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Hello All - PTSD Sufferer Sydney

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by bennjamin, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. bennjamin

    bennjamin Member

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    Another slightly vauge intro - but in following the guides :p

    # Name

    my name is Ben , i live In local Ryde in Sydney.
    I have PTSD or some offset of it ~ and its a breaking point of information and anxiety that brings me here.

    My story is short -

    Lived a relitivley normal life until 3 years ago , where i was at La Parouse in my car with my gf at the time . We sat as a couple (as you) looking out at the harbour and all that when about 2 hrs later a random stolen car with 6 males pulled up next to us.
    They Quickly surrounded my car and started kicking and thumping it ( i tried to start my car about 3 million times but being a carby dosent help :().
    One guy then put his boot thru my drivers side window half-knockign me out.
    Two men pushed half into that window , one with a big knife and the other screaming and yelling and punching me - i yelled at them for what they wanted and they stabbed me once thru my left side of my upper chest and once into my cheek. From adrenalin i didnt notice any of this and i gave them my wallet and phone and told them to "go away" ( in not so many words)
    they left quickly and then the man with the knife came back and launched the knife into the right side of my chest and boy if theres something i recall , its the feeling of a knife scraping against the back of your ribcage...not to mention class cubes and that luke warm copper taste of blood in my mouth.
    They dissappeared , i spewed blood and then began massive blood loss-induced hallucinations ( you know , seeing bright multicoloured pyschodelic shapes and images etc) , My gf Flora was unharmed but i just dont recall anything else - i faded , and sunk it seemed 10 foot below the car and accepted death.
    I pretty much held my breath to calm down and rested and said i loved her.

    And then i came to as a ambulance person was pulling me out of the seat , knocked out again. Came to again randomly - in the ambulance , just rollign into POW hospital , waking up on the operating table ( that dam big light left 4 spots in my eyes for weeks lol) and then cold black for sooooo long.

    I really dont know - only 3 days later i was "concious" with a iron lung and tubes all over the place - and it took about 1 month in the hospital to get back into it plus about 3 months at home resting etc etc etc

    Lucky or whatever i had a hint of disappointment yet acceptance that i didnt actually "die" - its just a situation i cannot describe in words.

    Just alittle bit after i was "fit" and at home with mum and my sister , my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and simply vanished within 2 weeks. The only half decent person in my life ( dads an womanising ass) taken right after i wasnt. I dont see this as a "subjective" issue in my own PTSD , but its a clever icing on the cake and i cant be selfish and add to my own sorrows. But dam i miss her more than anything.




    *warning : brain splurge moment*

    Where does that bring me now ?
    Im 23 , own my mothers house with myself , my fat cat , my sister and 3 boarders living here.
    Some would say on the outside , im doing alrite. I dont drink , smoke , take drugs ~ i eat quite healthy and try to excercise abit if my body allows.
    Im not poor and earn abit of money here and there but my biggest problem is my abilty to concentrate and apply my brain to any given topic....after i was stabbed and "better" i forced myself to go to a TAFE course and keep sane - which worked for 1 year or so. More and more...i feel my mind working far more efficiently than those around me and simply i get BORED sitting in class as the interllectual content is non exsisitant. I make up my own problems and solutions and constantly doodle on paper and whatnot - before all this i have been a solid creative acheiver and have numerous jobs and experiences in the design/art/engineering field.

    But now. Im sitting in a cycle of wake up , eat , look on the net ( i run a car enthusiast website to keep me occupied) , eat again , casual work then just sit on the net until i sleep. Day in day out . I have no definite plan - i earn enough money to live and save abit so my situation just "sits" in neutral.

    Yet again , after i came out of my stabbing incident i was helped alittle by the VVC , with a small compensation payout and "8 hrs of counselling" (gee , thanks !) and then basically pushed back out into the real world expected to rot in some form of mental breakdown.

    The laugh is on them for now :cool:

    But one thing i can see i need is to TALK more and more and more about "this". No one can relate to me and i seek some capacity of "normality" to deal with these people with everyday life.

    Thanks Ben
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Hi Ben,

    Welcome to the forum. WOW... it seems you had quite an ordeal going by all that. I can relate to aggresive violence, as I've seen and done enough things in my time, especially military orientated and related. Mate, I must say, congratulations on getting yourself through the worst of it, and you should really be patting yourself on your back for a job well done. Many would have just given in, laid down and died. You fought for your life, and protected that off your girlfriend at the time. Well done...

    You said you have PTSD or some offset of it! Have you been diagnosed with it as yet? Or do you think you have it and avoiding the diagnosis part of the process? I know a lot of people who have all the symptoms, but refuse to be checked and diagnosed, so they don't have to hear a medical confirmation of what they thought... and that is, their worst nightmare is true!

    The fact of the matter is this! Most of those with PTSD will never have what is close to a normal life again, as the illness itself just won't allow it. That is a hard fact to come to terms with, trust me on that one. It doesn't mean lie down and cry "poor me", but merely something we must acknowledge. I was in denial for for years before coming to terms and being diagosed with the actual illness... mind you though, I knew something was wrong, just didn't know what it was. Alcohol covered most of that for me though as a temporary support mechanism until I come back to reality again.

    From what you have said, your actually coping quite well considering the circumstances. If you haven't been diagnosed, then it may actually be that you only have a few symptoms off it, which is quite cureable to allow you to live a normal life. Some physicians fool themselves into thinking they can cure those with PTSD, I think more to make themselves feel a sense of accomplishment more than anything, but they actually can't, as memories cannot be erased, nor the feelings that go with those memories. This is the hard part of PTSD... being the traumatic event and memories associated with them.

    I have dealt mainly with physicians involved with veterans and PTSD for most of their lives, ie. 30+ years in helping the illness, back to Vietnam and World War II days. Whilst every situation is different, and every case of PTSD is different, the symptoms themselves never change.

    You hit the nail on the head though, when you said you need to talk, talk, talk. That is the best and most successful method to date on helping those with traumatic events to keep them out, and not allow the emotions to build up within us, which is what makes us self destruct. I kept things in for so long, suppressed them with everything and anything I could, and exploded often enough to make people worry. It is really good that your generation is more aware of these illnesses and know that help is available.

    Feel free to discuss things here with us, and most of us here either have PTSD, or are related / spouse of a PTSD sufferer. I wonder sometimes who is worst off... us with PTSD, or those that love us!

    You sound as though your head is still screwed on and you haven't self destructed, which is excellent. You have professional help available to you through the [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/announcement4.html"]PTSD National Program[/DLMURL], which can see you on a PTSD course and shown how to deal better with it. Saying that, you must be diagnosed first, and then just go through some simple questions with one of the programs physciatrist first... which is just a simple stepping stone. I highly recommend that course to everyone with PTSD. As a veteran, it is a little different for me, as Vet Affairs picked up the bill, though I think for non-veterans, the actual hospital picks up the bill once you have been cleared to attend. It sounds like a dick around, but actually the professionals deal with PTSD sufferers day in, day out, so you won't generally be stuffed around, as they know the chances of them being smacked in the mouth are high with those with PTSD.

    If you haven't had professional help as yet, atleast you made it over the first major hurdle, and that is to talk about it and acknowledge there is something wrong. Well done.

    I guess having your mother passaway so soon after a traumatic event you experienced, just tops one thing on top off another. I lost my eldest brother about 15 years ago now, and it still sticks in my head. Losing your most important support mechanism, your mother, must off just made it all that bit tougher. Is your sister younger than you? ie. you have had to help raise her after your mothers death??? If so, that just makes things a bit tougher.

    I must hand it to you, most people in your situation would fold, but you have done, are doing, extremely well for yourself and keeping oneself above water. Really, well done... I've seen enough of my own friends go down because of PTSD already... and that just makes things worst for me at times, thinking I could have done something to help them more... but I also realize I am not there keeper, though still miss some of them...

    PTSD is just not simple... nor easy to live with. From what you have said, you seem to have some of the common [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread6.html"]symptoms of PTSD[/DLMURL]. Avoidance, lack of motivation, loss of interest, concentration and most likely a few others. Hopefully, if you don't have the other main factors, then you may actually be quite fixable now, before things get worst. If your not having flashbacks, depression and anxiety, you may have escaped something I wouldn't wish upon anyone. Saying that though, you don't actually need those to have PTSD either... you just need a certain factor of elements and a significant traumatic event within your own eyes to get it.

    If you haven't looked at the symptoms already, I posted it in the last paragraph for you to view. These are the actual symptoms of PTSD, regardless how, where or when you had a traumatic event/s, those symptoms don't change from one to another.

    Have you seen an actual physch for evaluation and diagnosis? If not, that would be my first recommendation.

    Sorry about all the rambling... my mind wonders a fair bit nowadays...
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  4. bennjamin

    bennjamin Member

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    thanks for the quick reply ~ quite abit on both halves to read.

    Regardless , to be brief all i have in my knowlegde about my "issue" is a piece of paper from some random VSS-pushed doctor saying i have PTSD and majority of the syptoms...as i stated before too i was supposed to recieve some form of beneficial help from the VVC too but nothing has eventuated :( They really have just forgotten about the whole ordeal.

    MY sister is younger , and yes i have created and kept my entire house in order for both her and myself. Almost reliving my mothers past part of importance and need.
    She is a very different kettle of fish - never cleans up or pays her share in bills etc. She is in a huge world of denial , for her own personal reasons though.

    Brings to me - one thing is that i see myself acting in a certain way or shape or whatever all along , and just feelign my body act or mouth speak with little or no confidence and too "happy" in many or all social situations dare i say frustrates me. I lead on women with that I like , go out or whatever then suddenly just drop contact.

    I have anxiety , i am paranoid and i do have phobias linking the two. But the blessing in disguise is that I guess i am in denial in regards to my past situation...which keeps me (usually) functioning semi-normal.
     
  5. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Your welcome. Yep, that would do it then... I tend to hope that some people just don't actually have PTSD, as stated previously, I wouldn't wish it upon even my worst enemies. I thought you might off had the full experience though from your actual stated trauma. For someone to go through that and come out without PTSD, would have to be damn lucky honestly.

    That younger sister of yours must be driving you nuts then at times? Not cleaning up after herself and so forth... making extra work and stress for yourself.

    I think the thing your not going to like though Ben, is that even when where in that denial stage about certain aspects, it always comes to the top mate, and will bite you really hard on the bum at some stage, if not already. I totally agree with you, in that whilst denial exists, we can live a semi-normal life still and function better. I was doing that in denial, though alcohol and smoking was keeping it suppressed for me. I gave up smoking in 2003, and within a few months everything I was suppressing got on top of me pretty bad. I have basically turned into an alcoholic again, to a point, to help cope without the cigarettes.

    Once I was forced to seek medical help and was diagnosed, then medicated, I became a little more tolerate again of things that would send me over the edge beforehand. The PTSD course was probably my biggest saviour, in that they don't really teach you that much, they more just provide you information about the illness, about the facts of the reality we have, and we with PTSD must take that and fix ourselves.

    I was very skeptical of even attending the course initially, like everyone else on the course, in that I thought it was going to be like a school class, or taught tuitition, but in fact is was more just group discussion, finding out what others do, how they cope, don't cope, and find solutions for ourselves and others within the group. Some stuff didn't take with me, but did for others, and vice versa. I highly recommend that course and you to enquire about it. Trust me when I say, it will be the best thing for you with PTSD.

    Its good that you acknowlege some of your problems though, ie. anxiety, paranoia and so forth. Your denial can't be too bad if you acknowledge aspects. I remember when they first gave me a book to read on PTSD, written by a veteran, and I gave it back to them and said, "you wrote a book on me", which pretty much stunned the counsellor at the time, as I was an extreme case. Honestly, anyone diagnosed with PTSD becomes an extreme case though, as only partial aspects tend to become diagnosed as Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) and so forth, which are the curable aspects.

    The reason why I generally ask if people have been diagnosed, is that when talking to someone with PTSD, we all can generally relate to one another, as you can see on this forum already, as we have all suffered the same symptoms, thus we all know what one another is going through on a daily basis. Sometime people only have a couple of symptoms, ie. anxiety and depression, which can be cured through counselling, where PTSD itself cannot be cured, ever, as no such thing exists.

    The only thing remotely close to a cure, is learning how to deal with aspects of what we have, and "hopefully" be capable to apply those learnt aspects in situations, ie. so you can go to a crowded shopping center and not want to start pushing or punching your way out the door when anxiety and anger kick in full flight. The PTSD course has taught me these aspects, so that I can go to a shopping center now for a short time atleast, ie. an hour or two, recognise my triggers when I'm getting anxious from the crowds and loss of control, and get myself out before I lose it at anyone... especially my wife.

    Honestly, if I had never attended that course, I wouldn't be married now, and even saying that, our marriage is a daily struggle for the exact reasons and feeling you have mentioned above. You go out with a girl, but its like its just all too much trouble, so you just turn away and ignore them, whether your actually interested / like them or not. I have days where I just want to be alone, I don't want my wife in my space, as it really just gets me quite upset quickly, which turns into anger. Saying that though, I have really learnt to control my anger nowadays, and haven't really had any major problems with it for several months since completing my course last year. Probably the biggest thing I got from the course actually, was controlling my anger. I used to be quite a placid, easy going person, and changed after traumas without realizing, and am now fairly placid again...

    You are going to experience and feel alot of things over the coming months / years Ben, and just know that the best thing you can do, is chat with us here, with those who have done it, doing it, and know exactly what your going through. I learnt myself that talking to counsellors is great for some things, but at the end of the day, they don't really understand. That is another thing confirmed by attending my PTSD course, in that talking with those with PTSD, those who I can relate, it was those people who are now all very good friends of mine (some of whom are here) that I can talk the best with when I have problems related from PTSD. It is tough, but managable if your willing to try. Your really sounding ok at present, but I imagine from what you've said already, you haven't got to the worst of it yet! Maybe!!!

    What this has triggered for me, is that I need to draw the cup drawing and put it on this forum, which explains what happens to those without PTSD, and those with PTSD with everyday stress, being good and bad stress. Yes, there is actually good stress... sounds funny, but it is a fact. I will do that one later and put it here to help explain a few things that you might be feeling, or struggling to manage...
     
  6. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Delayed doing the cup drawing... have to go away for a couple of days, will do it when I return.
     
  7. bennjamin

    bennjamin Member

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    keep me posted...

    One funny/good thing is ~ after having a quick browse of this forum and peoples experiences etc I have "opened up " to symptoms and issues that im my head , I thought was normal or overlooked them entirely...for example , in most "new" social situations i do get quite stressed and anxiety/sweating/paranoia is masked by trying to keep calm (self control?!)
     
  8. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Ok, I have done the [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread63.html"]PTSD Cup[/DLMURL] that I spoke about, which gives you a representation of what goes on within our lives in regard to stress and the end result often anger.

    Yer, it is quite amazing really what we miss, which generally comes under denial, which we all go through during the process. What spouses can often forget though, is they can often just blame PTSD for everything... which is more harmful than good generally, hence why most with PTSD struggle to have relationships that will continue for some time. Sometimes when where just upset, or just angry about something someone did, or something that happened, our spouses, family or friends just go "its your PTSD". This aspect of the illness really sucks, and actually educating your family, friends and spouse is probably the most important aspect of the illness. In actual fact, generally it is in their best interest to educate themselves, as the sufferer tends not to have time to explain things to them, as frustration often sets in before completion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  9. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    bennjamin,

    ignore the last half of my husbands response, that was directed at me. I was going to say he is right but I retract that, however, I will admit to previously blaming his PTSD for a lot of his behaviour. I am not guilty of that so much now. From a partners perspective we observe more than those with the illness think we do. Sometimes it really is PTSD and their denial sets in, sometimes it is just plain ole being a pain in the ass and other times it is a combination of the two.
     
  10. bennjamin

    bennjamin Member

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    Thanks of the insight - and good to see you both are actively in here too.
    I do have to agree that PTSD cannot possibly ( like anything really) 100% cover up the people we are or once were. Someone who was an ass before a traumatic event is still an ass *jokes*
     
  11. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Yep... here here to that one.
     
  12. bennjamin

    bennjamin Member

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    anyway *laughs at couple*



    IS there a peer support type group for yuonger sufferers of PTSD in Sydney at all ?!?
    I dont want to go to a place and be surrounded by vietnam vets etc...not relative at all.
     
  13. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    The PTSD course isn't about Vietnam vets... it actually hosts all with PTSD, not just military types as a general inclusion. If you speak with the coordinator in one of the Sydney branches, you can choose the course your more suited too, ie. younger, may have one veteran on it, may have rape victims, may have abuse victims, may have accident victims, etc etc, of all ages.

    The course isn't really structured to just veterans, it is for the complete circle of PTSD sufferers. There are five facilities within the Sydney area that run the National [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/announcement4.html"]posttraumatic stress disorder[/DLMURL] course, which you can simply find the one closest, or the one that runs the course to your needs. I say that, as each run the course over a different timeset... some over 2 months, some over 6... obviously containing the same content, though they just offset the time to either more or less hours in a week.

    I will check out more informal groups though and get back to you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
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