PTSD again

I wrote about PTSD recently

I have been wondering about some physical problems I have been having lately and read this:

Re-living: People with PTSD repeatedly re-live the ordeal through thoughts and memories of the trauma. These may include flashbacks, hallucinations, and nightmares. They also may feel great distress when certain things remind them of the trauma, such as the anniversary date of the event.

Well, yes to all of that.

Avoiding: The person may avoid people, places, thoughts, or situations that may remind him or her of the trauma. This can lead to feelings of detachment and isolation from family and friends, as well as a loss of interest in activities that the person once enjoyed.

Yes to some extent.  I have over the years learned to face more of these situations head on and just deal with the pain.  I still do avoid many things though.  I still try to do the things I enjoy.  As I wrote in this post, choir is something I enjoy that I find myself avoiding at times.

Increased arousal: These include excessive emotions; problems relating to others, including feeling or showing affection; difficulty falling or staying asleep; irritability; outbursts of anger; difficulty concentrating; and being “jumpy” or easily startled. The person may also suffer physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension, nausea, and diarrhea..

Yes to most of these.   I have noticed in the past several weeks that I am often short of breath and have an extremely heightened or overactive startle reaction. Small things create a very large feeling of shock, dread, surprise, or just alertness. My heart seems to be racing too often.    In fact, while writing this Luke hit the keys on his keyboard suddenly and a little loudly, probably deleting something and it startled me way more than it should have.  I probably shouldn’t have even noticed it.  I have been nauseous for days.  My family will tell you I am irritable and the difficulty concentrating has been especially bad lately as well.  I don’t have problems falling or staying asleep but my night terrors persist.  I came home this afternoon and used an inhaler for shortness of breath but it didn’t help. Luke told me that it sounded like anxiety.   I then found list of PTSD symptoms

I am surprised there are so many physical manifestations.   I imagine there are other things that could be causing all of this.  I have a history since landing in the ER a few days after Nathan’s funeral of the same set of symptoms about every 3 months that often put me in bed with crippling fatigue, vision disturbances, GI issues, and more.  I need to start keeping a diary of how often it actually does happen (like last weekend) but I wonder if these are all anxiety induced rather than physically induced.

I have been to my doctor about some of these episodes.  She is always trying to treat the current thing so the big pictures has never been discussed.  Last time it was the shortness of breath, the time before was for vision problems.  Perhaps I will be able to talk to her about it all again once I keep track of things for a while.

The body & mind are mysterious things.

2 responses to “PTSD again

  1. Well, with what you've been through, I'd be surprised if you didn't have PTSD. Maybe you could ask the doctor to refer you to a psychiatrist instead of trying to remove the symptoms?

  2. There are quite a few therapists who specialize in non-medication methods of anxiety management, and with the passage of the Mental Health Parity Act, they have become eligible to be covered with regular health insurance. They don't make the anxiety go away per se, but they give you tools to manage it and process it more effectively. I've found them pretty helpful. Good luck and God bless.

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