Sufferer Complex PTSD and chronic suicidal ideation for 25 years

M

Mats

Hi everyone!

I’m new to this forum, and actually this is my first time I’ve written an online forum post. I’m a thirty-eight-year old male from Scandinavia. English is not my mother tongue, which explains my potential typos and grammatical errors. I’m an MD and I have a PhD and a specialist degree. Currently I’m specializing in psychiatry and I’ve received only positive feedback from my work. I’m popular with my friends and women. I’m in physically fit and quite good looking. I’m from poor background, but I’ve managed to earn a decent living and buy my own apartment. From outside, my life is seemingly perfect, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve hated my life for at least 25 years and wanted to die most of the time.

My parents divorced when I was six, and I’m the only child. My father was a mean drunk, who was verbally extremely abusive and I’ve witnessed him assault people at least five times, although he didn’t hit me. When I was staying at his place as a child, he usually didn’t buy me any food but he always remembered to buy himself beer. Since I was a seven, he always told me about his liaisons with prostitutes, stole my savings several times and constantly threatened to abandon me by moving to another country. My mother was a workaholic and I had to spend most of my days by myself. I had to do my groceries and laundry and do all the household chores.

When I was eight, my friend’s big brother put a stiletto on my throat. He bullied me and my friend daily for four straight years and it’s impossible to say how many times I got my ass kicked between ages seven and ten. When I was twelve, my mother remarried, but for some reason, her new husband hated me and basically completely ignored me. Six months could go by without his saying more than one sentence to me and it was always the same one “Nice weather”. The only times he spoke to me more was when he told me how much he loathed me. My mother blamed me for not wanting to spend more time with them and kept reminding me how disappointed she was because of my behavior.

I drank alcohol the first time when I was ten. When I was twelve, I got seriously assaulted by a guy probably four years older than me. He kicked me in the head several times when I was lying on the ground and hit me in the head with a stick. It happened when we were camping with my friend for a whole weekend just the two of us. After that I started hanging out with children from foster homes. We began drinking alcohol every weekend and when I was fourteen, I started smoking cannabis daily. During those times, I got seriously beaten at least times leading to a broken jaw, injured hypophysis that caused a central hypothyreosis and ruptured eardrum. I had to take care of my broken jaw just by myself, even though I was only fifteen and it got operated without my parents being there. Due to my good grades, no teacher saw my desperation. Later in my adulthood I’ve had episodes of binging with alcohol and basically all the drugs there are just to feel something, but I haven’t developed and addiction, and my inebriant use nowadays is very limited. Also during young adulthood, I was threatened with a gun and almost lost sight from my left eye.

I also developed a severe insomnia, which is worse than I’ve seen in any of my approximately 15,000 patients. I haven’t slept without medication in eight years, but I’ve spent countless sleepless nights without them. When I was fifteen, I started feeling that something had died inside me. I couldn’t feel anything positive and most of the time I still can’t. I just feel this abstract anxiety, depression, sadness and loneliness. I’m jumpy, hypervigilant and constantly thinking of death. I can’t go to the same area I grew up in and I can’t meet my father or mother without collapsing to a flashback. I have terrible flashbacks and have nightmares almost every night. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, severe depression and would probably tick all the boxes for complex PTSD. If I woman touches me, my natural reaction is to pull away. And I know that my feelings can’t be seen from outside; I seem like this extremely outgoing and self-confident person. Six years ago I tried to end my life by injecting 800 mgs of liquid nicotine to my quadriceps, drinking a bottle of scotch and ingesting 80 tablets of 10 mg Valiums. I only developed a lower limb paresis and rhabdomyolysis, but did not suffer any permanent injury. I have terrible problems in relationships and went through a divorce mostly because of my suicide attempt. I never act or lash out to other people, but I just feel isolated, even if I’m in company. It feels like there’s this insulating layer between me and others.

I’ve been single for 4 years, and I don’t seem to be able to commit to anyone, but I can easily maintain friendships. Normally I would have a high libido, but most of the time I feel completely unable to arouse, if the other person likes me. The only times I like sex is when there’s no commitment, even that’s the opposite I want. I’ve tried every single medication there is, and only lamotrigine seems to help marginally. I’ve been in psychodynamic therapy for two years, two years in CBT and now in EMDR for 6 months. Nowadays, my life consists taking care of my patients and otherwise spending time by myself, although I do meet friends once a week. I’m completely exhausted and I can’t summon any more willpower. I’m such a determined person that I’m afraid that I will commit a suicide in the near future. I have the method and the means. It’s not about life being especially horrible right now, it’s just I can’t find a reason to keep on struggling. I don’t hate myself. I have respect myself, but have never been able to see myself as this robot-like figure who just pushes through anything, even I hate every second of it. But now I can’t make myself do it anymore. I feel like I’m whining and there are so many people having it worse than I do, but I just had to explain myself to someone.

I’d like to hear if someone who can relate to my situation has found help from some method I forgot to mention.


Take care everyone!

Mikko
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
Wow! That's a lot to go through! Do you keep up with the daily self care you learned in CBT? I find that being on this website helps remind me of all my tools, so I don't get suicidal as often as I did. I hope more people have more to contribute since I don't usually talk much. Good luck to you.
 
M

Mats

Thanks for the reply DharmaGirl!

I know there's a lot traumatic events in my past, but I think one explanation is that I demonstrated a death wish kind of behavior when I was younger and also had the urge to relive my traumas, but I wasn't aware of these tendencies.

Apparently there were lots of dyslexic typos in my text. Concentration problems are one of the symptoms I developed in my early teens. I know it sounds funny since I have studied a lot, but it's true. I understand that my introduction might have sounded that I'm full of myself, but that's not the case. I mentioned those things, because they are the reasons I have such hard time to be taken seriously. I wrote to this forum since none of the people I know have any kind of grasp what I'm going through and being a mental health professional of some sort doesn't help either. My problems have mostly been treated as "atypical treatment-resistant depression with comorbid anxiety" and the results have been abysmal. Only after concentrating on PTSD symptoms I've had a relief in my symptoms, although minimal.

Just to clarify one part in the 2nd last paragraph of my text: "I respect myself, but I have always felt like a robot-like figure who just pushes through anything, even if I hate every second of it."

I would really appreciate any input concering treatments that have helped you. I'm asking because most of my colleagues are quite oblivious when it comes to treating (c)PTSD symptoms. The relationship problems are definitely the most annoying ones since I'm very social in nature but ATM very isolated.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I understand that my introduction might have sounded that I'm full of myself, but that's not the case.
Not at all. As I understood it, it was helpful in explaining your situation. I was high functioning for awhile, and ER nurse, and people don't understand. You aren't whining, you are discussing your issues.
Only after concentrating on PTSD symptoms I've had a relief in my symptoms, although minimal.
That's good, at least there is some relief. I found that a drug here in the US, Prazosin, works really well for nightmares. I developed an allergy to it so I had to stop. I also stopped working. I couldn't function at work anymore so now I have a homestead, or will when I'm done, and can work at my own pace. I take Zoloft and Buspar for PTSD, and that's it.

Many people here use the trauma diaries to write out their trauma, and I did for awhile. It helped a lot. I should start again but I'm living in a situation that causes a lot of stress, so I will wait until I get that under control. I did CBT for about 5 years and that gave me the tools I needed to have a life. I also used DBT and that seemed to help a great deal too. I use daily meditation, and try to have hobbies that engross me. It's not the life I envisioned, but it is a life I enjoy.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
"I respect myself, but I have always felt like a robot-like figure who just pushes through anything, even if I hate every second of it."
This ^^^. The strawman you build to make through everything. I see it as a sort of very elaborated dissociative state. I remained in this fog for 2 years and ended up in a top tier art school. Not bad for someone with my background.

But I was feeling so empty inside. Then on the top of it, new relationship that quickly escalated into full blown IPV. I can’t live without anxiety pills.

Regarding to suicide, I do believe everyone has the means to do it if they really want to. Believe me, if one day it happens I’m not going to call anyone to stop it. Even if I’m no doc, I know how you do go without return. There is a pride in knowing this and a scare too. However the only time I snapped out and started to jump over a bridge and got rescued and arrested, I understood I didn’t want to die. I just was so unhappy with the space I was. And still am.

DBT has been very useful for me and CBT as well. Simple questions such as: why are you doing things that you don’t like? Left me baffled to reconsider.

Writing here was also very useful. You don’t sound full of yourself. You have a lot to say and don’t sound as confused as you might feel. Sometimes being articulate doesn’t change any of what we feel and so much of therapy lets you think that it’s about understanding that it helps. I think it comes from readjustment and integration of the self in a reality that is more enjoyable than ticking the boxes of what a reality should be. I am also attractive, fun and witty. There isn’t anything wrong in that. But it gives you this feeling of faking all the time. For what you’re saying this seems to be the most exhausting for you. If I read well.

Good luck and happy you found us. This place is a blessing from the Internet.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
I suffer from isolation as well and understand the awkwardness of being with other people/relationships. I force myself to attend groups and communication with people. It's a practice to develop those skills. I don't talk all the time and really try to listen to other people but I force myself to communicate and ask questions to people about what's been going in their life.
 
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