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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I believe that I suffer/suffered from acute stress disorder.

Resolved Question:

I believe that I suffer/suffered from acute stress disorder. Had a major 'nervous breakdown' in 2000. Couldn't eat, sleep, put words together, couldn't work, would shake uncontrolably,would have panic attacks, severe heart pulpatations, couldn't even put a pen in my hand and write, couldn't get out of bed, couldn't leave the house. Are you able to tell me what might have caused this???
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.

 

Before I can help, I need to ask a few questions.

 

Do you have any trauma in your background? A loss of any type?

 

Have you ever been diagnosed with anything by a psychiatrist or mental health professional?

 

Do you use drugs or alcohol?

 

Have you been abused in any way, either in childhood or as an adult?

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate, it is really quite strange that you have asked me about 'trauma'. I built my house in 1996 and ever since it has been an absolute nightmare. I am presently in the process of researching/gathering as much information as possible to perhaps finally put this issue to rest. It has the potential to be an extremely complex and huge ligitation matter. I can not begin to tell you the affect this has had on me and my family, both physically and emotionally.........

In late 1999 I became very nauseous and light headed and thought this was just due to the heat as I don't cope well in hot weather. But I became progressively worse and no-one could work out what was wrong with me. To the point where I could not eat, sleep, think straight, speak properly, would shake uncontrollably, couldn't even put a pen in my hand and write, severe heart palpitations, panic attacks et. et.c etc. The only way I can best describe how I felt is "that there was an alien in my body". After many months, seeing so many doctors I lost count and none of them being able to help, a friend took me to a doctor in Essendon and he was the one who knew what to do - and he treated me on an on-going basis for I think approximately a year. To this day I am still on medication and will be for the rest of my life. But I manage to cope somehow...........until I re-address the issues with my house!!! This has been going on now for over 15 years and every now again I think I will just give it one more shot!!. I started to readdress this issue some 8 weeks ago and since then I only average about 3 hours sleep a night. Only this weekend I was up for 23 hours straight, researching, thinking cleaning,etc. and....I don't know what else. This sounds really insane but I think I may have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder??? and also something that I have never heard of before...called Sick Building Syndrome??? My house has no ventilation and mould, and rotting carpet (which I have been told is due to excessive amounts of water getting into my home). Over the last few years...could be longer, I can't really remember...I get this thing/rash on and around my eyes. It drives me crazy and looks terrible. Sometimes it is that bad that my face and around my eyes swell to the point where it looks like I have been punched in the face. I am extremely self conscious of this and there are days that I just want to wear my sunglasses inside all day so that no-one can see it. I know it is an allergy of some description but have never been able to work out what causes it?????

No, I have never been diagnosed by anyone.

No, don't use drugs (except for Aropax which I have to take to function) and I don't drink. I couldn't even drink if I wanted to as it makes me extremely dizzy (even a few mouth fulls can do this to me - but this I believe is a side effect of taking Aropax.

And No, I have never been abused in any way shape of form either in my childhood or adult life.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Wow, it sounds like you have been through a lot.

 

It does not sound like Post traumatic stress disorder. What it may be is a stress reaction that triggered an illness, brought on by what you are going through.

 

You have tried to rule out anything physical, which would be my first step in your case. What did the doctor in Essendon tell you that you have?

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He told me that I had a massive nervous breakdown and I now have a chemical imbalance and can not function without taking my medication. My G.P. has said that it was, he believed, brought on by many years of stress.
do you know anything about this so called "Sick Building Syndrome" I came across this by accident when I was searching for health issues relating to living in a home with mould and large amounts of water in the house /cross referenced with allergies (my carpet is rotting and has been for some 14 years now). My son has extreme allergies, which have heightened as he has got progressively older to the point now that if he comes in contact with cat's fur he almost goes into cardiac arrest
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Although a nervous breakdown is not an official diagnosis in mental health, I do understand what he means. It is a stress reaction just as your GP said. A chemical imbalance is something different and could mean a variety of disorders. I am not sure which one he means.

 

Acute Stress is one possibility. An anxiety disorder may be another. The heart palpations and panic attacks are signs of an anxiety disorder. Some of your other symptoms fit as well.

 

I have heard of sick building syndrome. It can cause many of the symptoms you describe. I did find a good resource on it which may help you:

 

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/sbs.html

 

What you may have is a combination of a physical and emotional reaction to the stress you were under. It makes more sense to consider two diagnosis since you do not seem to fit only one. A combination of medication (such as an anti anxiety) and therapy would help your emotional symptoms. If you were able to deal with the emotional issues, your doctor could address the symptoms that are left as medical.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate, I have had a think about your responses yesterday, and I would like to now provide you with some additional information. With regards XXXXX XXXXX physical reactions, thus being 'so called' nervous breakdown and chemical imbalance do you think it is plausible for these conditions to have manifested themselves by the living conditions I find myself in? And if so, how on earth do I get 'diagnosed'. My house has no ventilation, and water is trapped internally with no possible means of escapement. My carpet has severely rotted and there is mould and water damage evident. Could these factors be any way related to my chemical imbalance issues and my body 'melt down' situation??????
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kate, I have had a think about your responses yesterday, and I would like to know provide you with some additional information. With regards to my physical reactions, thus being 'so called' nervous breakdown and chemical imbalance do you think it is plausible for these conditions to have manifested themselves by the living conditions I find myself in? And if so, how on earth do I get 'diagnosed'. My house has no ventilation, and water is trapped internally with no possible means of escapement. My carpet has severely rotted and there is mould and water damage evident. Could these factors be any way related to my chemical imbalance issues and my body 'melt down' situation??????
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Environmental problems can cause stress enough to create a stress reaction. I am not so sure that they can cause a chemical imbalance, however. Some environmental conditions can cause illnesses, such as cancer, but I do not think they just cause a chemical imbalance.

 

Chemical imbalances are usually related to such illnesses as schizophrenia, severe depression, thyroid issues, and other endocrine system issues. You can see an endocrinologist to check for chemical imbalances in the system to see if that may be an issue for you. They can do extensive testing through blood work and urine tests to check your levels and let you know if you do have an imbalance.

 

You may also want to consider moving out of the home you are in. If you feel it is causing these many symptoms and you are sick, then it is not worth it to stay.

 

Kate

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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
3899 Satisfied Customers
Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.