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.
I'm interested in your post as it seems for a couple of reasons we might have some things in common. I was diagnosed with PTSD some 5 years ago and am now 53 but suffered from panic attacks from around the age of 4 years old. I lived a bit of a miserable life at home witnessing domestic violence and then molested by a teenager around the age of 5 yrs old (and raped in my late 40's) and then more after that but sadly for my generation you didn't talk about it. Can you tell me what SSRI's are please? It sounds like something that puts you out? My anxiety once again put me in hospital to have another angiogram to show clear arteries in the last 3 weeks. The pains are so real but that is another story. My PTSD symptoms knock me about so badly that I feel very weakened and cannot function. You have not described your's. I have posted just not that long ago my symptoms and would be interested to know your's even just for a comparison. We try to function day to day (as you have sort of mentioned) but, every now and then it hits you and it's all too hard. Would appreciate any feedback you have. Good luck for your endeavours
SSRIs are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc. Thanks for your response. More from me later...
Hello. I take no medications at all. I did for years and slowly years ago weaned myself off them and to be honest they covered up reality and made no difference at the end of the day. (this is if I am correct in my assumption of inhibitors etc?). I take each day as it comes. I work within the community and see others and their day to day lives and sometimes just sometimes am thankful for mine. I try not to dwell to much on my own life a lot of the time but I have moments (am human like the rest of us). What happened to me was wrong and there was a whole lot more than I wrote and yes it has contributed to the PTSD most definately and hopefully one day I will work through it. I have had feedback that hypnosis is good and maybe one day when I'm feeling ready I will look at it. Interesting you have chosen your profession. I work with those that are vulnerable and in need. It's obviously part of our makeup from our experiences maybe? Good luck!!