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Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 357
Experience:  15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
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Was diagnosed with PTSD 5 years ago. Very stable, no regular

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Was diagnosed with PTSD 5 years ago. Very stable, no regular meds; Ativan x .5 mg as needed to assist w/ occasional anxiety. Symptoms tend to be in the category of hyperarousal: difficulty sleeping, difficulty focusing, irritability. Very occasionally olfactory hallucination - nasty smell of old, bad funeral home - very musty smell that usually resolves itself in 72 +/- hrs. This time, though, its lasted a week and shows no sign of relief. Its so bad, I'm physically sick: burning eyes + throat, headache, foul taste in my mouth. If I go to the ER, is there anything the docs can do? Or do I just have to wait it out?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. K replied 3 years ago.
My concern is that this time the symptoms are worse than usual with no apparent trigger. The fact that it's lasting longer & you have other, new symptoms (burning eyes & throat, headache, taste in mouth) makes me concerned that this might be unrelated to the PTSD.

It's certainly possible that this is the PTSD which is currently worse for some unknown reason. Can you think of anything that has happened recently, like stress, that could have triggered a relapse of the PTSD symptoms?

If not, I think seeing a doctor soon would be the best idea. If you can't get in to see your family doctor, I would go to a minor care or ER to get a physical exam & possible some bloodwork and or radiology scans.

If there has been a recent trigger for PTSD, you could be more conservative & just give it some more time.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more information. Good luck & take care.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Actually, there was a trigger. I'm a minister; PTSD is related to series of traumatic funerals I performed several years ago. Just did a funeral on Tuesday; symptoms began hours after I was notified of the death last Friday. Nothing traumatic about this one ; deceased was 96 years old. Not unusual to have symptoms under otherwise benign circumstances. Just unusual to have the smell linger this long and remain this strong. Still think I wait it out?
Expert:  Dr. K replied 3 years ago.
This is a tough one. Because there is even a slight chance that this could me something else neurological going on, part of me feels like it would be best to get it checked out.

However, if ativan has helped similar symptoms in the past & helps these this time, that would reassure me that this is a PTSD relapse that for some unknown reason is worse than usual and may need more time to heal.

So, if it were me or a loved one, I would tell them to definitely get checked out if the ativan usually works and doesn't this time. If one dose of ativan doesn't seem to do anything you could try a second dose before going to the ER. However, most docs keep a real close eye on prescriptions like ativan for any signs of overuse or addiction. It wouldn't hurt to check with your doctor 1st...and if you can't get a hold of them taking this extra dose one time only (you can show the doc this message that it was a professional giving you the advice) & not doing that again in the future before checking with them.

I hope that helps clarify. Anything else?
______________________________________________________________________
Please let me know if you need more information. We can continue the dialog until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the answers don't forget to hit the ACCEPT button & provide expert feedback. Also remember that this is not an official doctor patient relationship and not a substitute for a full live psychiatric evaluation. Thank you for using justanswers.com
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 357
Experience: 15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
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