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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Not sure if I am suffering from late onset PTSD. I dated someone

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Not sure if I am suffering from late onset PTSD. I dated someone for three years (20 years ago) who treated me horribly. He abused drugs (I did not) he broke my jaw, robbed homes, but I still thought I could make him better (young and stupid) It ended because the police went to arrest him and he put pipe bombs on the doors. The entire county bomb squad, swat team, etc. was involved. Its a long story, but was a 9 hour standoff that I was involved in. I found out Friday he hung himself (44 years old) and have been a mess ever since. The memories of fear, pain, everything won't go away and I'm scared....not sure what is going on. I never dealt with what happened, I just moved on and pushed it down.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

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


It sounds like your ex's death has triggered many of the unresolved feelings you had from your time with him. This man was violent, exposed you to abuse and criminal acts and held you hostage. You definitely would have symptoms of PTSD. Repressing them kept you from working through them so when you found out he had died, it triggered your unresolved feelings.


You may also want to consider that you are mourning as well. You were with this man because you felt something for him. It may not have been a healthy relationship, but it was still legitimate. Grief at the news of his death, especially since he hurt himself, would be normal.


So you have both the PTSD and the grief you are dealing with. It would cause you to feel overwhelmed, lost and like you are losing it. But you are not. You are very normal.


There are numerous symptoms of PTSD. They include:


Flashbacks, intrusive thoughts about the event, feeling numb, crying, nightmares, and anxiety.


Grief can cause similar symptoms as well. It comes in stages including denial, bargaining, depression, anger and acceptance. Some people work through all stages and others only through some. The important part is to be sure you do work through your grief and don't become stuck in how you feel.


It is a sign of strength that you are seeking help for how you feel. Therapy is an excellent step in overcoming PTSD and grief. While you wait for your appointment, self help and support are both ways you can start dealing with how you feel. Here are resources to help get you started:


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


The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery, and Growth by Glenn R. Schiraldi


Mind-Body Workbook for PTSD: A 10-Week Program for Healing After Trauma by Stanley H., M.D. Block and XXXXX XXXXX Block


Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.


I hope this has helped. I am here if you need to talk further,



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