A year has now gone. Why can't I move on?

It's been a year this month since my stay in ICU. I spent 4 weeks in a coma but know little about my illness. I gather bits via people and drs letters. I am now being treated for PTSD. And depression, but can't seem to feel happy that I survived. What is wrong with me. I should be over the moon and happy instead I'm not. Has anyone got any advice for me.

12 Replies

Hi Tiaclydebonnie,

I'm sorry to hear you're still feeling so down, I remember going through the same after spending 3 months in ICU 5 years ago, 2 months of that in a coma, it felt like my world had fell apart when I was discharged from hospital, as I'm sure it has for many other survivors.

Sometimes it's so difficult trying to understand what happened to you when you been in a coma so close to death and yet you survived, but instead of happiness we often feel just the opposite, nothing prepares you for post ICU and that long road to recovery that often feels like life will never get better, but believe me, a year is still relatively early days in your recovery, I can remember having so many up & down days over the last five years, often feeling down around the anniversary of my ICU admission or if I suffer another chest infection.

My advice would be try talking about the way you are feeling to family & friends or visit a local ICUsteps support group if you are lucky enough to have one near you, also look after yourself, take gentle exercise & treat yourself ever now and again, and don't forget you will always have great support from the community here as we know how hard it can be.

Best wishes on your continued recovery.


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Hi Tiaclydebonnie

Yes, I agree with Luckyone. You are still going through early days of recovery from being in ICU and one of the most supportive groups where people understand your trauma is ICU Steps. You can find out more about the charity at and ascertain whether you have a group nearby to where you live. As you have already been diagnosed with PTSD you no doubt have clinicians who are supporting and caring for you. Sometimes it is difficult to talk to your family as they are probably experiencing similar emotions to you as they had to sit by your bed during a very difficult time but people who gather together in the ICU Steps groups understand where you are coming from 100%. It is also a great group for carers and families who have been with a patient in ICU too. Take things slowly, be kind to yourself and I wish you all the luck in the world.


Dear Tiaclydebonnie - I agree with the comments from Luckyone and Valruss.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, please be assured.

I think it would help if you were able to be a bit kinder to yourself - ie less of the

'I should be feeling over the moon' and 'I should feel happy that I survived'

If you tell yourself that you 'should' be feeling this or that, and you are clearly not, I think you are punishing yourself unnecessarily , and it may not help your recovery to be in this frame of mind.

Those of us who post here, and who have survived being an ICU patient, often comment on how long the recovery can take. A year post-ICU is not a long time.

We each have our own journey (excuse the word!) and what works for one person is not right for someone else - but there are some common themes. 'Making sense' of what happened to us, the nature of the illness that brought us into ICU, and the very many treatments and procedures we have experienced (and suffered) - all this takes time, as does the physical, mental, and emotional , recovery. Perhaps you could make time to do things that you enjoy (and are able to do without exhausting yourself) - sometimes the smallest pleasures can be the most rewarding. Make sure you eat well, and get some exercise, and rest, too.

Posters on this site have, like you, suffered PTSD and depression: I'd say that is a 'normal' reaction to the trauma they have experienced. It is not a sign of weakness.

Have patience, be kind to yourself, and try to stay positive: things will get better for you, over time. Good luck with your recovery


Thank you for all your feedback it's much appreciated and I'll try to listen but the days are very hard at the moment.


Hi Tiaclydebonnie I was in ICU 3years ago in an induced coma! After seeing my cardiologist I told him how I felt the sleepless night the nightmares etc he referred me to a physcoligist I have been seeing him since September it has been hard but worth it! I too have very hard days when I have no energy and am very irritable and wish people would leave me alone😟 Keep talking with your physcoligist and open up don't keep things locked up in your mind , keep a notebook write your feelings down it does help ! I too suffer from PTSD because of being in ICU take one day at a time Hun don't rush things! Stay strong remember your not alone xxx


That is quite normal, to feel like that, I feel the same too. Please be kind and compassionate with yourself, it does get easier but I am like you so down and weepy.

Hope things start to improve for you soon.

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And I hope they improve for you. It's hard feeling like this all the time. But keep trying.

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If you want to have a chat on the phone, my land line is 01323 430040.


Greetngs from Canada,

Dear Tiaclydebonnie, I pray you will feel better soon. Don't give up. Recovery takes time. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Warm Regards. Haly.

I would like to thank all who have posted their experiences to share. I too have spent time in ICU and Acute Surgery unit as a result of Sepsis / Septic Shock. After being dischaged from the hospital after a three month stay, I didn't know which way to walk but I tried my best to get up each day and do my best to have a little normacy.

I have been home for nearly five months and I never thought I would be writing about experience to share with others, but here I am. To understand my experience, I ordered copies of my health records from the hospital and having read these records over and over, I now have a better understanding of my illness. Hopefully I can move forward as time goes by. I still have my down days.


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Hi all!

I stumbled upon this group today when doing some research of what happened to me this past year. I signed up immediately!

Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer (second time in 4 years!). After my 3rd chemo treatment, I got the flu, which then led to pneumonia then sepsis. I was in an induced coma for 54 days and during that time my kidneys completely failed (for almost two weeks I was on 24 hour dialysis with one nurse dedicated every single minute of that time to me and another nurse just for the machine) I had a collapsed lung, many blood transfusion, blood clots in my legs and the Dr's were pretty sure my lungs as well, so I had a life saving TPA procedure, heart idamage,, temps of 105+ degrees (for weeks!) massive seizures, swelling of the brain etc. I was airlifted from one hospital to the ICU at Yale where I spent another month in the coma. The list goes on and on. Tomorrow 6/3 will be one year to the day that I've been home from rehab.

My daughter and sister (only family) were told many times that I wouldn't survive, and if I did, I would most likely be in a wheelchair with brain damage. 3 times my daughter fought to not have the "plug pulled" (thank goodness!). Shortly after getting home I had to go in and have my lumpectomy then 6 weeks of radiation, every day except weekends. It's been a LONG year and I'm still struggling to deal. I think it's more the cancer that has me freaked out, but the coma and all those things that went wrong keep me up at night as well!

I actually went back to work as soon as I could drive (I had to wait 3 months after the seizures before allowed to drive) so I was amazingly lucky to make it through, not only alive, but with very little damage. In fact, I'm the only one that can tell I have anything leftover. But it's the mental part I'm struggling with!! Another thing no one else can tell because I'm so good at always finding the silver lining. It's when I'm alone (which is a lot since I'm single) when my mind starts whirling.

I guess I'm spilling here because I haven't been able to speak to ANYONE that can even remotely relate!

Thanks for "listening"



Hi LoriB5, gosh what an awful ride through the medical system you have had and you like me do the I'm fine silver lining and all that. But like you I find when I'm on my own or sometimes even in company my mind wonders and the tears start. Sadly it seems to be all part of the recovery process from what I can find out some of us get it worse than others. Can you seek help and talk to anyone from the ITU dept or do they run a help group. Have you also spoken to your gp at all.

Not sure if these help you as they don't always help everyone as neither does counselling . Sometimes just comunnecting online can help. But it can just be time and you must remember that you have had both physically,mentally and neurologically given your body a real hammering so be kind to yourself. I'm here if you need me and just remember you're not the only one who feels like this if that helps just a little xx


Hello, I know exactly what you mean. I was in ICU with septicaemia and never knew where it came from Why Me? It has been been 6 months I always think of it . The thought of another visit from Septicaemia terrifies me. It was a tough fight. I'm sorry that I don't have any magic answers for you, but I do understand.


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