Civvy PTSD

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by JezSwifty, Apr 29, 2008.

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  1. Hi and sorry to bother you guys and gals I’m just trying to figure out a few things about PTSD and as most google searches seem to point to military forums I thought this might be a good place to ask for a little advice if that’s ok.

    A few years ago in a civvy job i was involved in a scuffle with a villan who decided to pull a knife on me. I struggled for about about five mins on the floor of a car park with this fellow trying to stab me with one of those kitchen carving knife jobs you can get from any supermarket.
    This guy was a grade 'A' druggie who wasn't really interested in getting away from me, more in ending my life. Eventually I managed to turn the bloke onto his front and disarm him with a little help from a passer by and that was that.

    After he was arrested and charged I spent many a day dwelling on what i could or should have done to change things. I know i didn’t get injured but it was out of luck more than training of which i had some.
    After that i became very withdrawn and my personal life suffered as a result with the lowest of the low coming when i quit the job i felt i was no longer up to.
    So I went into a different line of work and all was well for a while until i started feeling a little different in how i reacted to situations. Its culminated into what i am now which is pretty much a hermit. I rarely venture out of the door (once a week if that) and am terrible to be around if I’m with anyone outside. I'm sprung like a coiled spring, tetchy, jumpy and feel quite angry to anyone who so much as bumps into me. God forbid if some poor soul happens to push in to a line I’m in. It doesn’t sound much but its changed my whole life and how i live it, and i also rarely sleep which is why I’m posting this at 2am.

    Anyhow, a few months ago i decided to visit the docs and get some help mainly at the request of my family, the usual anti depressants we're dished out which haven’t been much help tbh.
    I've also attended 12 weeks of counselling which has helped me understand my anger, moods etc but hasn’t really helped me cope with it.

    I am aware people cant cure me with words but if anyone knows of or is aware of any support for people suffering from such a thing I’d be more than happy to know. Even advice/pointing in the right direction for coping with anger would be handy. To be honest just finding a forum with like minded people would be a form of stress relief for me i think...i cant explain why but talking about it seems to help. Sadly most of the people i talk to just nod and cant really understand which frustrates me no end.

    I know I’m a civvy, what i went through hardly constitutes the same PTSD that results from combat stress but any words of advice or pointing in a direction will be gratefully received.

    Many thanks


    EDIT: Fixed typo's which were frequent doh!
  2. check PM
  3. Ask your doctor to refer you to your local mental health unit, it does not mean you are mental but they are trained to deal with this sort of problem. Counselling is OK but your local psychiatric unit will be able to point you in the right direction for a full recovery you must face your problems and they will teach you how. Good Luck
  4. legal_eagle pm'd you back. Many thanks.

    Thanks for your reply cbgramc, i guess my worry has been that i dont want to be seen as a bit mental. Although i suspect most of the people i knew before see me as that anyway because i'm often avoided nowdays (i've got to laugh as i feel sometimes i have a sticker on me saying "best avoided" hehe)

    You are right what you say though as was legal in his pm, i do need to push this further and not be fobbed off with anti deps i think. They help my day to day mood but going out is a different matter.
    Will make that call today to my docs for an appointment and see what they say.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply

  5. Jez the first step is always hard but well worth it in the long run.

    Good Luck
  6. PM Sent.

    You came to the right place for help. As you can see everybody understands. I hope my information is helpful.
  7. PM sent. Hope it's useful.
  8. If the medicatio isn't working you can ask for something else, you're doctor works for you don't forget. If he gives you a fcuk off pill just ask for a second opinion.

    PTSD is hard to cope with, but don't feel bad about how you got it, sometimes it is the straw that breaks the camels back after all.

    As the other said, try and get to your mental health clinic (it doesn't mean you're mental) and try to get some good counselling. Most of all it takes time.

    All the best.
  9. I'd just like to say a big thank you to all the kind messages and PM's i've had from people here. I've replied to everyone who has PM'd and have had some very useful links, ideas and thoughts about ways to improve my well being.

    I must admit I was quite reluctant to post here at first but figured if you cant put your faith in HM forces personel + family and friends of, then who can you put your faith into. I was right and am very gald i did.

    I have today been in contact with my local authority's Mental Heath clinic through the back door so to speak and they told me the steps to go to for getting a referal from my GP.
    I guess i've been a bit scared of going completely down the Mental Heath route but from what i've heard and read here its actually quite normal and they wont lock you away for being a danger to society.
    The best thing i've read though is that people say you can learn to live with it and alot of the time improve things.

    Thanks again for taking the time and trouble to read this and message me,

  10. JS, you have exactly the same condition that affects service personnel and as such it affects your life in a very similar way. Many military people would describe exactly the same symptoms as you.

    It is more common than you might think in civilian life, through many causes. Just be determined to make your case, I don't know what area you are from but access to psychological services can be a problem but PTSD does respond to treatments such as CBT.

    Anti-depressants can be of great help but they need to be the right ones for you and they only work on the symptoms rather than the cause. I wouldn't dismiss them entirely, they can help but talking therapies are also very important. As has been said there's no reason why you should take medication that you don't feel is working. Just make sure you discuss it with the GP before stopping.

    Finally, just beware of anyone claiming to have a 'cure' for PTSD with an unusual or novel therapy. They almost certainly won't have any evidence other than anecdotal to back it up. Whether you choose to use these holistic therapies is clearly up to you but the only technique that has any research evidence base at all with respect to PTSD is CBT (with or without EMDR and/or medication), which is what you should be offered by your local service. Whilst it might not 'cure' you it should give you a lot better quality of life.

    Good luck!