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Can they do anything about PTSD?

13 replies

covidnickname · 24/09/2020 09:27

I was diagnosed with PTSD - sort of - by a consultant following years and years of illness and surgeries, treatments etc . I wasn’t always treated very kindly, with any dignity or even given analgesia post op on a few occasions .

The NHS have since apologised and at local level said they would use my experiences as training and for others to learn from or something .

At the time the consultant said I would never get over it, but I might be able to learn to live with things in time .

I’ve never had treatment as such for the anxiety; and I’ve never discussed it much with anyone . I get the feeling if I did approach my GP surgery they’d not be too interested.

However, the illness that caused the ptsd is still there, and I’ve now been told it’s probably life long and I’ll need to work/engage with the hospital to keep things steady and not end up needing bigger surgery again . I’m also going to need regular hospital appointments for a while . They have said if I can’t work with them and do what’s needed I’m potentially facing a stoma bag one day which is definitely what I don’t want .

All of which triggers off flashbacks and brings back old memories and feelings ... and it seems to be when they say these things you’re expected just to get on with it, they never ask you how you feel .

I am totally stuck with what to do . I haven’t got family I can talk to unfortunately . I can’t afford to go private .

I do think I probably need to be more assertive with GP surgery - their only options for contact now is filling out an online form, or asking for a phone call - although they’ve said on FB GP should really be left for urgent only.

I’m not sure what I should do ... ideally I want to talk to someone face to face but that’s clearly never going to happen sadly . Perhaps there’s no harm in copy/pasting half of this into surgery’s online form?!

OP posts:
Gingerkittykat · 24/09/2020 09:30

yes, there is treatment out there for PTSD and you should definitely ask for a referral to a psychologist.

Stompythedinosaur · 24/09/2020 09:39

The consultant should not have told you that you would never get over it!

There are some good therapies available for ptsd - EMDR is one, or there's a form of CBT for complex trauma.

Many people (although not everyone) will recover with no treatment, given enough time.

I woukd ask for a referral for spoken therapy.

mynameiscalypso · 24/09/2020 09:42

I don't know what treatment is like in the NHS but yes, there is definitely treatment out there. I was crippled by PTSD and had a course of trauma-focused CBT and it worked amazingly. The trauma itself never goes but you can learn how to live with it and process it.

mynameiscalypso · 24/09/2020 09:44

I also read a book called 'Overcoming Traumatic Stress' which was really helpful. It's a mix of explaining PTSD and self help exercises.

covidnickname · 24/09/2020 16:43

Thank you - have been phoned and asked to come into hospital again tomorrow for more tests and stuff ... so might actually buy that book on kindle tonight !

It’s just so difficult and lonely just now, you wish someone could come with you to advocate at these appointments and ask the right questions but I’ve to go totally alone .

I’ll fill in GP online form and ask them about support with it all - I have already asked if they could talk over what hospital is saying, but GP rang back and said, ‘Not my speciality - no training - can’t help at all’ which is a bit frustrating .

I’m glad you can recover with time, I was worried this would be a permanent feeling to be honest .

OP posts:
WrongKindOfFace · 24/09/2020 17:00

Is there a support organisation for your condition? They may offer someone qualified you can talk to about your health condition?

MrsAvocet · 24/09/2020 17:11

Yes, there is definitely effective treatment available. As has already been mentioned the commonest are trauma focused CBT and EMDR. I've had EMDR and admit to having been very sceptical beforehand but its really helped. It doesn't make you forget about what's happened, its still there, but without the distress and the physical type reactions. My PTSD resulted from a car crash, and before the therapy I couldn't be anywhere near where it occurred without basically having a panic attack. Now I can pass the road and kind of think "Yes, this is where it happened, that was a horrible experience" without getting the nausea, palpitations, flashbacks etc. I don't think I will ever be fully "over it" but it doesn't dominate and restrict my life in the same way if that makes sense? I had private therapy but it is available on the NHS and definitely worth considering.
I hope you get the help that you need and deserve and feel better soon.Flowers

Minai · 24/09/2020 18:04

I’m sorry you’ve had to live with this for so long. You absolutely can get treatment for ptsd. I had 12 sessions of CBT and I went from being very mentally unwell to completely back to normal. It was quite hard work but absolutely worth it. I guess I was lucky in that my ptsd was caused by one incident (birth trauma) so was quite easy to treat, I know complex trauma can be a lot different.

I would definitely call your GP and see what they can do. I found my GP utterly useless she just wanted to give me antidepressants and basically told me to go away (but I’ve heard other people have had more success with their GPs). I fortunately found an NHS mental health service in my area and managed to self refer and as I had a small baby I was fast tracked. I’d have a look to see if there is anything similar in your local area or alternatively if going private is an option for you that could be worth exploring.

I wish you luck on your journey to getting better Flowers

tiredvommachine · 24/09/2020 18:07

I can second EMDR for PTSD, was life changing for me.

riotlady · 24/09/2020 18:12

I also found EMDR life changing, it feels a bit ridiculous when you start but it really worked for me. I would ask for a referral to a trauma trained psychologist. Given that it sounds like it was poor treatment by the NHS that caused your PTSD in the first place, I would be kicking up a big stink, talking to PALS etc if they don’t provide you adequate support in dealing with it.

sarahc336 · 24/09/2020 18:23

Erm ptsd is totally treatable speaking as a cbt therapist who has seen multiple people recover from ptsd. Access cbt or emdr and your symptoms can fully be resolved Smile

covidnickname · 26/09/2020 08:46

I’m so glad there’s a chance I can feel better, thank you . That’s a huge relief , so it’s just to try and get that help now really ..

I went through GP’s online form system as advised by receptionist - explained that I am struggling hugely and feeling very low about it all and exactly why - and got an answer back saying, ‘not for me to sort, as you are under hospital care tell them instead’

Which has left me feeling stupid and wishing I had never bothered sadly . However I do have contact details for nurse I saw a few weeks ago who said she’s my point of contact for hospital based care, she did seem kind so will leave a voicemail with her saying basically exactly what I said to GP .

There isn’t a formal support group no, there’s a couple of patient led groups on Facebook but that’s it sadly . I did get a booklet from the hospital with charity details but it’s all phone numbers for eg MS, spina bifida, spinal cord injury etc, which doesn’t apply at all .

OP posts:
sarahc336 · 27/09/2020 22:09

@covidnickname hospitals don't normally offer psychological input, I think your gp is wrong. Can you search for your local nhs psychological service and not self refer? X

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