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When Does PTSD Begin?

Discussion in 'General' started by hodge, Apr 27, 2007.

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  1. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    This question has been really bugging me lately. Maybe it's irrelevant, but maybe not. I've just been wondering if in me the ptsd really did just begin 3-4 years ago, when the symptoms started, even though the events that created it started at least 30 years ago. Is it that the seeds were always already there, waiting to bloom up into the symptoms of this awful condition at the "right" time? And why did the symptoms arise when they did? Why not earlier? Why not never?

    I wonder how I was able to lead what, to all accounts, was a successful and hopeful life, until 3 or 4 years ago. Is it just that I was in some kind of really "successful" denial mode until conditions were favorable to open all this up, like some kind of Pandora's box, which cannot be closed again? Or did I have symptoms earlier that I did not recognize as such? Or even acknowledge? Did I even stuff those things down for so long without realizing it, until they reached some kind of breaking point?

    I do have some ideas about why this opened up so dramatically when it did for me, and they make sense, but still, I do really wonder whether I have all the answers about the nature of this thing we all have and how it has affected me and when did it really begin?

    Do these thoughts strike a chord with anyone else?
     
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  3. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    I had symptoms but I worked so much and they were minor enough I did not seek treatment. But once I was happy and settled I had a major flare up ending up in ERs. I had my dream life come true, my farm, my 4 kids, and then lost it. Once on meds to control the worst of it I saw years of symptoms I never thought were vanish.

    I think you can have this for years and neglect it until you think you lost your mind or end up in ER a few times. I went over a decade (damn near two) clueless.
     
  4. metis-siren

    metis-siren Active Member

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    I grew up with abuse, and it wasn't until I was out of the situation where I was in danger that my symptoms really got going. I was having anxiety attacks and some other symptoms, but I didn't really put it together until I was "safe".
     
  5. kers

    kers I'm a VIP

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    I'm like you, metis. I had symptoms and knew I wasn't quite right for many years, since I was a teenager, but I didn't get help until I was 30. I managed okay for all that time, hiding and denying my symptoms. I had to wait until I was brave enough to face it.
     
  6. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    I've had PTSD, like you, for about 30 years. Not remembering the initial trauma for a number of years and when I did, I just tucked it away again. It wasn't until I went through three years of hard stress starting with the unexpected death of my father, my sister dying 12 months later and all of the fall out for my family that was almost as bad as dealing with the deaths (it was one thing after another always on top of each other with no breaks). Then, like veiled, when everything settled down and I felt like I could breathe again and be happy...*BAM* my symptoms hit hard.

    It's been looking back, digging into my life, my past that I've realized there were so many times that the symptoms have been there but I just didn't recognize them until I was given no other choice. Being a 'champion stuffer' is what enabled me to keep pushing things down until the old adage 'you can't fit ten pounds of manure into a five pound sack' became reality for me.

    Oh yeah, hon...it strikes a really big chord for me.
     
  7. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Well, it sounds like I'm not alone in this either, thanks everyone. My symptoms didn't flare up really bad until I felt safe and happy, too. I've just recently begun to look back and try to see if and when I had symptoms before. I think I did, but I also was a major stuffer, plus I was working really hard, burying myself in my career and other activities.

    It helps to know I'm not alone on this roller coaster.
     
  8. pandora

    pandora I'm a VIP

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    hodge,
    As you can see by my screen name, I totally relate.
     
  9. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Pandora,

    I've always thought that was the reference. Very clever.

    hodge
     
  10. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    PTSD normally does not form immediately after the trauma, but more infact it forms over the years proceeding trauma. Because you have a few symptoms after trauma, doesn't mean you have PTSD. This is actually normal, which is PTS, not PTSD. PTS is normal to have after trauma, hence the symptoms are the same, but the effects long term are what change and differentiate PTS to PTSD. When you lose the symptoms, all may be well for the rest of your life after trauma, being PTS. When you lose the symptoms then they come back with vengence, you know you now have PTSD, not just PTS. PTSD generally takes time to form, unlike what shrinks seem to think being only months after a traumatic event itself. If you get counselled correctly, and are open to counselling after a traumatic event, then PTSD should never form, and infact you should have PTS which is then treated and the trauma is no longer an issue for the remainder of life. The problem is though, is we get PTS after trauma, we ignore it, we burden ourselves with it all, then it develops into PTSD.
     
  11. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for that explanation. Was wondering about my son.

    Jim.
     
  12. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Well, Anthony, when I went through my experiences, unfortunately, most people weren't so well informed or open to talking about and dealing with the aftermath, as more people are now. I'm so glad for that and hope that at least some others won't have to go through what so many of us have had to go through -- such as, life going along swimmingly for years, then WHAM, BAM, breakdown. I still think, though, it's undetermined regarding when symptoms start. I'm looking back over my life and finding that I think I can identify times when I've had some possible symptoms, very short term, long before this all hit.

    I was a kid when my first trauma happened, and also a kid when a few subsequent traumas happened, so I don't see how I can blame myself for not recognizing it and not realizing that I was developing in ways that fed the eventual opening of Pandora's box, so to speak. I was clueless. And those responsible for my well being were also clueless, for various reasons.

    So all I can do is move forward now.
     
  13. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    That is pretty much it hodge... forward we go because we cannot change the past now.
     
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