Hi STeph, was reading your responses to a few here and I must say, you have really got great advice, girl! I have PTSD, from a car accident. But I've had issues from the past that were pretty traumatic so when I had the car accident and then the loss of my brother 2 years later, whewwww everything came knocking at my door. You are so right, therapy was the best thing I ever did to myself. Psychotherapy was the best of all the therapies are participated in. Would like to start that up again. PTSD is not that easy to get rid of. I have worked a lot of it but still have some flashbacks or some body memories to the accident. But I'm still working on it. Where do you live? I noticed you suggested a social worker with a PTSD background? Im from Chicago. Are you familiar with anyone here that you may like to refer?
I forgt to mention something about Personality Disorders, etc. With PTSD, it can have many hair-raising symptoms. Depression and definitely personality changes because it seems due to PTSD, the trauma and all, it makes you kind of angry and if a button is hit, whew, there goes the personality change. Depression is a part of PTSD, how can u not be depressed after experiencing trauma. And how can you not be stressed since a lot of energy was trapped in the nervous system after trauma. It really takes mind and body to work this whole thing out. Would like to hear more from you regarding this subject and the personality change.
Regarding the VA. My brother was part of the VA and his life was hell. He got great doctors and doctors from HELL! Some of these doctors need to be fired. One of the doctors he had visited put a hole in his foot cutting his toenails. Now my brother was diabetic. They never could cure it. So he wound up in a hospital with a major staff infection. Then his kidneys began to fail. They had two weeks to transport him for better care coz they were unequipped to handle his illness, but they didn't. They were too busy playing stupid and when it came to where they didn't want him anymore and he needed dialysis and they had no dialysis machine, well it was too late, he died 20 mintues out of Danville VA in Danville, Illinois. I know how the benefits work and if you don't see one of their doctors, you have no coverage. And they all stick together. So it's kind of hard to find another VA doctor to go against another VA doctors diagnosis. It's a shame.
Thank you for your kind words. I look back at my life and even though I would not change a thing, it amazes me how I have evolved into the person that I am today. Therapy took a long time, I would get to a point that I felt good and I would stop, always knowing that there was an open door to my therapist if I needed her. I tell people that she saved my life, she listened to me, ME, no one ever listened to me and maybe that is why it took a long time for me to want to get thru all the junk in my head. She was my guide and she would let me figure out things by myself, to find my true self, it was the hardest thing that I ever had to do, hiding my secret for all those years was a walk in the park compared to fixing me. Depression, I was always depressed and I didn't know it, I come from a family that everything looked nice on the outside and who worries about the inside. so for me everything was always "Wonderful" when it wasn't
Now, how to find a provider, you live in Chicago, what about the Univ of Chicago ? or do a google search for CSW's in Illinois. Here in NYState, we have a physicians listing and can check out the provider their backround info, schooling, hosp affiliations etc... before making an appointment. If you do find providers, then I would ask them a few questions when calling for a appt, or before you make an appt, because the hardest part of all of this is the provider!
The therapy that was done on me is called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) maybe you can tailor your search using the EMDR as part of the request. I would ask the therapist if they do this therapy? I would ask how long they have been a therapist, and just explain that you are looking for someone that will assist you thru all the stuff running around in your head. Once you start asking questions like this it will make you feel more at ease and more in control, I was more comfortable with a woman, you have had therapy before so you know what works for you.
My therapist was very spiritual and I grew to like that and understand that everything that we do, God is always there, and even tho I was a lapsed catholic, I never really understood that god was there, now everything that happens I thank God, I have MS, and there is a reason, I haven't figured out that reason but I will, God will guide me.
I hope you find a provider that will guide you thru sorting everything out and filing it away. Someone who will make you be a better person than you are right now
Stephanie Ann is right about the social worker with a PTSD background. I was working with one until my doctor began feeling threatened by him and cut off my access to him. He really knew how to help me understand what I was experiencing and why. Another form of treatment research is discovering that works marvels for PTSD is DBT (originally created to treat BPD patients). My doctor stated yesterday that DBT would be ideal for me but won't refer me for the treatment--again I presume a control issue. I was receiving DBT at a vet outreach center an hour away and it was quite helpful. But she found out and made me stop it and to get a letter from them stating that I had indeed disengaged treatment with them as verification. Much like a teacher telling a child to get a note from home. I know, she's CRAZY. I really hope you find a sane, approachable therapist. It is so pivotal to recovery. I really miss my social worker.
Hey guys, thanks. You know, I'm doing pretty good but still have some of that garbage in me. I heard about EMDR. It works for some, not all. I guess you have to touch the trauma again, but I agree, that's what we need to plunge forward.
I guess what I hated the most and still do is when a sore spot is hit, I shake, like a leaf in the wind. Horrible feeling.
Hitting the sore spot was the hardest and scariest thing that I ever did.
You will know when you are ready, you can't rush this, just talking about it is a good thing your body will let you know when it is ready to move on.
I can relate to the shaking when at the mention of your trauma. I only recently blurted out load to myself and a friend that I had been raped (repeatedly) by a senior officer in the Marine Corps. Hadn't been able to utter the R word for 13 years--partly because defense mechanisms precluded me from doing so and partly because amazing enough I didn't know what all constituted rape. Just saying the R word makes me shake horribly--the little I said to my friend who has a medical background, said I dissociated the whole time I spoke. I had been medical boarded for PTSD (without having to "confess" that I had been raped) along with Major Depression. But I have yet to pursue service-connection with the VA for PTSD, as I've heard they really dig into you and make you go into every detail of which I am nowhere near ready/able to do yet. I have yet to talk about it with my "caregiver" at the VA. The Chief of Psychiatry asked me if I had been raped, and I emphatically denied it...that's how much I can't deal with it, though I think he realizes I was lying. I've admitted to other instances of sexual harassment to VA caregivers and have been diagnosed with military sexual trauma; and I can't believe that diagnosis was made on simple harassment, so I think they have an awareness that I had been raped.
Oh My God! God bless you! I was raped two times in my teenage years, both date rapes! Im now 47 but it all came back with several recent traumas. The VA is not easy, I know this thru my late brother.
No offense to you, and I understand this is the way you have to go. But I can't stand the VA. Not because my brother passed away in their hands, could have happened anywhere, but of their neglect and then a sudden caring move when it was too late!
I have suffered from PTSD for years. I could never admit that I had a problem until a counselor asked how much worse my depressioin had been over the past six months. Sometimes therapists need to be more direct in their questioning. I still have night terrors but I have learned to deal with them - sometimes I am awake for hours after one but realize that it was in my head. I am taking anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medicines. Several different ones were tried before one worked. What a bear! Don't give up on counselling or therapy. There are Vet Centers around the country that will give good sessions and listen to you. The VA is definitely a pain to deal with. I don't deal with the local patient rep, I go to the regional patient rep and complain. It does get things done.
Through all of this, my wife was in extreme pain due to a truck having run throrugh our house and burying her under three feet of rubble. The cause of my PTSD, and then a vehicle accident breaking the dam of emotions and feelings. I was the one that dug her out.
We always talked and tried to help people who asked questions about issues (at least my wife did - I ran). Our faith in God helped us survive all these years. No matter how bad I got my wife always stood beside me and I took care of her.