PTSD or anxiety triggers?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bean, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Bean

    Bean Member

    Sorry if this is in the wrong section... it's more of a "parent of difficult child mental health" question. I tend to hang on in the Parent E. section of the forum because my most difficult child is 19 now, but it could probably apply to any parenting stage(?).

    I'm wondering if any of you have a sort of PTSD situation concerning the behaviors of your difficult child?

    I had my first counseling appointment yesterday (mostly just collecting information, not any real revelations yesterday). Through the past 5 years of turmoil, I've never been to a counselor. I've done groups, and have a parent advocate that I work closely with, but no counselor.

    Since recently my daughter moved back in, I've realized I have all sorts of anxiety/trauma/PTSD associated with her.

    For example, we used to get all kinds of phone calls from her. Things like, I'm on my way home... five minutes and she'd never show up. Or when she'd run away she'd call and say she was coming home, or she wouldn't say where she was, or her voice would sound completely under the influence and the line would go dead. So much left to imagination. I hated the phone.

    I'd get shaky and sick when it would ring sometimes. I couldn't answer or handle talking to her on it. I still feel that way.

    Now I notice that her listening to music brings out anxiety in me. She'd listen to music as she made plans to take off for the night or run.

    Her being on the computer. She used to sit on the computer maniacally, hooking up with sleazy people, contacting men from gangs in other states, posting inappropriate sexual pictures of herself.

    I literally think I have a form of post-traumatic stress disorder related to her. I hope counseling can help with it.

    Does anyone else have this type of anxiety surrounding their difficult child?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I had PTSD for other reasons when I was young. My son started becoming aggressive with me, the courts were threatening to send him back to my family which caused my initial PTSD, I had to testify about the initial problems, then my son pulled a knife on me. Right now I think the county mental health evaluator has me mis-diagnosis'd as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and I think it is PTSD resurfaced. So yes, difficult child issues can cause PTSD, in my humble opinion.

    However, my situation might not be typical and given your description I have no idea at all what that diagnosis would be. I would suggest letting the therapist know and see if the treatment seems to feel right and be effective. If it isn't or it doesn't add up to you, don't waste your time and find someone else. That's just my layman's opinion.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    PS I think PTSD is classified as an anxiety disorder but there are several types. So saying it's anxiety gets you in the ballpark but the treatment for PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and other types might vary a great bit. I can assure you that how you get treated by others who know about it will differ depending on which type it is.
  4. Bean

    Bean Member

    Thanks. I appreciate that. The doctor tried to steer me into some anxiety group they have, but I really really just wanted individual counseling. I'm so glad I advocated for myself on that and put my foot down. So, I appreciate what you said about "wasting your time" if it isn't effective. I'm not totally ruling out the group, but what I'm feeling right now is the need to work through some of these things in an one-on-one. Time is precious!!!
  5. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i do.

    mine manifested from my difficult child 1 and a horrific medical situation at the hand of a doctor. when my difficult child 2's issues started last year, it was all i could do to manage to deal with her.

    i've been told i need EMDR therapy, which is supposed to be quick and easy, and supposely works wonders, but i couldnt find anyone close to local to do it, and unfortunately i am WAY too busy running the kids to 80 million appts.

    i do see an individual therapist (which, in *my* case, isnt overly helpful--there is no constructive advice that will change my situation, if that makes sense....its more to help me cope). and i do have an rx for PRN use (which, in *my* case, DOES help, lol...immensely) and i do the parent group nonsense (which, in *my* case, makes me want to gouge my eyeball out with a fork).

    only you know the right course for you, and i think it sounds wise to start individually and go from there.

    good luck--i hope you find your answers.
  6. Oh yes, most definitely! I've used a lot of techniques I've learned over the years to help myself, and mostly, I use the basket technique for myself. I just let a lot of things go. If I have been invited to a social event where all the Moms in our small community are going to be discussing the exploits and achievements of their children (peers to difficult child) , I may or may not go depending upon my mental state. Sometimes, the looks of pity that come my way, are just too much. I realize that folks are doing the best that they can, but still.... I'm getting much better at taking care of myself and only doing what I choose to do. A lot has fallen by the wayside. But, I am in control of that.

    Seven years ago , difficult child had an awful accident crossing the road to go to track practice, and it was months before I could bring myself to travel on that road. It was classic PTSD. The first time I forced myself to do it, the paint markings where he was hit were still on the road, I broke out into a sweat , and had to pull off of the road to control my breathing and gain control. I was having a classic anxiety attack. I knew that I had to keep trying though, and I did. I still have a reaction when I go by there, and it's been 7 years now. This is PTSD, but it can be controlled. The psychiatrist who first treated difficult child saw this in me, and prescribed some medication for me to smooth out the rough spots. What a nice man!

    I think that it is most important to recognize your symptoms, which you have! Then, you have some choices to make about exactly what you will do to work with those symptoms, and determine your goals. It really sounds like you are on the right track. Anxiety is a realistic response to the difficult child activities. We can't control those activities, but we can control those responses. Hang in there, Bean!