how the hell do you banish ptsd

I went through the most horrific episode/shock of my life over two years ago now. I've had ptsd (emdr) counselling which didn't work for me, but i kept myself busy, positive, smiley and no-one but no-one would have a clue about the tsunami of tears ever-ready to pour down my face. I really thought I was over the worst, reduced my anti-depressants to the point I was taking none, my GP said I was doing really well, the flashbacks weren't as strong and I thought to myself "well done Jan, you're really getting there".

Then two days ago I got really really tired - did too much travelling around for my age - and got home soaked to the skin and too late to eat because I was so exhausted. It was all I could do to brush my teeth and get into bed.

Then next day -- WHAM -- I couldn't stop crying, I don't mean a little bit on and off but all day long. Just crying crying crying. The flashbacks were constant. I kept reliving all the details. I was so distraught I had to email my GP and she's put me back on the anti-depressants I fought so long and so hard to come off. I feel I've failed myself. I'm actually back on the darned things again. I've done everything my counsellors advised me to do but my sorrow/fear/memories are as vivid as ever. Why the hell does ptsd have to come back like this when I've worked so bloody hard to keep it at bay., all the tears again, all the agony....

10 Replies

  • Hi Janet,

    I don't know your situation exactly. I am very sorry that this happened again :-(

    I feel like those episodes might be connected to a hormonal cycle or menopause. Not sure if it's applicable to you.

    Secondly, they come and go and it's been only 2-3 days? Is it really necessary for you to go back on antidepressant? Normally those episodes just wear off like a flu. You said you worked so hard to stop taking meds so my question is, could you just wait and see if it gets better, try more self care and rest?

    I know it's absolutely terrible and feels not ending at times but maybe this time it will pass?

    I'm off antidepressants for 3,5 years now. Those bad moments come and go.

    Hang in there! Hope it gets better soon.

  • I know that PTS and I leave off the D. Stress is what I feel after the trauma. It's what humans feel. Some of us get hit harder. We have more advanced brains. So we don't get over it like other species. If you feel grief or loss or shock it is truly agony. But it's as much of a failure as being hit by a bus and needing crutches for as long as you need them. And you are not weak for having flashbacks. They suck. But pretty words don't change how bad it was. And still is. "It happened then but it hurts now". I injured my back in 1989. It doesn't hurt for a long time. But when it does I remember the moment I hurt it. PTS changes how you think. When I was a teen one of our dogs chewed an electrical wire in the living and got a big shock. She yelped. For the rest of her life she barked at that outlet. She remembered it hurt her. And she was a dog. No one is a failure because they have fear or anxiety from a trauma. The medical profession just puts time limits on what hey consider an illness. My friend lost two of her three sons. No pill will change her feelings and no therapy will bring them back. PTSD is bad enough without somebody blaming us for having it. I hope this helped.

  • So sorry you went through this. I think it sounds like you were very tired at the time you had some symptoms. I have found that during recovery and most likely after self care needs to be a number 1 priority. It helps a lot to put some things into place that keep you as energized as possible. Not over doing it, trying to rest as much as possible, some type of regular exercise, and good nutrition are some things that I have tried. I have had symptoms of PTSD for 39 out of 43 years. I am a C-PTSD survivor. Some major trauma as a child that was ongoing and multiple traumas as an adult. There have been times that are better than others. As far as it being gone all together well I can't honestly say I've found that place yet. But I can say that I have experienced recovery in very significant ways throughout my lifetime. One of my most recent traumas was a medical trauma and I used to have some really bad flashbacks right after. For a while the fear took over my life regarding the medical issue. I helped myself by reminding myself that the flashback is a memory and putting myself in here and now. Safe, it's over, and things are different now. I had to add the exercise to build confidence within my body again so I could trust that I'm safe. I still struggle with thoughts. BUT thank god no more flashbacks about that medical trauma. I really hope you can think about a few things you can do now for self care. Be easy on yourself. Just because you had a set back doesn't mean it has to take back over. It will pass and you will feel better again. Healing thoughts and energy you way.....

  • I had my first traumatic episode when I was 40, many years after my abusive childhood. Hospitalized for weeks, numbed out, I was given all sorts of antidepressants, which didn't work (it wasn't til years later I was diagnosed with PTSD, not major depression), ECT treatments and in-patient therapy.

    Despite all the advances I have made in the last 10 years, being bullied by my supervisor this year brought it all back, the crying, insomnia, gut cramps, anger and despair. I went on leave because I did not want to have a full-blown episode, but I wonder how someone could be so cruel. And professional treatment is hard to find and expensive like the medications I must take.

    Yes, it's a horrible disorder and can come back given the right circumstances. All you can do is not to give into the rage and blaming. Turn that anger outward by helping others or advocating for better treatments. It is said that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. You have that strength. It will get you through any future setbacks.

  • Because your heart is broken, maybe you feel your soul is broken--I did. No pill or counselor on earth can heal you. It must come from the inside--the Christ within. In other words, whatever your belief system, whatever your faith, turn to that for help. God bless you; it will get better. Cheryl

  • This can happen,ive had ptsd since 2003 officially but once i had it under control then bam at work or relationship id be lost again.i like to keep a stash od diazepam for emergencies as it works.

  • What strength diazepam do you find helps you?

  • Hi you need to be really careful with it as dependency kicks in fast and addiction.withdrawals after longterm use are horrid.i managed to get 20mg day prescription off gp as told them i was paying alot buying off either way i was gonna be taking them for emergencies.

  • Im 16stone so about 40mg has nice affect.

  • Remember we all fall in holes. The depth of those holes is what we have to remember. So well bloody done to you for going so long without an attack (what I call them)

    Remember how well your doing but I'm also triggered when I'm tired. Avoid situations where you get tired and remember you have a community of people here that understand you and your plight and can empathise and offer support and assistance

    Your doing a great job x

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