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Scared of PTSD Diagnosis

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by piglet, Mar 23, 2006.

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  1. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

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    Hi. I'm another newbie, although not new to ptsd. I had a stress breakdown a few years ago, had lots of nightmares about stuff from my childhood (not pleasant). A counsellor I saw said that I should see a psychiatrist cos she thought I had ptsd. At that time, I was too scared to go down that road, so I just stayed with the counselling (and ssris) and things got better. I made a new start, new job, new area. Got on really well - much better than I had hoped. Then I got overloaded with work and had an unpleasant experience with an angry student (I'm a lecturer now). The nightmares returned, so I stopped sleeping, then I couldn't work - I guess those of you here know the drill.....

    Anyway, I'm due to go for a psychiatric assessment next week. I'm absolutely terrified of it and feeling like I'm going crazy. The thing is, if I have got ptsd, that means the nightmares are based on things that are real. That I don't want to accept. I've been doing the denial thing for so long. Part of me hopes that I'm just crazy.

    Whatever happens, I know I'm in for a challenge. I have been unable to talk to friends about this, and I don't have a supportive family. I hope nobody minds me posting this here, but it does help to know that there are other people who are dealing with this crap too.

    Thanks for listening.
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Hi Piglet,

    Welcome aboard. Yes, you will get the support you need here, that is for sure. We all understand what your going through, as we have all done it ourselves, and others here are doing it now... being diagnosed.

    Yep... denial is a wonderful thing, your right. Unfortunately, we can only live in denial for so long until it jumps up and bites us on the backside... which it sounds like your turn is now due. I suppose it is a bit different for you, as you know that you could have PTSD, where mine was like, "you have PTSD", and my response was, "what the hell is that?"... I guess mine was just not knowing, where your diagnosis is from avoidance. I bet thats been playing on your brain some what ha? I also bet it probably isn't helping the situation either?

    Your right, it is scary, and especially when you know what PTSD is, it must obviously be worst. I used to love denial, that anything was wrong with me... I could just drown my sorrows in alcohol and be none the wiser. Now, I have to fight this head on... which I avoided for years.

    I always wonder what it is about friends, but from my own experience, I know what it is like sitting on the other side of it also. When I was in the military, soldiers who had done very little in the scheme of things to what I had done, where being diagnosed with this thing called PTSD. Arrogant, selfish... yes... but that is the military surroundings.

    It wasn't until I started helping some of them, because others would not extend themselves past their rank to do so... and just thought they were nuts. I started listening to things they were saying, and worked out that their own traumas had been the cause. Now at this point, I still didn't pay any attention to what exactly was wrong, ie. PTSD, just that they were mentally unstable and needed help, quickly.

    I had pretty much well forgotten about everything, until such time as my wife sent me to counselling cause I was pretty much out of control. When the counsellor looked at me, asked me two or three questions, and said we need to talk lots more, I think you have PTSD... and I asked what the hell that thing was again... I figured out that this is what some other soldiers where experiencing when I was helping to keep the heat of them through a bad time in their life.

    Now, some of these people who where diagnosed before myself, where good friends, but I ignored what was happening to them, and failed to support them outside of the military life. I am not necessarily proud of that, as I should have known better as a friend, but for some reason didn't. Now that could have been because of my own PTSD that was oblivious to me, or not... not sure.

    What I do know, is that by educating those around us with the problem we face, they tend to turn around and remembering what being a friend is about... support and being there. Maybe try helping them learn, whilst you learn also. I know that ditching too much on your friends or family, is a little overwhelming for them, as they just tend to think your nuts... when in fact there are underlying problems.

    Give it a go, and see what happens.

    Don't be too afraid to turn up for your appointments though... even though they will make you anxious, turn up anyway, and get the help you need, then learn, learn, learn... as the only real way to fight PTSD is to know your own strengths and weaknesses, and work within the bounds you have. Push yourself a little at a time, work through it, then step back and redevelop yourself, then go at it again.

    My doctors where brutally honest with me, as they where specialists in PTSD, and basically, they said go lock myself up for a year, two or more, until I find a calm within myself to deal with the world. I am still in that phase of my life, though I am dealing with things the best I can. You have to take things one step at a time, and you made the right step by finally seeking the correct medical help.

    I say, congratulations for taking the giant leap. It is a giant leap too... for someone without PTSD, it is probably nothing, but when PTSD symptoms are at work... it is huge to make it to get help. You should pat yourself on the back just for these next steps your proactively taking.

    Your family need educating about the illness... and once educated, then they may just be a bit more supportive.

    Again though, you will always get the support and honest truth here... so I'm glad you made that step also...
     
  4. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Anthony,
    Just knowing other people who are out there understand makes a huge difference to me. Maybe I'll have a go at educating a friend or two, once I know a bit more. the family are a bit of a no-go, seeing as they are the cause of this in the first place. Talking to the family about this would be very destructive, and they are all doing okay at the moment, so i'd rather things stayed that way so I don't have to worry. Maybe one day I'll just think "sod them" and tell a few home truths, but I care too much to do that right now.

    I'm just planning on taking things a day at a time and looking after myself til my appointment. Don't really want to think too much about after...I'm hoping that I can get things together enough to get back to work - at least part-time. My job comes with my home, so if I leave my job, or they sack me for being off too much, I have nowhere to go - like I don't have enough to worry about already!

    At least one thing in my favour is that as I can't trust people, I took my dictaphone into my HR interview and recorded everything that was said. They said some things that they shouldn't have done, which at least gives me some leverage if I need to get my union to sort them out. My doc is very supportive too - bloody good job or I don't think I would have made it this far.

    Anyway - thanks for this forum - it makes a huge difference :)
     
  5. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Your very welcome, and its people like yourself that makes this place a good stop to meet up, make friends, talk turkey and most importantly, able to vent with people who know exactly what your talking about. This was something I had to do, for myself, when I was doing my PTSD course (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to help me come to terms with what has gone on inside my head, and the reactions and affects upon me.

    Everyone here not only helps themselves, but helps others, by letting them know their not alone. Everyone here makes this place... which is really good for us all honestly.

    That is fair enough with the family thing, totally agree with you, especially as the cause of your trauma. And your right, your probably better to leave that one alone until you get yourself through all the tough stuff first. I forgot about that bit in your first post... sorry.

    I found out who my true friends where when I got PTSD, and from hundreds, I went down to only a couple, who I can really trust and talk with, and didn't judge me any different, say anything behind my back and so forth... if they have something to say, they say it to me, not behind me... which is what friends are all about for me.

    I'm sure you will have a couple hanging around who do want to help you, but are more in the dark than you, as they don't understand, nor know how to help you. In fact, what they probably need to know is, they don't need to help you, just simply be your friend. Friends listen, friends give advice, friends are just there when you really need them. All of my true friends asked me what was going on, as they where generally concerned, and didn't just want to know for gossip reasons. They told others to shutup and don't talk about things they know nothing about, when I wasn't their to fend for myself.

    Anyway, to the good stuff. What part of England are you in? I have a couple of mates in London who often tell me its bloody cold their.
     
  6. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

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    I'm from Northampton - which is in the middle, a bit further north than London. And yes - it has been cold lately. British Summer Time starts tomorrow (an hour less nighttime to wait through tonight). It is a nice day here today - the first warmish day of spring. I had to carry my coat for most of my walk this morning. It was nice to have some peace and quiet and sunshine - good for the soul.

    Had a visit from a friend yesterday - she told me that one of my colleagues is off sick too - but she's off with "something physical" apparently. My friend was horrified when she realised what she'd said. She's the only person I have told that I might have ptsd, but I guess it goes to show how little people know about it. I didn't bother telling her that ptsd is physical AND psychological. Maybe I'll prepare a lecture on it for my colleagues and educate them a bit.....animal welfare is my usual subject, but I can adapt!!!!

    Best go. I'm spending my day being busy so that I can avoid thinking about wednesday (my diagnosis day) too much. I think that the dog is going to get a lot of exercise today!

    Have a good day all!
     
  7. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Good stuff.... yer, your on the right track thats for certain. I do the same thing when starting to get anxious about an upcoming event... keep myself as busy as possible, otherwise I think too much.

    It is really quite amusing to me now, when people here that I get physically sick from a mental illness. Sometimes my wife may have to come home from work and look after baby, as if I get really bad, my body literally shuts itself down, and I must go to bed and rest the brain through sleep, or else the body doesn't switch on again. Her bosses just sort of give her that look... but don't say anything to her about it as such. They probably wouldn't want to in all honestly, otherwise I would go in their and most likely hurt someone... which wouldn't be a good outcome for all concerned.

    The funnier thing for me at times, is not even my wife really understands how I get physically sick from PTSD... she just knows I do, but with little real understanding, because if you don't have it, you can't fully understand it. This is whats really great about talking with those with PTSD, as we all just know what is going on, and I dare say others that pop along to this place for a read, most likely fall over in shock, and some probably think "bullshit", that can't happen.
     
  8. madjon

    madjon Active Member

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    dont worry too much about diagnosis, it is good in the sense that yes you now know it officially, which is better than wondering at times,also has the advantage of allowing you if neccesary to claim a range of benefits including income support, disability living allowance and various other things, so if you do need time out then there is something to fall back on, it would be worked out by a few interviews, also ptsd is classed as a disability which falls under the disability discrimination at work regulations, am seriously stressed out at moment which is starting to have an effec on me physically, at times it can be tough to deal with but talk to the person at the interview in an honest open fashion, there are a few good people out there.
     
  9. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Madjon - it's nice to have a bit of reassurance. Feeling a bit pissed off right now. Just got back from viewing a doc report that is getting sent to occupational health. Just seeing things like "concerned about mental health" and "not a short term health issue" has got me worried about my job. Also it's not very nice about the way my employer has been treating me. Ok, it's true they have been arseholes, but I still like my job. Also worried that they are going to tell me to move off-site as part of my job comes with a flat. I have nowhere else to go. All this is not good for the anxiety levels. Have the shakes real bad today too - not sure if it's me, or if it's the meds. Grrrrrr!

    I'm hoping that wednesday is going to be a helpful day. Not sure I can deal with it if they just judge me without properly speaking to me. I don't even know if occ health are going to speak to me about all this before they send their report to my employer. I hate this lack of control of what's happening to me.
     
  10. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Hey Piglet,

    Kerrie-Ann -Anthony's wife. Sounds like you are having a rough deal at the moment. Anthony has experienced people writing reports about him, without him sighting it and he wasn't happy.........I don't think that is necessarily exclusive to PTSD........I would be pi$%%ed off too!! You have mentioned before that you are concerned about your job and that accommodation comes with it. Are there alternatives that you may be able to consider? Hard to think straight now but if you could find some alternatives for accn and work it would give you back some of the control if it all goes to custard. Is you job portable, can you do it in a less stressful environment AND with more understanding employers? Also can you speak with Occ Health and see if it is possible to view the report before your employer? That would put you at least in a better position to handle whatever they have in mind. As for the shakes, Anthony used to get his version of those - the jiggles, he would and still does sometimes when he is anxious move one part of his body continuously. Usually, jigging his leg up and down. Drives me nuts but I just live with it now. Don't mean to load you up with more things to think about, you seem snowballed as it is.

    Hang in there. I know, from an outsiders point of view, that it gets tough. See if you can get back some of your control and do the things that make you feel good - even if you don't feel like doing them!! Take care.
     
  11. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Kerrie-Ann. I'm a nervous wreck today - really want tomorrow to be over with. I'll deal with the work situation as it develops. It's all too much to think about properly at the moment, so I'm just trying to look after myself. I think it's going to be a long night, but the ipod is charged, I have lots of chocolate and my dog for company. I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  12. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    You hang in their Piglet... it gets easier, trust me on that one.
     
  13. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Hey there Piglet,

    Good strategy. Deal with what you can first! I suspect that although it is quite a scary prospect that you may actually be diagnosed with PTSD, it could also be a good thing. Like a few of them have mentioned here at least then you have something concrete to work with and you can move forward from there.

    I like the chocolate and the dog approach as well......two of my very favourite things in the world. When I do eventually get my dogs, one of them will be a chocolate labrador - can't beat that, they are combined!! Well hang in there, vent here if you need to and let us know how you get on.

    Take care, thinking of you, hear from you soon.
     
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