Military Think I am making my PTSD worse

Status
Not open for further replies.

The Albatross

MyPTSD Pro
Their national conference is tomorrow (I participated there for almost a decade, in fact it was a member recognized what I was sharing in sobriety was likely PTSD... and he was absolutely correct and I found this forum, got diagnosed and treatment) they have web seminars, online meetings and a bunch of stuff. Here's the link to their tool box... to look over: Discover the SMART Recovery Toolbox
 

Warrior Chicken

MyPTSD Pro
@The Albatross thanks for sharing that info. I’m gonna take a look as well.

@Cypress much of what you have written about your situation with:
- needing to function at a high level,
- ensuring others continue to trust your abilities (this being an essential piece to all this)
- but also being aware that you need some form of balance in all that because, well....ptsd. Right?

I currently follow a similar function pattern. It takes a great deal of effort to hide my symptoms & struggles from my colleagues. As much as the culture I work in declares they are open minded and don’t treat those with mental health issues differently, the stigma is well and truly alive. My work is largely centred on trust, so I work to maintain that.

At the end of the day, I have trouble finding a healthy coping option and like you, also turn to alcohol. Not excessive, 2.5 drinks typically. And not constantly, just when things are real shit or I’ve been fighting that workplace balance for a while.

In summary, if it helps....perhaps we can help each other thru this, learn from each other.
 

Cypress

Confident
I currently follow a similar function pattern. It takes a great deal of effort to hide my symptoms & struggles from my colleagues. As much as the culture I work in declares they are open minded and don’t treat those with mental health issues differently, the stigma is well and truly alive. My work is largely centred on trust, so I work to maintain that.

At the end of the day, I have trouble finding a healthy coping option and like you, also turn to alcohol. Not excessive, 2.5 drinks typically. And not constantly, just when things are real shit or I’ve been fighting that workplace balance for a while.

In summary, if it helps....perhaps we can help each other thru this, learn from each other.

Yes, yes, and yes. This is my situation exactly.

I work with a great group of highly skilled medics. They are very supportive but they need to trust me. If I act "crazy" I lose that trust and then might as well go home. Sneaking a few drinks in my hooch at night is socially acceptable though. This is the culture we live in and as you said we just need to help each other through it.

@hithere I'm taking it everyday now 20mg three times a day. I feel a little tired for an hour after I take it but that wears off. It has really helped with the physical symptoms of the hypervigilance. So when I hear a loud noise, my heart doesn't pound as much, I don't break into a sweat or start shaking as much. But mentally I am still dialed up. My T says this will hopefully create a negative feedback loop and I will feel less reactive over time even if I don't take it? Not sure I believe that but we will see.

Again, I appreciate the support from everyone on this forum. I wish we lived in societies that were more supportive but we don't so here we are on an anonymous forum helping each other limp along the road. Whew! Enough sentimentality for the day.
 

Warrior Chicken

MyPTSD Pro
My T/pdoc has also prescribed propanolol but I have trouble with any kind of drug/med. i won’t get into why but I know what happens to me with alcohol and occasionally I take Ativan. Anyhow, none of that matters. Just wanted to thank @hithere for asking and @Cypress for responding. Cuz it did give me perspective.

Like you said earlier you’re not great at self healing (or something along those lines) me neither, but I always try to find things/options/ ideas that may help others with their struggles.

You mentioned the option to sign out tv series I think. That was something I did in a camp I expect was similar to where you are. Work 15ish hours or more, start to look forward to a couple episodes of a good series. Do what you’re doing now still, but maybe add that in. For me, flavoured soda water is a good treat, so I add that in often and i can sometimes scale back the drinks.
Not sure that’s available to you or useful, but ideas.....
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
If I act "crazy" I lose that trust and then might as well go home. S
this. I think this is the hardest part. Those around you are counting on you not to lose your shit, so you constantly have to hide it.

Chances are you are not the only one feeling like this. Can you subtly ask some of your coworkers and see if they are struggling also? You might find you have battle buddies hiding in plain site dealing with the same fears. Sometimes it just takes one person to admit there is a challenge with the day to day job. You're not admitting you are"going crazy." You are creating a safe space for others to talk.

I'm not sure where you fit in the food chain but debriefs are becoming an accepted thing after stressful missions or events. Maybe you can work towards making those mandatory? Not that people have to talk - but that people have to attend. No one may so much as say hello for the first 10 meets, but eventually you won't be able to shut them up. Then you are helping them and yourself at the same tiem.
 

Cypress

Confident
@Warrior Chicken I appreciate your asking. I wish I could say I was doing well but I am getting by day to day. A highly regimented schedule seems to be the best for managing symptoms here.

The security situation is unpredictable and as threat increases my colleagues get more adrenalinized which is contagious. Its hard to calm down my nervous system but I am trying. Propanolol and really hard exercise is the only thing that helps right now. Not even Etoh is doing the trick - just making me a jittery drunk or dissociating - so I have really cut back on that.

Skype therapy is helping a little but my T is going on a long vacation next week and in anticipation I find myself withdrawing emotionally from him. He says that I can email him and he will try to answer but I don't think I can manage sending an email and then not knowing if I will get a response. I emailed him once from here when I was feeling sort of desperate and he didn't respond and I wound up feeling rejected so in order to protect my feelings, I am trying to be more self-reliant.
 

Warrior Chicken

MyPTSD Pro
I wish I could say I was doing well but I am getting by day to day.
I hear you and I say that’s the best we can hope for sometimes and I’m right with you on that! Day to day. Let me know if you go minute to minute and I’ll be here checking in more often!

I have the same trouble as you with calming my nervous system after being around highly adrenalized people. I don’t want to need a med to deal with day to day but lately it’s been really quite battle. A Med that I can plan for taking prior to issues....awesome. But yeah, about that planning thing. I can plan the landing of a space shuttle inside an anthill, but taking care of me? Not so much.

I emailed him once from here when I was feeling sort of desperate and he didn't respond and I wound up feeling rejected
I completely understand this. Do you think you could reframe how you compose the email so it’s more about sharing things you can prepare him to discuss with you later, as a reminder of salient topics and struggles....rather than needing a response from him?
I often WANT my T to reply, but I write in a way that allows me to learn to share, and prevents me from avoiding when we talk next. If he replies, bonus but if it’s short then I know he’s tracking where we pick up.
 

Cypress

Confident
write in a way that allows me to learn to share, and prevents me from avoiding when we talk next.

This is what I need to learn to do, use the writing as a way to record and create accountability for issues I know I will avoid in session. Hopefully this will let me feel like I got something off my chest without pining for a response from him.

debriefs are becoming an accepted thing after stressful missions or events.

We just had a mandatory debrief with a behavioral health team to assess all of us for PTSD. I'd like to say it was helpful but the feeling seemed to be that if we endorsed any PTSD symptoms, we would be sent home so we all hid in plain sight. They did say something useful, that we'd need at least 6 months to readjust back home.

I don’t want to need a med to deal with day to day but lately it’s been really quite battle.

This is exactly how I feel. Taking medication feels like a failure somehow and I can never manage taking it on an as needed basis. I am taking it every day now so I don't have to think about it. It helps but for some reason I feel angry at my T for prescribing it and that makes me not want to take it. I told him I think that its because I don't like being a patient, I want to give the medicine, not take it myself. He said I suspect its a little more than that.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
D. I'd like to say it was helpful but the feeling seemed to be that if we endorsed any PTSD symptoms, we would be sent home so we all hid in plain sight. They did say something useful, that we'd need at least 6 months to readjust back home.
Yep...I get this. Admitting that there is a problem brings all that negative attention that is supposed to be helpful but really just makes you stand out.

I'm not sure where you stand in the food chain, but what about working with your battles one on one? Helping them with how they are coping (or not) may help you also?

That's how my guru saved his guys - by making it ok for them to feel like crap because he shared that he was struggling also. yes...it put him in a vulnerable position - but he also saved some lives by doing it. Including mine.

Just a thought....
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top