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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Message Board


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Old 05-18-2010, 04:44 PM   #1
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Newly diagnosed PTSD

I am not sure where to begin really...After years of feeling miserable I started seeing a therapist. The first one turned out not to be right for me (I had no trust with her). I stopped seeing her and went to someone who specializes in trauma and something called EMDR. My new therapist diagnosed me with c-ptsd which I guess is a lot worse then PTSD. I tend to suppress my emotions, avoid anything and everything that reminds me of my past, total failure at relationships and am generally disconnected (which I guess earned me that diagnosis). I am wondering if PTSD can be treated without medication? Also, is EMDR something worth exploring? I have had some traumatic childhood experiences (terrified of doctors, abusive grandparent etc....).

Sometimes I wonder if this is just something I have to live with....

Last edited by Marina2042; 05-18-2010 at 04:55 PM.

 
Old 05-18-2010, 05:14 PM   #2
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

My understanding it that PTSD responds better to therapy than to drugs. Wait a bit and push this to the top occasionally by replying to yourself...there are a couple of people on this forum that are very knowledgeable about PTSD and may respond. They've helped me a lot to understand PTSD.

 
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:01 PM   #3
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

Hi Marina...I'm Jenny and I've battled PTSD for over 40 years.....well before there ever was such a diagnosis. I'm just now starting to post here....had some bad experiences on boards in the past.

PTSD comes in different forms and some are simple such as someone deathly afraid to drive after car accident to military who have been traumatized by war, to abuse victims, be they domestic violence or child abuse. And there's lots in between. There seems to be infinite number of ways to get PTSD...everything from natural disasters to people trying to kill you.

For starters, recent studies have determined that there really is a problem with the brain. Researchers for the VA have found differences in the brain's magnetic readings between people with PTSD and people without it. And trying to fix a brain with therapy is hard but it's all we have right now. You might want to read the answers I gave to Blackdog in another post below yours.

So whether you have CPTSD or just plain old PTSD, it really doesn't matter...the treatment is about the same. Drugs can be helpful if you are so anxious you have trouble functioning or are so depressed that suicide is a possibility. Some try beta blockers to stop the release of adrenaline that accompanies the triggers or flashbacks. Me? I do better without the drugs. When I first got sick I was put through shock treatments and heavy doses of antipsychotics and had all sorts of stuff done to me because the flashbacks were thought to be hallucinations. I was told I was schizophrenic and would never recover.

But I knew better deep inside and once I got away from the docs and hospitals, worked on figuring out what was wrong and how to fix it. I've had about 17 years of therapy and 23 years of learning and fixing myself. I am back in therapy at the present time to finally finish the work.

I have not had EMDR but have heard from those who have tried it that it helps. It is controversial and the experts on PTSD don't really know how it works but it is worth trying. PTSD is one of those disorders where you have to really work at getting it under control It's not just therapy. You have to work at teaching your brain and body to relax as it's always under red flag alert. Yoga can be very helpful and meditation seems to be the #1 thing that people have said helps them.

For those of us with PTSD, something has happened to our brains that won't let us move on and keeps us always distrustful and afraid. We have to train it to understand that we can now trust and are no longer in danger....that is hard. Therapy will explore what made you so afraid to start with and expose you to the feelings and events so as to make them less traumatic. The meditation and yoga and others things you learn to do to control your anxiety are things you have to do and incorporate into your life that re-train that brain and body.

Can you get rid of PTSD? Yes. I'm 58 and I'm fine. I've married(35 years) and had kids and now have a grandchild with another coming soon. I've worked and been involved in my community. I've had a pretty good life. Why did I have PTSD? I was abused to the point of broken bones and near drownings. 15 molesters. 2 premeditated attempts on my life.

If I can recover, anyone can.

So welcome. I hope to become a regular poster here and hope I can reach out and help people understand what this is and how to help yourselves. I'm now making some incredible emotional breakthroughs in finishing up this ordeal and it is actually thrilling to finally understand at very deep levels what this is all about....even though it may hurt like hell. It's like the pain you feel pulling out a deeply imbedded thorn...hurts like mad but feels so good once it comes out.

So welcome and......

gentle hugs..............Jenny

 
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:11 PM   #4
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

Hi Jenny,

Thank you for your response. I think I am still in the denial stage of actually having PTSD because well...I guess I have had it all my life and just learned to deal with it. The problem that I am running into is time doesn't seem to heal all wounds...it makes it worse. I guess with therapy PTSD does get better? It sure doesn't feel that way now...I just want to run and hide and wonder if its even worth dealing with. I do wonder how much damage I have to my brain though...kinda makes me want to see a doctor to find out (even though its not an option due to my fear).

I was glad to find these boards....makes me feel like I am not totally alone with this. Hearing stories such as yours does give me hope so I thank you for responding.

 
Old 05-19-2010, 11:22 AM   #5
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

Why do you think you may have damaged your brain? Is part of the problem a fear of doctors for you? I had that too.

Lots of people cope with PTSD and go through their entire lives kind of miserable rather than dealing with it. In my family, me and my oldest brother have sought help but my sister and younger brother have not. My sister even denies anything happened. And both are miserable people. And now my sister's adult daughter is mentally ill and her adult son died of a drug overdose. It pays to deal with it in more ways that you know.

I'm here if you want to talk...............Jenny

 
Old 05-19-2010, 05:56 PM   #6
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

From everything I have read on PTSD it suggests it does...I may be wrong though. And that isn't why I am terrified of doctors...I had a procedure done when I was a very young that I wasn't prepared for.

Neither my friends nor my family knows I am seeing a therapist...so the lack of support makes going that much harder. I realize it is something I need to do to get over being miserable but I can totally feel myself wanting to run away again and pretend like nothing is wrong.

 
Old 05-19-2010, 06:14 PM   #7
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

PTSD affects your brain but doesn't damage it at all. I've had an EEG, a brain MRI and a brain MRA(to check blood vessels) in the last year and there's no damage to my brain except what I had after stopping breathing post-operatively a few years back. And even that doesn't show up anymore.

No, PTSD doesn't damage the brain but it does change how it works. And our job is to try to train it to work properly again. Brain damage is permanent. A brain that doesn't work right can be fixed. Big difference.

And if you need support, there are a lot of on-line places to get it. Someday you'll be strong enough to tell your family.

gentle hugs..............Jenny

 
Old 05-20-2010, 05:19 PM   #8
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

Hi

My therapist diagnosed me with PTSD a few months back, and we've also done some EMDR, but honestly, I dont think it did much, but through the whole thing I couldnt really concentrate on what he wanted me to concentrate and I just felt like I was doing it all wrong. He said it's because my defenses are really high and I dont have much trust in people. He hasn't spoken to me about C-PTSD, but I think that's more of an accurante diagnoses for me, but so far he hasnt wanted me to be put on any drugs. I dont know if drugs really help for anything more than to not feel anything at all.


 
Old 05-21-2010, 11:24 AM   #9
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

The official diagnosis, be it PTSD, CPTSD, or chronic complex PTSD with repression, with BPD, severe depression, self injury behavior and suicidal ideation(a few of mine)....it doesn't matter. It's all the same thing just, different grades of the disorder. We don't trust. And that is the key.

Think of it this way. Thousands of years ago women gave birth in the fields or forests alone or with another person to help them. Once the baby was born, it was smelly(blood, amniotic fluid etc.) and totally helpless from animals that might want to eat it and from the weather that might kill it through cold or rain or whatever. So what does that baby need as soon as it's born...more than food or love or anything else? It needs to trust that someone will protect it from animals and keep it protected from the weather. So trust is our most primal instinct. We must trust that someone will protect us or we will die.

Then something in our lives disrupts that. Be it abuse or whatever, something makes us stop trusting others. And that means out most primal and needed instinct has been shattered. We need to trust others in order to survive. We are a species that can't live alone.

So we need to talk about why we don't trust. What happened to make us not trust any longer? And we need to figure out how to start trusting again and then actually do it. It sounds simple but it is very complex because it is so fundamental to our survival. But it is doable.

So don't worry about the diagnosis, worry about the effects that PTSD has had on how you live your life. Not trusting anyone leads to all sorts of emotions and ways of living your life that don't work. It's a very tangled web to untangle and takes time. But it can be done.

gentle hugs...........Jenny

 
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:19 AM   #10
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

I'm new to this board being diagnosed with PTSD only recently (which is why I'm replying to an old message). Your post is so right on, Jenny! Below the fear, below the depression, below the suicidal tendencies is the lack of trust.

My mom died when I was 2 1/2 and none of the adults around me knew what to do, how to explain death to a toddler. So, they did nothing - just gave me to my grandmother to raise until my dad remarried.

I've had issues with death, loss and trust most of my life (I'm 66). My therapist is going to try EMDR if I qualify.

I hope those of you who posted here have found some semblance of peace and are on your way to healing.

Nancy

 
Old 04-13-2011, 01:58 PM   #11
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennybyc View Post
The official diagnosis, be it PTSD, CPTSD, or chronic complex PTSD with repression, with BPD, severe depression, self injury behavior and suicidal ideation(a few of mine)....it doesn't matter. It's all the same thing just, different grades of the disorder. We don't trust. And that is the key.

Think of it this way. Thousands of years ago women gave birth in the fields or forests alone or with another person to help them. Once the baby was born, it was smelly(blood, amniotic fluid etc.) and totally helpless from animals that might want to eat it and from the weather that might kill it through cold or rain or whatever. So what does that baby need as soon as it's born...more than food or love or anything else? It needs to trust that someone will protect it from animals and keep it protected from the weather. So trust is our most primal instinct. We must trust that someone will protect us or we will die.

Then something in our lives disrupts that. Be it abuse or whatever, something makes us stop trusting others. And that means out most primal and needed instinct has been shattered. We need to trust others in order to survive. We are a species that can't live alone.

So we need to talk about why we don't trust. What happened to make us not trust any longer? And we need to figure out how to start trusting again and then actually do it. It sounds simple but it is very complex because it is so fundamental to our survival. But it is doable.

So don't worry about the diagnosis, worry about the effects that PTSD has had on how you live your life. Not trusting anyone leads to all sorts of emotions and ways of living your life that don't work. It's a very tangled web to untangle and takes time. But it can be done.

gentle hugs...........Jenny
Jenny,
You just explained this to me in a way I just never really thought of.
It certainly is a trust issue. Like you, I don't trust doctors too much either so it can be real difficult getting the help we need 'cause WE get in the way.
I'm recently finding that being connected to my own sense of self and spirit is helpful to me.
I have P.T.S.D. really badly along with bi-polar disorder so at times it is a lot to deal with.
Its so nice to have a group of people who know their stuff from experience;
not from a university or book.
Pleased to meet you Jenny
I wish the rest of you the best also.
It difficult to deal with.

 
Old 05-17-2011, 12:44 AM   #12
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Re: Newly diagnosed PTSD

Hi there, I also have C-PTSD and have been dealing with trauma for over 20 years so I can understand where you're coming from. I was diagnosed 10 years ago and remember the denial stage! It takes a while but one thing to remember is that a LOT of people have PTSD and you're not abnormal, it's not a "bad" thing... you're "normal" for what you have experienced.

About 2 years ago I was referred to a counselor who practices EMDR and I highly recommend it. It's different, yes. But I recommend it to anyone with PTSD because I've had it and know several people who have tried it and it makes a remarkable difference!

Basically what happens is you hold a vibrating mini computer mouse type thingy in each hand & you talk about what comes to mind. You might feel emotions and not really know why, but every time I've done an EMDR session I come out feeling like I spent a day at the spa! Several dr's recommended 100 mg of zoloft while doing EMDR therapy. I've questioned it but ended up taking it because there are a lot of emotions that can come out of doing it so to me, zoloft is like insurance coverage for those emotions. My counselor doesn't do EMDR every single session, we don't talk about anything I'm not ready to talk about & EMDR isn't just for childhood memories.... you can use it for relaxation and meditation. I totally recommend trying it!

If you have any questions or are having a hard time feel free to ask questions. It sounds like a lot of people on here have a lot of experience with it & the board could be a great resource to have!

 
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