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Stress on top of anxiety on background of previous ptsd

(6 Posts)
Woollymammoth63 Sun 16-Oct-16 15:03:46

So I had a bit of work related anxiety this week after starting a new job, most of which I am getting used to but had to face new challenges which was quite stressful. This seems to have triggered a regression into feeling overwhelmed and anxious. The original anxiety was due to some life events and a traumatic episode from which I had slowly recovered the last few years.
I am left feeling a bit hopeless... Will this ever really get better? I am trying mindfulness but once the despair sets in I don't feel like anything or anyone can help.
I've had therapy, I have asked for work adjustments, I am trying to stay positive and mindful. Has anyone else had PTSD and then had recurrences when other stressful events occur?
It's exhausting and I feel in a place where no one can really help. No one can get inside my mind and take it away. I'm the first to ask for help, and I am in therapy, but why do these relapses occur?
Any empathy or similar experiences really welcome. Thanks

Woollymammoth63 Sun 16-Oct-16 15:28:38

Does anyone know any ways to self soothe apart from mindfulness?

AnxiousCarer Mon 17-Oct-16 07:20:43

Hi not sure how much help I can be suffering PTSD for the first time and feeling just as you describe. I'm finding meditation and exercise helpful. Also having coucelling and she has done some EFT (emotional freedom techneque with me which I find useful to self soothe. CPN has suggested EDMR but not tried that yet.

themostinterestinglife Mon 17-Oct-16 20:23:02

I've been at a similar place with PTSD, suffered for eight years. I tried CBT and it reduced my symptoms from about nine out of ten to three out of ten, if that makes sense, but didn't fully deal with it. Any time I became stressed at work or wherever I would react quite badly, still felt like the trauma was talking in those situations. What really sorted it out was EMDR. By the start of my eighth year after the trauma, I was in utter despair and totally fed up with suffering from it. A friend suggested EMDR, I had four or five sessions over a couple of months. I immediately felt a difference after the first session, and things kept improving from there. I now feel very much like my old, pre-trauma self and as if it all never happened. I don't understand how or why EMDR works but for me, it was amazing. Good luck!

erinaceus Tue 18-Oct-16 08:09:01

Changing jobs is a challenge and makes anybody anxious; there is a sort of double-dose effect if you are already vulnerable via PTSD and anxiety. I can definitely relate to symptoms getting worse when a stressful life event is going on.

I am trying mindfulness but once the despair sets in I don't feel like anything or anyone can help.

I find the Samaritans help me massively if I have fallen into a pit of self-loathing and despair and feel unable to get out of it. There is something about there being another person that I find to be grounding. If I can catch myself before the despair sets in, some mindfulness-type-stuff can stop me from falling. I also sometimes just wait it out. I find particular times of day to be worse than others. The other thing that helps me, curiously, is painting, drawing, or colouring in. I find that drawing my surroundings grounds me.

The impression I have is that one has to keep trying until one finds something that works. I have also had things that help for a while and then suddenly stop helping, which is maddening. There is a list of self-soothing strategies on one of the other MH board posts in which another poster describes the hide-under-the-duvet-and-wait-for-it-to-pass strategy as "blanket trembling", a description which I rather liked and a strategy that I do resort to.


Woollymammoth63 Sun 06-Nov-16 20:47:24

Thank you for your insights. I have been doing a bit better although still anxious especially on Sunday before going back to work on Monday.
I am finding that all the small, and bigger traumas add up when I feel under stress.

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