struggling with mind numbing ptsd again - ideas?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I have been so ptsd lately, that even a sudden move, or sound, makes me jump. I suddenly started having panic attacks again, that had previously subsided, but they are back to the point of feeling like physically wild coyotes are running towards me for the kill.

    I can't really make heads or tails out of this. Why all of the sudden? And what can I do to make this stop forever?

    I talked to my counselor today, and there are many stressors, but most of which have been there for a year or more.

    The only new things are that work is again more stressful than usual, and my boss raked me over the coals for something in a somewhat verbally abusive way. In addition, as my last post stated, I am the one who has ended up busting Ms Harassing Ding Dongs face, ( even though she has been gone for 3 months from my location). Actually it was this day, the day of the bust, before I ever knew that ding dong was going to be involved in the investigation, when the panic attacks started.

    Other things - I miss difficult child more than ever in the last 4 months. He is doing OK, and we are having these phone calls, that are supposed to be focused on only positive interactions and me not enabling him. Which is great & healthy, but yet weird, and unsettling. My whole life I have fixed his problems.

    And I miss H. It will be a one year anniversary of her death next month. I still cannot seem to accept that she is gone forever.

    Of course any of that is enough to make one stressed - but this PTSD thing has been abated for at least 3 months despite these previous mentioned issues.

    It seems that work seems to be the trigger - and I don't know why. I told my counselor today that I was the only one in a store of 100 that would/has and will tell my manager to stick it where the sun don't shine - and yet when she yells at me in this certain way - I become a quivering child. My counselor said, which I thought was revelation, that my adult self completely created herself as this strong person from the age of 16 - and yet that inner child was not healed - and therefore, if I am not prepared as the adult, and get caught off guard, the little child takes over.

    As hokey as it sounds, it actually makes sense. I can be the strongest person in the world, until someone starts to abuse me or threaten me - and then I go into this PTSD mode. All shakey, whiney.

    What do you do? The problem with this is that I am usually caught off guard with my boss yelling, or busting Ms. Ding Dong - so I am not mentally prepared to be in my adult mode. And then my body takes over.

    I have not been able to breathe in 3 days. I have chest, arm, hand pain. I called the cardiologist today, just to make sure, because I am scared. And I am just physically scared, of every little thing.

    I just talked to my friend, who encouraged me to dismiss every little thing my boss says and to not engage when she is in this "fueling the fire mode". Whether it is personal, work related, etc. And then I can come back to it, when or if she can be mentally healthy about her discussion.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member


    Hi, I kow there is so much going on for you right now and there has been for a while. Work just triggered it all to the surface maybe. Plus you have been thinking about so much lately also.

    I'm sorry you are having such a hard time, it can be so devastating I have been there. It makes no logical sense I know.

    I can only share what I did, I tried medication's I really did but they were horrible worse than i felt when I started. Than I tried quick hit's of xanax to relieve the overwhelming looming desperate panic attack feeling. I used to throw up at work and on train home. The xanax for me wasn't a good option because quite honestly handling kids i'd need to pop one with how i was every few hours.

    So, when I started to detach i knew it was time to make some long term changes becaues that scared me alot.

    I began learning breathing techniques and skills to lessen my anxiety level. I used yoga breathing at times without the yoga (it kills my back), than i also found allowing myself to grieve for what it was that was upsetting me actually helped. I spent 20 years running from mine. So, I just allowed myself to just break down, cry, not go to work when necessary break down to build back up if that makes any sense at all to you.

    Meditation was huge by the way. It was a small amt of time every morning spent just with me calming my mind, which by the way wasnt an easy task yet that with the breathing started to do the trick. I still do it now when i feel myself becoming overwhelmed.

    I think your amazing, I think you have gone through alot and kept shoving thru it all and being powerful and strong. I think that maybe just maybe this incident with the worker/boss thing just brought what had to be dealt with up to the surface?? to kinda let you know hey i'm still here work with me sort of thing.

    I can't speak more of the mediation in the a.m.'s I know it stinks and i thought wow why do i have to do this it isn't fair i just want to go, go live my life. Yet it's the reality of who I am now. If i dont' take these steps when I need them i'd def need medication with-o a doubt. There are some days my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is so bad, compiled with the ptsd carp i think i could still benefit.

    ok i have no idea if that was any help. just be gentle to yourself you have come thru a storm and out the other end of it. These phone calls also are new and i would imagine a bit odd and unfamiliiar also. Your adapting to alot of new stuff right now, and ther'es more to come, great great stuff.

  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I have a couple of books- they are about codependence, tramautic stress, etc. It helps put my mind back where it should be sometimes to read some in them. Sometimes it helps to talk to a counselor- other times that makes it worse. If I can think of something feasible to do right away that helps me relate more to a healthy state of mind, that usually helps a lot to turn things around. IOW, if there's a habit or something I did only when I'm in a good frame of mind, if I can do that when I feel like carp, it can help change my frame of mind.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{Hugs}}} Steely. I don't suffer from ptsd so this will probably be of no help, but I thought I'd suggest you look into it anyway. Have you even been to see an Occupational Therapist (OT) for sensory dysregulation? The way you described your physical feelings seems a lot like Duckie when she's at her worse. Maybe a good Occupational Therapist (OT) could help you find some relief?
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Sounds like you have an awfully good counselor to me.

    I still have anxiety (guess you could call it PTSD) from the truck accident that pops up under high stress. Annoying as I've already delt with it, except for this periodic popping up thing. Does help to be able to recognize it for what it is though.

    The unhealed inner child thing makes perfect sense. been there done that And did the therapy many years ago. It's a longish process. Now I can handle situations like that in full adult mode without lapsing into that child role. (hmm wonder if that means that inner child part finally caught up?)

    Like I said, it's a process. Sounds like you're working thru it though.

  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, I for one am definitely affected by my hormones -- they wreck havoc on my anxiety once a month, despite my medications. Any chance this is another culprit?
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    No ideas, Steely, just lots of hugs.
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    My hormones make my anxiety and PTSD so much worse as well.
    I was at my psychiatrist a couple of weeks ago, I was talking about my horrible anxiety, how it seemed to be worse, how I was driving husband crazy in the car, how I had to have directions and be able to visualize where I was going before I drove, how I was having a hard times leaving the house.
    I was crumbling at the least bit of a criticism as well.
    All of these things seemed to be building up on me and getting worse.
    She was just looking at me.
    We had already decided on 2 medication changes, one for sleep and another just to keep titrating up my Lamictal per target.

    So she said, do you want to add another medication?
    Do you want to take an anti-anxiety before you go somewhere or before you feel like you are going to stress out?
    Do you want something else to help you with life?
    She said all of this with a smile and sarcastically. Her and I laugh a lot.

    I said, quite ticked off, "I just don't want to feel like this!!!"
    She said, "Well you need to do something to change things"
    "You need to learn how to breathe"
    "You need to force yourself to deal with life, your life and get through it"
    "You need to get out of the house, take a class or something"
    I started laughing because she made it sound so easy, and she made it sound like I could do it.

    I did, that afternoon I signed up for 3 classes. I have hardly given husband a hard time when he is driving, and I actually am breathing when he is driving, so I am really more relaxed.
    I am not obsessing about directions as much.
    It is not all perfect, I have still fallen apart, when I heard his parent's had said that I caused most of K's problems... It hit hard and deep. Just like your boss.

    I don't know if any of this makes a difference, but the words of my psychiatrist were so simple but they really helped me.
    I really didn't want to add another medication, and I didn't need it. At least not yet!
  10. Jena

    Jena New Member

    another thing i just thought of is caffeinne heightened my anxiety levels so much more so than id' ever realized. sometimes with me it takes a brick to the head sort of thing. i'd drink 2 cups in the a.m. by noon on certain days wow id' be in total panick attack mode. i switched to half decaf, once i tried totally no caffeinne that wasn't a go for me. i need some coffee. i also have green tea with-o caffeinne every night pretty much before bed. kava kava tea thru day helps also.
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Toto, my psychiatrist said it was o.k. to up my AD 25mg during "that" time of the month to counteract the problem. I tried it and it works :)

    But what your doctor said also is very on target.

    There are lots of ways to address the issue. And it's good to know there are many options to try.
  12. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    well it only took S2BX texting me "happy New year" to send me completely over the edge yeasterday. We can be PTS buddies. I know my panic attacks seem to kick in ten fold during "that time of the month" or if I am lacking sleep, indulging in too much caffeine or alcohol or if I have missed my medications. That's were my Xanax and altoids come in, I still sware by altoids (peppermint), it helps me when a pill can't work fast enough.

    know I understand and I am here praying for you!
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I already posted- although I probably didn't word my thoughts very well. But I was reading through the other replies and would like to reiterate that "women's hormones" do seem to make this MUCH worse- I think it was toto that mentioned that.

    Also, for detaching- the serenity prayer did wonders for me- and still does.
  14. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I think my psychiatrist is and was just trying to push me to see how much I can do on my own.
    Without adding more medications. We did just increase my other MS which also helps with Anxiety and my AD is supposed to help as well... maybe I will look into the increase around that time, if my deep breathing and other techniques do not keep helping!

    I really would like to think a big box of chocolates will really fix all of our problems. Maybe a glass of wine here or there...
  15. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    OH! NEVER underestimate the power of some REALLY GOOD chocolate and GREAT glass of wine... or whine, if you prefer. I once had some decadent chocolate truffles and a glass of port... ahhhhhhh! Heaven!
  16. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    (((HUGS))) You're boss really knows how to push your buttons, what a hateful, ugly person. Don't engage her, or look at her, let her melt down and you appear as if you're ignoring her. Ler her look like a fool. Don't fight fire with fire, it only causes a bigger fire. Say this, "This conversation is over." when she starts freaking out. Smile at her, she'll hate that. She seems to enjoy abusing you. Realize she has the problem and she behaves like this in every aspect of her life. (((HUGS))-alyssa
  17. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thanks guys for all of the insightful suggestions.

    TM, I had never considered the Occupational Therapist (OT) concept, although I have known for awhile that I feel "sensory dysregulation" (is that a word?). This is an idea I kept mulling over today in my head.

    Hormones - uh yes. I really think I am peri-menopausal. Which makes me want to vomit. My anxiety is so much worse for about 4 days a month. I need to see a doctor I guess about that, although I am not sure how that will help.

    I don't know what my deal is with meditation - but I seem to rebel against that concept. Why? That I need to figure out. It seems like the logical, and rational answer - and yet I fight it.

    I don't know. This is such a deep problem at this point. The panic attack happened again today at work when an employee started blaming me for something. I work in such a negative environment, it feels impossible to succeed. And yet, I have to continue and somehow overcome this, at least for now.

    Thanks for all of your insight. I will continue to contemplate the ideas, and try to start implementing some strategies.