Why did it come back? Anxiety, nightmares, hyper-vigilance...


New Here
OK so long story short I was a paramedic for 18 years both in the military and civilian life too. My career as a paramedic ended in 2009 when I broke 27 bones being blindsided by a big truck while I was driving. I spent 2 years learning to walk along with 3 years of PTSD counseling. Of course, we all know there is never another "normal" but for over 11 years I began to really get peace and have somewhat of a normal life. April 23 while pulling a 44-foot 5fifth wheel camper the kingpin broke in 1/2 and rolled over the side of my truck. Ever since then the anxiety is back with a vengeance, along with the nightmares and I am literally jumpy anytime someone approaches me. IT is not helping that I cant go back to work until the truck is fixed. Prayers, thoughts, ideas, and advice is welcome


I'm really sorry that happened to you, @medic4355.

What I can tell you is that a traumatic experience - especially one that has similarities to your originating trauma - can re-activate PTSD symptoms. What you're experiencing is pretty normal, and it doesn't mean that you didn't do a good job of recovering the first time around - and, it doesn't mean that you are totally back where you started.

What kind of therapy helped you get through PTSD 11 years ago? Are there any tools that you learned then (to help manage symptoms) that could help you out now?


I did almost exactly this... so take a big “Dont be me” warning.

Took me about 5-7 years to unf*ck my head the first time round. Didn’t do it with therapy, just winged it, going after everything I didn’t like piece by piece. Read: I just went after symptoms, not root causes. I also f*cked up my life in rather spectacular fashion. Combat Marine > Contractor > Disaster Response... by this last piece I was mostly alright.

10 years virtually asymptomatic.

Then there was a perfect storm of events in my life, (new trauma, increased stress, and loss of coping mechanisms... and of those 3 will do it... But I’ve always had a problem with being gung ho) and I got drop kicked all the way back to the very beginning. I couldn’t protect someone I loved, I got a divorce, and I quit doing all “my” stuff as it didn’t seem responsible until I was back on my feet. Faaaaaaawk. Whatever you do? Don’t do that one. Really. This is the time to UP “me/my” stuff / coping mechanisms, not decrease.

I ALSO refused to admit this was more than a funk, a hard time I’d get through just fine (like other hard times in the past decade) for a solid year. Then? I wasted a whole nother year IN therapy, refusing to deal with the past, insistent that it was my divorce & my ex abusing my kid & the f*cked up family court system, not ancient history. Until even this dumbass motherf*cker couldn’t avoid seeing how everything happening now was ripping the past wide open. At almost any time during those 2 years? I proooooolly could have at least halted the worsening... everything. By the time I was willing to admit what was what? It was too late. Within a few weeks I lost everything, including my mind. 2012-2014 were not good years for me. By 2016 I about had myself sorted, again. But I was still fragile as hell. Any sorta upset that my life used to be able to absorb without even blinking could wreck me for months.

So.. Cha. New trauma, increased stress, loss of coping mechanisms. Can = a symptom relapse or symptom uptick. Getting into trauma therapy pronto can keep it in the little spike range, rather than a hard relapse. Ditto, up your coping mechanisms, don’t decrease. Gotta gotta gotta blow off as much stress as possible. (See stress cup)

Welcome aboard!