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#975 - 06/07/05 11:23 PM What can you guys tell me about PTSD?
Grobut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/05
Posts: 56
Loc: Denmark
Especially, im interested in any connection with stomache and chest pains, which i've been trying to search for in vain.. i've heard talk of a connection there, but im unable to find duccumentation.

Allso, have any of you guys undergone treatment for PTSD? and if so, what are your findings? is it worth it? does it help?

_________________________
"Bring back the Superman in me, Clark Kent is such a nerveous wreck" - Kashmir

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#976 - 06/08/05 03:38 AM Re: What can you guys tell me about PTSD?
MurrayNYC Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/30/02
Posts: 141
Loc: New York
Stomach and chest pains are not specific to any psychiatric diagnosis in themselves, but if part of a spectrum of symptoms, they could be part of a PTSD. Check out this site:

http://www.mental-health-today.com/ptsd/dsm.htm

PTSD is definitely amenable to treatment, including psychotherapy (also possibly including modalities such as EMDR) and medications.

Murray


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#977 - 06/08/05 05:15 PM Re: What can you guys tell me about PTSD?
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Murray mentioned EMDR in connection with your question about PTSD......gee that's a lot of initials isn't?

I started EMDR therapy a few weeks ago to help resolve my intense phobia around flying, most probably they say some residual debris from ptsd. I'll let you know how the EMDR turns out.

Anyway, just to let you know a bit about my experience, here's what it's been like for me the last couple of years.

I've been taking some of the anti-depressants that are also used for anxiety and ptsd. Your psychiatrist will know which ones they are. Not all meds are useful for the same things.

I take Zoloft, Effexor and Gabitril.

I've consistently used one-on-one psychotherapy, which I have found to be very useful, especially for long term progress.

Also participated in a group therapy situation for about 2 and a half years--very effective, but very tough for me and very, very triggering. Not for the faint of heart, IMO.

I have made tremendous progress in the last few years, coming from a place where I could barely get out of bed, was crippled by incredible anxiety and fear about travelling by car, subway, bus and especially by air. For a period of more than a year, I thought about dying every single day.

The types of pains you mention were also part of my litany of complaints; really sore muscles and joint pain, headaches, GI problems, sleep disorders etc.

My startle reflex was so pronounced that I had a hard time functioning in any normal outside of the home environment.

In summary, I guess I would say that all these symptoms together really significantly interfered with my opportunities to lead a productive, happy life. One at a time, they could have been manageable--maybe. But the whole array of dysfunction was crippling.

I can't stress enough how important it was for me to get effective, ongoing professional help. I was lucky enough to be in New York City at the onset and they have a great public mental health system, at least compared to Texas, where I am now.

I will always be grateful to the people at the Baltic Street Outpatient Clinic in Brooklyn who helped me when no one else could or would.

And my shrink there was a crabby, tough old man. But he insisted that I have a complete physical while he began my a/d therapy. And it turned out I had some serious physical health problems that I was unaware of.

The main thing I would like to share with you is that it is possible to find relief from ptsd and severe depression and all the physical manifestations that come about as a result of trauma.

It has happened for me over the past years. It has been incredibly hard at times. But I have found some of the most caring people along the way who have helped me more than I ever thought possible. And many of them have been here at MS.

This ain't a job for amateurs though. Don't try (like I did) to diagnose yourself--even people who have medical degrees are supposed to seek professional help.

Sometimes I think I want to put a label on what's wrong with me so it won't be so scary. Nothing worse than the fear of the unknown...Still keep an open mind. And find some good professionals to help you along the way.

I can't imagine doing without them.

Hope my experience helps you some.

Regards,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#978 - 06/08/05 07:40 PM Re: What can you guys tell me about PTSD?
Grobut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/05
Posts: 56
Loc: Denmark
That was very nice to hear dwf, thank you.

Not knowing is really the kicker here, i do know i have no heart problems, durring a massive panic attack i ended up at hospital hooked up to an EKG and nothing was wrong, but i certainly would like to know why.. perhabs its about time i went to the doc even though i hate doing that.

_________________________
"Bring back the Superman in me, Clark Kent is such a nerveous wreck" - Kashmir

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#979 - 06/08/05 10:06 PM Re: What can you guys tell me about PTSD?
ForeverFighting Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: New Mexico, USA
I was in my teens, and my family was heading home from "church". Suddenly I started sweating and shaking, just leaned against the door of the car. It was really weird. Bad enough that my parents took me to an "Immediate Care" center, like an outpatient emergency room. I remember the doctor asking my parents if I was on drugs, which I wasn't. He checked me some more and asked me the most ridiculous question I had ever heard: "Do you get along with your father?" I was incredibly angry at the doctor for even suggesting that this was all "in my head". I think I called him a "quack" after we left and for several years after that.

Somehow, that doctor knew the truth. I don't know how, and I didn't even consider the possibility at the time that he might be right. But after I got married and started separating myself from my parents, all of a sudden a lot of my health problems went away. I don't remember if anything had happened with my dad that day or not. He wasn't the SA person in my life. He was just a controlling, violent, selfish man who hated the fact that he had a boy. If you ever see the movie "Sleeping With The Enemy", the bad guy in the movie is just like my dad.

I still put my stress in specific places in my body. It'll be my neck pain for a month, and then my wrist, then my stomach, then I can't sleep. I just try to put it in the least inconvenient place I can if I can concentrate enough to control it.

First, I'd check to make sure you're healthy. Don't just assume it's mental. A lot of mine was, and I still get the tight chest sometimes. I read something about how our bodies are still taking the protective stance, which involves a lot more muscles than necessary. I have to remind myself sometimes to breathe normally and relax. It's not just about PTSD. It's about all the feelings that have overwhelmed us. PTSD is jumping at the sound of someone in the room. Treating just the PTSD can sometimes ignore the tremendous anger and pain that have followed us all these years since the SA.

Take care of yourself, OK? Write all you feel comfortable saying here. We're here to listen, and we definitely understand what you're going through.

_________________________
ForeverFighting

"This search for the truth--it's not for the faint of heart."--Goren on 'Law & Order: CI'
"The former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart."--Isaiah 65:17

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#980 - 06/08/05 11:07 PM Re: What can you guys tell me about PTSD?
Grobut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/05
Posts: 56
Loc: Denmark
I have a feeling its very much related to the stress of my "hyper vigilance", im allways on edge, you know? every little sound is a potential threat i must confirm or deny as such, its no real suprice i feel stressed out alot.

And they say stress is often felt in the stomache, allso when i get a hurt in the chest i can feel its related to my stomache and guts, the guts mostly.


So i considder it a bit like a stepping stone twords healing, if i could bring my stress and fear down, i could probably better focus my energy, and thoughts, because this crap just takes it out of me.

_________________________
"Bring back the Superman in me, Clark Kent is such a nerveous wreck" - Kashmir

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#981 - 06/09/05 09:43 PM Re: What can you guys tell me about PTSD?
Sinking Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 577
Loc: Took my ball and went home.
I'd been experiencing PTSD symptoms for years but just thought that's the way I was. Now I recognize it for what it is and, knowing how I react to certain situations, helps me to manage it better.

My therapist diagnosed me on our first or second session. She asked if I self-medicate, yes, with beer and pot on a nightly basis. She asked if I have trouble sleeping, yes, for years I've been getting no more than 2 hours of consecutive sleep per night. She asked if I had nightmares, yes, terrifying nightmares of a large man standing over my bed or over my daughter's bed. She asked if I felt stressed or anxious, yes, both of those most of the time.

She repeatedly suggested that I see a nurse practitioner for a consultation and subsequent meds. I informed her that I would fight her all the way on the meds. Why go from one addiction to another?

Well, it's been about a year now and my therapy has brought me a long, long way. I've made changes in my life that have reduced the anxiety, I still don't sleep well and still use beer and a little pot to help get those first few hours of sleep, but that's about it. I feel more rested, less stressed, fewer nightmares.

I think if you look at the other responses you'll see that we all react differently and different things work for different people in different ways. Meditation and Yoga are supposed to be very helpful. I tried them a few times and LOVED the calming affect.

If you have a therapist, discuss it with him/her and decide together what methods might best work for you. In the meantime, the following link will be a good resource for information on symptoms and treatments: http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/

I hope some of this is helpful to you. - Peace - John


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#982 - 06/11/05 03:18 AM Re: What can you guys tell me about PTSD?
eyesopen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/05
Posts: 10
Loc: New England
Summary: Yes you can get over it, everyone has a different formula that is best for them. And it is worth whatever effort you can put towards it IMO. Good luck. I've added a brief rundown of my dealing with it, hope it can help.

I suffered from heavy PTSD from age 14 - 24, and slightly lesser amounts until age 47 (I stopped beating people that were trying to hurt me at age 25).

Other complications include going bipolar at about age 14, but not being diagnosed until age 42. The Lithium I take for that has definite affects on cutting back PTSD, and allowing a lot more clarity of thought so I could get at other issues - like SA.

At age 25 I started a comprehensive program of self improvement which included diet, excercise, yoga, studying and getting certified in several "new age" body therapies. And therapy. That all helped.

But, for me, the final cure was connected with getting out of my intense denial of having suffered so much abuse as a child (I remembered it all - but never allowed myself to think that it actually affected my life - since I was in charge (sure). Getting over the denial and dealing face to face with what my real issues were (not including bipolar) allowed me to process and deal with a lot of issues quickly - most successfully to date - PTSD.

It is a great feeling to be in control (for real), and just stay in who you are and just deal with everything in every day, and not let things twist you into a pretzel when it goes over some threshold - which tends to distance you from the people you are closest too.

Best regards,
W

_________________________
Only in growth, reform, and change paradoxically enough, is true security to be found.

- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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#983 - 06/11/05 07:55 AM Re: What can you guys tell me about PTSD?
Grobut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/05
Posts: 56
Loc: Denmark
Thanks for all your replies and thougts guys, im going to take the bull by the horns and do something about it, first step is letting my family know, they know about the CSA, my depression and that im diagnosed with Schitzotypical disorder, but not about the PTSD symptoms i struggle with, thats going to change today!

Next up is getting the actual diagnosis, looking at a list of symptoms i show about 80% of them, more than plenty to qualify for that diagnosis, so thats just a matter of having it rubber stamped, and then we'll see what doors open in form of help..

_________________________
"Bring back the Superman in me, Clark Kent is such a nerveous wreck" - Kashmir

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