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PTSD - question especially for men

(21 Posts)
Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 09:02:33

Is anybody knowledgeable about ptsd here (especially male)?

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 09:11:20

Any people with ptsd on this boards?

MorganKitten Sat 23-May-20 09:20:55

I know a bit about it as my ex had it (former army)

Lockheart Sat 23-May-20 09:22:28

If you want male experiences OP you might have more luck posting on another board. Mostly women on here...

1stTimeMama Sat 23-May-20 09:22:30

My husband has PTSD, what is your concern?

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 09:23:18

Dh is ex mil too. Would it be okay for you to have a look at my thread in relationships? www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3917313-PTSD-Coronavirus-question-for-men

Valkadin Sat 23-May-20 09:25:13

One of my diagnosis is PTSD, I would recommend you look at the NHS website or the royal college of psychiatrists. Flashbacks, actually being in that moment again mean a loss of sense of self and reality for me. Triggers can be known and unknown until they happen, a person may be avoidant of any situation for fear of a trigger. All rationality goes out the window however small the risk. It is treatable but it will never be over. PTSD is more than a vivid memory you literally feel, smell etc that exact moment again, well I do.

If the person is having behaviour you can’t deal with and doing the I can’t help being the way I am maybe it’s true. It doesn’t mean you have to live with it though. My DH almost left me at one point when I was seriously ill and who can blame him.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 09:26:15

My concern in basically that dh is feeling very low but not discussing it with anybody but me. He is afraid his loved ones might catch coronavirus and die and thinks it is unbecoming a man to be afraid of such things. I explained in the other thread I linked here. Posted here for traffic, hope it is okay.

walkingchuckydoll Sat 23-May-20 09:27:20

I'm a woman but had ptsd. A good therapist helped. Is he willing to try therapy? I don't think any friend could have helped me tbh.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 09:28:59

@Valkadin: basically the Coronavirus is a trigger for him because one of his friends had sepsis and it was one of the things that gave him PTSD.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 09:31:21

He is typically discussing his ptsd with other men who have it too but ashamed to discuss this. He thinks it is unbecoming a man. I explained on the other thread.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 09:35:40

My question is: do you think he is right to assume that the other men will make fun of him and tell him he is not a real man?

Valkadin Sat 23-May-20 09:38:13

I just saw what you wrote and the crux of this issue is men won’t
share their feelings especially their fears. There is some truth in that it’s one of the reasons I think men are more prone to violence, men die younger and lots of other stuff, if you want to try and undo all that society has squashed in to all of us since time began your unfortunately going to struggle. But you can try and make him get professional help. One of my ex colleagues was ex military and saw a few of his friends die in NI. He was messed up but he chose to just not have relationships, live with anyone and was very insular. Very sad as he was actually a lovely man.

People with MH issues deserve to be loved and have a life as much as everyone else but if they will not get help and your having to live with behaviours that affect your MH then you have to question if it is worth the risk to you. It’s the reason lots of people with serious MH issues struggle to remain in relationships. It’s sad.

Valkadin Sat 23-May-20 09:40:20

His friends are known to him. I have no idea if they will be like that but if he is at that stage of self harm then he needs to seek help, has he ever had professional help?

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 09:51:24

I think that they wouldn’t make fun of him. Think they aren’t that cruel but then I am not a man.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 23-May-20 09:53:17

I think he should be accessing proper support. What therapy has he had in the past?

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 09:54:06

CBT

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 10:24:02

@Lockheart Is there any board similar like this but for men?

TooTrueToBeGood Sat 23-May-20 10:26:33

One of those rare occasions on MN where hopefully it is OK to say "man here".

OP, I can share my experience to see if it helps. About ten years ago I lost my best friend in a fatal accident whilst we sea kayaking together, just the two of us.

I suffered badly with a combination of PTSD, survivor guilt and depression for about 5 years before I took steps to get help. I left it far too long due to a combination of the "big boys don't cry" nonsense and also feeling that I wasn't deserving of sympathy or support when my friend had lost his life and his family had lost a father and husband. I'm not convinced those attitudes are wholly gender specific, though as a very rough stereotype men do tend to be less open with their emotions than women, not just to their friends and loved ones but to themselves too.

I struggled on, hoping that time would heal, but I was getting steadily worse and it was impacting every aspect of my life. I was underperforming at work and I just wasn't fun to be around. I was lying to myself that I was coping and dealing with it and eventually I reached a point where I couldn't hide form the truth anymore so I looked for help. I spoke to my GP who put me on antidepressants but they just turned me into a zombie and I started having suicidal thoughts so I came off them. I accept I should have gone back to my GP as a change of dose or compound might have helped but I didn't. Instead, I engaged with a counsellor that I was able to access through the employee assistance program by work provides.

Having admitted to myself I wasn't coping, I also decided to be open with my friends, work colleagues and family. I've always believed strongly that we need to get rid of the terrible stigma associated with mental health and I applied that to myself. It made a great difference. Everybody was supportive and empathetic, everybody. I got no sense of being judged negatively or looked down on and it was actually extremely liberating. As to the counselling, it was life changing. I only needed about ten sessions but the difference in me before and after was like night and day. That's from somebody that would have previously considered talking therapies as a load of nonsense and not something for me. I'm now, due to my own experience, a very strong advocate of them.

IMO being a real man is not about stiff upper lip, fighting off attacking barbarians or being the defender of the castle. That's all outdated macho bullshit that holds too many men back in life. Being a man is about being a human being. Being empathetic, caring, considerate and accepting that we are not always right nor are we the leader of our pack. For me, that mindset demonstrates real strength.

I stepped up and addressed my problems not so much for me but for my wife, my children and my friends. My only regret is that it took me so long to see through the bullshit I had subconsciously bought into about what being a strong man really means.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 23-May-20 10:40:35

Thank you very much for sharing @ToTrueToBeGood. flowers I am so sorry that this has happened to you friend.
I am happy you are better now.

Do you have any ideas how to convince him? (Actually I thought about telling his friends what he is going through without having his okay... but then I thought it was a bad idea).

TooTrueToBeGood Sat 23-May-20 10:48:19

I wouldn't tell his friends without his knowledge personally, that could backfire terribly if he found out. They probably know anyway. When I opened up to my social circle that I was struggling and had decided to get help many of them pretty much said it was about time and they knew I wasn't coping.

Try talking with him. Tell him how concerned you are. Tell him that it's hurting you to see him suffering the way he is. Help him understand that there is no shame and anyone that might judge him negatively doesn't have an opinion worth a shit. Seeking help when we need it is not weakness, it is a sign of the inner strength required to admit to that we are human and imperfect.

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