I have sever chronic PTSD from 2 combat tours in iraq. And afghanistan. Most of my anxiety nightmares and flashbacks and negative emotions circle around are from my most recent deployment.I was involved in a helicopter crash. I've been home for almost 1 year, still having sleep problems, I hate going out in public, or riding in vehicles if I'm not driving. My doc says its the anxiety not letting me turn off at night but I've been on seroquell minipress clonidine. Trazadone pristiq after all the other ssri and snri have failed. All he has given me for anxiety is buspar, wich I feel does nothing and atarax wich only worked for about 3 weeks any advise. Also have M-TBI, and ADHA, currently on week 5 of emdr and that seems to make anxiety worse for the following day or two and almost puts me in a manic state.
Hello ninja ghost. PTSD is so difficult and yet people do get cured. It takes a specialist to do this. There are therapists who specialize in the treatment of PTSD with very effective techniques that can help free you from this seemingly endless loop. It can be done. So there is hope.
At this point in time you have to get through your days and nights. I do hope you have an excellent psychiatrist. I have heard numerous tales about the service and treatments for PTSD. A good psychiatrist will review this boatload of medications and sort out with you about the hyper feeling and the rest. Being your own advocate by taking a list of all your questions, medications and responses. I tend to forget all questions when the doc starts talking and we get to some new subject. It helps to bring someone with you as well to help keep things on track and keep notes. With high anxiety, remembering isn't tops on my list. Probably not yours either.
There is plenty I can tell you. The key, though, is to forgive yourself. You survived and need not feel guilty. It could have been all kinds of events instead. Replaying in your mind is a very worn out loop. It is like a superhighway you can go to immediately. You will learn how to make a new road. The old one fades away when not revisited. And it can be done if you are willing to do the work.
I suggest you read this book, which is extremely helpful: Face Your Fears, a proven method for conquering fear, anxiety, phobias... By David Levin.
(Might have the last part of the title wrong.)available as an eBook, kindle, etc.
You can start with the book while you wind your way through the VA system. If you have other resources, maybe they will be better.
Your suffering doesn't have to haunt you. You can be freed and regain the joy in your life. The answer won't be in a bottle of beer or some other distractions hitch we try first. You are a warrior, trained and tough. you are recovering from wounds. the heart was wounded. I believe you can do this. I have. Karen
I have PTSD also. Bless your heart for defending our County. Mine was from a trauma not military related. But I feel for you, as I have tried most the meds you have. The Atarax did pooped out on me too. The Buspar I heard does little if you have been on any benzos for any amount of time and is one of those 'have to build up meds'. I am currently on Elavil (amitriptyline), Buspar and Guanfacine. The Elavil is an older antidepressant used off label for PTSD and anxiety and Xanax only as needed. The Guan is a blood pressure med, suppose to help with the physical symptoms of anxiety and night terrors. I do not have high BP. I wish I could give you more to go on, but I just started these meds 7 days ago, so too soon to tell if they will work. As you know it takes 2-6 weeks to build in your system. So far I have not had any more night terrors, but still have nocturnal anxiety, getting 2-4 hours sleep at a time. I also have done EMDR.
Just from my experience unless you are stable on your meds the EMDR can cause increase anxiety. You have to be ready to recount the trauma and be very careful about how much you do at a time. I would say if it puts you almost in a manic state you should stop it until you are more stable. It did work for me in certain areas of the trauma only. I am also unable to turn off the fight or flight anxiety button.
There is no quick fix for PTSD, it takes time and trial and error with the meds, which suck. Not getting enough sleep can cause all kinds of crazy symptoms. Try to find something for sleep. I took Ativan for a short period, it is a benzo, it worked, but it should be for short term only. You will hear people say stay away from the benzos, but under a doctors care and used properly they can be a life saver for some people. You sound like you are at a critical point, get all the support you can, get 2nd opinions if you can. See a psychiatrist that specializes in PTSD if you can. Talk to other Vets.
Do not give up hope, there are people who care about you, you are not alone.
You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Hi, Welcome to the site. The first thing i want to say, is please don't give up with the EMDR. I have had this therapy, & i really couldn't get in to it initially. I was considering quitting as i didn't believe it was helping. I guess it took 5, 6, or 7 weeks before i noticed that actually, it was helping me to be able to remember passed events in a new light, & i could think about them without getting as emotional or stressed/panicked. It also helped me look to the future & improve my life in amazing ways! OK, the second thing i'd like to mention, is asking your doctor about trying Pregabalin. I have very recently been prescribed this for GAD, and it started working within days. It helps me sleep and i can deal with life, in general, that bit better. I am currently increasing my dose (from a low 'test' dosage) over a 7 day period, and i would definitely recommend it.
I so much hope you can get back a good quality of life, goodness knows you deserve it! Try to hang in there with the EMDR a bit longer. When you chose your therapist, did you do all of the essential checks to ensure he/she was a certified & experienced practitioner? Do you have good support from friends & family? We are always here if you want to keep in touch!
For me - the meds didn't help much, and I had such severe reactions to them and to the inactive ingredients. For me, therapy was the key. Can you talk somebody into transferring you to Baltimore, Maryland where you could get care at Walter Reed? They have some cutting edge doctors there that could work on every aspect of the PTSD. The main thing is - the military has been fighting this war on/off for some 20+ years. You want to go where the experts are, where every bit of the best training is. Just a idea. Keep on trying new things and don't give up hope. I am dramatically healed from my PTSD, and you will be also! - EJ
First off I want to THANK YOU FOR SERVING our Country !!
It is a Very Courages & takes a Very Strong person.
My step son is in the Army & is stationed right now in Alaska also.
I hope that you get the help you need & Please stay strong.. I will keep you in my prayers.
I have PTSD but mine was from childhood molestation but it was bad & i had ALOT of therapy to get certain terrors especially at night under control.
So Please take care & stay safe & strong. Kathy
I suffer from PTSD from being assaulted and house fire and years ago they did that emdr..which wasn't effective. Talking therapy helped me most but doctor retired. Few years ago I saw my attacker in court where he is a lawyer and have had fladhbacks, trouble sleeping, and nightmares ever since. I found a great psychiatrist in Raleigh NC who listens, and use to work with the military having a strong background in dealing with PTSD. He put me on Ambien for sleep but added 2 mg. Of mini press in am, 2 mg. Of mini press in afternoon, 2 2 mg. Of mini press at night. I am adhd and they increased my addreall to 40 mg. Which I take in the morning. It has made the most positive difference in my life. I found an awesome therapis here in Greenville NC who deals with trauma/PTSD who is like that doctor. He listens and at first we were going to do the think it is clip art but think I failed that? It upset me n he backed off.
He has completely changed my way of thinking around and in just a few months, I still take medicine but hardly ever have the fkashbacks, nightmares, and am now back out in social events, etc. I hope they will allow you to get the very best treatment you deserve. Thanks for serving our county. I never dreamed I could find the peace I have found since seeing the doctor in Raleigh but more so this Therapist in Greenville, NC. It is important to be sure they have the credentials and exoerience to work with PTSD. Best of luck to you.
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