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Shaken by PTSD Diagnosis - At Age 75!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Selene, Dec 12, 2006.

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  1. Selene

    Selene New Member

    If I had been correctly diagnosed 50 years ago and treated appropriately, I would have had an entirely different life. As it is, I careened from one self-destructive disaster to another, including amphetamine addiction, alcohol abuse, pot dependency, abusive relationships, even federal prison. Post-addictions and prison, I had years of therapy with shrinks and therapists who often impressed me as worse off than I was, so I gave up therapy and went on a course of self-help that included five years of serious Zen practice (far more effective than therapy and LOTS cheaper). But I still didn't know the basic problem was PTSD, so I just bumbled along for decades. I did manage to become a successful writer eventually, but at immense cost physically, psychologically and emotionally.

    Then a series of traumas in recent years seemed to make me incapable of functioning hardly at all, my life in a shambles, unable to write or even to keep my house clean, the whole catastrophe. In desperation, I reluctantly sought out a therapist. It's a good thing I did, because she identified PTSD about 15 minutes into our session.

    I have very mixed and conflicting feelings about this. Certainly relief at now knowing there are tools to help me get better--to win a battle you have to know who the enemy IS!--at the same time a lot of anger, bitterness, and resentment that so much of my potential has been lost to this cursed affliction over my entire adult life. I worry that the patterns of PTSD are now so engrained in the marrow of my bones that there may not be enough of my life left to transcend it all.

    Giving up is not allowed, however. If I allowed myself the option of giving up I would have been dead 30, 40, 50 years ago.

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  3. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you could probably offer us a wealth of info too as we all work to conquer this together.
  4. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member

    Hi Selene, welcome to the forum!

    I can identify with the mixed feelings. While I am glad I was diagnosed, I am pissed at those who did the things to me that caused the PTSD - all of it avoidable.

    Don't give up! We're all here for each other, even if it's just to rant and rave. And, in the ranting and raving, you will (most likely) unknowingly help others!

    Looking forward to learning from you!
  5. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

    welcome, selene.
  6. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

    Welcome, Selene

    OMG Selene, I can too much identify with your hurt and anger of not being diagnosed properly any sooner...too much for my own comfort. No need for me to compare..only identify. I helplessly and very much alone, watched my skills, talents and brains get used for little to nothing as I struggled to seek and find help and fail, and survive day by day. My undiagnosed condition and lack of help went on for far too many yrs. for me. It hurts...and it hurts reading your post.

    I'm so, so sorry Selene. It's never too late, bc you've been diagnosed and quite honestly the pain, and emotion brought to the surface, by sharing and getting the trauma out, to me it feels far better in comparison to the alt. of denying PTSD, ie. long trance states, staring in space, numbness, blunted emotions, generalized anxiety, non-stop thinking and figuring things out to the exclusion of feeling, hostility, ect. that list goes on...boy does it go on.

    I'm learning, and hoping to fully accept graciously, one day, that bad things happen, sometimes very bad things, happen to good people. And yet still come to believe that there is much goodness and many wonderful people in this world. There is even healthy, intell., loving, sane people in this world. Now that doesn't mean much to most, but it means a whole shitload to me.

    Selene I spent yrs. misdiagnosed. Convinced and told it was my alcoholism or that I was crazy like the bastards who gave me the PTSD. I readily moved from one self-destructive diaster to the next, too. The only reason I didn't go to prison, was that I never was caught. I could have for larceny. Later, I tried to drink myself to death and failed. I found one abusive relationship after another, and allowed others to pull me down with them. I sought help from halfway house, detoxes, shelters and never quite belonged. My grief was added to, in all my attempts to find help for myself.

    And yet miracles happen every day. They do Selene, they really do. I did not earn my life...I've been given it. My sanity and intellect that remains is remarkable given the trauma in my life. I am so grateful, that I even have a chance to live, and so do you Selene, you really do. You now know what your condition is. And, there is much hope for you, and perhaps much joy, too. I know people that I'm certain have this condition, that don't know, some don't care, some don't ever want hear about it, and I've known a couple who have died from it, not knowing they ever had it. Reality is many will live and die with it or from it, and all never having known.

    We'all so fortunate now, no matter what your age. I do hope you'll stick with us, get to know us and if you'd like, we'll get to know you.

    My absolute best to you Selene!...And, Welcome Aboard!

    .......sincerely goingonhope

    gee, did I write a lot...lol
  7. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hi Selene, welcome to the forum. Wow... rough time to say the least. Yer, I can say that back then they just didn't know about all this. It was kind off one of those, toughen up and get on with it approaches. Nobody talked about not being able to cope, and it is only just starting to change. Well done Selene for taking the step, and saying hello.
  8. Selene

    Selene New Member

    Thanks everyone for the warm welcomes. Anthony, they did know a little about PTSD way back when, but only in relation to war veterans--they called it "shell shock" and "battle fatigue"--and they certainly had little, if any, means for helping.

    Goingonhope, I think misdiagnosis is still common but in the city close to where I live I notice that several people listed in phone book under psychologists have ads that state they specialize in 'trauma', by which I assume they mean PTSD. So that's a hopeful sign--a little late for US, but hopeful for those just emerging with this devastating disability.

    And to everyone, thanks again for the warm welcomes.

  9. wildcritter44

    wildcritter44 Active Member


    Welcome and you will probably teach us more about the things that happened & why, maybe publish something again to help others gain their strength and regain some sanity.
    You are obviously a very strong person.. I'm glad you finally found someone to help. Hopefully maybe some one from this forum can help in some way. I have found it comforting and encouraging just to know I'm not alone and neither is my husband whom is the PTSD sufferer.
    Hugs to you....
  10. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Thats what I mean, no support back then. People where still being raped, murdered and the like, but nothing for them. Even the veterans got nothing in regard to shell shock, just "get over it", have another beer and soldier on. Would have been nice I'm sure if they knew then, what is known now.
  11. Josh77

    Josh77 Active Member

    Welcome to the community

    Hello:hello: and welcome to our community here on this forum!! We are all here to help when we can!!
    Take care,
  12. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Welcome to the forum. I like your attitude that giving up is not an option. :)
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