Do I have PTSD or am I losing my marbles? :P

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by bertie, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    I'm having a hard time with anxiety. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (got it when my older son died 15 years ago) and it's been ok with the help of my anti-depressant, but lately whenever I talk to difficult child or have to talk to someone else about him, my heart just pounds....I get agitated and I can't calm down usually for a half hour or more.

    This is scary because I had breast cancer last year (am fine now), plus I have high blood pressure which is usually ok with medication. I know this isn't good for me. I am seeking more therapy and stepping up my exercise, plus my psychiatrist says I can increase my anti-depressant - but am wondering if anyone else experiences this after dealing with their difficult child?
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    All the time. I don't know if its PTSD or anxiety. I try to monitor my breathing and if difficult child makes me stressed, I just walk away.
  3. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    All I have to do is see my phone ringing and that it's difficult child or his girlfriend, and my heart starts to pound.

    I really hate this.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    This was the situation that made me realize that I needed to get help. When our daughter was in school...the phone often rang with teachers complaining. I started to jump when the phone rang. It made me realize I needed help. Help for myself and more help for difficult child. My guess is that there are certain breathing and possibly visuation techniques that might help with this. It is one of my many interests. Anyway, its good that you realize that this is going on and it might be something to address with your physician and/or therapist.
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh I absoloutely get this. AT its worst, I got medication for my anxiety.. mostly to take at night so my mind would shut off and I could sleep. But mostly, it took therapy and support to get through it. Practice, practice, practice! Writing is one of my therapies.. pounding out the story on a keyboard, and into my journal, helps me a LOT.. not to mention gives much-needed perspective down the road, as I look back on entries.

    Also I needed to take a look at my life, and reduce what stress I could. Start saying "no" to some things. See my response to your other post, re the calls frm the girlfriend and her mother.. I realy worry that this is adding to your stress.
  6. jisduit

    jisduit New Member

    Anxiety ?? YES
    medications at night ?? YES
    Drinking more to deal ? YES
    Did I think I was totally loosing it ?? YES years ago when difficult child started his "stuff" AND AGAIN NOW
    My family doctor wanted to put me into a psy hospital a few years ago cause i couldnt stop crying over my difficult child - I didnt go - just ran away for a few days - it helped. At that time I hadnt slept for 3 days. At the hotel - I took 4 klonipin and finally slept. I only take the klonipin now when I am very stressed out - which is NOW - easy child is going to confront difficult child tonight and I am stressed.

    Your in my prayers

  7. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    Oh jisduit, I'm so sorry - someone once said that God only gives these children to people who can handle it, but I begin to wonder - at what price?

    Yes, the calls and text msgs from girlfriend's family can greatly add to my stress. Her mom is VERY understanding, has been quite supportive and at times when I tell her I can't take it, she tells her dtr not to contact me.

    Re Klonopin - I started taking that 15 years ago when my first son died (prescribed by my doctor at the time, aargh) and have been taking the same dose - one pill - every night since then. However, I have been slowly getting off of several medications over the past few months (Gabitril, Benadryl and a couple others) and made up my mind last month that I am going to BEAT THE KLONOPIN HABIT. So I've slowly been weaning myself off of it, am going down to half a pill every night starting next week and four weeks after that, I expect to be DONE with it! Yah! :D What's helping me with this process is Trazodone, newly prescribed by my psychiatrist - it's been a life-saver - I take 50 mg at 7 PM, then another 50 mg before I go to bed - that way I don't have a Trazodone hangover in the morning plus I sleep very well.

    I digress.....I do have several hobbies that keep me very busy. I've found all of my relatives thru genealogy (I started with zero), discovered two years ago that I'm Jewish (yeah, what a trip! :)) and am now writing a book about my experience, but still doing some research on my Jewish roots and Judaism. I also paint at night I go home, feed the animals, feed myself, turn off my cell phone, turn on the TV, and do my genealogy until I go to bed. That's "my" time, and no one can bother me (it also helps that I live alone). :)
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Yep. You're certainly not alone, Bertie- add me to the list.

    The longterm effects of anxiety not only make me gun shy with Rob but I also have difficulty handling temper tantrums with my peers or clients (their tantrums, not mine)....and their bad behavior isn't even about me!

    I take tiny bits of klonopin as needed and it's helped me survive.

  9. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    >I also have difficulty handling temper tantrums with my peers or clients (their tantrums, not mine)....and their bad behavior isn't even about me!<

    Boy, does THAT sound familiar! I was yelled at by a very tactless co-worker last week (turned out it was directed at the person I was with), but it left me quite shaken, even after I found it she wasn't angry at me. Before all this happened with-my son it wouldn't have had that kind of effect on me, but now...well, they say that stress is cumulative. It certainly is showing its ugly head.
  10. Kolleen

    Kolleen Guest

    It's amazing we haven't all become ADRENALINE junkies! It's that fight or flight response. I do lots of walking to help keep myself together between difficult child episodes. I've developed more patience and more tolerance for people and things than I ever would have thought possible.

    When a co-worker recently became upset with bad weather, I was standing there thinking this isn't even on my 'list.' Too many real - life - issues to deal with to worry about a tornado! Bring it on!

    I too use medications to help sleep. My restless leg syndrome has kicked in with this latest bout and need something different to help with that. If it's not one thing, it's another........

    Stay strong - do the best you can at the time.
  11. peg2

    peg2 Member

    My heart races everytime my cell phone rings or I get a text, until I look to see who it is from. If it is from difficult child, then I get anxious. But I believe I have true PTSD because I am getting depressed and have been for quite some time. Whenever I go anywhere or see anything, a sign, a street,etc. a place I have been with my difficult child(hospital ER)I go back over the events that led up to it, I re-live 7 years of trama. I can see myself standing with him in the ER,the restraints, everything!!!! The car ride up, the hospital unit, the doorways leading up to it. I travel a lot in my job and deal with youth&family services kids who are in foster homes,placements(some the same as my son) so I see reminders constantly. I don't have nightmares, but I re-live it over and over and of course get depressed. I doubt a doctor would diagnosis it as PTSD. I don't see myself ever getting over it, but I must have hope!!!
  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I really think that parents of difficult children have chronic PTSD. I mentioned it to my psychiatrist once.. and she agreed.. and noted, quite correctly, that it's an ongoing process.. because the "traumatic" event isn't always in the past.. it's chronic. I think it's not about getting over it (how can you really?) but, learning to deal with it. Support groups and therapy can really help with that.
  13. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    Peg, I certainly hope you're looking into help for yourself? An anti-depressant can do wonders....I went for years with the attitude that I had given up on anti-depressants because of all the side-effects and because I hadn't been able to find one that was ideally suited for me. I changed psychiatrists (actually it's my son's former psychiatrist who also treats adults and she's very good), and she immediately suggested Celexa because all it does is boost your serotonin level - because it has just that one function, there are less side-effects. It has worked SO well for me! I'm on a low dose and just over the past two weeks I started getting heavy anxiety again, so my psychiatrist suggested yesterday that I boost my dosage by 10 mgs.

    And as CrazyinVa says, support groups and therapy are extremely important. Peg, you sound very depressed, please let us know if you seek treatment for yourself. Believe me, I've been there several times.

    [I always have to laugh whenever I hear someone say, "Oh, I want to have a baby! I want to be a mommy SO BAD!" What's really ironic is that I never felt that way, I just seemed to have babies when it occurred, plus my sister was the "bad" child in the family (she's now schizo-affective) and I remember my mother many times shaking her finger at my sister and yelling, "I hope someday you have a child who drives you as crazy as you drive me!" - and I had them! And I was the good kid!! My sister has a daughter who is a total easy child....LOL - life can really throw you some curve balls.....]
  14. Katz314

    Katz314 New Member

    I wouldn't worry I lost my marbles years ago and it didn't bother me all that much. I had more fun being crazy than I ever had sane. If you are crazy then you have nothing to worry about. You only have to avoid the men in white coats with the nets. most people are too self-involved to notice that you are going crazy and lots of people are crazier than both of us so at least you won't be lonely. Since everyone living is a little bit crazy and some of them don't know it. Anyone whose willing to admit they may be losing their marbles you know they still have a few of them.:)

    Think on this I didn't lose my marbles I just forgot where I put them

    I used to have a handle on life but the handle broke

    Whatever you are dealing with a sense of humor about it usually helps. If your kid is driving you crazy then maybe you can find out if the school he attends has a catagory of most likely to get arrested for a serious crime. Or you can list as one of your job skills used to working with crazy people. I have post traumatic too snd instead of stressing over it I make fun of the whole thing and do not take the whole thing seriously. So what if I have a flashback it doesn't apply to me anymore and it isn't a part of my life anymore so I pick up a comic or read some jokes and it finally goes away. Or think about the homocidal spelling teacher. I created the image of a teacher who kills her students for misspelling word and though sick it got me less afraid to take spelling tests. I know is a sick and demented idea but it put it into perspective since I knew the teacher wouldn't waste me if I mispelled a word on the test it would make a mess and the cops would disrupt things. So you take your fear and blow it completely out of proportion until it's funny. If you think you are in a really bad situation then you can at least be glad you aren't in a crowded elevator with a hungry alligator. Even if you end up in that situation then you can be grateful that the alligator will probably eat a few of them and it will be less crowded. Whatever the situation twist it a bit and make a joke of it. If your teenager trashes the kitchen then it probably needs to be remodelled anyways. Or get the sticker my juvenile deliquent beat up your honor student. There's no situation that can't have a funny side to it. Sometimes we laugh to avoid crying. All humor is actually is a way of dealing with pain. If you can laugh about it then you have a chance of beating this disorder. No matter what they tell you about post healing is always possible and hope is real.
  15. peg2

    peg2 Member

    Wish it were that simple, but its not. Can't laugh about everything and flashbacks are part of it all, they do apply presently and probably always will. I find talking about my situation with others who are in the same boat helps, but otherwise, time will have to help me through. A loving husband helps too and dealing with other problems is distracting. Having happy things to do is nice, we are planning a baby shower at work and that is such a happy time. There are lots of wonderful things, but the strain of having a difficult child will always be there, hopefully, as time goes on, it will be more in the background.
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911


    At the height of Dudes difficult child career I thought I was having a heart attack. I was in the grocery store, and it felt like someone slapped the back of my calves with a whip, I saw black, then star like things, fell to the floor, caught myself on the handle, and then had an out of body experience like I was floating away or dying, watching myself hang on to the grocery cart. I could hear people talking but it was muffled, I felt weak, I got super hot, my chest pounded and my heart felt like the biggest belch waiting to happen but never did.

    I sat down for about 10 minutes and when the dizzy feeling went away I got up, dusted myself off, told my DF I was fine and went home. Once inside the house I checked the phone and saw Dude had called from the psychiatric hospital after trying to commit suicide/after the police came to our house for his arrest in connection with home invasions and theft. It happened all over again, and DF put me in the car and we went to the heart hospital.

    I couldn't walk, my head felt like it was going to come off. My arm was numb, I had that out of body feeling again. ALL my vital signs were ABSOLUTELY NORMAL. I got a shot of atavan 2 hours later, and fell asleep, missed 2 days of work, and found out I had a series of mini strokes.

    The out of body experience was what is known as a disassociative state. It's like laughing hysterically before you loose your mind, and sorta like shivering when you are freezing. The body was trying to heal itself before my brain krapped out. What brains I had left.

    I needed therapy badly, this was a kind of stress that you should not hold inside. You need to talk to a professional and not sit at home wondering if you can fix this yourself. You can NOT. And you'll just add layers on layers of difficulty to your life if you don't start with a good therapist NOW to undo all that difficult child has done to your life/body/mind/spirit.

    Your body is TELLING YOU - you are getting dangerously close to blowing a gasket. The feelings are a warning sign, and I hope you believe me.

    I am an overcomer of a lot of things. Really - my life autobiography reads like science fiction. But when it came to a stroke? No maam - no more putting me on the back burner.

    I hope you really look at what is happening to you and don't just dismiss it as something you "should" be able to handle. We were NOT designed to deal with the constant stress we endure with difficult child's and if we dont' find an outlet for our stress? The end result isn't pretty.

    You only are given SO MUCH life - find a way to start living yours, find your peace, find your place - find your self.

    And stop looking to see who called - if he wants to call - he'll call back won't he? So will everyone else that wants you.

    Take care of you - because no one else will.
  17. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    WOW, I just posted about this on the watercooler a couple of days ago. I have been to the doctor twice in a week about these same symptoms because of an employee that is harassing me. It has triggered every ounce of past anxiety I have, and every time I see this person my heart races, I feel dizzy, sick. I SO understand! Today someone called on the phone, and she was from city hall, and before she told me who she was I had a flashback of teachers calling me to tell me to come get my kid because he was out of control. I am struggling so much with this..............I SO understand. Especially how our stress with difficult children later manifests itself into workplace and other environments. It stinks:sick: