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Just wondered if anyone with PTSD/Complex PTSD fancied a chat?

(320 Posts)
pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 20:38:57

I've accepted I'min this for the longish haul, have a great therapist, get out and do plenty of exercise, spend time in green spaces, stay positive etc etc.

But I'd just love to speak to someone/anyone else who understands what a bitch trauma is (any kind, whatever the cause - trauma is trauma!)

LoveMyLittleSuperhero Thu 30-Mar-17 20:41:57

Good that you have a good therapist, I've found they can be at either end of the scale when it comes to PTSD. Not really sure what to say, but here for a chat if you want smile

TittyGolightly Thu 30-Mar-17 20:42:53

I have PTSD, probably since childhood, certainly since having my DD (traumatic birth experience). Day to day I feel like I'm okay, but really small things can have me close to a panic attack.

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 20:43:04

To start...I'm lucky enough (!) to have had PTSD from single incidents, and also developmental trauma from neglect/abuse and I know from having processed and survived my single incident trauma that I will get to the end of my complex trauma.

Something I'm hating right now about PTSD, though, as this is a bit of a moan:

The unpredicatability. Some days good, some days bad. Seemingly no rhyme or reason to any of it (even though I do know my triggers)....

I can get a good day, or even a good week and I am productive and happy and full of energy. Other days I can wake up in the night with the world on my mind and spend the day falling to bits over simple things like returning a voicemail or making sure that the kids have clean uniforms.

It's exhausting.

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 20:45:35

Hi lovemylittle and titty, it's good to hear from you!

Lovemylittle, you're right - I was incredibly lucky to find my therapist, I count my blessings for that every day. Do you have therapy or find it useful?

Titty - sorry to hear you had childhood experiences that probably led to PTSD and then the traumatic birth. I also had a traumatic birth after a shitty childhood and do sometimes ruminate on the unfairness of a crap childhood followed by a crap start to motherhood. Life can be very unfair sometimes.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Thu 30-Mar-17 20:48:28

Hello all,

I had / have PTSD following birth trauma. Also some childhood issues that have bubbled up.

I'm largely ok since having emdr but it does creep up and bite me on the bum sometimes.

mrsBeverleygoldberg Thu 30-Mar-17 20:49:27

Complex PTSD, a gift from my abusive parents. I'm about to go to sleep as I didn't get my nap today. I'm so exhausted from the hypervigilence, I have to sleep in the day.

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 20:52:10

Hello Abbeyroad, I'm sorry to hear of your birth trauma sad as I said earlier it's an unbelievably bad time to be issued with a big dose of trauma. I've often thought how funny it is that post-natal services screen for depression but not trauma. Very glad to hear that EMDR was effective for you.

Hi mrsBeverley, I hear you. It's so hard to do anything when the hypervigilance is bad, which it sounds like is always for you. I hope you sleep well.

LoveMyLittleSuperhero Thu 30-Mar-17 20:52:51

I hate the unpredictability aswell, I think the complete inability to plan anything because I just don't know I I will be ok on any day in the future to keep the plans, so I don't make them, then I end up not making plans and staying inside which makes things worse.

I have had therapy for anxiety, but we don't have any NHS psychiatrists in my area and I can't afford private therapy as my issues not only ptsd stop me from working full time. The cbt did help me a little with my anxiety though!

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 20:56:27

Lovemylittle, sorry to hear that it affects you so much. I know what you mean about planning - it is so hard to know. I had a period recently of almost zero anxiety (I disclosed the abuse after 30 years and the clarity of mind in the two weeks afterwards was incredible) and I was so productive at work. Life was so easy.

Now I'm back in the murk it's hard to plan, as you say.

I'm sorry you can't get private therapy, I'm glad CBT is effective for your anxiety. I pay for private therapy but keep thinking I should go back to the GP and get something through the NHS..but I love my private therapist and I don't do meds, so I'm not sure there is any point..

AbbeyRoadCrossing Thu 30-Mar-17 20:58:37

Thanks Pepsi
I read that about 75% of mums of prems have trauma / ptsd but there seems to be no follow up. I got the EMDR by a bit of postcode luck as there aren't many therapists and by majorly losing my shit during pregnancy #2

What do you all find works for you? Interesting you say about going outside as I walk every day now too.

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 21:04:01

Hey Abbey, I didn't know that state about prems, but can 100% believe it.

I'm sorry if you went through that with a premature baby sad. I didn't have an experience with a premature baby - just an emergency non-anaesthetised forceps delivery where I could feel everything. Might have been ok for some but was trauma on top of sexual abuse/bereavement trauma for me. Though I don't think it troubles me now as I had a much better second birth (planned c-s!)

I can say hand on heart that the only thing that really disperses the PTSD adrenaline for me is long-distance running. For mindfulness I can sit in a green space with my dog and feel happy and connected, but to lose the adrenaline I need to be very physically active. What works for you?

AbbeyRoadCrossing Thu 30-Mar-17 21:04:18

And sorry to hear you've been through abuse sad

AbbeyRoadCrossing Thu 30-Mar-17 21:20:51

Yes I think the planned CS second time helped here too. Plus a different hospital so no reminders.

The bit I struggle with at the moment is anxiety concerning the DCs. Really random stuff like if I read something on the news about a nursery being shut down I panic even though I love the nursery we use and they have cctv etc. Or I visualise unlikely accidents happening. Totally illogical but I guess that's the nature of it.
Then things happen like there was an emergency with DS having a seizure recently and I was quite calm and collected. I would've thought the ambulance and hospital would've set something off.

So it's still a bit of a mystery to me what works and what doesn't and why I'm fine mostly but sometimes not!

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 21:28:44

Thanks Abbey.

That's interesting regarding your responses. I'd actually say that it's fairly typical of PTSD to have those catastrophising moments (been there myself, I understand completely. Allowing my DC to visit the houses of friends I didn't know ALL that well when she started shool was agonising) and then a stark contrast between how we behave in ACTUAL crisis - like with your DS having a seizure (sorry to hear about that) because it is when the real crisis kicks in that the calmness/dissociation appears and the feelings are gone.

I know that I panicked over all kind of major nothing situations with my DC, and yet when I watched my DC injure herself in an accident that required major surgery I was cool as a cucumber...go figure..

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 21:31:11

But therein lies the two sides of the coin that is PTSD. On the one had re-experiencing (anxiety/catastrophising/intrusion) and on the other hand avoidance (this isn't happening/it's fine even when it clearly isn't).

Trauma is a funny, funny old thing.

LoveMyLittleSuperhero Thu 30-Mar-17 21:33:44

I wouldn't advise changing if you can afford to continue privately, the waiting lists on the NHS are years, and that's if there is anyone in your area, then there is no guarantee that the person you get is any good. DP had a therapist who told hi that if he couldn't get better in the ten sessions the NHS will pay for then there was no point him having them hmm

I found exercise helps for the adrenaline aswell, I have some health issues so I'm limited to what I can do but we have a boxing dummy which I have found incredibly useful!

Abbey you have described how I am with my anxiety on a day to day basis better than I probably could, I don't know whether it's comforting to know I'm not alone or sad. flowers I'm fine if there is a crisis but I tend to fall to bits afterwards.

I've found sleep is possibly the worst bit of my PTSD, I can sort of plow on with anxiety, hypervigilance, etc, but the complete lack of sleep is soul destroying, I have a 5 month old, so sleep wouldn't be great normally, but I just end up watching her sleep all night, then if I do nod off I have nightmares and wake up panicking because I fell asleep then I have to sit watching her again. confused

NolongerAnxiousCarer Thu 30-Mar-17 21:56:29

Hi, I'm recovering from PTSD too. For me it was the simple single trauma version.

I found Mirtazapine took the edge off my anxiety. Mindfulness, meditation, exercise and something called emotional freedom techneque helped me manage the symptoms.

Its great that you have a good therapist, it makes all the difference. I struggled with my first one, but my second one was amazing and stopped all the anxiety, panic attacks etc in one session using something called Eye Movement Integration ( similar to EMDR I think). It feels like now that huge block has been removed I can think about the trauma without it feeling traumatic. Its still tough and I feel like I am still processing some difficult memories, but its bearable now.

I still have problems with my concentration and memory and I have to pace myself carefully as overdoing things stress wise can set me back very easily. Gradually though I'm healing.

flowers to everyone else recovering from this bitch of an illness. I can completely relate to the unpredictability. The good news is though that recovery is possible. I'm lucky that mine was a single trauma and its less than 12 months since it happened, I know for some people its a much longer journey and I do believe that we will all get there in the end.

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 22:05:46

Hi nolonger, that's really great to hear. I'm interested in EFT as well, did you do that with your therapist or just follow instructions/youtube videos etc?

SO glad to hear you have recovered so well. I think it's easy to underestimate how long it takes to recover from this stuff.

I'm glad you got quick support - the single incident trauma I recovered from took place 21 years ago and it has definitely been more tricky to deal with in terms of memory, as it's so hard to piece thing together from that far ago (complex trauma of childhood memories is a further maze still).

Thanks for sharing your experiences of concentration and memory, I struggle with feeling 'well' some days and then getting frustrated over those things, so it's helpful to hear that others feel that well (though obviously I'm sorry that you do).

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 22:07:06

Lovemylittle that's crazy about your DH. I am very lucky indeed to be able to afford private therapy and I recognise that and am very thankful for it.

CountryCaterpillar Thu 30-Mar-17 22:16:34

I think this is my problem. traumatic childhood, so many events. More recently traumatic birth (I was in icu) and dealing with my mother's hospital admissions.

I've been.given mirtazapine but I think it's making me.more sluggish and even less able/active than.before.

I'm in theory super bright but I'm now struggling with day to day living. There's no way I'd manage the house/food/ getting my kids to school without my husband. He's often away.

I've no idea pull myself out get better.

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 22:20:17

Hi Country, I'm sorry to hear this.

It's interesting that traumatic birth seems to be a feature...I'm sorry you experienced that on top of a traumatic childhood.

Have you had any help from mental health services at all? When I presented it was for depression..I was so wrapped up in denial that I didn't really clock that any of what had happened to me was trauma.

It's so hard.

CountryCaterpillar Thu 30-Mar-17 22:23:38

No. My GPs trying mirtazapine. I'm not suicidal I don't know how I'd get referred on. I wasn't even sure it was depression or fatigue but whatever it is now I'm not managing. I want to be capable again.

I wonder if birth stirs something in us. I think after my first I became angry at how I was treated and.sad for the "little" me and so very aware of how much I love my small people.

pepsiandshirley Thu 30-Mar-17 22:28:55

Ah, country, I recognise so much of what you say. Especially your 'little me'.

I have never accessed trauma therapy via NHS but I believe it can be done...perhaps others (Abbey maybe?) might be able to help with what to say to a GP.

For me, I had grown up being told that there was nothing wrong with me and nothing had ever happened to me.

So when I became 'depressed' in my mid-30s I didn't link it to the horror show that was my childhood followed by a couple of very traumatic experiences in my adolescence. In fact I was so screwed up it was only once I was in therapy this year that I realised I was raped in my mid-20s.

But if you know now and can link it then I would urge you to seek help for trauma specifically, don't be fobbed off with anxiety support groups or general CBT...see someone and say that this is what you are facing.

Because as debilitating as depression and anxiety are, trauma is different and it needs to be treated as such.

Pretendbookworm Thu 30-Mar-17 22:36:39


Not been diagnosed formally but my health visitor has suggested it a few times. Definately diagnosed with PND and PNA (which I think is actually PTSD). Had a traumatic birth with DS. I still don't remember fully what happened and occasionally get flashbacks so bad I couldn't sleep properly for weeks. The hypervigilance was so bad in the first few months after his birth that I wouldn't sleep as I had to watch him, and if I woke and OH was also asleep I'd have a panic attack. DS was about 4 months old before I took him out on my own - 7 months before going somewhere new on my own. Even going for a walk was a nightmare. I also had a horrible abusive upbringing.
I think that PTSD symptoms after a traumatic or emergency birth are considered so normal that no one seems to see them as a problem and they're just shoved under the pnd umbrella. I've been prescribed propranolol which I do think helps but it doesn't really calm me. Considering going back to my Gp.

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