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PTSD and Me

First, nice to "meet" you. You have my sympathies regarding your PTSD, and if you'd like a list of veteran's groups who specialize in helping one another manage symptoms that can manifest much differently from one case to the next, I'd be happy to provide it.

"My" army didn't acknowledge PTSD...It was an absolute career killer to so much as mention one might be suffering from it. Thus the VA didn't treat for it, civilian doctors didn't know HOW to treat for it, and suicides were so common they were taken in stride by command.

You have to get help, Brother...And while there's a lot of great advice here regarding pharmaceutical help, I have found that talking to other vets about their symptoms (most never discuss the event or events that caused the condition) and how they manage them is of enormous help. There's no one who understands what you are going through but yourself, but I have found that talking with folks who were in theater when the events occurred, even if they are not themselves affected, is an enormous help.

Hang in there, you're going to be fine. Find two or three folks who understand completely what you are going through, and meet with them regularly...It will do you a great amount of good. I was able to beat thirty years of alcoholism in just this manner, and while the demons (who are different for everyone) never go away, they DO become more easy to ignore as time goes on.

Prayers for you, and if I can help at all, reach out.
A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.

-- Saint Basil

(12-23-2017, 02:26 AM)Rafterman Wrote: Hi Fury,
I must say that everything that you have stated applies directly to me, as well. I suffer from PTSD, in part due to my experiences in childhood (ritual sexual abuse/corporal punishment), my experiences in the military and the fact that I was nearly killed at work by a client whom I was counseling (with a 14 inch "Rambo" knife"). My panic disorder grew out of my PTSD and was at one point so severe that I could not even stop my car at a red light. I would have to creep up the light so that it would be green by time I got there. I couldn't wait in supermarket lines. I would complete my shopping and then circle the store for any hour, just waiting for a cashier who had nobody waiting. It was hell. I am a recently retired licensed psychotherapist who counseled for 30 years. Some people think that those of us on the other side do not suffer with these issues. They could not be more wrong. What I can tell you for certain is is possible to render the mind incapable of having a panic attack. I did not believe this at first. I thought that they would have to put me completely out in order to prevent or stop one of my attacks. True panic disorder is a seizure disorder. The mind is overwhelmed with racing and spiraling thoughts and begins to misfire, leading to a meltdown. Many times it's the misfiring that happens first, and that brings on the attack. Just like they can prevent seizures, they can prevent episodes of panic. Here is what helped me and countless others while I was practicing.

1.Obtain both a long acting and short acting benzo. (ALP and C-Pam are what I used). Titrate up on both meds until you reach an amount that takes away your urge to panic, as you place yourself in situations that usually induce an attack. It takes time, but you will eventually reach a point where you are panic-proof. (We used to call it being "bulletproof"). At first, you will attribute it to the self confidence that you are gaining by conquering one old fear after another. While it is true that confidence is part of it, the primary factor in your lack of panic is the medication.

2.Taper down to a more reasonable amount of the meds. Use the long actor (C-Pam) as your foundational drug. Use the short actor (ALP) only as needed, as your remedy for breakthrough anxiety.

3.You will come to find that knowing that you have the cure for any potential panic attack right at your disposal will, in itself, keep the PA's away. The mind if much less apt to spiral if it knows that you can stop it cold. You will also have the confidence of knowing that you can always go back up to the dose at which you were bulletproof.

AD's for panic? Never. At least that is how I feel about it. It is true that a mind that is happy has less propensity toward panic. But all SSRI's, and particularly, the SNRI's, have an excitatory effect on communication within the brain. SNRI's increase dopamine level's (which is the primary precursor to norepinephrine) and high norepinephrine levels have been known to cause PA's in predisposed individuals.

There is so much more, but I just wanted to throw that at you for now. If any of this sounds like it may be of value, PM me or post and I will flesh it out some more.  Peace.  RM

Hey Rafterman..

All this advice is of value and I do appreciate it..

I really don't think a lot of people realize how destructive PTSD can be to ones life. I try to stay away from Benzo's as much as I can (to but the 2 that you mentioned are the same 2 I have found work for me. Alpz only as needed when I need immediate relief and c-pam to keep things "in balance" as best I can.

I use a lot on meditation to also help control my anxiety.

It's been a learning curve with me to see what helps and what does not and in the correct dosages. I think everyone's body is different so pretty much everyone with PTSD neds to figure out what works best for them.

When I was diagnosed with this back in 2010 I really thought PTSD was just a terrible condition soldiers get after experiencing the horrors of war.

Goes to show you how uneducated I was as ANY traumatic incident in ANYONE'S life can trigger it.

With what soldiers see and experience I almost feel bad about even saying anything about my PTSD because I know they have had to been through so much more and seen such horrors how can my problems compare.

Peace All..

"Another Day In This Carnival Of Souls"
I'm so sorry for everyone suffering with this. My heart goes out to you. I've been diagnosed with PTSD, but not from military service, from childhood trauma. Whenever I tell someone I Have PTSD they give me a look like "You were in the military??" And I have to explain that there are other causes of PTSD. Can anyone else relate?
A lot of inspiring stories in this thread. How one processes PTSD over time is so important to healing.
Yes, I agree, coffeedude22, many inspiring people and stories.

I also agree about the processing of the PTSD symptoms. So many different ways to attempt to address causes and symptoms nowadays. Some use art, which sounds hokey, but for some it works. Also, helps for depression, as I'm sure many of you are already aware. Also, writing helps. I know a man who returned from Iraq and had been diagnosed with extreme PTSD. His father told a story of driving with him in the car, son in passenger seat. Son heard some external noises and embedded himself under the dashboard on the passenger's side, and he wouldn't come out. Scared his dad to death (which can also cause PTSD, so dad had to do his own self care ). Eventually, the son self-published a memoir of sorts of his experiences during his tour. He is very improved. Of course, he also had medical/psychological supervision. And lucky enough to have a supportive family. Sweetest dad in the world. But, writing a book doesn't have to be the objective. Glad it worked for him.
Massage and yoga or essentrics or slow movement is helpful for body awareness and where the trauma is spending the day (or year) in your body. I know people who've released a lot of trauma - particularly through tears--not just tension, but trauma by body work. So important to work with folks who deal with and understand trauma. Wishing everyone who deals with that panic and hyperevigilence lots of love and success.
I really like the yoga suggestion. All the doctors I've seen have said meds, Treatment, physical exercise, mindfulness/meditation, etc...but never specifically yoga. I'm going to look into that. Thank you!
Greetings all,

Been a while since I posted trying to get my life back on track. First of all missed you guys and hope all is well with everyone. I see have a hell of a lot of reading to do. I had to take a little break. Went and still going through some pretty intense emotions. Those familiar with my "what a mess" thread well that situation really blew up in my face and had to make an unexpected move a little closer to work but still not to far from my favorite city. I also had an uncle pass away and 2 days after that his daughters 22 year old son passed away from a respiratory condition so my cousin lost her dad and son in 3 days. So just been spending time with the family and calm down.

Way to much going on and really kicked my PTSD into overdrive and really having to push myself to just get through daily activities but getting better.

Anyway I had better start catching up on my reading.

Peace All

"Another Day In This Carnival Of Souls"

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