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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Message Board

Could I be suffering from PTS?

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Old 06-21-2004, 09:56 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 5
Healingbreeze HB User
Unhappy Could I be suffering from PTS?

Hi everyone,

I wanted to get anyone's opinion about my situation. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I have recently been experiencing what I think are panic attacks. My heart starts pounding, I feel like I'm going to explode, I cry uncontrollably, I start to hyperventilate. It comes on without warning. The whole time, all of these thoughts are running through my head and I can't stop it. My baby brother was in a motorcycle accident last November (he's ok, but it still scared me to death), our town recently flooded and my home sustained damage, not much later a tornado came through (luckily it skipped our home), I'm in the process of trying to change jobs, I've caught my husband looking at not nice things on the internet & during a trip we took with a friend, he was going to leave me passed out on the bed in New Orleans to go have drinks with my friend. All of these things run through my mind constantly. Could I be suffering from post-traumatic stress and if so, what treatment is usually used to correct it?

Thanks for your time!!!

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Old 06-21-2004, 07:43 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: eastern seaboard
Posts: 220
zimnah HB User
Re: Could I be suffering from PTS?

I read and re-read your post, and am still not quite sure. The symptoms you describe are consistent with PTS, but you didn't describe triggers, which are a main component. With PTS, you would specifically experience these symptoms when, perhaps, you saw a man on a motorcycle (relating to the accident), or when hearing about tornadoes on the news. Those are the most obvious triggers, given the experiences you described. Others can be more nebulous, like seemingly unconnected moments in the course of a normal day that seem to send you into a blind panic. When I began having flaskbacks, it would be a normal morning. I'd just awakened, done my normal morning routine, and then I'd brush my hair. Suddnely, the area outside my immediate vision would go grey, and I would see myself in the mirror with someone else's hands running a brush through my much longer hair. It was very scary, and nerve-wracking. I told my doctor, who referred me to a psychiatrist. It took months, but most of the memory came back, and the person brushing my hair actually used to do this as a way to soothe me after violently molesting me. I'd been soothed by having my hair brushed from the age of 2 or 3, so being 8 and 9 and soothed after a horrific night of abuse was only correct, I guess, in a twisted sort of way.
I just hope this makes some sense to you. If you can rule out your past, then I would look more for avoidance issues or adjustment disorder issues. It sounds like a lot of your life has been in chaos for the last bit of time, and there is a lot to deal with here. See a doctor jsut to rule out the obvuois medical issues that may be there, and keep in mind that the human mind can only compute a certain amoount of stress at any given time...accident, flood and damage, then tornado...sounds a bit tense. Not to mention chance of new job hanging on your ability to cope with stress. It looks like that guy at the family reunion that has 7 kinds of potato salad on his plate (1 pint each, by the way) and sheer act of will keeps him from dumping the plate all on your lap. If you get a little guidance on comparmentalising the various stressors in your life, then things may go well for you in the end.
I hope this helps.
Good Luck!!

Old 06-22-2004, 06:02 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 5
Healingbreeze HB User
Re: Could I be suffering from PTS?

Thank you so much for your reply. I think that I may be suffering from maybe several different things. When I was 15 (I am now 22) I was sexually assaulted by a guy that I didn't really know. Not many people know about it, because it's always been too embarrassing to talk about. He was a lot older than me, and he tried to brainwash me into thinking that it was all my fault. I was so scared of him because he said that he would kidnap me and lock me in his closet, and take me out to play with me once his roommates were gone. I felt like he really would do this, so I just kept quiet. It happened several times.....he would come over to my house....I hated to see him pull up. A couple of times it happened during the day. I would just lay there and zone into another world because I didn't know what else to do. The first time I cried and that didn't help any either. Now, if my husband happens to see me in the daylight without any clothes on, I have flashbacks. I have to lock him out of the bathroom if I'm going to take a shower or anything because I don't want him to see me. I can't show affection that well least not to my husband. I feel like if he wants it, he will take it from me just like the other guy did. I hate it.....I wish there was some way to wipe out the memories. I am soooo very sorry to hear about your abuse. No one should have to endure anything like that.

As far as all of the other stuff......I don't really have triggers. I start getting panicked at night mostly. As long as I keep my mind occupied on something else, I'm pretty much ok. But once I lay down, all of those events start running through my mind. Then I start worrying about little things like bills, whether the trash was put know, things like that. I am waiting for my health insurance to take effect July 1, then I am going to have to go see a doctor. I feel like I am going to explode if I don't get some help.

Thank you again for your response. It is greatly appreciated! You take care!!!


Old 06-22-2004, 12:47 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 187
apinecone HB User
Re: Could I be suffering from PTS?

Originally Posted by Healingbreeze
I think that I may be suffering from maybe several different things. ... I start getting panicked at night mostly. As long as I keep my mind occupied on something else, I'm pretty much ok. But once I lay down, all of those events start running through my mind.*~*Casey*~*
Hi Casey Hi Zimnah!
A couple of things that might pertain to your situation. These add up to a whole 'picture', so I'll just lay them out:
- Mainly, your system can have a 'level' of, let's say, edginess that creates a condition where relatively slight perturbations can sort of push you over the tolerance edge and you're into you-know-where-land: you know when you're there; you've been there before. I call it "this deja" feeling.

- You can get to this level a number of ways. T-->PT--PTS-->PTSD are kind of progressive but they start with T and that spells Trouble and Tornado, through your HOME, right there in your 'River City' is definitely one way to get there. It can spike, then gradually trail off, etc. and it's additive.

I was talking to my sisty-other over the Memorial Day weekend and we were talking/crying about a friend of ours who got killed in Vietnam and who live in a housing subdivision behind our house. She said they were having a storm there that day and she could see over towards Tommy's house and did I remember how that tornado came from over there that time swerved RIGHT towards OUR house and we were scared s*tless? [My heart went from about from about 60-120 in half the time she was recounting that.] As she was saying it I was seeing it. She was behind me in our upstairs bedroom screaming at me...and my auto-immune audial sensitivity was at that time also going off with howling and screaming and Well, I've this deja/angst right here again.
I still live with depressed auto-immune system levels which make going over the edge more likely than 'normal'. + stuff, as you say. A lot of STUFF in there adds up or tears down or whatever.

- The biochem stuff that gets evoked hangs around your body for awhile, like a latent bomb. Adrenalin is the main culprit (histamines mimic it). Its a hormone. We all have hormones. Thyroids and various glands generate hormones. blablabla --> SHARK ATTACK as Chevy Chase used to skit about.

- This 'hyper-sensitivity' in a sense doesn't care where it came it came from or who it victimizes. It's literally DREADful to everyone it affects. It's called 'affective'-, and if it starts with PT, then as it progresses it can become PTS and then PTSD, but not until it becomes syndromic and then a disorder.

I think most of the other "xD's" have their own kind of special edge and various kinds of cycling or hanging arounds going on. One thing about the edge for me is a 'vertigo' deja; I'm not "afraid" of heights per se but I get the same feeling a la panic and GO BACK!

I think that crying and especially crying and hugging each other and even lauging while your doing it in some cases are wonderful expurgative communions with others who have had the same or similar experience. It's so wonderful when we finally are safe at "home". "
Home, Toto, Home. There's NO place like Home!"

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