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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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How does someone survive 3 PTSD events, when certain

Resolved Question:

How does someone survive 3 PTSD events, when certain standard medications dealing with depression can not be taken, with the depression, stress and lonliness without loosing ones mind.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

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

Before I can answer, I need to ask for clarification.

How long ago did these events occur and can you tell me in general what type of events they were?

Have you tried any other treatment besides medications?

Are you currently being treated for the PTSD?

Thank you,
Kate

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

(1) The initial event was during my childhood up until I was 17. I was raised by two alcoholics in a violent and physically (not sexually) abusive home.

(2) I served in a heavy combat unit of volunteers in Viet Nam and I am one of less than 10 survivors out of a unit of 77 men. I was 19 years old.

(3) I was involved in the World Trade Center bombing. I was 52 years old.

I am now 62 years old,

Most of my life I survived withoiut any treatment. After the WTC event I was under the care of a Psychologisy and Psychiatrist for 4 years. Over the past 6 years I have been treated by a Psychiatrist for medication maintenance.

I currently relocated and am looking for a new Psychiatrist to handle my case.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It helps.

I am sorry to hear about all the trauma you have been through. One of those events would have been enough, but to have survived all three is amazing.

It is a great sign of strength that you have sought help with the PTSD. Many people do not and suffer greatly. But the fact that you continue to seek help says that you are healthy emotionally and also indicates that you will recover.

PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal event. It affects people because it not only exposes you to life threatening situations, it makes you aware of your mortality and makes you feel vulnerable. People who have not experienced trauma have the advantage of putting a shield around themselves and creating the illusion of safety. With PTSD, that shield is taken away.

Your symptoms are very normal for someone who has been exposed to so much trauma. Seeing a psychiatrist and trying other medications can be very helpful for your depression. Many people need to try various medications before they find one that works for them. That is because everyone's body chemistry is different. So a medication that works for one person may not work for another. So keep trying.

Another way to help yourself is through self help. Learning more about PTSD and how it effects you can make a big difference in helping yourself. Here are some resources to get you started:

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/post-traumatic-stress-disorder

http://helpguide.org/mental/post_traumatic_stress_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml

Support groups can also be a valuable resource in helping you overcome the PTSD. Reaching out to others who experience the same symptoms you do can alleviate stress, help you feel less alone and lift your depression. No one understands better than someone who has gone through a traumatic event. Here are some links for support groups:

http://www.ascasupport.org/

http://voicesofseptember11.org/dev/index.php

http://www.vietvet.org/

http://ptsd.supportgroups.com/

As long as you are aware of your feelings and you keep working on getting help and feeling better, you will recover. Motivation is a huge factor in recovery. It sounds like you are on the right track.

If you need any further help, please let me know.

Kate

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