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DD diagnosed with PTSD

(14 Posts)
thebody Mon 09-Jul-12 22:57:09

My dd now 13 has been diagnosed with PTSD following a fatal crash in feb.

Her Close school friends were all injured, 3 very seriously and a teacher was killed.

She was injured too but Physical injuries seem easier to deal with.

She has just had a major panic attack triggered by an upcoming physio appointment. She hates it as reminds her of crash.

She has been diagnosed with PTSD and gettin good help but she wont open up to us, we used to be so close.

Does anyone have any ideas how we as parents can persuade her to 'open up' or should we just hope the help she is getting will suffice. She seems to get hysterical at smallest thing and just want to help her. It's heartbreaking.

QOD Mon 09-Jul-12 23:06:16

How awful, I think you just have to accept that time IS a great healer.

My DD's school burnt to the ground during school lessons, whilst they were trapped on the field, terrifying, no one was actually hurt but it was so horribly shocking. Nothing like what your poor DD has faced but they DO get past it.

Poor thing, take all the help offered, we didn't get any, most children shrugged it off, but a few were affected for years (the whole two yrs dd was in a temporary school building with all her cohorts was atrociously stressful for her - I was ferried about her going back once the school was rebuilt as it looked the same ... She was absolutely fine!). Dd still won't do sleep overs as she over thinks disasters ( we also had an earth quake, a flood and were "trapped" in Sweden area for a week after the ash cloud ... She over reacted to all)

thebody Mon 09-Jul-12 23:45:50

Thanks qod, your poor dd as well it's a shocking image for her, like my dd. she says all she could hear were teachers screaming for the children and each other, she was trapped and we have been told she was just rigid with shock.

Your comment about overreaction to small things rings so true.

Thanks for replying

QuickLookBusy Tue 10-Jul-12 00:09:22

Thebody how awful for your dd, no wonder she has PTSD. I do feel for you as my 18 year old dd has had to have help. Her best friend was killed nearly a year ago.
The shock was immense and it has been a hugely difficult year. She would not open up to me at all, despite us being very close. She was able to talk to our Dr and also a counsellor. However she still finds some situations extremely stressful, anything new or uncertain and she can have panic attacks. Tbh she has been emotionally like a much younger child and has needed a lot of love and support.
But she is improving and I'm sure your dd will too. My dd has just finished doing her A levels. She did get very anxious for the first one and cried during it but she approached her other really confidently. Im so proud of her for that.

I also ended up having some counselling as I was finding the whole thing very stressful. Look after yourself too. X

NaturalNatures Tue 10-Jul-12 00:12:55

It might help you to read up on ptsd so you understand what is happening to her.

I have ptsd for other reasons, it is horrible and I have to be really careful about triggers as it sends me instantly back into the nightmare.

Helping with grounding could work, I tell people to get me to look "at" them as that brings me out of the memory iyswim. A gentle hand once you have her attention and "you're ok now, you're safe now" repeated might help. Getting her to stomp her feet on the ground helps too.


cocolepew Tue 10-Jul-12 00:18:16

Oh Im sorry to hear this, I remember you writing about what it was like when the crash happened.

My DD found cbt a great help (she had a nervous breakdown aged11)

I ended up taking 20mg of citalopram, it made me less jumpy and calmer.

I hope she finds peace of mind.

thebody Tue 10-Jul-12 08:40:03

Quick look, your dd sounds exactly like mine, she also seems to be able to open up to this one psychologist but not to me or dh, I suppose its easier to talk to a stranger. She is due to start high school in sept and is stressing about ( what she sees herself) as little details.

Glad your dd is improving but suspect she will always be vulnerable in times of stress? Do u think it ever goes away? I don't want this to shape her life as it already prevents her from doing things.

Natural thanks, could you just explain the foot tapping? Is it like concentrating on something rhythmetic?? Thanks for reply.

Cocolepew hope your dd is getting better now, did u take medication yourself or was that for dd? If for yourself was that because you were always on edge and expecting doom??? Sounds silly but that's how I feel.

QuickLookBusy Tue 10-Jul-12 12:48:31

thebody, I can really identify with the "on the edge and expecting doom". Every phonecall/someone being late, I expected the worst, I also couldn't say the word "goodbye" to anyone in my family. I always thought I wouldn't see them again. Please go and see your Dr, I had only 5 sessions of CBT and it taught me stratergies which helped me very much.

As I said my Dd has made huge improvements over the past year. Today she has gone on her own to visit a friend, she even has to change trains. We have planned the journey and she went off happy quite confidently. but I will feel much happier when she gets to her destination.
This time last year there is no way on earth she would have coped with this journey. Your DD will get stronger and more confident. She will realise that life can be happy and safe again.

My DDs college were fantastic also. Is your DD's school fully aware of the situation? I think it's very important that all her teachers are aware and that she has someone she can go to if things get too much during the day.

NaturalNatures Tue 10-Jul-12 16:50:30

Hi, the foot tapping is more a stomping of the feet to reconnect with the here and now, rubbing my arms, holding a cup of tea or texturised item (lucky pebble, soft blanket) and focusing on them, how it feels etc helps.

EMDR and TF-CBT are good therapies, Eye Movement Desensitisation something and Trauma Focused CBT.

Survivors often don't want to scare/worry loved ones so find it easier to talk to strangers.

And yes it gets easier, it can take a while but therapy, support and coping mechanisms help

thebody Tue 10-Jul-12 17:50:06

Quick look, so glad your dd coming through this trauma, she is doing so well but totally get that now she is getting there you are still stuck in the 'fight or flight mode' I have been offered help but didn't feel I needed it but I think I will now so as to be strong for family, have 3 other Dcs.

The school are aware but tbh they are struggling with so many traumatised kids and teachers both physically and psychologically theyvareca but overwhelmed.

I also get the not saying goodbye, I am just same with the panic and insist on the older ones texting me frequently, I can't go on a motorway as makes me hugely panicky. Same as dd.

Natural, understand the stomping, for my dd she feels she is not in control and will try this with her.

She is going to have To have emdr and have heard good things about this so fingers crossed.

Thanks so much for posting, it does help.

NaturalNatures Tue 10-Jul-12 18:04:36

Could someone go with her to phsyio?

They/the physio could keep talking to her and get her to focus on the exercises instead of allowing the memories to come flooding back, constant reassurance that she's ok, she's having normal reactions to abnormal experience. She might find music helps her to connect to the here and now and asking the phsyio to explain everything in detail.

It's all trying to give her back the control.

I really hope they are all ok and again I'd reiterate looking after you too.

cocolepew Tue 10-Jul-12 18:21:30

Yes I took the medication. I felt I was always on edge. When she came out of school I immediately started to ask her how her day was, how she was, did anything happen? It was like an inquisition. I couldnt be happy if she wasnt. I always expected the worse (DD had voices telling her to kill herself. She was also convinced I was going to harm her). I was also given beta blockers to take the jittery edge off. I stayed on the citalopram for a couple of years. I waited 3 or 4 months before going to my gp. I wish I hadnt.

My mum kindly paid for DD to see a therapist. It didnt go well with CAHMS at all. DD connected really well with him. She saw him on her own as she opened up better when I wasnt there. He made a cd with her that she listened to everyday in the dark. He had recorded it when she was, not hyonotised, but very nearly IYSWIM?

thebody Wed 11-Jul-12 10:10:22

Natural, yes her older dss who she is very close to have each taken her to physio and that went better, they are in twenties, built like rugby Players and tease her a lot, so she enjoys their more relaxing company than our anxious behaviour iucwim.

Re music the psychologist advised Disney music and that has worked well as it takes her back to a nicer time and is non threatening.

Cocolepew how dreadful for you and your dd, I am glad You are both recovering and dd has found a good therapist.

QuickLookBusy Wed 11-Jul-12 10:29:56

thebody-the recommendation of Disney music is very interesting. My DD has spent every morning before college watching Noddy and Thomas The Tank Engine!

I'm sure your DD is on the right path, you sound a lovely caring mum. I hope she starts to feel stronger physically and mentally, soon. I think it is like any other awful time, say to yourself "this too shall pass."

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