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New To This Chat - PTSD From Family Death

Discussion in 'General' started by mollyb2, Nov 16, 2005.

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  1. mollyb2

    mollyb2 New Member

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    I am new to this forum and hope to get some support. I would love to speak to someone that has similar situation as me. I lost my father when i was 14 years old. Very unexpectedly. He had a heart attack and found out later that he had a birth defect in his heart. One of his main artories was the size of the tip of a pencil.

    When he died i did not cry. I shut everyone i love out and did not grieve. The year following his death is a blurr. All i remember are bad times.

    Two years ago i had a person close to my family die the same way my dad did and had the same birth defect. After that i started getting panic attacks and feeling like i was going to die everyday. I have been suffering off and on from anxiety and panic since i was 19. But this time was different. I started going to a counselor and realized i did not grieve my dad.

    I got better, but 2 months ago i had another trigger. It was a normal night and our power went out out of no where. I was a stress out that day anyway from work so it affected me very hard. I thought that i had died. I remember trying to make my way through my house and i was screaming for my husband who was asleep. It was the worse feeling i had ever had in my life, beside the night my dad died. Since then i have been feeling the fear of death everyday. So i started going back to the counselor.

    This time is has been more intense. I started feeling some disasociation and i hate that feeling. I am getting better now, now that i am back on my meds, but i still have that little bit of fear that i am going to go crazy and never come out of it.

    It has been difficult for me latley because i a slow at work and sit in an office by myself, so my mind thinks about stuff all day.

    I just would like someone to talk to, because i have a lot to say and need someone that has experienced something similar. :eek:
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Hi Molly, and welcome. I know its always hard to start the ball rolling, but it sounds like you are doing things. I lost my eldest brother when I was only 17 years of age, who was electricuted during work. Myself and all my brothers are electricians by trade, my father also. I cried once at my brothers funeral, and that was it. My younger years, in conjunction with my military service, has affected me in one way or another. Accepting I had PTSD was the hardest thing to deal with, off all my life so far.

    The fear of going crazy is what we all suffer I think, at some point or another. Whilst I am actually typing this now, I am having a pretty bad day. Those with PTSD know what I'm talking about. My wife had to come home early to look after our bub, because when I'm like this, I'm not capable of doing much at all. Reading this from you actually made me realize something! That I need to fix myself in a hurry. Not the long term solution, but the now solution... hence, here I am.

    Anxiety, depression and panic, I think everyone here knows what your talking about, as we all suffer one or all of them at points in our life. Its very positive to hear that you have taken yourself to a counsellor for help... just to get things off your chest. Maybe your a little depressed at present also, hence the lack of motivation at work. This was one of my biggest faults in my last weeks when working. I knew I wasn't doing what I had to, but I just physically and mentally couldn't achieve much at all, as I had too much on my mind. Actually, my mind pretty much runs in overdrive still.

    I think your doing better than some currently, as here you are, ready to talk about the problems. Please unload and let us help you, as much as we can. Most of us here have been through similar occurances, or can relate to the symptom you have. How you get the symptoms is really irrelevant, as when you have them, we all do the same things.
     
  4. mollyb2

    mollyb2 New Member

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    the different symptoms of PTSD

    Thank you anthony for replying to me. The love the name anthony. I have told my husband if we ever have kids i want to name a boy anthony. We are Italian. Anthony is a good Italian name.

    2 months ago when i started feeling weired again I was in Michigan visiting my in laws. I was pretty okay before we left. I was having panic attacks off and on but nothing i could not handle. And then the next morning after we arrived, i decided to have some coffee, which i never drink but love a lot. Caffeine makes my anxiety overload. I started to feel dizzy like i was going to pass out and got really sick to my stomach. Lucky for me i brought my Xanax and i had to take one. I do not like taking the xanax. Well i like how it makes me feel but i am so scared i will get addicted to it so i try had never to take it.

    We were in Michigan for a week and everyday was horrible. The feelings i had were so much different from the last time. I was explaining the feeling to my counselor when we got back and i said it was like i was in a tunnel and i could hear everyone talking but could not remember what they were saying. All i could consentrate on was myself and how i felt like i was going crazy. It was the scariest feeling in the world. You feel all alone. I felt like i did when my power went out.

    And i couldnt get that picture out of my head. Me walking around in the dark not knowing where i was going.

    My counselor helped me learn how to get out of the tunnel and i can say now that i have not been in the tunnel for weeks.

    My fear now is that i will go back in it. My anxiety and panic are different now to. I started having problems with my vision. It is hard to explain but it was like my eyes would not focus and they felt like they were going crossed. That scared my and i thought i had a brain tumor or something. But i just went to the eye doctor yesterday and i have 20/25 vision and my eyes are perfect. So that made me feel good and i know that the vision thing with the anxiety is only anxiety.

    I had the hardest time also going to public places. It was like i was clostrafobic. I had to get out of there because i went into my tunnel and i know if i didnt get out of that situation fast it would get worse. So it was hard for me to do anything for a while.

    Do you feel those things? My counselor says everything i am experiencing is normal. But then i think of my sisters and wonder why they dont feel like this. My oldest sister is my hero. She lost her dad and her best friend six months later. And she is the most patient, caring, sane person i know. And i think how did she do it. She was older than me when all that happend so i know she knew how to deal with it better. But i also know i have my dads personality and he couldnt handle things very well either.

    My other sister on the other hand has never gotten over my dad and decided to be a meth addict. I do not talk to her.

    Thank you again for responding. We all need all the support we can get. And to feel like there is someone out there that has these problems just like me. And i do not feel so alone.
     
  5. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Yer, I feel those things. A traumatic even is a traumatic event, and each person handles each one differently. If you have gotten PTSD from the death of a loved one, and the rest of your family hasn't, it doesn't make you different as such, your mind has simply said, "enough". Its like my experiences, where I have PTSD, some others I served with in the same locations have PTSD, though we are a minority of the total people who were in the same place at the same times, doing the same things. Some people just handle it, some don't. Accepting that is one of the biggest hurdles.

    Reading about the [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread6.html"]symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder[/DLMURL], may also help you identify what you will, are, or expecting to go through. It really is no easy ride, and unfortunately, there is no cure. This is something that we are going to live with for the rest of our lives. The good news is, is that there are ways to deal with it, and talking with others who know what your feeling, is always a good start.

    From my experience, and others who I talk to regularly, our days initially used to be quite horrible, though now we are much better informed to what is going on with us, we have less bad days, and more good days. The reason for Michigan, I expect, is that you actually won't like being out of your comfort zone, ie. your home, your bed, your bathroom, etc etc. It is going to be very hard to deal with going away from this point forward. You can get around it though, by simply ensuring you know well in advance, don't make stringent plans that will increase stress and anxiety upon yourself, and simply preparing yourself for a new environment. It takes practice...

    Before I really knew what was going on with myself, I used to visit family across the country, and basically do nothing but sit tight at their house, and not move. I didn't want to go out, nothing. Sit their, talk with them when I felt like it, drink alcohol to suppress things a bit more, and basically not really enjoy myself to the full extent.

    I know that I can't go into shopping centers when they are crowded, that is just a known now. I feel as though I basically want to start punching and kicking my way out, so I have lots of open space and room around myself. Its not that your clostraphobic as such, its just the crowd that does it too you. We all have to go into shops, regardless how well we don't deal with it, but there are things you can do to help. For example, take five deep breaths before going in, the moment you start feeling anxious, stop what your doing, take five deep breaths and look around, as everything is ok. There is another technique used by some, and works quite well, is the five things method. When you begin to get anxious, think about five things around you that you can touch, four things you can smell, three things you can see, two things you can pickup and one thing that you can tell yourself that its ok.

    There are other methods also, which your counsellor could tell you to try. These things work, as they distract our brain from being anxious and working ourselves up over very little... well, what others perceive as little, but we perceive as anxious. Its very hard for others to understand.

    The biggest thing I could tell you at this point, is make sure your husband is learning with you. Get him online here, and chat in the spouse section with my wife, and other spouses, as it is very important for them, as they often don't understand, probably will never understand, but they can learn about why these things happen to us, why we feel a certain way at times, and what they can do to help us. More often than not, them helping us is simply agreeing to leave the shops and return tomorrow to finish off, or help calm us down, distract us to other things, make us do our breathing and exercises to control anger and anxiety when in these situations, but most of all, so they understand what is happening to you, so when you get a bit moody at the partner, they know you don't mean it.

    The biggest thing I learnt, which I forgot, was to say sorry. As PTSD goes on, that word tends to be left behind for some reason.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  6. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Hi Molly,

    Quick post to say Hi and welcome to this PTSD Forum. Hope that we can be of help. As Anthony has said, if your husband would like to chat I am more than happy to discuss my experiences (and there have been many) of living with someone who has PTSD. If really does help to talk to others in the same situation, although it is hard to get men to talk at the best of times. I am sorry to hear that you lost your Dad at such a young age, my father was never really on the scene so I don't really understand your loss but perhaps through this forum you can get a little help and support. Hopefully this would make life easier for you and your husband. Anyhow again welcome, take care,

    Kerrie-Ann (Anthony's wife)
     
  7. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Member

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    Molly: I can truly relate to your and Anthony's anxiety/panic symptoms. When I have an anxiety or panic attack, I very much feel like I'm about to go crazy any second. And I'm afraid if I go crazy, I'll never come back. My counselor has stated this is a very normal reaction/feeling to anxiety. What I have found helpful is I try to re-focus my mind on something in the room. I count dots on the wall, or put my hand on something and feel the texture of it. Anything to focus your mind on something outside of what you are feeling. It tends to bring you back to somewhat of a state a normalcy. I'm not saying I'm normal - - - heaven's, I'd be the happiest person alive. But with PTSD, I know and am still learning what kinds of symptoms to expect at any given time. The challenge is living through them.

    I welcome you and am glad you have signed up on this forum. I look forward to talking with you more.

    Kay Dee
     
  8. mollyb2

    mollyb2 New Member

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    Weird Experience

    Okay, so i decided to go to church with my mother and step dad yesterday and i didnt wake up very good to begin with. I am going to be asking my psych nurse if it had to do with the zoloft or not. I woke up yesterday and i remember looking at the clock but would then close my eyes. I did that about 5 times or so, the whole time though i was having dreams. I got up and got ready and when to church and started feeling myself get very tense. The brightness in the church and the noise and all of the people kind of got to me. I kept on asking myself, am i still dreaming. I also felt very alone. Even though there were hundreds of people around i felt alone. I felt like that throughout the day but got better after awhile and felt normal again.

    My fears have changed from thinking i was going to die to now i think am i going to go into this dream state and never wake up.

    I know my issues are not as difficult as most people with ptsd because i have only had one major trama in my life that broke my apart. And i know i will be able to feel normal again because i felt okay before. But that fear of not getting better is still inside of me. And i think maybe i need to limit where i go for a while. Only go to the places that i am familiar with. That might help me.

    For some reason i am having a problem being around my family right now. And with the holidays coming up i hope i will be okay. For example, two weeks ago was my moms birthday and we went out to eat, my sister came with us with my two nieces. My sister has suprested my dads death with drugs for many years and i am to the point in our relationship where i have tried everything to help but there is nothing else i can do. And several months ago i got into a huge fight with here and kind of went a little nuts in front of my 11 year old niece. So anyway back to dinner. As we were driving to dinner i started to cry and was scared i was not going to have a good time. I do not know if it had anything to do with my sister or not.

    Yesterday when i went to church my niece went too. And I feel since me and her mom got in that fight we have not been as close. So I think that had a lot to do with it. Maybe i feel like like an outsider to my family. I do not know that is what counseling is for right?
     
  9. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Unfortunately Molly, the problem with PTSD is that its permanent. There is no cure for, only we can truly help ourselves. That is what I definately learnt on the PTSD course I did a couple months ago. Even though we had specialist come and talk with us during the entire course, they were merely a guide to help us fix ourselves. They could give us the tools, give us the knowledge, but if we didn't do something with it, then nothing would happen.

    You are going to have bad days for the rest of your life, the difference is, how you handle those bad days, or even weeks. Before I knew what I do now, I could be depressed, anxious, angry, etc etc, for weeks at a time, no problem at all.

    As to the trauma though, it doesn't matter really what trauma you suffered, it only matters now that there is help available to you. Everyone with PTSD, including myself, often think that everyone elses trauma is worse than their own. I guess it makes us feel better within ourselves or something. At the end of the day, we have all suffered trauma that has produced posttraumatic stress disorder, which make us all even on that scale, regardless how we got here. Don't put yourself down thinking that you trauma isn't as bad as everyone else, as the same result has occured because of it, which makes it significant enough to you, and thats all that matters.

    You are trying to help your sister, which is a really good thing, but she obviously just isn't ready to accept the problems at hand. This generally becomes more frustrating, as you know she needs help to get away from drugs that suppress the emotions beneath, but she doesn't understand that herself. Many of us use alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, prescription medications, and so forth, but we know the problem exists, and know we need regular help, support and encouragement to get past the lower moments in our lives, so we continue. Your sister will come too in time, no doubt, but if she isn't ready, then nothing you or anyone else does will fix the problem for her, especially if she is actually suffering PTSD also. Denial is the hardest part to get past for anyone with PTSD. Everyone I met and know with PTSD have all said the same thing, "PTSD, whats that? I don't have that", or something very close too it.

    I think the biggest thing that came to me during my course, was that we can only fix ourselves, not another, but we can provide support and reassurance to those around us who suffer the same. You sound that you are actively seeking answers, trying to find the right solutions to fit yourself, which is really good. Talking is the best way to help the healing process with PTSD... that I know for fact, hence why this place exists. We all help each other just by talking to one another, knowing where not alone. Maybe that is what your sister needs! Maybe its not!

    I had PTSD for nearly 4 years before actually knowing I had PTSD. I had all the signs and symptoms, but didn't even know about it, let alone think I had it. When I was told I had it, I said, "no way", but eventually came around as counselling went on. You say that your not sure what counselling is for, but counselling is really for everyone, for anything what so ever. It there so you unload some of your problems, and by doing so, relieving yourself of some burden that you carry with you constantly. This is why this place is a great place to just come, start a thread, and unleash your fury within at the time. Camry [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/post158-4.html"]stated in another thread here[/DLMURL], "Usually when I need to unload, I have sent emails into cyber space (I write them then delete them)", which was her previous solution, which now she will sometimes unload here instead, so she has supporting people to answer her, and just know that someone is around to talk too who truly understands.

    Your fears are very normal considering the circumstances. Your disassociation with your family, friends and general social interaction is normal. It is part of PTSD. The thing you need to be cognisant off, is that its not necessarily a good part of PTSD. It has taken me the last five years of basically pushing everyone away from me, to now know that that was not the best solution, though I didn't know better at the time, nor understand why I felt that way. I make a concerted effort now to talk with my family, in small doses still, associate with others occassionally, and slowly break myself back into society, so I'm not so reclusive. I still spend most of my time at home, as I just can't often deal with people around me well. This is all quite normal.

    What I do now, is that when I have to go out, if my body says DON'T, then I don't. If my body says, NOT SURE, then I work out whether its really that bad to go to the supermarket, or friends house, and what are the benefits, ie. I will enjoy myself, I do need to go for a walk, etc etc... or I just do need to talk with another human. More often than not, it makes me feel better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  10. camry

    camry Member

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    Hi Molly

    It's hard having to deal with family demons as well as your own. I have a sister too that is addicted to Crystal Meth, and she got my niece hooked on it too. Everyday I try to think of how it can be changed, even though its not up to me to change it. One night I rang a support service for help with the matter, because I had to find my niece on the streets of Perth. I really didnt want to go. It was a scene I just didnt want anything to do with. The support service told me that with Crystal Meth there really isnt a safe way to deal with it, because its one of those drugs that can cause the user to inflict pain on themselves, or you. (I decided to call the police instead of going myself) I've tried to get help, even tried to get them committed for treatment... but the rehab centers kept saying the same thing... they have to help themselves.

    I should be saying dont let yourself get dragged down by it, but I know from experience that you can tell yourself that a 1000 times, but it doesnt help. Your related, and the addicts actions are causing an affect on the whole family.

    My sister & niece are on their death beds I know. They both look terrible, and I often wonder if they have AIDS as well. I miss my sister from before she became an addict. I have sweet memories of my niece before she became one too. I wish I could have them back again the way they were. But instead I wait for that phone call that says that something bad has happened to them. I wonder how I will feel if I get that phone call, how I will react. I have been mourning them for so long now, I'm not sure how an actual death will feel like. Maybe she died a long time ago. But I know I'm not looking forward to the aftermath of emotions from within the family.

    Personally I would recommend ringing one of the help lines for families of addicts. At the least they can tell you what signs to watch out for, and what the drug is doing to her. Its not much I know, but each drug has different effects, and I felt a little more comfort knowing what was going on with her.

    If you ever want to just have a chat about your sisters behaviours and how its affecting you, give me a yell. I wont be able to help, but I'm in the same boat.
     
  11. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    That is truly terrible, when you want to help, try and help, but they don't want to be helped, or even if they do, can't acknowledge the problem. I have no idea what your going through in that instance, but I imagine it must be hell. Having PTSD and that sort of stress, I do know is quite immense. I have had many situations where my stress has gotten me out of control, when being concerned about something, or someone around me. I think your on the right track though Camry, with the support line. Just to talk with a counsellor who knows, must be quite a relief to release some of the burden from your shoulders. I don't think I could personally handle a family member doing such things, and being in such a situation where their life is hanging in the balance. I would most likely be quite a mess myself. You really are quite a strong person to deal with these matters, and your own, and keep it together. You really do deserve credit for the efforts your making to help your family rid drug addictions.
     
  12. camry

    camry Member

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    Dont give me too much credit. You never saw me pulling my hair out this week! This was one of my 'bad' weeks.
     
  13. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Yer, but hey, nobody is perfect! Especially not us with PTSD, thats for sure... :) Your doing a great job to persist... Honestly, family or not, I would have given up long ago... as I just wouldn't have the room for that sort of stress. Or I'd be dead... Your doing quite well Camry...
     
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