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Old 07-30-2004, 06:50 AM   #1
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eowynn HB User
At my wits end...my daughter and PTSD

Hi...last year on Aug 2 my daughter, 22, was the victim of an attempted carjacking. It was a brutal attack, her life was threatened, she was choked and hair was pulled out. She managed to think enough to throw her keys away from the car so the carjacker could not drive off with her. People were around, but no body helped. She finally got away from him and out the other side of the car. It wasn't until he walked away that someone really offered help and she called 911. To top it all off the police were not very good at investigating. The responding officer was reprimanded eventually for the way he handled the case. She had 3 sessions of EMDR following that and we thought all was fine. However she was told by her therapist not to make any major life changed for a few months. She followed that advice for the most part, but she did get involved in a relationship shortly after (matter of fact she was suppose to be meeting the guy that night)

A few months ago she had an incident where she got into an argument with her boyfriend and she got totally hysterical. She was threatening suicide, screaming hysterical, wouldn't listen to anyone. I finally got her to come home and had a friend who is a therapist come over. She calmed down and it didn't happen again until a month later. Both times were around her menstrual cycle. So we thought maybe it was PMDD...but then it started happening more often...and now it's almost a weekly accurance, it's always at night. She bursts out in anger over the least little thing and it's always triggered by something minor her boyfriend says. She broke a necklace and he says "be careful" and she goes ballistic on him. Then calls me screaming "he hates me, he hates me..I'm worthless...." It is coming up on the anniversary of her carjacking and I can't help but wonder if she is suffering from PTSD. She's in danger of losing her boyfriend because he doesn't handle stress well...I don't know what to do anymore. I am calling a counselor today and will hopefully talk to her about it...I've told her she needs to seek counseling but she goes on about how she can't afford it. I say she can't afford not to seek therapy...I just want to know what is the best thing I can do for her...how can I support her. What do I say to her when she is having the outbursts? My heart is aching so much now because she has such promise for the future. She just graduated college and all. *sigh*

 
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Old 08-04-2004, 10:32 AM   #2
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Tanki HB User
Re: At my wits end...my daughter and PTSD

I think the best thing for her is to continue therapy, things do not change over night when you have been through something like that. It can take years and years for me it took 8 years to let go ...

Just be there for her, talk to her... she is angry because of what happened to her, but she did get out of it when most people probably would not.

Try and be paitent with her, she seems to be not over what she has gone through, it takes time to heal........

Hang in there mom.
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~Tanki

Last edited by Tanki; 08-04-2004 at 10:33 AM.

 
Old 08-04-2004, 02:12 PM   #3
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eowynn HB User
Re: At my wits end...my daughter and PTSD

Thanks for the replies...she made it through the anniversary of the attack with no episodes, thank God. However, hummingbird...something you said makes much sense

Quote:
It must have made her feel that people thought she was worthless - her life was at risk but nobody seemed to think that her life had enough value to help her. Even the police probably tacitly seemed to be saying that she wasn't of importance because of the carelessness with which it was investigated.
She has never had really high self esteem...but this seemed to really put it in the ditch. I know she told me the night of the anniversary she spent 3 hours on the phone with her BF talking about how worthless she was. I never thought of it in the way you just put it, but it makes perfect sense.

Tanki...She had her first appointment with a therapist today and she called me when it was over and said it went well. She's scheduled several more and will see how it goes from there.

Chris...good luck with me finding an osteopath who does anything beyond what an MD does. But I do know an OB GYN who might agree with that. She had a thyroid panel done just last week...it came back normal. She spoke with her general practitioner and I have to pat him on the back. He told her he would rather her seek treatment through therapy than through drugs at this point. I was sure he would put her on drugs...he achieved a level of respect from me there.

She's doing better...I just pray when the phone rings that it's not her having one of her episodes.

Last edited by eowynn; 08-04-2004 at 02:13 PM.

 
Old 08-04-2004, 04:47 PM   #4
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Re: At my wits end...my daughter and PTSD

She is taking the most important step now, seeking help. That is fantastic...
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Old 08-16-2004, 05:27 PM   #5
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zimnah HB User
Re: At my wits end...my daughter and PTSD

Hi there...
Just read your post today, and I have to agree...your daughter is exhibiting textbook symptoms of PTSS...It is usually Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome until it affects your life much further down the road. The good news is: with PTSS, she is reacting soon after the trauma, and her reactions to seemingly innocent stimuli are very strong. If she can address this as soon as possible, she may be abl;e to evade the longer, more enduring effects of PTSD. SHe didn't blank out and forget the horrible event. Instead, every stressor seems to her to be the last tweaked nerve, and I'll bet it feels like everyone is on her back...I suspect she is harder on herself and thinks others are just as judgemental...she is her own worst critic. If someone outside of her mind thinks she may be losing it, then her mind will tell her she lost her sanity a long time ago.
I'm also guessing she's pretty intelligent...or very organised, or both. For those of us who like things to go as planned, having those plans so violently interrupted throws the entire psyche out of whack. Suddenly, nothing makes sense, and nothing goes the way it should. One suddenly realises that there isn't an ouce of control in the universe...As to your theory about PMDD, it's bad enough to have control issues..then have your own hormones betray you, yes, that can definitely add to the stress. I also would like to pose the question: could her anger at her boyfriend be some form of latent blame, since she would not have been where she was when she experienced the trauma if she'd not been going to meet him? He obviously is not to blame, but sleeplessness and stress place strange thoughts in our minds.
Hope this helps. Therapy is crucial at this stage to prevent this from becoming a lifelong issue.
Zim

 
Old 08-19-2004, 01:56 PM   #6
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eowynn HB User
Re: At my wits end...my daughter and PTSD

Thanks for the reply zimnah...we had a hell of a weekend...between hurricane Charley threatening us and my daughter really hitting bottom I'm exhausted. Thankfully Charley didn't bother us too bad. She has been home since Saturday..told her boyfriend that she needed to do that to keep from stressing them both out. But that doesn't mean they didn't have some pretty bad arguments over the phone. My husband and I listened to her and the way she talked to her boyfriend and we came upon the theory that she is displacing much of her anger at her father on her BF. I think the PTSS has just brought it all forward. I also have thought of your suggestion that she places the anger on her BF because of the fact that she was going to meet him that night. She was so stressed over the weekend that she got physically ill...vomiting, diarrhea, back pain, headache, malaise, dizziness...she even broke out in a rash on her torso...either it was stress or West Nile (same symptoms). She's doing a bit better today..but still not up to par. She continues counselling and has an appointment with a physchiatrist next week because her counselor feels she might not be able to pull herself out of the depression without meds. After a while this psychiatrist should be giving us a family rate..so far both dd's have been to see him. I just keep praying and keep my fingers crossed that she has no more of her episodes of hysteria. They scare all of us so much. She lashed out at me this weekend, I know she doesn't mean it, but it hurts to see her hurting so much and lashing out at me when I'm trying to help. I have finally decided that I need to back away and let her counselor do the work because I'm just too close.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zimnah
Hi there...
Just read your post today, and I have to agree...your daughter is exhibiting textbook symptoms of PTSS...It is usually Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome until it affects your life much further down the road. The good news is: with PTSS, she is reacting soon after the trauma, and her reactions to seemingly innocent stimuli are very strong. If she can address this as soon as possible, she may be abl;e to evade the longer, more enduring effects of PTSD. SHe didn't blank out and forget the horrible event. Instead, every stressor seems to her to be the last tweaked nerve, and I'll bet it feels like everyone is on her back...I suspect she is harder on herself and thinks others are just as judgemental...she is her own worst critic. If someone outside of her mind thinks she may be losing it, then her mind will tell her she lost her sanity a long time ago.
I'm also guessing she's pretty intelligent...or very organised, or both. For those of us who like things to go as planned, having those plans so violently interrupted throws the entire psyche out of whack. Suddenly, nothing makes sense, and nothing goes the way it should. One suddenly realises that there isn't an ouce of control in the universe...As to your theory about PMDD, it's bad enough to have control issues..then have your own hormones betray you, yes, that can definitely add to the stress. I also would like to pose the question: could her anger at her boyfriend be some form of latent blame, since she would not have been where she was when she experienced the trauma if she'd not been going to meet him? He obviously is not to blame, but sleeplessness and stress place strange thoughts in our minds.
Hope this helps. Therapy is crucial at this stage to prevent this from becoming a lifelong issue.
Zim

 
Old 08-26-2004, 04:14 PM   #7
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ladybird988 HB Userladybird988 HB User
Re: At my wits end...my daughter and PTSD

Please be patient with your daughter. It takes time. But neither should you be abused. She needs love and to talk and be heard. She needs emotional support.

I was much younger than her when I was murdered and my parents didn't know what to do to help me after. That was before much was known about PTSD. She needs help now so she doesn't develop PTSD. I can tell you that being murdered, hunted, being in safe houses, did not hurt me as much as the people I came back to who abandoned me emotionally, probably because they too had been through too much. Thank god she has parents who weren't traumatized who can be there for her. It was the abandonment that hurt more than anything. And not being able to talk to anyone about it because who can understand what I went through?

Anyways, on the prednisone thing, one time I took it and it gave me a horrible night terror (which I have a lot) where I jumped out of bed, ran down the hall, and saw men with guns aiming at my head just like before, so I stay away from prednisione now. My councelor says I've got about the worst case of PTSD he's seen.

Catch it before it progresses to PTSD.

 
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