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Old June 20 2014, 12:57 AM   #16
Leviathan
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

+1 for trying the pros.

Tips as requested...though take this with a grain of salt as my situation is odd and ongoing...Meds are self-defeating. Distractions & escapism work in short bursts. Like grieving, I found that acceptance that bad things happen, and doing what little I can to prevent them helps.

I also actively choose to never, ever, let it stop me. Every hour. Every day.
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Old June 20 2014, 10:12 AM   #17
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

Same here
I have trouble with that acceptance bit: my head knows it but my guts refuse to listen.
As the current fit has been lurking in the background for 3 days now without going away (a new record for me), I've decided to go for a really massive distraction and shall paint my living room and corridor in the weekend and finally hang up those 2 huge picture frames with vacation pics that stand around in my attick for almost 2 years now. Plus there's a laundry himalaya to iron and 2 sewing projects to finish. But this afternoon I'll go to the regional flower show. I dislike crowds and today it rains so that I have all the flowers to myself, heehee =) (and my hair needs washing anyway )
LOL I think I need a longer weekend!
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Old June 21 2014, 12:41 PM   #18
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

What's worked for me is a combination of EMDR with a therapist, and I guess what would count as self-directed aversion therapy - I keep putting myself back in the situation, which in my case was crossing the street (I was hit by a pickup truck). Anyway, the EMDR is really interesting, what it does is through eye movement (or for some people, vibration on the palms, but that just tickled me so we stuck with the eye thing) moves the memory from the short-term part of the brain to the long-term storage. That makes it more abstract and easier to deal with. It took a couple sessions but I'm usually okay now. More cautious than I was before, but I also have a baby now so that's probably a good thing anyway.
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Old June 21 2014, 01:34 PM   #19
Tora Ziyal
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

Mari, I think you mean exposure therapy, not aversion. I've done a lot of the informal self-directed kind, too.
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Old June 21 2014, 04:58 PM   #20
Captain Kathryn
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
thank you all for the good advice and the good wishes. Both is very helpful!

Robert, I have been rationalizing it all for the last months and am aware of the triggers and the whole mechanism. Unfortunately, while my intellect understands that it's being manipulated by my gut feeling, my guts don't get it and keep making me feel scared. I just don't know how to take that last step because I've never been in a similar situation.

That's why I saw a psychologist last week (great minds, Emilia Your concern is much appreciated!) and have an appointment for an evaluation test next Monday.
My shrink thinks that a strong tranquilizer during the attacks and developing anti-stress-rituals should do the trick but just in case we decided to try two ways and add a classical talk-about-it therapy (which is what you suggested, bbailey )


So we covered the basics, but I wondered whether there might be any additional things we could try out or any solutions we overlooked. Firsthand experience is always better than book knowledge and so it's quite possible that an armchair psychologist here has a really good trick for me to try out.


The best therapy would propably be to get myself a BF again to have a shoulder to lean on - often a hug helps more than a bottle of pills. But the males here are either taken or suitable to man any tunnel of horror...
(The shrink is nice but looks like The Spleen's twin )
So sorry you are dealing with this.

I just want to say one thing because I take medicine for anxiety. Please...please, please...try to avoid benzos. They put me on Valium a couple of years ago without telling how dangerous and physically addicting it is. Not psychological addiction...you brain and body become dependent on it (same for all benzos...Xanax, Clonopin, etc). The problem is that they do work for a short period of time and they do work if you ONLY take them sparingly for the actual anxiety. But if they prescribe it to you for 1-3 times a day or something you can be addicted within weeks. And when that happens you will find yourself in a whole new mess of trying to get off of them. I understand if you need something in the moment. But don't let them try to get you hooked on them. If you take it daily, it is guaranteed physical addiction whether you are aware of it or not.

I am finally down to 5mg (1 pill) a day for Valium. I don't desire to take it but I become very ill if I don't and it's considered dangerous to quit cold turkey (you could have seizures). With any benzo withdrawal, you have to taper off of it extremely slowly. It's painful and can get in the way of living normally. I am fortunately okay and I am not experiencing any withdrawal symptoms since cutting my dosage but I think it's only because I did it slowly and am eating healthy and exercising.

Just be wary...I don't recommend them from personal experience.
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Last edited by Captain Kathryn; June 21 2014 at 05:23 PM.
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Old June 21 2014, 05:27 PM   #21
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

Ouch! That sounds terrible, Captain Kathryn! I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. How long will it take for you to be completely off the Valium?
I agree about the eating healthy. It makes a world of difference. My experience with sports is somewhat limited but a friend of mine is a doctor and claims that sports is the silver bullet. According to him it helps against everything from diabetes to heart problems and from addictions to the side effects of chemo therapy.

My doc is fortunately very reasonable. I told im I cathegorically refuse to take anything that causes physical or emotional addiction, so he prescribed Opripramol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opipramol ). Also, I needn't take it constantly but only during an anxiety fit. It does affect my blood pressure pretty badly, though. The manual recommends 12-24 drops, my doc said 10 and I took 6 and felt terribly dizzy for about an hour. It forces the heart to slow down and that's supposed to calm you physically. After a while it starts to calm you emotionally as well. I'm still experimenting to find the perfect dose (6-7 drops with a light meal and 4-5 on an empty stomach, I estimate). Since I neither smoke nor drink and not even have coffee, I am far more sensitive to barbiturates than most people.
That's the main reason why I always say no when they offer me a Valium before a surgery and rather have a piece of chocolate instead
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Old June 21 2014, 05:34 PM   #22
Captain Kathryn
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
Ouch! That sounds terrible, Captain Kathryn! I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. How long will it take for you to be completely off the Valium?
I agree about the eating healthy. It makes a world of difference. My experience with sports is somewhat limited but a friend of mine is a doctor and claims that sports is the silver bullet. According to him it helps against everything from diabetes to heart problems and from addictions to the side effects of chemo therapy.

My doc is fortunately very reasonable. I told im I cathegorically refuse to take anything that causes physical or emotional addiction, so he prescribed Opripramol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opipramol ). Also, I needn't take it constantly but only during an anxiety fit. It does affect my blood pressure pretty badly, though. The manual recommends 12-24 drops, my doc said 10 and I took 6 and felt terribly dizzy for about an hour. It forces the heart to slow down and that's supposed to calm you physically. After a while it starts to calm you emotionally as well. I'm still experimenting to find the perfect dose (6-7 drops with a light meal and 4-5 on an empty stomach, I estimate). Since I neither smoke nor drink and not even have coffee, I am far more sensitive to barbiturates than most people.
That's the main reason why I always say no when they offer me a Valium before a surgery and rather have a piece of chocolate instead
Ah ok. Valium isn't a barbituate though, but yeah the whole benzo thing is horrible. I wouldn't worry about taking one before surgery though. It does take consecutive use to become addicted. But best to stay away from them entirely!

I expect to be off of it within the next year. I can handle only taking 2.5 a day but to reduce symptoms I am still at 5 for now.

That is good that you knew ahead of time and requested something non-addictive! My doctor at the time just straight up lied to me and I felt like he just wanted to keep me on the medication. He tried to give me other medicines, but I politely declined. I don't need more stuff to get off of, one is enough.

I just got worried when you said tranquilizers because I know what benzos do to the body now and just don't want anyone to go through what I went through.

I am symptom-free as of now. Most people have severe symptoms after cutting as much as I did (I was up to 40mg a day, now down to 5 or lower).

Be careful of your heart and don't feel pressured to take more than you need! You might just be much more sensitive since you rarely use chemicals.
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Old June 22 2014, 07:52 AM   #23
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

Indeed, I am. I made the mistake to take the first dose on an empty stomach. Next time I'll have a roll with the meds, or a few cookies. That should dampen the effects somewhat as the medicine will take longer to enter the bloodstream.
It does say in the product leaflet that one should take the drops after or with a meal, but I imagine there might be some difficulty in convincing my anxiety fits to only take place after lunch (unless I develop a fear of indigestion, of course )
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Old June 29 2014, 11:42 AM   #24
An Officer
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

Conceive a mantra that you know might get through to you when you have an episode... and just loop that through your mind instead of the distressing thoughts. Keep at it until you brainwash yourself effectively.

However, if it's been going on some time, and you feel powerless to do something about it, removing yourself from your usual environment may help to break the symptoms. Stay with your parents or friends for a couple of days. Tell them what's going on (don't have to disclose the details), and receive some comfort and reassurance. I agree there is no substitute for the healing powers of healthy human contact.

Lastly, essential oils - aromatherapy... put some lavender in your sheets, a little in your face cream or hair product perhaps - you can get creative with it. This is more of that grounding of yourself someone earlier mentioned. Scents are very powerful mood regulators, as are herbal teas like chamomile and lavender, non caffeinated jasmine tea... that kind of thing. You would be surprised how helpful that can be. Stay away from stimulants like caffeine and sugar.

And patience, it will pass, you'll get through it and be alright, nothing lasts forever. Be well. :-)
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Old June 29 2014, 01:01 PM   #25
HIjol
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

Just came across this...my two cents:

Professional Help
Find The Humor...in everything...it is everywhere
Monitor Your Feelings...you have had good suggestions
Good Diet
Get Outdoors...you already do...
Acknowledge the People Who Love You!...
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Old June 30 2014, 06:59 PM   #26
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

Aww, thanks, HIjol, you're a sweetie

An Officer, this mantra thing is a great idea! I used something very similar quite successfully when I got 3 dental implants many years ago. I had completely forgotten about it.
As for the essential oils: a classical case of great minds Only last week I ordered a huge shipment of bathing oils, massage oils, scented soaps and candles from my favourite Welsh herbal shop. Plenty of calming lavender, sothing rose, comforting ylang-ylang and invigorating citrus oils =) They should arrive some time this week.
The family thing doesn't work in my case as we are not close at my family. There's never any physical contact and hardly ever emotional backup. My friends are scattered all over the planet and there are none in my immediate vicinity. Quite a few of my colleagues know about my prob, though, and are very supportive. One has claustrophobia and gave me a good tip how to force panic attacks down: you make fists and tighten all the muscles in your arms, belly and chest, hold your breath, count to 10 and then relax. The tight chest muscles and full lungs press against the heart and force it to slow down. It works surprisingly well.

I'm really surprised at the immense amount of positive feedback I'm getting here. It's much appreciated!! You guys really rock!

It also shows how much the board has changed during the last decade. Back in 2001/2 when I first was a member here, people would have torn me to pieces and trampled on them the instant I showed a weakness. The board was full of bullies back then (including many staff members). It's nice to see that friendliness is not yet on the red list of endangered internet species
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Old June 30 2014, 09:30 PM   #27
Tora Ziyal
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Re: post traumatic stress syndrome - any advice to share?

^ I'm not surprised by the response. A few years ago, I posted a bit about my PTSD, because I wasn't sure whether I could handle watching a certain story arc, and most responses were supportive and/or helpful. One newbie attacked me and was promptly banned (without my asking -- in fact, he'd been banned before I ever saw his post). Yay mods!
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