An adult with childhood PTSD
Hi. I'm an adult male, retired from one career and well through training in another: to be a psychotherapist. I have had recurring depression and depersonalization disorder since my teens (and, I'm coming to understand, since my childhood). For a number of years I have taken SSRIs, which do the trick and have made me a fairly high functioning person. But they also make me indifferent and complacent to things that need to be more important, like my weight, my health, getting rest, exercise, and down time; and being available to my children.
As I tapered off my SSRIs I felt like I was coming back to life--regaining sensitivity. And then depression hit. I have been using acupuncture, EFT, and psychotherapy, but I don't have the funds to do these things as often as I need.
What I'm coming to understand as I practice EFT is that underneath the depression is terror. In the past, my depersonalization experiences and depression usually began after an experience of inner terror--triggered by I don't know what--which I'm starting to understand has a lot more to do with PTSD than depression or that "something's just wrong with my brain."
I know that I was deeply impacted by the sudden death of my father when I was four. I also know that an older neighbor molested me around that time and my sisters and I were abused by day care providers. In the middle of all this was a terrifying tonsillectomy (with ether) that, in itself, sounds ridiculous to complain about, but given the state I was already in when it happened was another example of life being unsafe and the doctors forced that mask onto my face as I struggled and cried. I also know that there are things I don't remember that may have been more terrifying than what I do remember.
What I'm only coming to realize now is that my symptoms are not just depression, but PTSD. Does it sound that way to you? Are there others among you who are still in reaction to childhood trauma?
I'm probably lucky that SSRIs "work so well," but I don't want to go back to sleep. Yet I have to be able to function. I'm hoping it will help to actually acknowledge the trauma and talk about it with others in the same boat.
Last edited by RG3001; 03-16-2011 at 08:48 AM.