PTSD {Post Traumatic Stress Disorder}, I HAVE IT

On the outside I’m a chipper, smiley, overly outgoing girl.

On the inside I’m suffering.  Hurting.  Scared.  Frustrated.

For years I have dealt with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Anxiety, that causes me to have irrational thoughts.  The scary-irrational thoughts are extremely frustrating because, they are just that IRRATIONAL THOUGHTS. My heart tells me the truth [you know you just locked the door –or- you just checked on the triplets and you know they are upstairs in the playroom], but my brain won’t let me believe it. It feels like brain is teasing me “what if…..”

These thoughts circle in my brain.  Around. And. Around. And. Around. 

It’s like a broken record.

Around. And. Around.

After years of therapy and medication I was finally feeling great. For years and years, I was “stable”. No real anxiety attacks, maybe a couple a year. However, this summer that changed.  One five minute event over the summer, completely reset my brain – when I “lost” a child. Ever since that day my OCD has skyrocketed.

I have two specific situations that cause me extreme anxiety from my OCD.

         (1) While watching kids … especially the triplets - I am constantly checking on the kids when they are playing upstairs. By constantly, I mean every five minutes, and it’s not just hearing their voices … I must see them. When the 4-year-old starts to tell you “WE’RE JUST FINE, CORI,” you know it’s getting out of control.  What can I say, I “lost” Nate once, I’m freaked out of losing him again! 

        (2) Door Locking – The need to check, recheck and recheck again doors is a more typical OCD symptom (that and hand washing …. I’m well on my way to being an OCD hand washer I’m sure!). I don’t know why, but I cannot convince my brain that I LOCKED THE DOORS.

My friends finally convinced me it was time to go talk to the doctor.  I agreed and felt confident going into the doctor.

I shared the story of losing the child, she asked me questions, and then dropped the bombshell. The incident I had earlier in the summer … you know the one that lasted maybe 5 minutes (felt 10x longer at the time!) has left me with a minor case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I thought only people who have been through extremely scary events, been to war, 9/11 survivors, those who witness a murder, etc. Not something so small as the event I underwent.

While my PTSD diagnosis is very MINOR compared to the events I listed below, the more I think about it the more it makes sense. My anxiety & OCD majorly ramped up after that afternoon and instead of slowly forgetting about it and moving on, my brain reminds me of it Every.Single.Day. Plus, each day it seems to get worse. Stronger. Scarier.

 

So now what?

My doctor laid out three plans of attack for me to consider and decide what would work best for me:

  1. Leave my medication (Prozac) at the current dosage, but go back and talk to my therapist and reconvene with my doctor in 4 weeks.
    >>> I have been in therapy for years, and my doctor was amazed at how many techniques I have discovered, but it never hurts to go in for a check-up!  Especially because I see a therapist who specializes in     nuerofeedback, which does wonders for me!!
  2. Increase my Prozac dosage and go talk to my counselor – return in 4 weeks to discuss changes with my doctor.
    >>> This option sounded good to me.  Plus I would only have to wait four weeks to find out if the medication helped.
  3. She would give me a referral to go talk to a psychiatrist who has more knowledge in medication who could figure out what was right for me.
    >>> At the time I wasn’t overly ready to go back and visit the psychiatrist and was nervous about switching and messing with my medication.

After talking to the doctor and having to give her an answer, I chose option two.  My doctor agreed she thought that was a great option, gave me the prescription and I set an appointment to go back in four weeks.

However, the more I talked to my mom and grandma, the more they urged me to go in and talk to a  Psychiatrist sooner then waiting the 4 weeks, I’m starting to agree with them.  I’m going to call my doctor back in the morning and get a referral to just go talk to a Psychiatrist and see what they recommend.

Okay, time to get off my soapbox and make to writing my final midterm.  Wish me luck!

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One Response to PTSD {Post Traumatic Stress Disorder}, I HAVE IT
  1. KLZ
    November 7, 2011 | 11:08 AM

    Good luck – the final seems like the smallest part of that. Hopefully talking it through and an update in meds can help you work through it.