I always talk about my personal experiences when I am dealing with subject matter for #MentalHealthMonday. All forms of trauma require #Awareness.
Almost four years ago, I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD. Thanks to several bad doctors and three lousy therapists post-diagnosis (My Massachusetts based experiences, only.), I struggle at times with how traumatized I really am. I react to sirens (be it police, firefighters, EMS, etc.), and red and blue lights as though I’m about to be attacked and harmed. It’s awful. I am jumpy about so many things, including someone walking into the room I’m in without saying something first. 😦 If a person knocks on the door or rings the bell, I legitimately come out of my skin. A few years ago, I heard strange noises outside at around 3:00 a.m., and immediately pulled a Glock with custom sights. ON MY BROTHER (Who reacted really well, considering the situation.), who was trying to come in through the wrong door, so he freaked me out. Not a good moment. 😦
Today, as I made phone calls, I was retraumatized looking at the information in front of me, which was an explanatory script for the type of calls I was making. I ended up with a migraine and a panic attack as a result, and let me say I am tired of being dictated to by anyone, but a veterinarian’s office definitely shouldn’t be rude and unpleasant because by doing so, you will lose the business I have no choice but to pay for the health and overall well-being of my cats. Telling me you are going to over-vaccinate 100% indoor cats only makes me angry, and it is not conducive to a good beginner’s relationship. And then, looking down at the list of trauma they have both endured, I got extremely upset and declared myself a neglectful cat owner (Which, is completely ridiculous because if you met these creatures, you would see they are spoiled and get plenty of love and care.). Needless to say, the stress piled on way too high.
Then the flashbacks started. Again. Over and over, as if someone left my life on repeat.
People meet me and have no idea there’s anything wrong. They are clueless about what it takes to get me out of bed and focused on my day. And that’s sad, because they don’t ask. But what’s sadder is that trust is not something I have left to offer. It’s been shattered too many times for me to keep giving people chances.
Anyone else understand this?
copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
The other day, a woman started a fight with me over this drug. Yeah, I know; it was completely obnoxious and she acted as if I was forcing it down her throat. Obviously, that was not the case.
Her major issue is that it didn’t work for her, so she was blasting it and claiming all kinds of things that simply aren’t true. Your experience and the experience of thousands who take it is not the same. Please don’t bash a drug that helps people.
This drug was created for combat veterans so that there was an inexpensive option to help with nightmares and flashbacks, major side effects of PTSD and Complex-PTSD. Every person’s body is different and requires a different dose, providing it works for them. 19 to 20 mgs in my norm, but I am currently on 2 mgs and building back up to the higher dose. I would not do that if it didn’t offer some relief.
I’ve taken this medication for almost three years. I have zero side effects, except a slower wake up period in the morning if I’m on a higher dose and haven’t given myself an additional thirty minutes to fully wake up and shake off the sleepiness. For me, that is no big deal. It has not made me more depressed, more suicidal, or any such thing this person was claiming “That’s all it does.” Untrue. If it works for you, it will work, period. Your dosing may be different than mine, but that’s a discussion to have with a highly trusted psychiatrist. Period.
I’ve said it before; I am grateful for my doctor. Out of the handful I am forced to deal with, he is the most stress-free individual to talk to. He often e-mails me back within 10-15 minutes of a question. He calls to check on me when he has spare time and hasn’t heard from me in a while, especially when he knows I am struggling. I’ve never had a doctor who actually cares, so I firmly believe that all the horrible shit I went through for so long lead me to the right doctor. I am extremely grateful for that.
When he first presented me with this medication as an option, he let me know that if it didn’t work, no harm, no foul. He also didn’t force it on me; it was my decision completely to start taking it and give it a chance to work. He let me know that it leaves the system quickly (within a few hours) and could not harm me. Who am I going to trust? Some psycho who is attacking the drug or my doctor of three years? Yeah, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
This medication helps me, but it is not an exact science. If you are suffering from either form of PTSD, or both, talk to your doctor about it. I endorse it, but obviously, I am not shoving it down anyone’s throat and forcing them to take it. And I am NOT paid by Mylan or Teva Pharmaceuticals to say I stand behind this medication.
“After a traumatic experience, the human system of self-preservation seems to go onto permanent alert, as if the danger might return at any moment.” ―Judith Lewis Herman
Sadly, this quote speaks to me today. I had to take medication for an insane panic attack that popped up out of nowhere, and I’m trying not to break down in tears because I have to hit the pause button on my life for the remainder of the day, AGAIN. This has been happening a lot over the past few months. I am so completely freaked out and this was made worse by waking up with some paralysis in my neck and upper back. In trying to reduce inflammation in my body, other issues moved to the forefront. I wish people understood and could be compassionate about what I am going through, but the truth is, I don’t know too many people who give a rat’s ass OR who encourage me to do what I always do, which is the best I can from hour to hour.
If there’s one message I would share with other sufferers, it’s this; You’re doing the best you can. Sometimes that means going back to sleep because your drowsiness cannot be fixed with caffeine, it’s too bone deep. Sometimes it means taking a short walk, or cancelling everything and focusing solely on your own needs. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re lesser because you’re suffering. They should walk a thousand miles in your shoes before passing judgment with their mouths.