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Hello - PTSD Diagnosis Was a Surprise

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Marlene, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member


    I'm a little unsure of what to write here. Three months ago I was diagnosed with PTSD. No one was more surprised than I. I am a veteran (although my PTSD is not military related) and I've known vets with PTSD and never thought that what is going on with me could be anything like that. Guess it goes to show what I know. LOL

    Actually, I started therapy because I had all of these symtoms 'come out of the blue' and the worst was the anxiety and as it got worse almost daily, all of the other symptoms got worse. My therapist referred me to a psychiatrist to see about getting some meds to help with the anxiety. I couldn't understand why this woman kept asking me all of these questions and why the hell wouldn't she just give me a script for something so I can just go back to work? She then told me PTSD and I about fell out of my chair. She told me what I have, why I have it but I've had to find out on my own (AKA the hard way) how it has affected, is affecting and may possibly affect my life.

    I'm very fortunate to have a wonderful support system with my husband and two daughters (18 and 14), family and friends. Without all of these people, I don't know where I'd be.

    Work has been a different kettle of fish. My boss and I have been very close over the last five years. He's someone I've always been able to laugh with while dealing with all of the trials of a the work day. Then I told him what was going on with me. I guess you could say that was my big mistake. He told me that I needed to 'get past it' 'get over it' and 'stop giving in to it'. When I told him that if I could, I would but with this condition it's not something I have a choice in. Since then, he's treated me like I have something contagious and has even gone so far as to give me a written letter of warning for 'bringing my personal problems to work' when he found out I had spoken to a couple of people about what I was going through. Needless to say, something that I enjoy (my job) has now become something I just work hard to get through every day.

    Another issue is my therapist. Or should I say my former therapist. She told me that she didn't agree with psychiatrist's diagnosis because my trauma wasn't 'bad enough' to be PTSD. Throughout the rest of the session whenever I would bring up a problem related to the PTSD and how I wanted to get some help dealing with it, I was told, 'You may think that you're feeling that way...' Not exactly a productive session. Usually when our session was over she would go to the appointment book and ask me when I wanted to set up the next session. This time, she walked me half way out the door and said 'Give me a call if you feel like you need to make another appointment.' Wasn't the warmest or fuzziest feeling I've ever had. LOL Fortunately through many, many phone calls I've found another therapist who specialized in PTSD and I see him on Thursday. This new therapist told me that one doctor not believing the diagnosis of another doctor is uncommon.

    I've been poking around this site hoping to find some ideas/ways to help to deal with (what I call) this Big Bitch. Actually, just knowing that I'm not the only person out there dealing with it is a very big help.

    Thanks for letting me ramble. :rolleyes:
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  3. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum, Marlene.

    I'm sorry to hear that you have PTSD. I'm sure if you checked around this site you'll see that people get it from different traumas, but our symptoms are the same. We're a group from so many varying backgrounds and from so many different places in the world (literally) but we have something in common and thus support each other. Kinda like an online support group.

    I, too, have PTSD from long-term childhood trauma.

    My husband is also on the site because he is the spouse of someone with PTSD. He gets as much support from the spouses here as I do from the sufferers. If you can, try to get your husband to log on too (or at least lurk here and read all he can) so that he'll know he's not alone in all of this also.

    Feel free to rant, rave, laugh, cry, shout, yell, cuss at us. We're all in this together, and together we'll all get through it!
  4. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hi Marlene, welcome to the forum and glad you found us. So... what gave you PTSD, if you don't mind me asking? The therapist part, I can totally understand, because like anything, they are not all equal. A therapist, physician, whoever, they all come with their individual thoughts, perceptions and ideas about what is, and is not, correct within their eyes. We all have this, regardless what we think. An open mind is often the solution to best deal with people IMHO, something many struggle with because of self knowledge. Harsh though for them to walk you to the door and say call me if you need me. Very harsh.... not exactly fitting of a therapist IMO.

    Regardless, you found us, and said hello, and that in itself can be a challenge in itself, the saying hello part in a public forum. I am glad you did though Marlene, and I have no doubt will can throw things around here, vent, or discuss more personal aspects of your PTSD and just life itself.
  5. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

    hey marlene, welcome. you'll find this site to be very helpful and the people very supportive. i was very surprised when i was diagnosed, also. hang in there, it is definately a learning process.
  6. Boo-Damphir

    Boo-Damphir Active Member

    Welcome Marlene and ditto to what everyone else has already said.

    I remember when I first started on Prozac for depression (years before a more recent turn of events) and I knew there was such a stigma to "Prozac" that I used to tell healthcare providers that I take Fluoxetine -the generic name. I wouldn't even tell them it was for depression unless they asked.

    I was just commenting on this forum recently about feelings of grief I was experiencing over the loss of a very dear friendship that didn't survive my PTSD journey.
    I'm sorry that you too have endured the loss of a friendship over this. Although it's not our baggage to understand why, I sometimes tell myself that maybe my journey is just too uncomfortable for them. The same thing happens with Cancer patients. Being around them is just too much for some people due to their own personal experiences or fears.

    We'll be here for you!
  7. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    What gave me the PTSD? It's a little hard to explain and (like someone I know recently told me) feels more like something out of a movie than something that actually happened in my life.

    My sister was nearing the end of a very long and painful illness when my father was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and died three weeks later (June 2003). I had no idea how to deal with this plus the fact that there was still my sister impending death to deal with, so I just stuffed everything down. Then my oldest daughter (who was 15) started hurting herself and talking about suicide. Her reasoning was if everyone she loved was dying, why should she stick around? My husband and I got her into therapy. Even though it helped, I lived in constant fear for a long time that she would hurt herself to point of giving up doing things to keep an eye on her and not leaving her alone. Then my sister died (12 months after my father) and my daughter got worse and then my mother started calling me all of the time saying things like, 'I wish I had died with your father', 'If I have to be alone I wish I were dead', etc.

    I just shut down emotionally and all of my feelings that I hadn't dealt with just got shoved into a box with (what I thought) was a tight lock. Since everything had settled down, I thought I was fine. At least I felt fine. LOL Then in April of this year my daughter voluntarily ended therapy (she's a happy-go lucky 18 year with a car, a cell phone and a job LOL), my mother has remarried this past May and is also happy.

    Then I went through the anniversaries (June is not my best month) of my father and sister's deaths and on July first, the lid blew off my box and I honestly thought I was losing my mind. That's when I started the therapy.

    The one thing the psychiatrist told me that stuck in my mind was that it's not so much the trauma, it's how a person deals (or in my case didn't deal) with it.

    I take klonopin to help keep the anxiety in check. If I keep the anxiety managed, I find it tons easier to keep my other syptoms in check (another hard way of finding this out!). I will say this...sometimes the urge to get totally tanked or stoned out of my mind is very strong. I'm not going to give into it, but just the thought of some of the pain going away for a while is oh so tempting. Another reason I try to keep the anxiety in check is that, for whatever reason, it manifests itself as muscle tension and pain in me and sometimes I can just be a whole mess of knotted muscles. And since pain is one of my triggers...well, it's not a fun cycle.

    Thanks for the posts of support. It means a lot!
  8. melody

    melody Active Member

    Hi Marlene, Welcome to the forum!
    I have PTSD due to other issues, but I know how hard it is dealing with a teenager that is suicidal. My oldest daughter tried to take her life six years ago and I remember being afraid for her all the time.
    For almost a year (afterwards) I felt so guilty, that it was my fault and that if I had been a better mother she wouldn't be where she was mentally. And if she called... No matter where I was or what I was doing, I would drop everything and go get her because I was so afraid she would try it again.
    The good news... She is almost 24 now and I can safely say that it was just a teen thing!
  9. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Hi Marlene,

    Welcome to the forum.
  10. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Marlene, do you discuss this with your daughter now she is older? I ask this because its not the sister or father dieing that gave your PTSD, they where just normal life trauma's, but your daughter wanting to commit suicide was the fear that invoked your PTSD. She is also much of the healing to your PTSD at the same time.
  11. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    I've spoken to her in a vauge way about about what happened with her in the past contributing to how I'm feeling now. But I've just gotten to the point where I can even express any feelings about how I felt about her during that time. Right now the only feelings I've been able to access about her are rage, hatred and guilt. Rage that after losing her grandfather and aunt she could just so blithly talk about throwing away her precious life. Hatred for her adding to my pain when I was hurting so bad that I could barely function and her dumping more on me. And guilt for feeling all of the above and for not being a good enough mom to fix her. Everytime I sat in the waiting room while she saw her therapist, I felt like the world's worst mother-like I had failed to protect my child.

    I know there's more I need to work through. But how do you tell your child that, even for a short time, that you hated them for how they made you feel?

    I'm sorry if this doesn't make much sense. This is only the second time I've tried to put these emotions into words. I've spoken to my husband and told him how I felt during these times. He understands that I don't feel like this now, but I have to deal with these feelings. Actually it's just been in the last couple of weeks that I've even wanted to even start dealing with these feelings.
  12. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Marlene, what you are doing is the exact thing that you must, being your looking at the emotional level of the trauma you have felt. All good. Maybe something you might want to look at is the list of [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread700.html"]emotions and emotional responses[/DLMURL], because rage and hatred are emotional responses, not actually emotions themselves. Guilt is very much an emotion though. To get rage or hatred, we must actually feel something else beneath that, is. we feel frustrated thus we become enraged, or we feel disappointed and as a result hate that person. I think you see the point.

    I think that the list linked above might help you to look a bit deeper, which means you can find the emotions felt that have caused the responses, thus you could use the actual emotions to discuss with your daughter, instead of having to bring in the emotional responses, which as we both know, no teenager or child wants to be told their mother hated them for a period of time. So instead, go for the root of the problem... which your nearly at, just not quite.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  13. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member


    I remember when all of this started with my daughter, I had never felt such a level of terror in my life. I become so focused on her that that it took me until very recently to grieve the deaths of my father and sister. And this was three and two years after the fact. Everything that happened in my life, happened in such a short time frame (a little over twelve months) that I can't think of one thing without thinking of everything. There's still a lot of sorting out to do. I know there's a whole lot more that I need to deal with in regards to my daughter. It just scares the hell out of me to contemplate it.
    But I'm taking the plunge and this afternoon I'm going start seeing my new therapist. OMG I hope he's better than the last one or I may just go it alone!!

    Actually not having people recoil in horror at what I've admitted (for the first time other than to my hubby) was quite a shock to me. Good shock, mind you. LOL A lot of women are raised that they're only supposed to feel all of the warm and fuzzy 'mommy' feelings towards their children. And if anything else pops up...well, you must be defective as a mom.

    A friend and I were discussing dealing with the bad stuff that comes up in life and how, when you look back, you think you'd do this different or that different. But she said something very profound. 'When there's something bad going on, you do what you have to do to survive it. You can analyze it to death later, but you still did what you thought was best at the time.' A wise woman, IMHO.

    BTW-thanks for letting me ramble. I don't know why, but getting it out of my mind helps me a lot.
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