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Please help me take the next step(8 Posts)
Have named changed as this is a sensitive subject and I'm feeling very insecure.
I started citalopram 4 weeks ago for work related stress and anxiety - quite severe given the nature of my role and the seriousness of the work situation. Have been signed off work. Since then i have had dose upped from 10, to 20 to finally 30mg a few days ago as my anxiety has not improved, if anything got worse. My GP has been nothing short of very sympathetic and fantastic. At my last visit this week he seemed a bit concerned at my lack of improvement and probed if there was anything else and discussed counselling.
There is something else. I was raped when I was 18, over 15 yrs ago, and never reported it or told anyone about it. Since then I have coped at times of stress by either starving myself or binging and making myself sick. I have never told anyone this. I had a very dysfunctional childhood, mother is an alcoholic so have no family support to lean on. But I have managed to build a great career, buy a property, I have a great DP and a beautiful DS. But sInce the anxiety came on I am having flashbacks about the rape and reliving it daily. It is so traumatic. The panic attacks are getting worse. I cannot sleep and can't take the sleeping pills I have been given because I have a deep fear of being unconscious and having no control. I am exhausted and reaching breaking point but I'm pretending to DP that I am feeling better. I have barely eaten for 3 weeks and am running 10k every other day.
I am thinking about telling GP everything as I feel like I am on a downward spiral and will completely lose control if I don't. I am just so afraid of opening this door and of what might happen next. And I am so ashamed of the bulimia. I am a mother and a professional woman and cannot believe I am in this situation. Does anyone have any advice?
Hi, you have nothing to be ashamed of. In fact you are quite a remarkable woman.
Look what you have achieved, despite your horrific ordeal.
The rape has never been properly dealt with. You responded to it by binging and making yourself sick, a common response to being raped. You had no control when you were raped, so used food as a way to gain some control in your life.
You didn't get any support at the time and if you imagine the rape as being a poisonous bite that has never been treated or healed, you can understand how it is festering inside you.
You are not eating and exercising excessively, this is your coping mechanism.
The flashbacks are horrible, and you feel you are no longer in control again, so you then control the food and exercise.
You will break down if you carry on, as your body cannot physically cope with the stresses. Mentally you cannot carry on and the poisonous feelings that torture you need to be released in order for you to heal.
Please see your GP and tell him. If need be, write it all down in a letter and take it with you so they can read it.
Whilst you are waiting for counselling, it may be a good idea to write your feelings down. You can rip up or burn your writings, but pen to paper is a good way of releasing some of your emotions that have been kept within for so long.
Citalopram deals with anxiety, you don't want to just put a plaster over everything do you?
You need to heal, it will take time and I hope you find a counsellor who helps you.
Again, I must say how remarkable you are. You haven't let the rapist destroy you, you have found great strength in creating a wonderful life with a partner and son.
Draw on this strength and see your GP and accept help.
Wounds within our psyche are no different from wounds to our flesh, they need to heal.
Wishing you every success in healing. X
Easter, thank you so much for your words. I am crying as even reading someone acknowledge this is overwhelming for me. I have a note inside my bag, I've written it about 20 times and then ripped it up. I am going back to GP tomorrow and am slowly feeling like I can get the strength to open up. I so so want to be better.
With everything you've had to cope with, it's no surprise you're finding it hard. I had a similar experience in the past, and although I had a very supportive family, I still didn't tell them. I also had food issues because it's a way of controlling some aspect of life, which is a big thing when you've had to suffer a situation completely out of your control.
You sound like you think telling your GP would be a bad thing but if you would rather not explain what you are experiencing you could just ask him/her to refer you for counselling. I found counselling really helped me cope.
Have you thought of contacting a counselling service independently if you would rather not talk to your GP? I can understand if you would rather not talk to someone who knows you but I do think specialist counselling would help give you the support you need. You've done amazingly well to achieve what you have and any woman, professional or not, with the same experiences would react in a similar way to you.if. Your experiences are constantly resurfacing, I would say it's time to talk to someone who can help you realise that none of this is your fault. It is hard but also cathartic and (I can only talk from experience) it helped me let go of the last a bit, or it let go of me.
Sorry had to rush off as ds started crying but, as Easter said, you are an amazing woman so please believe that none of this is your fault.
Thanks so much Easter and Shelsco for your encouragement. I gave my GP the note I had written this morning. He was very supportive. I am still terrified of the next steps but I know I have taken an important step towards recovery.
The rapist stole x amount of hours of your life. Don't let him steal any more of your time.
You can and will heal in time. By taking steps to seek help you are on the road to recovery.
That's great. It's the first step towards taking control. The fact that you have had the courage to pass on the note and tell someone is so positive (and brave). It will be scary as it is a big step but it will be a lot less traumatic than battling on alone. It is hard to work through but no harder than everyday you are going through at the moment And with a much more positive outcome.
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