PTSD Support and Recovery

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Medical PTSD and ME

Journal entry:

From very early on, I was a pretty sick kid, until I was diagnosed with anxiety. From then on in my medical journey, almost everything has always come back to being explained as anxiety or just a symptom of anxiety. Most of my symptoms haven't even been explored because of this and it makes it hard for me to feel heard and believed. I also don't feel comforted by the words of a doctor who doesn't order any tests to see if it could be anything else.

I once asked my doctor, back in Florida, if there was anything else the symptoms could be other than anxiety and all she said was, "we can't test for anxiety." I don't feel like that was what I was asking but I left it at that. I stopped going to that practice after multiple bad experiences... During my time there, I had an infection ignored until it got so bad they finally put me on antibiotics after the second visit, I was called a drug addict and threatened to take off my .5mg of Xanax I had been on for years for my panic attacks (and subsequently was banned from them). Why did they think I was an addict? I simply asked to refill my order... the doctor said they'd run tests first to make sure I wasn't abusing them... .5mg.. that's such a low dose and I wasn't asking to renew my prescription early or anything. I sometimes even refilled late if I didn't need them as much that month... To be fair though, I now haven't had any Xanax for a couple of years and I still have panic attacks but I've learned to manage without them by living less of a life. Sometimes I wish I had something I could take when I experience them, but I always make it through. Maybe they were a bit of a crutch. That's just not the way to learn you're using them wrong if that's the case. I may have needed to be better educated, but not accused of being an addict.

Thinking back, I remember being practically scolded as a kid for being sick and needing to go to the doctor. Doctors are expensive and my brother and I both had medical issues. I think my mom was just at her wits' end with the bills and my dad would just say "you're fine" and that I was overexaggerating... and I probably was as a kid. Especially seeing as my dad was a medic in the military, if I wasn't missing a limb, I was probably fine. As a kid, I just didn't have the life experience to not be scared when I'd get dizzy or sick. I now know I can get dizzy every day and push through the work week. I now know I can fall... hit my head on multiple occasions.. and be told by EMTs to just sleep it off (literally happened recently). Part of me is angry that I've had to go through those experiences practically ignored... and another part of me sees how resilient the human body really is. I guess I can see why doctors don't think much is a big deal. I just wish I didn't find these not-so-big deals terrifying.

Recently, and I mean this week, I had my medical PTSD triggered. I fainted this past Saturday and hit my head. I was so scared because this just keeps happening and I feel like I have no answers. I just want to know what I can do differently, whether it be medication or a better diet, to keep them from happening again. I'm already working on a better diet and had been when it happened... I do understand, now anyway, that it could be something so simple. And yet, until talking to some girlfriends of mine and then getting a nutritionist, I didn't know this. One of my doctors should have explored my diet sooner, in my opinion.

A couple of months ago... I took my partner in to see our doctor and I went with him into the appointment. It was almost a night and day difference in how I've been treated, it felt like. He went in due to "being tired" and having a harder time getting and keeping... you know, a boner. So, the doctor went over all kinds of things it could be, asked about his diet and mood and etc. Not only did he get a full blood panel workup (he had several vials of blood taken), but our doctor explained what he could eat for a better diet to give him more energy and he put him on depression medication.. all in one visit. I was so surprised.

So, I thought that when I called my doctor to tell him about another fainting spell and discuss with him what my nutritionist had relayed to me, he would know what tests to order. Instead, he said "I need to know exactly which tests to order... I can't just go ordering a bunch of tests, you're insurance won't cover it." I cried. PTSD overload. Fear turned into anger and I said to my doctor "you need to step up your game, you should know what kind of tests to order." His response was "you have to be more polite." I just broke down and cried uncontrollably at this point. He then huffed and said "fine" he would put in an order for all of the tests. By then, I was too triggered to go get them done.

I didn't sleep for 48 hours, I had flashbacks to being in the hospital and became irrationally afraid after lack of sleep of being hospitalized again. That was my PTSD hitting a crisis point.

Thankfully, after talking to my psychiatrist as well as getting some other stressors off of my plate, I was finally able to sleep and my mood and PTSD recalibrated themselves. It didn't help that one of my cats was and is sick and I had to take her to the vet and then I didn't have a good couple's therapy appointment all in the same 48 hour period.

I'm so so tired.

#PTSDSupportAndRecovery #PTSD #MedicalPtsd

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Confessions of a Spoonie 🥄

Though I am not religious, it being Sunday seemed apt in terms of posting this meme. And in the spirit of confessions, I thought it also presented a good opportunity to voice the things we don’t ordinarily go out of our way to talk about.

Here is mine: since childhood, my excess adrenaline due to hyper vigilance, PTSD, and anxiety led to a lifetime habit of stimming (self stimulatory behaviour associated with self soothing or self regulation). It is embarrassing because I’m not always aware that I’m doing it. I have however found that oxygen therapy is helping to make me more calm and less likely to stim—but I think it’s unlikely the habit will ever go away entirely.

Anyone else care to use this safe space, to share something that you feel like you can’t easily talk about with others? 🤍

#PTSD #PTSDSupportAndRecovery #Anxiety #Autism #AutismSpectrumDisorder #SensoryProcessingDisorder #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder #MyCondition #DistractMe #ChronicFatigue #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #ChronicFatigueSyndrome

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Happy September! National day of Encouragement!! ❤️

Be an encouragement, and receive encouragement! This goes hand in hand with kindness, too! Remember, if you see someone without a smile..give them one of yours! 😊❤️

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The Silent Echo: How Childhood Trauma Can Shape Adult Health

I did not know I was suffering from PTSD well into my 30s. Fortunately, once I was able to identify that the vivid waves of flashbacks were PTSD induced and discussed it with my therapist, I was able to push the tide back so they became less frequent, and eventually disappeared altogether.

Sadly, I know this is not the case for everyone. Yet in coming to terms with my childhood trauma, while progressively getting more unwell—it has become increasingly clear that there is some connection. While there is awareness that traumatic experiences can influence mental wellbeing, emerging research from the past decade reveals the potential of Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) in shaping physical health outcomes later in life. ACEs are traumatic experiences from our formative years. These range from witnessing or undergoing abuse to experiencing various forms of familial dysfunction. A 1998 Kaiser study, found a direct correlation between the number of ACEs a child faces and major adult health risks, including conditions like heart disease, cancer, and liver disease. Additional research indicates that those with high ACE scores might also be more susceptible to autoimmune diseases, headaches, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and immune system alterations.

My own ACE score is 8/10. One of things that particularly resonates with me about the connection between ACEs and chronic illness, is that I know I became hyper vigilant from a young age due to being co-opted into parenthood by both my parents. My mother was a narcissist, and my father, while being the more stable parent had a degree of covert narcissism that meant neither of them were emotionally available. Instead, they demanded this emotional support from me. Things only got worse, when my mother got remarried to a violent drunk more broken than she is, which meant I was treading on at least three layers of eggshells every day of my young life.

The impact of emotional trauma in our early years, can lead to significant physical changes mirroring those observed in PTSD patients. Specifically, trauma can change the size, shape, and connectivity in areas of the brain such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which regulate emotions, stress, fear, and memories. These changes can perpetually activate the body's stress response system, leading to heightened inflammation, issues such as sleep disturbances and gut dysbiosis, that can pave the way for a tsunami of other physical ailments.

When I look back on my health journey there were signs from early on in my childhood, that were ignored. While my mother loved going to doctors, and I think she had some form of munchausens by proxy, her particular fixation was chest infections and little else. I have a vivid memory from my early teens of damaging the cartilage in my right knee that was hot to the touch, and inflamed for almost a year… I ended up saving my pocket money and buying a knee guard as the only form of self treatment that I knew how to offer myself. Then there were the frequent nosebleeds that started when I was about 9 years old. Again, no trip to the doctor. These episodes were viewed as an inconvenience, but one that would inevitably pass—so I guess it was not deemed worthy of further investigation or treatment.

As I write this, it becomes poignantly clear that through my parents’ lack of concern for my health, I learned to simply ignore physical discomfort. Establishing a pattern of self neglect that would take me until my 40s and a breaking point in my health, to finally prioritise my own wellbeing above all else.

Recognising these far reaching implications of childhood trauma and neglect on adult health underscores the urgent need for comprehensive mental and physical healthcare that acknowledges these connections, is the support we all need and deserve. Unfortunately, I think we have a long way to go before this kind of integrative healthcare happens. In the interim, I can only offer this advice: if you find yourself with toxic people in your life who are not concerned about your well being, and take more than they give, the sooner you address these dysfunctional relationships, the better.

Trust me I’ve done the wheelchair work… and perhaps the most important thing I learned from the experience was this: my unstable childhood made me incredibly resilient to life’s many storms, and far too quick to share my umbrella with others. This was an unconscious choice to begin with, but now I’m aware of it, I’ve consciously uncoupled myself from this unguarded openness, and quietly traded in my umbrella for a much smaller one ☂️

#PTSD #Anxiety #PostTraumaticStressDisorder #Trauma #ChronicFatigue #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #Fibromyalgia #Abuse #Depression #Insomnia #PTSDSupportAndRecovery #Selfcare #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder

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I am gentle

I got this sticker at my psychiatrist. I relate to it so much. Except that I someday I will make sure people know the violence I went through to become this gentle, insightful, caring, knowing, and kind. My hardships will be visible someday, and I will have the confidence to share my reality with the world. #PTSD #PTSDSupportAndRecovery #CPTSD #ComplexPTSD

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So tired !!

First off , my name is Becca . I battle depression. I battle with anxiety and I have a hard time. I get so depressed and down on myself that I feel like I’m not good enough. I also fight a chronic illness called fibromyalgia every day I’m in pain sometimes I feel like I’m a alien in this world. The town I live in they’re mean to me. They don’t understand my battles and my struggles they think that just because they smile, I have an easy life but they have no idea, I was recently married, and now . I am separated because he was too abusive to me and now, I’m battling really strong depression and I don’t know what to do. That’s why I came here. I’m so happy to be set free from the marriage , I’m separated now I have been for a year and a half.
I need advice on how to cope because truly, I don’t think I can do it anymore. #Depression #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Fibromyalgia #MentalHealth #PTSD #PTSDSupportAndRecovery #Trauma

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Phew! Went to the library. Faxed a thing. Now I need a dang nap! Why!? (PTSD. Hyperalertness. Angsiety in public.)

My mouth taists like "metal." I'm physically sore. I'm slightly shaking. I'm emotionally exhausted.... basically because there were people in the library, NICE, CONTENTED PEOPLE. I have also not faxed many things in my life...and the card reader for the fax machine malfunctioned so I had to talk to the perfectly friendly IT guy. The whole thing took less than 1 hour including a very little bit of driving.

What was I faxing? It was a doctor's note to get excused from jury duty. This, what I feel like right now, is exactly why me doing jurry duty would be a very bad idea. This is me on less than an hour in the librairy. I have no idea what I'd be like towards the end of a day in the court house... predictably some flavor of no fun for anybody.

FYI: I actually want to do this jurry duty. I know, the job itself is usually a real slog, but I believe in civic duty and giving people a fair trial. Sometimes having values and doing the right thing kindof sucks, at least personally, in the short term. It's important we do this stuff, and make the best of it. In my head we always includes me... anyway. That's what I believe.

I also SUPER HATE having to admit I can't do yet another normal thing! Fact is though...yeah... realistically... I can't. My wife, my therapist, and my psychologyst are in absolute agreement on that point...


I can't tell you all how just GROSS I feel about ALL THIS!!

#PTSD #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #PTSDSupportAndRecovery


I feel silly for even posting this but it's a weird kind of grief I'm really struggling with so please have mercy on me.

So, I've never really been into children, I've always loved animals. I'm married, now aged 55. I've had countless dogs, cats, even horses. I did livestock for the fairs when I was young, I know and have experienced the life and death cycles of the all too short lives of our pets. And I've had some really special animals over the past, from my first dog when I was 5, to the dogs and horses I have today. I also have a long history of depression and anxiety. I have ptsd from medical trauma (I had a pulmonary embolism due to AFib and the ER doc had told me that my situation was very dire and might not survive, it was extremely frightening for me) so COVID was initially quite terrifying for me and still remains a point of fear (I still mask) due to my underlying health conditions. OK, enough of the background.

I have two rescue dogs, Bella and Lola. Lola we got as a puppy, and she is one of a kind. I've never had a dog like this. Smart, emotive, intuitive, funny, vocal, beautiful, unique...much to the point where I have found myself grieving her loss in advance, if that makes any sense. We became even closer over the pandemic, working from home, and then she had both knees replaced so I was her nursemaid and she lived in my bedroom where she's pretty much stayed ever since.

I often find myself looking at Lola and saddened, sometimes to the point of tears, knowing that I will lose her and feeling like when that day comes, I won't be whole again. I'm not sure how this has happened. I've never fixated on an animal like this before. It's like knowing that someone has a terminal illness. In an animal's case, it's knowing that their life is short. But instead of enjoying her while I have her, every day feels bittersweet because it's a day less instead of a day more. Now she's aged 8, and as a larger breed, the feeling that time is growing short is getting more intense and my grief seems to be growing with it.

I know the obvious answer is to see a therapist. I just wonder, has this happened to any of you, whether about an animal or a human? Or is this really way out there? It's so painful, it's such a painful thing to look at her with such love and such hurt at the same time. I sometimes feel like I won't survive her loss when it happens. Despite having family, and friends, that the absence will be too much for me. Maybe this is a pandemic/lockdown mental health issue. I just don't know. But I had to get this out somewhere, even if it's weird. Because I don't understand it and it scares me a little. Thanks for listening, and I hope you can be kind.

#Grief #Depression #Anxiety #PTSDSupportAndRecovery #PulmonaryEmbolism #AtrialFibrillationAndStroke

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