Sufferer Recent personal dx of PTSD, frontline trauma/tragedy worker for 7 yrs,Masters in Psych. Needing support

Ltk18

New Here
A recent horrific personal experience altered my life by casting a formal diagnosis of PTSD upon me.
I am educated in psychology and social work and am well experienced in trauma and tragedy, yet this personal event has left me gasping for air and scrambling for venues of daily survival.
I am 110% cognizant of the multiple therapies developed and utilized to mitigate PTSD ailments, yet this suffering side of the fence has left me with feelings of complete terror, horror and hopelessness!
I have no one to reach out to that can relate, so this is a last ditch grasp at a straw, and at the very least, a learning opportunity to better understand how people suffering debilitating trauma are able to wake up to a new sunrise each and every morning.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
A recent horrific personal experience altered my life by casting a formal diagnosis of PTSD upon me.
My sympathies. On the upside, this is a terrific opportunity for your own personal growth. That can be the focus away from the hopelessness that you feel and perhaps you can hold onto that as a glimmer of hope. At the end of all of this, with your own personal experience of trauma, you will be a kick ass helper for those suffering trauma. Your biggest job through your healing from my own personal experience is to look for a purpose in your own suffering. That will keep you waking up each morning and putting one foot in front of the other.

A few things that really helped to ground me during my healing:
1. Try if you can to think about who is important to you right now. For myself there were a couple of motivations.
a) I couldn't die because of the people who were attempting to help me. I couldn't leave them with the burden of thinking they didn't do the right thing by me.
b) I needed to help others in my position because most of the professionals that I was dealing with at the time were incompetent, egotistical, cold, and at times cruel. I wanted to provide better for others once I healed.
c) Try to think of someone who actually loved you during your life. Like really loved you. For me, it was my grandfather. He was only with me for 5 or so years, but his love for me was such a rock along the way and provided me with an example of how I needed to LOVE MYSELF when I was ready to do so.
d) Be careful of the drugs they give you. Research them carefully. Make sure their side effects are not worse than your symptoms.
e) Learn all you can about the nervous system. A great resource is Irene Lyon. She is damned good.
f) Feldenkrais is a great resource as well to help to resync the body mind split that occurs during trauma.
g) Learn to breathe. Properly. Not crazy breathing but boxed breathing to calm the nervous system. I used 5/5 and then graduated to 5/5/5/5. Always when I was feeling well. Never when I was f*cked up.
h) Have a crisis plan in place with trusted people to hold roles that they can handle. This is too much for most and it feels like we have no people around us at times. We do, they just can only handle small slivers.

2. Cathy O'Brien has a really good book out right now called PTSD: Time to Heal that is invaluable in understanding how to manage the thoughts/flashbacks/space cadet thinking that comes with PTSD.

3. Pete Walker is great as well at teaching what is going on and how we are affected by trauma.

4. Life will most likely get worse before it gets better. Find a safe place with few responsibilities and don't demand a lot of yourself.

5. Speak to yourself with kindness and compassion. Now is not the time to call yourself bad names in order to motivate yourself to 'get better'.

I think that is a good start for now. I hope it is helpful to you.

Safe journey.
 
There's a big, big, big difference in treating trauma in others and treating it in oneself. It's not worth beating yourself up about, if you can manage that, because it's just so entirely different.

I've had PTSD for about 15 years, and I'm a brand new grad student in MH Counseling. I've also run some groups for traumatized men. It turns out when I put that "helper" hat on, I am fully functional. But I absolutely cannot put that same hat on for myself. It's an entirely different hat, and it's taking a long time to get it to fit. (What an interesting idea for a study.) I can't imagine my experience is unique - every time I think I'm alone in some aspect of my trauma experience, I meet someone else who's going through the same thing.

So consider this a long-winded welcome. I hope you find some healing here.
 

Friday

Moderator
Welcome to the community! 😃

I am 110% cognizant of the multiple therapies developed and utilized to mitigate PTSD ailments, yet this suffering side of the fence has left me with feelings of complete terror, horror and hopelessness!

Nothing wrong with that. Doctors still get cancer, people who work with children by avocation & sheer natural ability still lose their minds with their own kids, therapists acquire disorders, cops get burgled, photographers go blind, the K&R negotiator gets kidnapped and held for ransom, and countless other examples.

Which isn’t to say it’s not freaking offensive (talk about adding insult to injury!) when what you’re passionate about, your life’s work, what sets sparkles in your eyes and gets you out of bed in the morning with a fire in your belly “fails” you. It’s the most natural thing in the world for the Oncologist with cancer to feel betrayed, to be angry at their own helplessness, that even with all of their knowledge and experience? They can’t save themselves, but are now... a patient. >.<

Very little in my own life is as heartbreaking as when I have the exact skill set needed, have both the ability and willingness to use it, but am prevented/helpless to save someone. When that someone is myself? Add “infuriated” shaken -not stirred- liberally with “shame” and spell it “should”. I SHOULD be able to blah blah blah blah 😉

What I’ve found works best? When I can stop using my knowledge & experience as a stick to beat myself up with, because it’s not a magic wand, and put it to good use instead. More uses to a stick than as a magic wand (Aaaaargh! I SHOULD be able to blah blah blah), or as a thing to bash me’self about with. Okay, Stick. What are we going to do with you??? Tomorrow I may just lean you up against a wall and glare at you, like I did yesterday, but today let’s mix things up a bit.
1.
Having parents & being a parent are 2 different things.
Playing football & coaching football are 2 different things.
Having an injury & doctoring an injury are 2 different things.

You can be the best coach in the world, but now that you’re suiting up to go play on the field? Expect there to be a learning curve (IE to suck at it, in the beginning). Because this is new. Even with all you know about it. Coaching and playing are 2 different things.

Treating trauma/PTSD? As the person who has it, and as the person who’s helping them are 2 different things.

2.
Education & Experience are tools.
Tools can be used to help us or as weapons.
TRY to use your tools to help yourself, rather than as a weapon to beat yourself up with.
<grin> You undoubtedly know all of this above... but it’s good to be reminded from time to time.

Again... Welcome.
 
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ladee

MyPTSD Pro
I am sorry for what has brought you here but glad you found us. When you come here, you are one of us.

I've had PTSD my whole life, so I can't imagine a life without it. It has taken me a long time to learn how to manage my symptoms, do the work to heal, and a myriad of other things I had to learn.

Another trauma at the beginning of last year has set me back in ways that are confusing at times. And the tools I have did not apply to heal this trauma. BUT, I always had this place to come to for support and understanding.

I hope you soon feel part of things here. Just knowing we are not alone on this journey of healing, is priceless.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Sorry for what happened to you.

Being a professional and then being on the receiving end of that profession/needing that help= really tough transition.

Whilst not in the same area, I work in child protection. In work mode: fully able to communicate; assess what needs to happen, provide appropriate interventions and situations to enable change. Am good at my job.
But being on the receiving end of child protection? Communicating in my family? Getting support from child protection services for children in my family? Awkward. Hard.

I don't know about you, but there is an element of shame/pride that needs to be worked through before acceptance and actually dealing with the situation at hand. (Or at least, I felt that).

PTSD sucks. Needing help sucks. Trying to be a professional to your own PTSD isn't going to work (said from someone who tried to be a child protection worker to my sister and her kids!) Really: Does Not Work. You're not the professional in this situation. You're human you. And that's ok.

But: whilst it feels helpless and challenging now, nothing stays the same for ever. These feelings will go/change/morph/lessen.

And you got all us here to understand and share with.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Hi, it’s so nice everyone is so welcoming and yes, there is lots of information here and people who have managed to keep going and quite a bit of real recovery.

That means to me “I feel better”. Maybe that sounds selfish but If I don’t?

So I’m not overwhelmed or suicidal. I was.
This can happen for you also. I just went to therapy. I just kept processing it over and over. I still am. I think it works if I’m not suicidally depressed. I’m not.
My therapist is a specialist in what happened to me which is trauma caused by CSA. I think personally the specialty thing in therapy is important. That’s just me.

I hope you feel better. This has been a very safe place for me to journal. That also has helped. A lot.
 

Justmehere

Moderator
Social workers have more than double the rate of PTSD than the general population.

Frontline workers even more so.

You may feel alone but what you are experiencing is very common.

It's gets better. Then it may get better again but it gets better again too.

What keeps me going is my big picture goal and what I value. That's what gets me out of bed every day to face another day.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I hope you stay! Anthony (the site founder) has done so much to make this site great, from education to peer support. Joey is a great Admin and the mod team works hard. I say all of this as I believe this site is one of the better ones out there for ptsd support. I have wandered around to other sites and none rose to the level of myptsd. (I keep coming back here as it’s been quite helpful. I can’t even remember all of the sites I’ve joined and then left.)

I somehow just have this undying hope inside of me that things will get better. I’ve had it since childhood, so I can’t advise on how to get it if you don’t have it. But, it keeps me moving forward. I’m finally to the point in my healing where I have something I’m interested in studying and will be going back to school soon. I think a big part of it is taking things one day at a time, and pushing yourself forward when you can.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I’m not a professional, but I do research a lot and am very articulate in my struggles. I know the main theories and stuff. Knowing it exists is great for orientation, but they’re tools that cannot replace having people with you who understand—or even who don’t understand, but are with you. This is a place for gentle support and encouraging. Even having 2 psychiatrists, books and a supporting mom, I wouldn’t have make it without this place. Welcome to the forum!
 
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