PTSD took my life. : Hello all! I am 27 years... - Heal My PTSD

Heal My PTSD

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PTSD took my life.

Katdiehl profile image

Hello all!

I am 27 years old and since I was 23 I hav not been able to leave my house. I have aagoraphobia, panic attacks, depression social anxiety, PTSD the list goes on with what drs say I have.

I have 2 tramas in the past that I pushed so deep inside me I tried to pretend nothing happened. It was the worst thing I could have done. I now am working through things and healing through many tears! I was at rock bottom last year. I was in a hospital on so many medications and I just wanted to die. I had to hit bottom before I woke up and realized hiding from my past was killing me inside.

I am starting EMDR therapy. Has anyone had a good experience with this for of therapy?

Take care!!

We live day to day stronger than the last!

23 Replies

Hi, Katdiehl:

In my mid 20's I had what was then known as a nervous breakdown. I couldn't get near a window, couldn't leave the house, and couldn't sleep. I had hypnagogic hallucinations, and developed super hearing: so much so that I could turn the radio all the way down and still hear every word. I couldn't bathe or comb my hair. I sat in the hallway every night rolled up in a ball in the depths of psychosis.

So I know what you are going through. In those days there were no home computers so I had no one to talk to. I'm glad that you do, and that you are are here so we can be with you and maybe help a little.

I tried EMDR three times but it wasn't working so I gave up: maybe too early. I hope someone else can give you better information.

Katdiehl profile image
Katdiehl in reply to

Wow! I am sorry EMDR did not help you! It's amazing what our bodies do when we are under severe stress! I have had problem with the hearing thing. I can here my neighbors from their house when I am home alone. I am always on high alert. By the end of the day I am so exhausted but then the nightmares and flashbacks start. It's a never ending cycle.... :(

alamagoosa profile image
alamagoosaPioneer in reply to

Healing artist. I am so glad to hear you are still here after your story. i feel like there is hope for me because i have been so down that i felt there was no bottom. Could i ask what kind of artist you are? Glad to meet you here.

in reply to alamagoosa

You can see a piece of my art by looking at the little cute creature I have posted as my profile picture. I am an illustrator, cartoonist and crafts person.

alamagoosa profile image
alamagoosaPioneer in reply to

I am a musician songwriter inventor and author. but sadly unknown and have not made money on my talents. How about you?

in reply to alamagoosa

I have made money and had shows. I even won an award once. I illustrated a children's book and was an art gallery director. I had been running from PTSD all that time but it caught up with me and my world crashed.

alamagoosa profile image
alamagoosaPioneer in reply to

I crashed young before i made a mark in this world. But haven't given up.

Hey, I have the same symptoms that you are experiencing and it's been over 2 years. I hide in my house because that is where I feel safe. I am in the process of EMDR therapy . I can tell you that is hard! I go weekly and honestly there are sessions that put me deeper into dissociation. There are also sessions where my emotions flood me and I cry in therapy. I feel re-traumatized every week. However I believe in this process and I have found a very good therapist who gives me strength and positive feedback and allows me to grieve. She also stabilizes me before I leave each session. The work is exhausting. At this point, I have a very long road ahead of me due to multiple traumas. But it is a much shorter road than my childhood trauma which lasted years. I have nothing to lose at this point. I hope that you will give it a try and then see how you feel after a few sessions. Like I said it will not be easy! You have to believe in yourself and dedicate the time you need to recover. I wish you well my friend! Feel free to message me again anytime!

Katdiehl profile image
Katdiehl in reply to

Thank you for your helpful and encouraging words! I hope I will make it through this therapy.

Hi Katdiehl,

I'm so sorry you're feeling all those symptoms so strongly. Wonderful that you're now confronting those traumas! I tried to pretend like nothing was wrong for years, but the PTSD symptoms would show up when I'd get triggered, and life was hell!

I did EMDR, and the therapist said we would "disconnect" the old memories and they'd be gone. It didn't quite work that way for me. The therapy was wonderful to break things loose, and I got a lot of relief from that. But it didn't actually purge the old memories like I was told.

I had to still work through the feelings. I had a therapist I worked with for many years who said that the trauma was trapped in our bodies "at a cellular level." I checked out (dissociated) when the bad things happened, so I never felt anything, and all of those feelings were stuck in my body. I have done a LOT of feelings release - anger, shame, fear, sadness. Over time, that is still one of the cornerstones of my recovery.

But I didn't just do that. I have done a LOT of writing - it has been a powerful part of my healing process. I have used the 12 step model effectively for addressing specific issues. I have done many inner child exercises to reclaim the feelings and emotions I didn't feel at the time. I've even used inner child work to recover a couple of buried memories.

Kat, it takes a while, and the use of a number of different tools. As I have said, desperation is a great motivator! My Dad had been sober and in recovery for 20 years, but he never wanted to face the wounds in his past - so similar to mine. He had numerous health problems, and died early. I knew I was facing the same if I didn't do something drastic. I was in a for real life and death struggle, which made me really commit to healing.

BUT - the beauty of life as recovery has unfolded is astonishing to me. My most recent struggle was with issues with my Grandmother when I was 8 years old. She told me she would have me committed to an insane asylum if I ever became a writer, and reinforced the message in horrible ways. It caused me a writer's block for 20 years that was almost unconquerable - I walked away from publishing 2 books when publishers were very interested.

As I have worked through those issues, I have now published one book, and I'm about to publish my second. I work as a freelance writer, and can write freely whenever I want. YEA!

Yes, there is hope!

Louisthecat profile image
Louisthecat in reply to

How inspirational your words are Dan well done you for coming so far despite all you've been through. You have a special skill to offer the world that should be encouraged and celebrated. We can overcome the damage there are so many great examples on this forum and I can now see bits of light coming through after going through some therapy although it's a slow process.

Bless you for all you do 🙏🏻

in reply to Louisthecat

Thanks so much, Louise, for your powerful feedback! I am trying to share what I have learned, and how far I've come. :)

Hi! I don't have a personal experience with EMDR, but Michele has a podcast in the archives of changeyouchoose.com in which she interviews Dr Shapiro who created EMDR. I think it is called Overcoming Fear / EMDR. It is in 2012 I think. It is really good. I learned a lot that I didn't know before.

I wish you the best!

It took my life too. I didn't do EMDR, instead I did a bunch of re-visualization work and also experiential work that got me in touch with my body and emotions - very difficult because I felt so badly which I why I retreated into my mind to begin with. I now have my life back and deal with mostly mild episodes of anxiety periodically that I have tools to deal with. I'm not cured but I'm happy a reasonable amount of the time these days, which I thought would never happen. I too had withdrawn from the world and it was simply horrible. Sending you positive thoughts and encouragement! You seem to be on a good path.

I am looking into 'Tapping' as a technique to help with shifting 'stuff'. Try Nick Ortner 'The tapping solution' which is an Emotional Freedom Technique -EFT.

MichelleTB profile image
MichelleTB in reply to wallyb

Wally, EFT has a free YouTube..I paid by a therapist and it's same..it's the guy who perfected it..EFT#2 Gary Craig

Good luck:-)

Hi stuck 1

I do the same exact thing during emdr therapy. My eyes look down and I stare to the right or left but never up. My shoulders are hunched and I make myself as small as I can while sitting. I also vlose my eyes often. My counselor is always telling me to look up and make eye contact with her, very difficult to do. She also asks if I would like to get up and walk around the room. One important thing she always says to me is "change your physical state in order to change your emotional state"! It's hard but it has helped.

It didn't work for me, no practitioners local :(..pretty disappointed..good luck you guys! :-)

I was totally agoraphobic also..not the hearing..never ending panic attacks and anxiety..I had tapes from CA, listened to those a zillion times a day and night..even in my sleep..when I could sleep..terrible..I had a fantastic therapist who came to the house and walked with me..still30 yrs later, I have as small world..betterthanno world at all..fight back!

Hello So sorry you are going through that. I just wanted to mention that I had a complete breakdown this year as well. I tried trauma focused modalities such as a PTSD intensive outpatient day group, EMDR, and Somatic Experiencing. To be very honest when exposed to that type of intensity I felt worse and had more shut down. I have come to find out that for me chasing after the memories is not the way at this time. I feel like seeking self-regulation skills and trying to make PTSD a smaller part of my daily life is now my goal. Since I had my break down in June there were some days I felt better and those were the days I was not trying to process the memories. Here are a few things that work for me. First off since PTSD makes us supersensitive and may be in the part of the mind that processes through body sensations, images, and not with words things geared towards that help a lot. I have found amazing comfort in Guided Imagery. It is a safe and creative way to get right into the brain where the PTSD is. It sends positive healing messages and teaches you how to relax. Also yoga may be a way for you to relax and get connected with your body again. I think if you are really down and out you should start with your strengths not seek out something that could potentially make you feel worse. I use art, music, yoga, mindfulness, walking, nature, good nutrition, positive affirmations and guided imagery. Believe me I really want to break free from the symptoms and I’m just telling you from my experience as a highly sensitive survivor that starting with my strengths and gently guiding myself back into self-regulation and relaxation is step one. I think there is such great suffering in trauma and PTSD as it is. I think the goal should be to improve functioning and quality first. I really hope you find the answers you need. I have read book after book and tried so many things and this is my experience. I hope it helps a little. Wishing you hope and healing.

Hi ive been fighting for a cptsd diagnosis for the past 18 years. I was hitting brick walls but now it seems a diagnosis could be on the cards by xmas.

I have been having EMDR for about 2 months (via my university) and it really helps me. I have overcome 1 trigger place, rebuilt trust with my mum (who abused me once but was sorry), coped better with trigger songs and lost my anger. I have also been able to cry for the 1st time in years.

I find the therapy is worth the anxiety increase to begin with and my dreams have changed from nightmares to being triggered off to helping people. My social confidence has increased as well.

When I leave university at the end of the academic year I will loose this valuable therapy. I hope by then the NHS will fund some more EMDR.

freeandalive1 profile image
freeandalive1Volunteer

Hope you are doing well. I applaud you for dealing with pain now, while you have so much more of your life ahead of you! I carried and buried my trauma for 47 years! Only when I almost died did I finally yield to the pain of what it would take to heal for real. I also went through EDMR because I had such a difficult time letting anyone "in" that would try other therapy techniques. It helped.It felt wierd, but it did help me get to some real feelings and finally talk about them. I hope you are still taking care of yourself….you are worth it! We can't control what other people may have done to us, but we can control how we allow it to affect us. I just wish I could have found healing many years ago…..

Bless you on your journey!

I recently finished a series of EMDR treatments and they really helped me. There was a level of uncontrollable response to stress that was causing me to have horrible anger attacks which the EMDR seems to have healed. I knew at some point that my problem was more neurological than psychological and that's when I started the EMDR. I have talked to several other people who have had good response as well. Good luck to you, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about my experience with it.

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