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Long-term effects of PTSD

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I was diagnosed with PTSD about 13 or 14 years ago. The events that led to developing PTSD had started about 25 years before that. I was sexually abused as a child, as well as when I was a young adult. The sexual abuse was the major trigger. I completely erased the rapes from my mind, but they'd creep back into my dreams. I would act out violently in my sleep, punching and kicking whoever might be in bed with me. If I was alone, I might hit or kick the wall.

Thanks to a number of helpful therapists over about a 20 year period of time, I've been symptom free. I've not had intrusive dreams, though I am still hyper-vigilant. I don't freak out in situations that might remind me of what happened. I took martial arts for several years, which was something I could never imagine doing before as I was in a physically violent relationship for several years.

About five years ago I started having anxiety attacks. They were so severe that several times I considered calling 9-1-1 because I was sure I was going to have a heart attack any minute. They started around the time some major stresses were happening in my life. Job stress, a former partner who committed suicide, my father's health failing and conflicts in the family. I didn't think anything of it because I've dealt with stress before and therapists have helped me deal with life's little surprises.

Those symptoms have progressed to the point where I can no longer take care of my basic needs. I bath maybe once a week. I might changes my clothes twice between bathing, so perhaps I change clothes twice a week. I don't eat a full meal more than a few times a week. My sleep/wake cycle is non-existent. I fall asleep on the sofa more often than in my bed. I fall asleep at friend's houses. It feels like I'm thinking in pudding. That just thinking is hard work.

Many of the habits I had for years have vanished. I used to do laundry and yard work every Sunday, without fail. I paid bills twice a month and balanced my checkbook on the other weekends. Now I can't remember where my keys are, or cell phone, or many other things.

I keep coming back to having had very active symptoms of PTSD for so many years, and the not so traumatic stress I went through over the past few years maybe finally fried my brain. I'm grasping at straws. I'm unemployed, so I have no insurance and can't afford to see a doctor of any sort. Suggestions anyone?
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replied March 27th, 2012
PTSD Recovery – Talking2Minds- Treating PTSD
Hi there,
I would like to give you some info about Talking2Minds, which is a charity with a unique approach established with the sole purpose of helping those suffering from PTSD or other severe stress related conditions.
Talking2Minds was established by people who have suffered from PTSD and been through the Talking2Minds therapeutic process in order to help other back to health. Because all their team have personal experience of PTSD and other severe stress related conditions, they have an unique understanding of what the clients are going through and are able to create a strong rapport with them.
Please have a look at just a few of their case studies, videos and interviews to see how they have successfully helped people overcome PTSD and severe stress related conditions with their unique program. All case studies are written in the delegates own words.
Best wishes,
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replied March 30th, 2012
Thanks for the information, but I've learned over the years that if they aren't a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, they aren't trustworthy, so far as I'm concerned.

What I'm really looking for is simply information. I've had friends suggest this is simply a nutritional matter. The sudden fight-or-flight feelings are so reminiscent of when I would get triggered decades ago that my intuition tells me that's what's going on. PTSD has finally caught up with me again.
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replied April 11th, 2013
I to suffer from PTSD. I also suffered physical and sexual abuse at a very young age. I block everything out for years, then the flashbacks started. I too went through several years of thearapy, and took medication for several years. And I too had thought I had overcome my PTSD. However now years later, I also suffer from severe anxiety attacks, migrains,I tremor and shake, sleeplessness, and I startle so easily. I'll smell or here something that instantly triggers some sort of memory, but much like you it doesn't frigten me the way it did once upon a time, the memories are just there, I don't dwell on them, or I too would be sucked back into a depression and I promised myself that I would never go back to that dark place again. I manage my daily life, but I seem to come back to that feeling as though this is some sort of long term affects from the PTSD. I have had some of my symptoms check out by Doctors, some of the ones that may be nuerological issues, and none of them seem to dimiss that the PTSD could be causing these symptoms. I think once you have it you always have it. I am not at Dr. and by all means cannot give you a direct answer. But I can tell you that since you do not have insurance to have bloodwork done, I recomend doing some research on vitamins B12 and D, and if you do not want to reasearch it I suggest you try buying those vitamins and taking them once a day. They definatly won't hurt you, and you would be suprised at the positive affects they have. Also all those years of thearapy try to remember your coping skills. Meditation is a great tool if for nothing else do it when your going to bed. I know your not supposed to but if I can't sleep that can do the trick sometimes. Anyone who has been through what we have knows that sometimes happiness doesn't come easily, so smile at least once a day then twice a day, and so on, even if you have to force it, and there will undoubtedly be days that you will have to force it. But do, even if you don't want to make yourself. Eventually smiling will become a habbit, and your brain associates this with happiness and it will eventually trigger feelings of happiness. It doesn't need to be a real smile, but in time it will be. Exersize as well, it is proven to help with depression. Even if its just a short fast paced walk. When you are having a panic attack remember to take deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, and for some reason breathing into a paper bag helps, I don't know why but it does. And remind yourself that you had the strength to get through this once know you can do it again. I also tell myself that if I fall apart now, if I let my abuser get the best of me in the end, then he won he got what he wanted, and I figure he has taken enough of my life away. I wont give him anymore of it. He wont get the best of me, no matter how much I struggle I will always rise above it, because I am the better and stronger person. And you need to tell yourself those things too, because your abuser has already taken enough of your life away from you and the people who love you as well. Don't be to hard on yourself either it will only cause you more stress and anxiety, and it's a vicious cycle that's hard to snap out of. Everyday is a new one, so when one day is bad know there is always tomarrow, and another day after that. You must already know that happiness isn't going to just come to you, it's something you will have to work at. But if you do then someday you will get there. I know what your feeling, I have been there, and I am truely sorry that you are having such a tough time. I wish you the best of luck, be strong, and seriously look into those two specific vitamins b12 and D, or just take them they won't harm you. Take care!
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