I was diagnosed with PTSD yesterday. I’ve had a few therapists I’ve talked to state they thought I had it but it was confirmed yesterday. I’m a way it’s nice to know what’s wrong. It explains the fits of rage and constant anxiety, crying uncontrollably, feeling like I’m losing my mind, the suicidal thoughts. It terrifies me though because I know a lot of people don’t survive it and it’s very difficult to treat. I’ve been prescribed meds before for anxiety and depression and none of them helped most made it worse. I’m not sure what they can do to help me. I’ve struggled with depression as long as I can remember. I have moments of happiness but I don’t remember what it feels like to genuinely feel happy or content. These past few months have been the hardest of my life. My fiancé cheated and left and now she lives with/dates a guy who I thought was my friend. I’m really starting to feel down on myself because I feel like maybe my PTSD pushed her out of my life. She wasn’t a saint by any means but I imagine it can’t be easy to feel loved when someone screams all the time or can’t control their emotions. I feel like whatever is wrong with me has cost me everything I cared about. I have support from people on here and my friends/family but I constantly feel alone. I don’t understand why. I know they’re there to help but I don’t feel like there’s anything they can do because the battle is in my head and that’s something they can’t fix. I’ve been through a lot of trauma and abuse in my life and no matter how bad it was I have always been resilient and a fighter but lately I’ve been growing tired of fighting a battle I feel like I’m losing. I’m scared I’m going to give up. There are some days it takes every ounce of strength just to get out of bed. I’m always depressed, I can’t enjoy time with my friends because I get sad, me and my ex liked all the same music and shows so I can’t even use that as an escape because it just brings back memories of her and then I get depressed. I feel like I’ve been keeping all the built up shit at bay for years and her leaving and cheating made the levee break. Some days I feel like I’m losing my mind to the point where I find myself laughing hysterically instead of crying or getting mad. I really hope that the evaluation I’m doing soon can provide help and answers.
PTSD is a monster to deal with in it’s own right. I’m really proud of you for taking the proactive steps you have in order to get therapy, an evaluation, medication and so on. I also saw your post from yesterday just now and I want to let you know that you have an entire community who cares for you. We’re here for you.
With regard to your post yesterday: What I’ve learned dealing with severe manic depression is that the days that I absolutely struggle to do the simplest things like getting out of bed, I’ve learned that forcing myself to be active and to just do everything in my power to get a few things done can go a long way. It’s something to build on that releases much needed dopamine and Saratonin into our brain. This, in turn, can start a positive feedback look that you can leverage to slowly bring yourself out of the shit hole that depression is.
And please, do not be afraid to reach out for help, even if it’s calling a hotline as they are individuals that will do everything in their power to get you help immediately.
You’re ultimately on a journey to self healing and happiness. A road in which is extremely difficult to travel, especially alone. In my own journey I’ve done a lot of research on modalities to help or other people to look to for inspiration and I wanted to share some of that with you…
Oprah Winfrey went through a tremendous amount of trauma growing up and she’s now gotten into a place where she freely shares her experiences and how she was able to learn and grow from them.
Elon Musk had an extremely abusive childhood inside and outside of his home. A lot of the details are shared in his biography, but this video does a good job of explaining what happened and how he grew out of it as well.
An incredible phenomena is called post traumatic growth
I know it’s easy to see these names and think about the individuals as they are today. It’s important to consider that at the end of the day they’re just human beings like you and me. That they are individuals we can learn from and incorporate things from their growth experiences that may be able to help us.
I’m also a huge fan of a combination of in the box thinking and solutions based thinking. In short, in the box thinking is identifying the problem and limitations and using what resources you have to climb out of the box (I.E. your PTSD would be the box and the resources at present are the therapy, meds, evaluation, etc.)
Solutions based thinking is once you’re out of the box. Instead of consistent focusing on the problem, focus on what CAN be done and what IS possible. (I.E. looking at the individuals above for inspiration that you, too, can experience tremendous growth.)
I also wanted to note that my wife did the exact same thing that your fiance did. It was absolutely crushing and deeply impacted me as a man with a reduction of confidence, self love, etc. I will say that it was probably the best thing that has happened to me as it’s allowed me to better understand what I need and has given me time to re-learn how to love myself and become who I truly am. Thus making me into a better version of myself so when that lucky girl comes along, I can be the perfect person for her. I believe that you, too, can get to this place.
Like I said above, the road to healing is going to be a tough one, but you can do it. I believe in you. You’ve already suffered through a tremendous amount of shit, and to be honest, it’s nothing but up from here my friend. As you continue to grow and work on yourself the burden will weigh less and less.
Stay steadfast in your journey friend and know that we’re here for you. Rooting for you and excited to see you become the best version of yourself.
You know where you’ve been and why you’re suffering now. You’ve quite a bit of insight on how the PTSD has affected your life. I’ve been there, suffering from PTSD from early childhood. I attempted suicide at age 10. I didn’t think life for me consisted of anything but suffering and I was hopelessly broken. I won’t go into detail about it, 'cause this is about you, not me.
No doubt you need therapy and times in which you can feel peace. Find relaxation techniques that work for you.
Rather than dwell on the sorrows of the past or fears about the future, stay focused on the here and now. Present moment mindfulness, even if it involves washing dishes or something like that, is therapeutic. I think a huge factor in my emotional survival involved taking long walks, or spending time in the woods. While doing that, you can quieten your thoughts and listen to birds, rustling leaves, and hopefully not too much traffic. Watch a sunset. Find dancing bears in the clouds.
The mind does a lot of processing we’re not aware of because it occurs at a “sub-vocal” level. Healing can be occurring while you watch the hippopotamus in the clouds.
I still live with some PTSD triggers, but they’re manageable. I get anxious, but I’m not always that way. I do take Wellbutrin, and I’m on a pretty even keel.
You will survive and end up with a huge treasure of empathy. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, focus you thoughts on making the best use of the present moment.
Take note of every time you accomplish something, or modify a habit towards a more positive experience. The more you acknowledge and appreciate the good things you do or have, the more positivity comes into your life.
Take care and come back and let us know how you’re doing.
Hi Johhnydeez, and welcome back to HeartSupport; I’m glad you felt you could reach out again now that you have received your diagnosis of PTSD.
In some ways, it must be a relief to get your diagnosis finally. I responded to your post last week where you were concerned about your anxiety and the sudden shifts in your mood; this must go a long way to explaining that.
I understand your concern regarding the mortality rate among people who have PTSD. Therefore, I researched online surrounding techniques for coping with the condition. As a result, I found an article that may be of interest here: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - HelpGuide.org.
One thing that stood out in the article was the suggestion to speak of the future and make plans to try and counteract the feelings you describe of a limited future.
It is good to hear that you have the support of your family and friends. However, offering support to somebody with mental health issues can sometimes become overwhelming. So, I researched further and found an article that the people who support you may find helpful: Helping Someone with PTSD - HelpGuide.org.
I do, however, understand that despite this support, you could still feel alone; daily, it must be challenging to deal with this primarily on your own. For this reason, I would suggest you accept the support of a therapist or counsellor who can help you develop coping skills and listen to you without judgment. This person will also be able to help you look again at medication options. Prescribing for mental health issues can be particularly difficult as symptoms vary from person to person. For example, I am dealing with BPD, and it took four attempts before settling on a medication that works.
Although not the same disorder, dealing with BPD and other issues has given me insight into how drastically mental health can affect your day-to-day life and your will to continue. However, I genuinely believe that you can build a stable and fulfilling life with proper professional support.
I wish you the best of luck going forward, and my colleagues and I are here if you need to return to Heart Support.