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Previous PTSD ,recovered well but now stress and anxiety building up.

(50 Posts)
woeisme48 Sun 05-Jun-11 22:33:57

Hello all.
I had a nasty bout of PTSD 3/4 yrs ago and recovered quite well. Now I am in a very high -level stress job and I am feeling the stress building up ...I really feel I need a break and during my most stressful days am feeling high stress and close to pain in the chest, and other worries start to come back.
I don't want to give up work but maybe I need more regular leave and breaks to de -stress? Any suggestions welcome, atm I feel I don't want to go in tomorrow.

NanaNina Sun 05-Jun-11 22:48:38

Hi there woeisme - it sounds like you are experiencing some anxiety (chest pains a symptom) as you probably know. Maybe the job is too stressful - is there any chance of changing to something less stressful. Sorry I don't know anything about PTSD but there is a MN (nickname Madmouse) who has a lot of experience in this disorder and I'm sure she will be along soon to talk to you.

madmouse Sun 05-Jun-11 22:48:39

All I can say is that I too had bad PTSD for about two years. I'm just about recovered now, but it seems that my ability to handle stress has not recovered. I've stepped down to a more junior post for this and other reasons and still when say the work pressure is so high that I feel out of control some of the old triggers come back and I get more stressed than the situation warrants.

I'm trying to take myself seriously and to keep an eye on my boundaries. Cut myself some slack in the evening after a bad day. Do things I really enjoy that ground me and calm me (singing mostly). I know that stressy chest pain, for me Rescue Remedy tablets work and sometimes a puff of ventolin (I'm mildly asthmatic), also a quick 5 minute time out to make a cup of tea and breath.

madmouse Sun 05-Jun-11 22:49:07

LOL at crosspost NanaNina grin

woeisme48 Sun 05-Jun-11 23:03:44

Thankyou both for your kind replies.

Nananina.. I think my recent change in work has been a step too far and I am feeling slightly too stretched...I will have to decide whether I resign from this post or whether I can get through the next few months of it.

Madmouse... my experience sounds so similar to yours thankyou. I find there are different types of stresses, some don't affect me at all , but some do. I tend to be [ or used to be]a calm person in general, but as you will understand, when you have had the PTSD experience, things change and I do not want to find the previous triggers coming back. I usually find work takes my mind off the other event, until now when I am feeing over stressed .

madmouse Sun 05-Jun-11 23:09:44

I do think - and I've had help from DH and friends to get this in my head- that you have to accept that you've been through something major and that has left scars. It is unfair and you don't deserve it but it's the way it is.

Like a broken cup put back together, there is always a fault line. But it is still beautiful and useful.

woeisme48 Sun 05-Jun-11 23:26:49

In my case I blame myself at least partly for the impact of everything that happened. And I still think about it everyday although only intermittently now.
When it comes back I start to doubt myself.
I am feeling quite anxious re the forthcoming week...but all I can do is give it my best shot and if it feels too much will have to call it a day.

madmouse Sun 05-Jun-11 23:32:20

well let's hold hands then because I'm anxious too. It's week 3 of my job share's 4 week holiday, last week I could do limited work due to bank holiday and office closure falling on 2 of my 2.5 days, my boss is stressed and leans on me at the best of time and doesn't cope when I'm stressed, the team is overwhelmed and I have so much to do that I can't even prioritise anymore..

leading to helplessness and powerlessness, loss of control

My biggest trigger, both in the original traumatic event and in my son's labour which brought it all back and made me ill.

Oh well keep taking my own advice I guess. Oh, and go to bed...

woeisme48 Sun 05-Jun-11 23:43:32

The traumatic events we can't alter, only control our reactions and responses as best we can.
But normal life is not like that...we can anticipate a normal day.
We are stronger and wiser for what we have been through.
We can cope....the feeling of thinking we could not cope came from emotional distress, not inadequacy.
We are well equipped and wise...good luck tomorrow x

woeisme48 Sun 05-Jun-11 23:57:38

yes stretched is good, out of control not so good

woeisme48 Wed 08-Jun-11 21:31:38

just to check in ...my week has not been as bad as i thought so far and my mood has lifted a bit...
how are you madmouse ?

madmouse Wed 08-Jun-11 21:38:21

glad your week has been better than you feared smile

I'm struggling a bit - had some moments today when I jsut went blank when trying to understand what was happening on the file and transferring it into a letter for the client/

Not helped by some people in the office behaving very unhelpfully. Well at least my boss stated 'you're close to cracking'. well, yes sad

I need to sleep

woeisme48 Wed 08-Jun-11 21:54:45

sounds like a combination of tiredness and anxiety/rushing...been there done that x

madmouse Wed 08-Jun-11 21:58:58

no not even that anxious - that's been much worse quite recently.

just totally overwhelmed and no control and that's too much like what happened then. And that's why I'm sleeping badly again. Can't full relax. Muscle pains too.

woeisme48 Wed 08-Jun-11 22:06:39

It will pass,just as it has before, until it gets less and less frequent and eventually you will realise you don't have it anymore.
It just takes time. Have a bath, try to chat or go for a walk.
Having been thru it myself i wish you could hand over the anxiety and thoughts to me for a few hours for you to get a break x

madmouse Wed 08-Jun-11 22:13:17

Bless you - thank you

I know I will be ok - have been so much worse than this and I can distract myself when not at work.

woeisme48 Wed 08-Jun-11 22:21:41

thats good.. its hard to cope with extra stress on top of what you are coping with inside.
I used to feel it was like i was a box that was absolutely full of fear and stress and thoughts i was trying to avoid..with the lid just staying closed...if anyone even spoke to me and i had to find an answer[esp if it somehow linked in my mind to the original event..and nearly everything did]...I would feel the lid spring open and I would feel out of control with fear and stress.

woeisme48 Wed 08-Jun-11 22:45:36

of course i still have my bad days when i have to avoid a lot of things or feel things are too much, but it is not all the time
take care x

woeisme48 Sat 11-Jun-11 12:06:18

a bad day like today

madmouse Sat 11-Jun-11 13:59:48

Hey how bad is today? What is going on?

woeisme48 Sat 11-Jun-11 14:21:03

I don't know.. I am at home and getting really impatient upset and cross because of the way I am feeling inside.
I want my dc to be on the ball and its not happening and I'm getting all worked up with a combination of past and present.

madmouse Sat 11-Jun-11 14:50:06

That combination of past and present thing is so devious isn't it sad

Can you distract yourself with something that is either fun or is going to make you feel good about yourself?

woeisme48 Sat 11-Jun-11 14:53:15

It is a mixture of grief confusion and guilt..it will never go away and I get tired trying to chase it away.

scurryfunge Sat 11-Jun-11 14:54:41

Are you able to get out of the house for a brisk walk or some form of exercise? That always makes me feel better.

woeisme48 Sat 11-Jun-11 14:58:00

why do bad things have to happen

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