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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5467
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi, I suffer from PTSD from severe childhood trauma as well

Resolved Question:

Hi, I suffer from PTSD from severe childhood trauma as well as severe physical and emotional abuse that's been on-going in my adult life. I have severe anxiety that I take medication for on a daily basis but lately it's not working like it used to. My stress levels are so high and my ability to keep my anxiety attacks in check are weaker by the day. My PTSD symptoms are coming out more and more with the hand tremors and it's becoming uncontrollable and it doesn't take much to set me into a tailspin. I have an appointment with my primary care doctor later this week to adjust/discuss my medication options but I need to know if there are other treatments I could be working on at home until then to try and keep myself afloat. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


What you are having is a very normal reaction to an abnormal event. Abuse survivors often experience PTSD, so you are not alone.

 

Medications are wonderful for helping you cope with the overwhelming symptoms of PTSD. But they can only reduce symptoms, not help manage the PTSD in the long run. In order to make the PTSD manageable in your life, you need to include therapy in your treatment. If therapy has not been effective before for you, you may need to seek out another therapist. Finding a therapist you can work with is much like finding a good family doctor, sometimes you need to see a few until you find one that clicks with you. Here is a guide on how to find a good therapist: http://psychcentral.com/find-therapist/


The best therapy options for anxiety and PTSD is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Integrated therapy, which is a combination of CBT and psychotherapy- digging in a little deeper in your past to get to the root of the PTSD. To find a therapist, try asking your doctor for a referral or if you attend church your pastor can help. You can also search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.

 

You may also want to consider family therapy. Your husband (and anyone else involved in your life) can go with you to learn more about PTSD and how to help you cope. That way, when you do disagree with each other, your husband can be more aware of how you react and he can use what he learns in therapy to help you cope. He can also learn your triggers and how to learn not to take the symptoms you experience personally, but to see them for what they are- a reaction to what you have been through.


You can also help yourself at home. There are several very good programs and books that can help you. Learning about anxiety and stress themselves can help you deal with your symptoms. Have you tried Lucinda Bassett's Midwest Center for Anxiety and Stress? She has a good website and several very good books on anxiety. Also, I highly recommend Edmund Bourne's book The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. He also has several other very helpful books. Claire Weekes also has several very good books on anxiety. Here are some more resources:

The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms by Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by William J. Knaus

 

For your husband: The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Relationship: How to Support Your Partner and Keep Your Relationship Healthy by Diane England

Coping with Anxiety: 10 Simple Ways to Relieve Anxiety, Fear & Worry by Edmund J. Bourne and Lorna Garano

 

Here is another site that may help you get ideas for coping: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/fslist-self-help-cope.asp


Have you also consider joining a support group to help you? Although it feels better sometimes to withdrawal and not have to deal with the outside world, a support group would give you a chance to be with people who have experienced a trauma and deal with PTSD. You would be able to share, get ideas on how to help yourself, and gain support and understanding, and know that you are not alone. Try contacting your local community mental health center for referrals in your area.

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions or if I can help in anyway.

 

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have been in and out of therapy for years. Most of my life really. I went to a therapist that specialized in PTSD and what stopped me from going what that everytime we would get really close to the issues that destroy me, I was unable to function for days and sometimes weeks and I felt like I was failing my family by being absent emotionally and couldn't cope with that guilt. So I since reverted back to just pushing thru the pain and fears and the triggers I'm living with seem to revolve around the way my husband fights. I am not blameless by any means. But it doesn't seem to matter how many ways I try to express and beg for him to be mindful of what his reactions and words to do me, it doesn't stop. In fact, it continues to get worse and I feel trapped, alone, terrified and the pain of it all consumes me. I'm scared that I'm unfixable.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You are not unfixable. There is no way you can be unfixable. As long as you want to move forward and get better, you will. It may feel very slow, but any progress is good.

 

I am sorry your husband is not more supportive. He needs to understand what you are going through. Do you want to try the book I recommended for him to see if he will read it? It would help him understand and give him insight. Do you think he would be willing to try therapy with you? If not, you may want to try again yourself. I know it is frightening and unnerving to go to therapy and face your past. But keep in mind, you lived through it and you survived. You will not have to live through it again. Talking about it brings all the feelings up and they can be just as strong as before, but they cannot hurt you. Nothing can. You are strong, more than you believe.

 

How about others in your life? Do you have family and/or friends who could help you? Anyone you can lean on for support. Also, consider the support group. Just having others that understand what you feel can go a long way to helping you gain back your equilibrium.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5467
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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