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PTSD/Depression after trauma/ sudden death.

(68 Posts)
cordialqueen Tue 16-Jun-20 11:19:57

Posting for traffic really but does anyone on have experience of this or supported a SO who experiences this .
I supposeI am what the day to day reality felt like and what helped . If it lasted long and how your your SO feelS right now .
Thank you for reading .

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cordialqueen Tue 16-Jun-20 12:11:39

Anyone?

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CautiousPractice Tue 16-Jun-20 13:27:20

I am currently receiving treatment for PTSD following a trauma.
I am fairly recently diagnosed, as its been less than 6 months since the "trauma event".
Its been rough on both me and my partner. I experience flash backs which are very distressing, am struggling with my emotions, will snap at him over nothing, will have days were I can barely function. I avoid certain situations that may cause flash backs which means I barely leave the house over irrational fears. I rely on him a lot to do things like shopping and just being there when I need him.
There are a lot of materials out there. I recommend looking on the mind website as they have a section on supporting someone with PTSD.

cordialqueen Tue 16-Jun-20 13:41:37

Thank you for sharing and I wish you the very best .

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Shefliesonherownwings Tue 16-Jun-20 14:20:55

Hi OP, my DH has just been assessed as having PTSD after we both went through a traumatic event. We are also in the very early days and our trauma was only 7 months ago.

DH has just received a referral for specialist therapy but hasn't yet started it. Hopefully he will later this month. Things came to a head for him recently. He could not cope with work anymore, had angry outbursts and also sobbing breakdowns. He has very vivid flashbacks that he says go round and round in his head almost constantly but it is particularly bad at night. He doesn't sleep well, often not getting to sleep until 5 or 6am.

He feels less pressure having taken sick leave from work and has started doing some mindfulness exercises and also tries to walk/run/play golf/do DIY in an effort to distract and tire himself out. I suspect only once he starts therapy will he truly address the issues. I hope so anyway, it breaks my heart to see him like this.

cordialqueen Tue 16-Jun-20 15:12:47

Thanks for responding . It sounds horrific. I wish you both well

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AllieAct Tue 16-Jun-20 23:08:23

I was diagnosed with PTSD a year ago, following a trauma my husband and I experienced 5 years ago.

The day to day for me has been anxiety in various levels of severity, particularly when triggered. I can go weeks feeling almost normal then it is triggered again and it starts the spiral. On the worst days it did feel unmanageable - like I was being buried alive with my thoughts.

The thing that helped me hugely has been talking therapy (CBT) - I learnt that the anxiety wasn’t dangerous and that I could learn to live with it which in turn has made it less severe.

My husband has been hugely supportive (he was more of an onlooker to the trauma) just be reassuring me that things will get better, allowing me to talk about it and basically being very patient. I imagine it’s very hard for him, and I very much appreciate it.

AllieAct Tue 16-Jun-20 23:10:05

(I went through periods where it was at its worst level for months on end - since receiving therapy I consider myself recovered. Still some bad days but on the whole, manageable. There is light at the end of the tunnel)

LinemanForTheCounty Wed 17-Jun-20 00:55:17

Hi OP. Sorry that your dp is going through this. I developed PTSD after a trauma and although I initially accessed CBT for what I thought was anxiety it was only when my therapist pinpointed that it was PTSD and aimed the treatment towards that that it made a difference. And for me it was pretty much a complete cure. I mean, I'm changed by what I experienced but I'm no longer angry and having flashbacks.

I don't know what else would have helped other than specific trauma therapy - I tried mindfulness, yoga etc myself and that bit of CBT but none of it was much use. My therapist explained it as being like a cupboard full of crap that keeps spilling over into your life and not processing the memory means you're continually trying to close a door rather than taking everything off the shelves, unpacking them and putting them back in the proper place.

For yourself, if you're around someone as angry and unhappy as I was, please look after you. Your partner is dealing with big unmanageable emotions and being around that is draining and can be frightening. You need to let them know when you've has enough and need to withdraw from what they're presenting you with

LinemanForTheCounty Wed 17-Jun-20 00:57:01

When you've had enough

nannyplumsmagranny Wed 17-Jun-20 01:02:41

I had ptsd years ago after trauma.

I felt like I was on a constant fear flight or fight mode, the hair on the back of my neck was standing up all day every day unless I was asleep.

I was prescribed diazepam and the difference in taking 10mg a day was phenomenal. I could have a conversation, I wasn't having panic attacks, I didn't feel on edge all the time anticipating what would happen next, I felt able to cope.

I had CBT, prescribed anti depressants and used diazepam for really bad days. I also had beta blockers. I used Andrew Johnson meditation and some on YouTube too.

It was awful but I got through it but it took just over a year for me to feel better.

Dinosauratemydaffodils Wed 17-Jun-20 01:16:53

I have a diagnosis of ptsd, the original trauma was 20 years ago and I have been mostly functional since. Something else traumatic happened 5 years ago that threw it all back up with some new added bits and in many ways that was harder to deal with than the original event. I didn't have therapy originally, was offered but declined. With hindsight that was a huge mistake. I've subsequently had 2 years worth which helped. I'm still very jumpy and I still have nightmares but a lot less now.

As other posters have said, rage, sleeplessness (I didn't feel safe and I still need a night light), flashbacks and just not being able turn my thoughts off. Constantly circling on the event. Running helped. The metronome bounce of my feet off the pavement and pushing myself til I hurt. Pilates too. Complicated jigsaws and learning to knit also. Anything you need to focus on
Also it can take time. Lockdown has made me realise that my psychiatrist is right, I need more therapy and I need to figure out how to forgive myself for the choices I made during the trauma itself.

Make time/space for yourself too. flowers for you both.

cordialqueen Wed 17-Jun-20 09:01:19

Thanks for sharing to-all pp's.
It is horrible to watch. I feel very pushed out. Almost like he is being rude and doesn't want me around but still replies to me and engages. He is angry and sad. It is like I don't know who he is anymore. I'm finding it really difficult to not walk away and sometimes i think that that is what he wants.

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LinemanForTheCounty Wed 17-Jun-20 11:02:06

That must be very difficult for you. It's extremely stressful supporting someone during a time of mental crisis. I think it's helpful to think about how you can frame your own approach to this, as this is something within your control and actually you matter too.

How you arrive at that us up to you but I'd be looking at: are you safe? how long have you been together and how committed are you/do you wish to be? What specific behaviour is problematic for you? What would alleviate that ie what do you require from him? Is he getting support? Is he willing to access it? What are you prepared to take on and what are your boundaries?

Dinosauratemydaffodils Wed 17-Jun-20 11:45:13

It is like I don't know who he is anymore

I think experiencing a trauma can hit your sense of self quite hard. It certainly redefined how I saw myself/my place in the world and not in a good way. It's entirely possible you don't know who he is anymore because he doesn't either.

cordialqueen Wed 17-Jun-20 12:49:52

Thank you for your kind responses.
I am going to sit and write this afternoon and try to sort out my own mind as I feel utterly helpless, confused,rejected , hurt and dismissed.
His grief is at the forefront of my mind all the time. I am struggling to know who this cold and hard and depressed man is. I am struggling that he has not asked about me or has not shown care towards me since his trauma some weeks ago.
He admits to depression, anxiety, fear , hipelessness am despair. He is in a total mess and I don't know what to do anymore . His responses to me are short and abrupt. He doesn't want to engage and I understand that but it hurts. As I said, it is like being with a man who I don't recognise.
I instigate contact all the time so my first decision is to stop that but then would that hurt him ? I'm just so unsettled re of everything and I have nobody to talk to that can relate.

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Dinosauratemydaffodils Wed 17-Jun-20 13:29:46

I am struggling that he has not asked about me or has not shown care towards me since his trauma some weeks ago.

I hadn't met dh when I had my first traumatic event but after the 2nd, I know I treated dh badly. I was so obsessed with what happened, it filled 100 percent of my thoughts. Everything was seen through it's twisted lens. Every thing he said was wrong, became another stick to beat myself (and him) with. I think I absolutely wanted him to leave because it fit my self loathing driven narrative. Obviously it may be different for your SO but trauma can be very self destructive.

What if any professional support is he getting?

cordialqueen Wed 17-Jun-20 14:02:30

He isn't getting any. He wants to get through this as quickly as possible on his own terms. His stubborn and headstrong personality is isnt supporting him. He seems to have a massive issue with being unable to control his emotions. I thinks it's the lack of control that he is struggling mostly with.
He refuses any medication despite his doctor trying to coax him, as he is not sleeping or eating and is so angry. He has been rude and offensive to the majority of his family and friends.As I said , this is not who he is whatsoever. A more loving and kind man you could not meet.
Perhaps he is trying to push me away but doesn't have the courage to do so. Would it be terrible if me to let him contact me from now on? I expect he will not. It feels like I am pulling at him when he doesn't want to be disturbed. He really has retreated and isolated himself from those who love him.

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Dinosauratemydaffodils Thu 18-Jun-20 18:19:22

Would it be terrible if me to let him contact me from now on?

I certainly wouldn't blame you. I've been hell to live with at points. I certainly think the fact that he's refusing help is a red flag. I refused help too for a long time and it was a huge mistake. This isn't something which just stops or goes away by itself. I think trying to force yourself better has the opposite effect (with the benefit of hindsight). The more you put a time frame on it, the more you have another reason to beat yourself up when it doesn't happen. It's just else to rage about.

I got to the point where the doctor said I could either engage, start trying to look after myself, eat etc or they'd have no choice but to make those decisions for me. It was a rude awakening. In many ways, I've lost a massive chuck of my life to PTSD.

Do you live together?

cordialqueen Thu 18-Jun-20 19:14:41

Hello and thanks.No we don't live together. He is in the depths of despair and I have stopped encouraging him to get help. As I said previously , he is a stubborn and headstrong man. I've sent him a message offering specific practical support that he needs , that he has not answered so I will stop contact from now until he feels better. Personally I need a mental break too.He would happily stay in bed all day long.I
am emotionally exhausted so I cannot
Imagine how his mind is.We are falling apart but there is no point in forcing it. He is not in a fit state to have a relationship right now I think but I would not abandon him either.

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cordialqueen Sat 20-Jun-20 10:28:30

I'm really struggling not to contact him as I am so worried about his mental health. I have no contact with his friends or family so have no idea what's going on .I sent s simple message saying I was thinking of him and he hasn't read it despite being on line at the time. Do I simply leave things now ? What can I do?

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TheAdventuresoftheWishingChair Sat 20-Jun-20 11:05:23

Just remember you have every right to walk away. It's very difficult living with someone who is pushing you away or who is angry or who can't or won't get help for what is a serious problem. You are only human.

There is some help out there for PTSD. EMDR can be very effective and any kind of therapy will be beneficial with the right therapist. But your dp has to want to get help and has to engage and no one can force that. You sound exhausted and particularly when someone won't get help, it's incredibly draining. You aren't a bad person if you step away. It's like if he was walking around with a badly broken leg and refusing to get help - there's only so much you can sit there and watch their pain and be supportive.

cordialqueen Sat 20-Jun-20 11:16:06

Thanks we don't live together which is been a blessing in ways. He is avoiding me and I want to help him although I am an emotional mess now too.ii don't want to step away but I don't want to be an emotional
Crutch either as I am not strong enough to do that.I guess I am just worried about him.

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cordialqueen Sat 20-Jun-20 11:19:02

I guess I am torn and don't know what to do for best.

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LinemanForTheCounty Tue 23-Jun-20 23:53:06

Sweetheart, I really think you are putting too much on yourself. If you had committed to the long haul with him prior it would be different but you haven't, and this is massive. Gently removing yourself means you stay protected while if you wish leaving the door open for him when he is ready. But if he's angry and lashing out and refusing help, I think you've done what you can for now. I'm sorry. xx

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