try and stick with hybrid blends. They work best for me. Just like anything else you can use in excess so I try to take small doses when I have to go out and about, larger doses before bed time. I still have bad dreams but when I wake up I smoke and am able to process things easier as well as move on from instead of dwelling on it all day. Between this and therapy I’ve really been able to make a lot of progress from where I was. Is it still a struggle everyday. Yes. Does it make it easier? For me it does.

Hi my name is J'lynn.
I know that this post is over a yr old but I just came across it and have had the very same question. I am 11 months free from Klonipin. I was on this poison for 20 yrs and am glad I didn't loose my complete mind forever. This drug nearly destroyed my life in many ways. Once a Dr told me that it was a leading contributor to dementia a lot made sense. I went thru yrs of seizure like episodes trying to get off and finally was able to do so. I am however a big supporter of Medical Marijuana. Using this plant medicinally has biggest the biggest life game changer. I have Zero neg side effects (for me). There's never a hangover. It does not interfere with my other medications. The best side effect of any thing in the world is laughter. So if something can hit on all of those other points and can cause me to laugh and be creative then Hell to the Yeah. You asked for personal opinions and this is mine.

I went ghrough hell as a teenager, im in my 30s now and have watched almost ten years of my life go by without me living them. Alcohol is my vice also. I would love to talk to you.

I hear you, brother. I have found, but still early into it, that CBD oil has helped. It is non-addictive and very healthy for your body and could well lessen your reliance on benzos and alcohol. Research it and you'll see what I mean.

My husband suffers from PTSD and is currently being treated with EMDR therapy. He gas had two sessions so far and finds his therapist approachable (very important). I can already see very small improvements. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing) is a relatively short therapy and effective. There is plenty of information about it. Search for EMDR - Dr Shapiro. Hope this helps

I was in the same shoes as you.
I drank excessively and took Benzo’s along with SSRI’s for 8 yrs. I have been diagnosed with Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar and DDD.

If you don’t take more than prescribed and your Doctor knows you drink you will be fine. As for Marijuana replacing chemicals, I would say always switch to natural if it works. If you tried it and liked it, that’s good news. I was to nervous to try it. but I have heard nothing but tremendous things in regard to Marijuana.

I went to a doctor and legally obtained Medical Marijuana.

It did NOT help at all.

Actually made my anxiety worse.

Everybody's chemistry is different. Hope you find something that will help.

Unfortunately, though cannabis helps, it is not allowed on college campuses, and as a result, when someone tries to transition from PTSD and SSI checks to a somehow brighter future, symptoms only intensify and we are left on our own. Worse yet, even if someone is willing to stay on SSI and accept their unfortunate fate, no matter what the marijuana will run out eventually and then what?! I have never been successful and something always comes up, no matter how hard i try. Right now I am praying I won't wake up tomorrow because it hurts so bad to struggle so hard for so long. But all anybody does is say the same tired script: "it will get better someday just wait". Some day doesn't always arrive for everyone so I guess it is best if I just give up; like quicksand the more i struggle, the further i sink. I don't want to feel anymore. I can't stand the pain. And i am so confused but nobody is able or willing to actually help aside from the singular script of "just wait it will get better". Nobody cares about anyone anymore and this aint the world i thought i would live in anyway. I am more alone than anyone could imagine yet people are all the same and i cznt stand them. My memory is horrible and im just tired of this world with all these fake people in it

I was diagnosed with chronic complex ptsd 20 years ago the original trauma began 20 years before that as a 11 year old child with one horrific event with a equally horrific event immediately following and the next 10 years of more of the same. I was noticing some of the earlier post many seem to be woman in their 30s which I find both interesting and common. Over the years I had tried every anti depressant anti psychotic mood stabilizers benzos alcohol but I have had very rare illnesses that are worsened by many medications. Of course those physical and visible reactions prompted a nurse practitioner to ask me if I had ever been diagnosed bipolar i was offended because he was basing his observation on my well documented diagnosed and treated reactions. This person didnt ever see me before and just assumed this. In a open area where everyone could hear with no regard for my privacy. Anyway I had gone to a psychiatrist and a therapist that I didnt really like or believed they could ever understand me. I has never suffered from a single day of depression in my life and my understanding of bipolar disorder at the time were high highs and low lows. I was always a glass half full kind of person. That was until at 35 I began having flash backs that seemed to be in a jumbled slide show format in my brain. They were of a event I had blocked for over 20 years it scared me I thought I had lost my mind but after going to therapy with a regression therapy I recovered those memories but I did stop going because I hated talking about it when I felt okay and understood what was happening. The drugs they gave me didnt help n only made me worse except the benzos stopped the panic attacks and let me sleep more than 3-5 hours a night. But what did help years later was adderall the biggest help was with more clear memory and it helped me stay on task and seemed to help me stay motivated! Idk if it can help in every situation but it has helped me. For me the catalyst for these memories coming forward was my 20 year marriage suddenly failing and somehow my subconscious for what ever reason was suddenly able to pull repressed memories and seemed that a safer route then to face choosing to end my marriage? I think being in our 30s as women for me unfulfilled and wondering what the next 20 would be and I could not fathom facing that, I had to change it but how could I do something so devastating to my family. So I remembered hidden events from my childhood. My point in telling you all of these things is I believe sometimes we get so knocked down it's not always easy to bounce back. Maybe those would be the times to try a different type of medicine than can help lift you until you can maybe begin living in a more fulfilling way. Thank you for sharing.

That sounds terrible, you can message me on Facebook Kassandra Dosal, the profile says Miami southridge high.

I actually just found out that I too suffer from PTSD and found out recently that Marijuana actually contributed to my PTSD and made it worse. Because what happens is it works at first to re leave the symptoms but because your brain builds a tolerance to the affects of Marijuana after a while it tends to work against you. Also you have a greater chance of becoming addicted to the substance. I recently have started treatment for my addiction and found this article that came out in August 2019 describing who gets addicted and why and people with PTSD are more likely to become addicts. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/marijuana-addiction-rare-but-rea…. Also through my research I have found this article on a MA websites that describe the withdrawal symptoms for Marijuana. which I have experienced every single one. https://www.marijuana-anonymous.org/pamphlets/detoxing-from-marijuana/

PTSD is a real syndrome that needs to have additional research and options. I am very sick. I have been diagnosed by a PhD psychotherapist and and MD psychiatrist. I currently take no medications, though I do attend talk therapy twice weekly. PTSD has destroyed my interpersonal life and family relationships. I am looking for support from this community or anyone. I was previously athletic, fit, and I am a young-ish female combat veteran. I want to regain my life.

PTSD is a monster that lives in the shadows of my life. Every time I think I have defeated the monster it returns at my most vulnerable moments.

I am untreatable.I have tried everything,and just diazepam,and abilify helps me to just do my housework.I am suspicious of anyone who reminds me of my past.Thinking outside of the box,leaving my comfort zone etc,does not work.Forgiveness does not work.SELFCARE WORKS,no matter who likes it.I sleep with my Bible under my pillow and it stops the nightmares.I can do one small thing per day,then rest.No movies,screaming,yelling,abusers or excuses.My boundaries are stone.The first word of abuse is the last.No councelors,just a shrink several times per year.To get medicine.We are all different.My ptsd came from the sins of others and being treated like a piece of property.I can go to ladies groups only.Church groups.Even there I get judged.It can be a sudden movement, a smell,movie,etc.and I am triggered for months.I am a victor,not a victim.No volunteering,just a small,simple life.

That is the nature of this animal it rears its head in unexpected places. Over years I find my triggers changed? The part that is most bothersome for me is I felt like my brain learned how to erase even the smallest unpleasant things and people dont understand when you may not remember much of anything it causes many relationship problems. But in my opinion to be here openly speaking about your experience makes you a survivor! Thanks for sharing

For the past five years I’ve been stuck in home trying to scrape by and struggle through my anxiety and ptsd.(with no prescriptions or therapy) It is aurguably one of the worst things to deal with since you are your own worst enemy, as opposed to cancer or lost limbs, or stacks of bills, or career issues. Your very ability to change perspectives and find strength in perspective-change is shattered if the anxiety and ptsd issues are frequent enough. I guess I am just trying to say it’s tougher every day as I start to see why suicide can occur as a result because the hope of a brighter day becomes dimmer with each trip you miss out on or social gathering or loss of normal function such as driving. We all know where we should be and who we’d like to be (what we and the world around us expects) and anxiety and ptsd issues can rob us of believing we are right where we need to be, and rob us of confidence we once took for granted. But there isn’t just hope, I disagree with some people whom say there is no cure just coping. And I can prove it. There’s always something, no matter how hard it is to find, that triggers desire. And there is no denying the power of desire. I’ve experienced this first hand, and suddenly when I want something terribly bad anxiety or ptsd doesn’t get in the way and is forgotten and not with me. But that’s easier said than done. Regardless it’s worth a try with even the smallest pleasures like setting up a relaxing evening for yourself in front of the television and your favorite snack. Or perhaps what worked for me is cooking. It’s very meditative with some smooth music and make some good food from scratch. Aside from this, when it comes to the chemical side of things, cbd oil has been of tremendous help for me, but only in consistent dosages once before bed under tongue around 5mg. Of course some do more but everyone reacts differently. But regardless best to start at lower dosages. Aside from all of the above, this may sound very generic or “korny”, but avoid at all costs negative people in your life whom put you down or place excessive pressures on you. After all it’s the general negativite events that got us where we are. Negative got us there, positive will get us out. Even if it’s accomplished one agonizing positive thought at a time.

I couldn't have said all this better myself.. I feel like ppl just don't understand what its like for us day to day especially my husband, that its a struggle.. you just don't know if your going to have the energy to do what you need to do that day or is it going to be your down day..your mind is always ready to go but your body does different.. Its just calming to read other ppl going through the same, because you all understand..

You are so right about people not understanding or knowing the struggles we face every day. I have many opinionated family members and friends that say its mind over matter. I would like for them to walk 1 day in my shoes, I am always waiting for the next rude comment to come out of their mouth. I am 42 and have been battling this illness as well as anxiety, depression for the better part of 30 years. It was just about 5 years ago I learned I had this illness. So for so many years I really thought I would never be "normal" what ever that may be really. I missed a lot of special things in my kids lives due to turning to alcohol to try and medicate myself into thinking I was just like everyone else. My struggles have been flared back up by several things that have happened over the last year. I am in the darkest of places right now and attempted suicide. I have never gotten to this point in my life where I felt this bad. I am going into get a new medication that will hopefully help and new coping skills. My story really could go on for days but for today I am glad I have your stories to read and comments because knowing your not alone does help.

I read your battle and just wanted to say Keep Fighting. You mentioned a suicide attempt and I pray you never get that feeling again. Please keep trying. PTSD is hard on all of us and we have to keep fighting. I lost my Dad to suicide and it’s by far the worse thing I’ve ever experienced and I can’t imagine what he was going through. I fight ever day to get through and be there for my kids and wife. Trying to do the same for myself. We all need to love ourselves and when I figure it out, I’ll share as I’m not stopping.

Saving Grace

January 12, 2019

In reply to by Nick

Hello, I was diagnosed with and have been battling delayed onset C-PTSD due to several traumatic events. My diagnosis was in 2016, but the symptoms started years earlier unbeknownst to me.The first traumatic event being the death of my mother, when I was 5 years old. I am currently 59 years old. I had no idea that trauma could be stored in the mind, body, spirit for such a long time.

What's helping me to recover is energy healing, meditation and practicing mindfulness, along with talk therapy and a low dose anxiety regimen at night.

This illness is by far my most challenging, but I am learning ways to help alleviate my symptoms. It is worth a try for those who have not tried guided meditation.

I believe in ot so much, I recently started working on putting together my own guided meditation that helps me and I believe it will help others. The music has helped a great deal to calm my mind.

For five years I had no idea I was struggling with PTSD. I am starting a new blog about my trauma and healing journey http://traumaqueenblog.com/. I am hoping to build a community of trauma survivors who have gone through similar events (EMDR, PTSD, anxiety, depression) in hopes of finding support and advice. Join me on my journey as I try to better understand my trauma and path to healing through personal blog posts, humor and hope at traumaqueenblog.com

I'm with you sister! For yours I've gone from one label to another. First I had anxiety disorder, then I was an ACOA, adult child of an alcoholic, then I realized I was married to an abusive alcoholic and I was co-dependent, then in my 50s after obtaining 3 college degrees, having a 25 year career as a counselor and social worker, I fell apart. I was also dealing with my sons serious heroin addiction. I started drinking to cope. And it didn't take long before I was now the Alcoholic, of course depressed as well. Recently, I turned 60 and my mother passed away Ali in the same month. I've been grieving and experiencing all kinds of emotions and had an ah ha moment that yes! There has been trauma after trauma after trauma in my life, and never was able to truly heal from one before another came along. I dealt with most if it by keeping busy going to school, working, working out, and not feeling. Now I'm really beginning to feel and its good and scarey at the same time. I am so tired of labels. I have been in tons of therapy and o. Various medications. I have to have hope and keep going but it's not easy. Never knowing if I'm going to be able to have the energy to do something. But I'm not giving up.

It is a blessing to be human and have the ability to feel and face and overcome the unpleasant all the way to the most unimaginable events that have haunted our past. But we are here we have survived things that has turned bigger and better people than me into checking out either completely shutting down or throwing it in. To have your level of successful education and a heavy hearted career and be sharing with us I'd say you are a survivor as well.

Hey. I liked reading your story. I really shows how PTSD can affect your life and how important it is to seek treatment.

Thank you for sharing your story. I am 42 years old and finally got in tune with my diagnosis. I was on and off with my therapy and meds. for anxiety and depression. I brushed off the latest one which is PTSD. I now understood why I fear everything, why I isolate myself from people, I have sudden panic attacks, why I am extra vigilant. I couldn't drive far from my perimeters. I lost my career and even my identity. I wonder specifically what behavioral therapy they gave you and what meds? How long did it take you to overcome it?

I am about to go for diagnosis of PTSD. Looking back at my long life I realize that I have had it all throughout my life but could not acknowledge that I had mental illness because I would have had my military career ended if I had admitted it to a Doctor. There was so much stigma..
I retriggered throughout my life by a series of unfortunate and unexpected traumas, one of which involved exposure to a serial killer in addition to a subsequent loss of my partner and my trust in him.
The PTSD was recently Retriggered again by breakins to my car. I don't feel safe and I feel rage. I am afraid of what I would do if I caught the culprit in the act. At the same time I am hypervigilent to the point of ridiculous. I hear a noise and I have to check my car. I have thoughts of uneasiness and fear the second the sun goes down. I live alone. I feel out of control and on a very slippery slope. I am going down.
Thankfully my appointment is 3 days away. I will be asking for help.

I have had similar events in my life that began 42 years ago. My encounter with a notorious serial killer just 2 years after 2 earlier events that ended with me being violently raped at 11 by a 35 year old man that my newly found very envious half sister sent to rape me. After which my father and uncle had received a call from a neighbor rushed home to find my sister stabbed by the man she sent to rape me turned on her and stabbed her my father busted in the door and grabbed the man when my sister lied and said he broke in and raped her being a child I identified the mans life being taken with my sisters lie. My feeling was that day my sister intentionally lied to each person to deliberately destroy 3 lives not just mine I tried to stop my father and I understand his justification in protecting me but I didnt want a human life to be ended because of what I felt she directly was responsible for. I was afraid my dad would go to jail because once the man was thrown over the 3rd floor railing when we got down to the alley where he laid dead my dad sent me to geta bottle of liquor to basically stage a alcohol related accident. He then gave us very specific instructions of who to call and where to go and he sent me with her. But instead of doing what he asked she tried very hard to get the authorities involved and lead them to the scene she was 18 and I was 11 I managed to see through her and divert attention away from what she attempted. She had the audacity to look me up years later at a time I knew something involving her cause my memory block of 2 full years. I knew the place I had gone there many times trying to trigger something in me. I told her in our first phone call I would only speak with her if she told me what happened that caused me to be this way and not remember true to her from she related the events as she had convinced my father they happened. It was all I had to go on. I began a sort of fake relationship with her only to get as much information as I could. But although some of what she said was true I had an intense fear of her I never trusted her I knew she was lying and not telling everything I would not be alone with her. Fortunately some names she mentioned I knew how to find them all though my father died when I was 14 so I was able to verify parts of the story through others but they said the things she and I were arguing about was not the story given to police. So I understand the rage very well towards a person who would harm children. There was a time when I was concerned what I might do to a person if I ever encountered a child repeat. It was 2 years later I escaped from the car of a now executed serial killer however only after his execution before I ever told anyone about him trying to abduct me and escaping from his car while it was accelerating onto the on ramp of the interstate somehow that hypervigilance has only served me well or I wouldn't have known I had to jump out before he got the speed up I dont know how I got my fingers into the little holes for the locks because all the inside locks had been removed but it broke free just in time for me to swing the door open hitting the snow bank causing him to slow down and I jumped out and he took off it was the flowing year he had been apprehended and his picture was all over the news I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Last year or the year before they released a movie about him. I cant bring myself to watch it. But I am here I have wonderful adult children and grandchildren. I consider myself a survivor because those are only 3 events that easily could have had worse consequences for me not to mention another dozen equally traumatic that followed. One day one step one moment at a time and we should be much easier on ourselves because each of our stories could have ended much worse for all of us who are survivors.

I have found no help so far. I am seeing a clinical social worker but I am not feeling any better. I tried some medications but all it did was make me gain weight. I stopped it because my weight has been an up and down yo-yo. I have gained 20 pounds and am panicking over that. Before taking Sertraline, prazosin for sleep, I was proud to say my weight was at a great number and I kept it off for over two years. Now I am struggling again to lose what I gained. It has caused my anxiety to be high due to my problems but have anxiety due to my weight. My weight has depressed me that I just think there is nothing left. I am homeless, broke, no transportation, and really have nothing but my geriatric dog to live for. I think if something happens to her I have nothing.

Advertisement