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mermaidcafe in loasnark

PTSD

I don't know if anyone else has experience with PTSD, but mine has been triggered again lately and I want to soothe it a bit.

I'm focusing on the positive when I can and I'm always looking for gratitude and appreciation. But I know that a part of me is still stuck in the very vulnerable-feeling place, and that's showing even when I think better thoughts. For example, one of my big symptoms is hypervigilance. Even while I'm at work, I'm constantly looking around, feeling like something bad is about to happen. I can *think* "That's just a feeling caused by other experiences; what matters is to choose a more positive place right now," but it doesn't really change the symptoms.

I've been reading things I found online about this and, to be perfectly frank, many of them seemed to be written by people who'd never experienced this. The advice I found there tended to involve never thinking about the triggering event and forgiving myself for feeling afraid. I feel like my fears need to be reassured that I'm strong enough to endure and be happy under any circumstances, not forgiven as if it's wrong to feel a feeling.

Sorry for the long ramble. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be interested and appreciative.

Comments

I don't know if I'm qualified to respond to this. I was never diagnosed with PTSD, and while I did go through something traumatic, it wasn't as horrible as some of the things that could have happened. (And I tend to negate any feelings I have about it because my family, my therapist, and the police treated me like it was my fault that I got attacked. So I just sort of pretended that everything was okay until my bad feelings went away.)

I don't have any answer for you really, but for months after I was attacked I couldn't return to the place it happened, and I couldn't drive around without being on edge looking for the car the people who attacked me were driving.

I got a new car and moved to a new town, and it made me feel better--safer. I got away from the things that triggered the memory.

Basically the way I decided to deal with it was to just try to keep breathing and keep calm whenever I started to get anxious on the road (for months every time I saw a black audi I would hyperventilate a little), and then whenever I felt better about it, like when I moved away, I just clung to the better feeling.

And every time I moved toward relief, and away from the fear and the feelings of self-loathing, those feelings moved farther and farther away from me. I don't worry about it anymore at all. It was about a year and a half ago.

I don't know if that's helpful at all. I guess I would just say... try to accept all of your feelings as normal and justified. Look at your hyper-vigilance as a positive. Look at it as you being smart and careful, not crazy. But also try to acknowledge that as soon as you're ready to stop worrying about it, you'll be okay.

I just know that I never accepted what other people where saying about me as being right. I just told myself "I went through something horrible, and everything is not okay, and everyone is stupid, but I'm going to survive without them."

I don't know. Hopefully something I said was half-helpful. <3 Feel better.

November 2008

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