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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Nervous breakdown PTSD Memories

Topic: Nervous breakdown PTSD Memories

20 posts, 0 answered
  1. Living57
    Living57 avatar
    80 posts
    21 January 2021
    I saw my psych yesterday and my dr today. They say I am close to having a breakdown.
    I had a lovely Xmas, but had 2 visits to Police HQ flow up an assault, it put a damper on things.
    Now I'm home, back to routine and I'm struggling to cope.
    I've lost interest in everything and spend my days at home,making excuses not to go out.
    I decided to see my dr to discuss this. He said the stress that I am under us the major contributing fact.
    The PTSD isn't going anywhere, my depression is getting worse. In layman's terms a nervous breakdown.
    I'm exhausted trying to cope.
    I confided in a friend I ran in to and she said no not you, you're always so happy.
    I'm obviously good at putting on a face.
    I can feel myself slipping backwards and I've worked hard to get where I am,but now it seems like it was not worth it.
    The memories and flashbacks are endless. I rarely watch TV because of triggers.
    Sometimes I just feel like screaming and tearing my hair out.
    I cry a lot.
    I have a daughter and adult grandsons nearby and a daughter and grandsons interstate.
    I dont even want to see them.
    I only go to see my psych on a regular basis its a struggle to even do that but I know I need it.
    I just don't know what else to do.
    This forum allows me to just say it, thank you for listening.
  2. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    5891 posts
    25 January 2021 in reply to Living57

    Hi. I am at work at the moment and cannot type out a long reply. Firstly I noticed you said you are seeing a psychologist which is a good thing in my opinion. I see one myself on a regular basis.

    And I am sorry for the reaction you got from your friend.

    You mentioned slipping backwards and it was not worth it. I see my journey as walking to the top of a mountain and sometimes I have to go down into a valley to find an alternate or better pathway to the top. At some point the valley will level and start to rise again. It is how I stop myself from feeling as though my MI has reset and I am back at the beginning.

    I hope you will write what is on you mind here and I am listening to you. I also hope some of my reply made sense to you.


    1 person found this helpful
  3. Living57
    Living57 avatar
    80 posts
    1 February 2021 in reply to smallwolf
    Hi Tim
    Thank you for your encouraging words, you have no.idea what it means to know that others do understand how I feel, that somebody out there has walked in my shoes, so to speak.

  4. James_M
    James_M avatar
    4 posts
    23 February 2021 in reply to Living57

    Dear Living57

    Just wanted to reach out here as I have had several nervous breakdowns myself over the past 20 years due to a variety or reasons at different times including narcissistic abuse, witnessing abuse of a loved one, being in helpless and overwhelming situations, witnessing extreme suffering and death of a loved one, sever animal suffering, poverty, abandonment and homelessness.

    From my own experience, and what life has tought me, having these nervous breakdowns were a vital part of my survival during challenging times, it is like our minds telling us we need to stop or it is going to do it for us.

    I don't seem to have them anymore, I guess because my awareness has grown enough that I can feel when things aren't right and take action before it gets the better of me. And you can do this too.

    Declutter your life as much as you can, remove anything and everything you can to limit incoming stressors and triggers (including people) for a little while, if you have friends or family that's aren't really helping your situation, take a break from them for a few weeks. It still amazes me how much other people can cause us so much stress, sometimes directly but sometimes indirectly too.

    Having quiet time to yourself is really important right now, forget things that you used to do, you won't have any interest in them at the moment. Just keep it simple, like go for long walks (I used to bike ride a lot) and get some rest. My last nervous breakdown I kinda caught just before it took hold, I could feel it coming like a ticking time bomb ready to explode. a friend at the time sensed something was up and referred me to a a chap named Gabor Matte on Youtube. I started listening to him and he really helped me to understand why the mind does what it does (plus the sound of his voice is like a warm blanket). I ended sleeping for like 3 weeks on the sofa, completely exhausted, but it was probably the most peace I've even had.

    I still listen to Gabor regularly, as well as Eckhart Tolle, plus practice mindfulness in every thought and action I take. Everyday is still a a bit of a battle, and sometimes i slip back a bit, but it's ok now, it's like "I got this".

    Hope this helps.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Living57
    Living57 avatar
    80 posts
    8 October 2021

    I feel as if I'm falling back into the blackness of my CPTSD. My nightmares have become a vivid reliving of the horrific sexual assault I was subject to. I relive it, at other times its like I'm watching it and can't turn away. As a result my depression and anxiety has gotten worse.

    I'm not doing anything different at night to what I have done previously. Im so tired and fed up. I try everything I can to go to bed relaxed. I even listening to self guided meditations, calming music, I've stopped reading before bed. Anything to have a calm clear mind. But once I fall asleep it seems that is the trigger for the horror to return. I just want a reasonable night's sleep. I live with triggers during the day that cause flashbacks such as sirens, seeing uniformed police, police cars etc, I dont need it at night.

    I was doing so well and now I feel like I'm back to square one. All the hard work of the past 23 months seems to have disappeared and I must start again.....I don't want to do all that work again.

    I dont know what to do and my exhaustion has given me brain fog so bad I can't even think straight.

  6. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6141 posts
    8 October 2021 in reply to Living57
    Hi Living57,

    That sounds incredibly difficult, we’re so sorry to hear you’re going through it right now, and feeling like it's been such a long time. It doesn't mean it will last forever, but we are here for you in these really difficult moments. Please know that the forums and our lovely community are here for you, and it’s really good that you could share this here. 

    Are you seeing your psychologist/psychiatrist at the moment? Please remember you can talk to Blue Knot on 1300 657 380, available every day between 9-5 (AEST). They also have some resources on their website which could be useful to visit, particularly the pages on Survivors Self Care. Another good option is 1800 RESPECT  on 1800 737 732. The Beyond Blue helpline is here for you as well, on 1300 22 4636, or via our webchat or email here. It can make a real difference having someone to talk to especially in moments of distress. 

    Thank you again for your courage and strength in sharing your story. It might take some time for our kind community to spot your post, but we’re sure they will soon be here to offer their support and understanding. In the meantime, we hope it's helpful to revisit the a

    Kind regards,

    Sophie M
    1 person found this helpful
  7. Living57
    Living57 avatar
    80 posts
    8 October 2021 in reply to Sophie_M

    Sophie M thank you for your reply and helpful suggestions. I am seeing my psychologist regularly, very hard at times but I recognise that I need to do it.

    I will keep trying to push through and not let the misery and depression take over.

  8. mascudkoray
    mascudkoray avatar
    1 posts
    12 October 2021 in reply to Living57
    hi , i hope you are okey now , i had the same problem before , right now am ok with that
    1 person found this helpful
  9. Living57
    Living57 avatar
    80 posts
    15 October 2021

    I'm just going along day by day and nothing is changing but me. I feel as if I'm not myself. At times I feel like I'm watching myself doing the things I used to do. And then all my things around me, even my coffee cup, seems further away from me. Things are done and I dont remember doing it. Like this morning I got up did my usual routine and then I noticed the bed was made and so was my cup of tea. I have no recollection of doing either of them. It's not just started today, its been about three weeks. Its pushing my anxiety levels up and then panic sets in and my CPTSD kicks in. I just feel like I'm heading for a breakdown.

    I go over things in mind, I remember things I'm trying to forget, the childhood abuse, the sexual assault, the verbal abuse, when I try to remember the good things in come the bad things.

    The nightmare of the person I saw as a child has come back to taunt and tease me. I thought he'd gone, but obviously not.

    I'm finding I can't concentrate on things, I feel like I'm moving away and watching myself. I put the TV on for noise to try and be a distraction but I couldn't tell you what was on, it feels like its in another world even though I can see it. I feel like I'm going crazy. The only good thing.....ha ha that this only lasts an hour or so and then I'm back to myself, worrying anxious and emotionally and mentally tired. I just wondered if any of you have been like this and what did you do about it.

    Thanks for "listening" to me once again

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Mum Chris
    Mum Chris  avatar
    193 posts
    27 October 2021 in reply to Living57

    Hi living57

    i can relate to your post having thoughts and memories invade your mind and for me my sleep is terrifying and overwhelming. My counsellor told me this week to pick up those feelings and thoughts from my pillow and shove them in a cupboard or draw and don’t let them out. For me this week it was a overwhelming grief and sadness and it sounds weird but today I had a good day. I engaged with my day and I made plans and stuck to them. Baby steps but way better than yesterday. The thoughts still tried to get back in but I didn’t let them out of the cupboard.
    sleep has not been easy either as I have vivid dreams and often scream but I have no control over that I listened to a meditation music tape one night till the morning and there was a woman saying I was a wonderful person and I was great or something it’s funny I can’t remember now and I had no dreams that night.
    maybe no one magic answer just be kind to yourself

    I would never treat a person as bad as I treat myself self hatred is real. I remember I was asked to write down 3 nice things about myself and I couldn’t write 1. Took me 12 months to do that list that was 35yrs ago and I need to do it again. Now I find I’m mentally telling myself dozens of things I’ve failed at and what a terrible person I am. I have to find a way to be nice to me and like me again.
    keeping focus is important and not distancing from now. I bought some nice smelly stuff and I spray that to feel comfort and as a gift to me.

    2 people found this helpful
  11. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
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    mmMekitty avatar
    1735 posts
    28 October 2021 in reply to Mum Chris

    If it wasn't so late/early I'd write more, to both of you, Living57 & Mum Chris. Later, in a (hopefully, several hours) I will get back to you.


    2 people found this helpful
  12. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
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    mmMekitty avatar
    1735 posts
    29 October 2021 in reply to Living57

    Hi Living 57,,

    What you describe sound like what my PDr said is dissociation.

    Mine is , when I seem to zone out, not really feeling connected with the here & now. For mere moments, or longer, I don’t know, until I see how much time has passed. I barely know what I was thinking. because I wasn’t really there. I might be on the verge of thinking or recalling something when it happens, something I don’t want to know.

    My memories have had a hold of me, & I couldn't stop them. I've had them 'replay' involving my senses to the extent I feel as if I am re-experiencing events. There’s little I can do about it, until something intrusive comes into my awareness & disrupts them. I haven't been able to cause an interruption of that type for myself.

    I’ve been forced to deal, working through with my PDr, these memories, associated feelings, past & present. I guess, that's what is meant by ‘processing’ the experiences. Now, it’s not so intense. Mostly. Until I had a bad panic when I tried wearing a mask last year, & the memories that came were as real as ever.

    Things have a way of coming out, either directly or indirectly. I think that is what happened with the mask problem.

    Sometimes, I panic, in reaction to people who have to perform physical examinations, like when I had to get an ultrasound, which I have to get again, soon for a different reason, & I am concerned if my PTSD will be quiet or not. I can't predict it. I was okay, nervous, but okay with the (another) new GP. I think she is a good GP, so far. But she wants the tests. I wonder how I will cope

    Some dissociation would be handy, when going for tests like these, but if I did, I would be doing exactly what I did when I was a child 'escaping' the things happening to me.

    That's what dissociation is: a way of coping, dulling the mind to the unbearable things going on.
    Better if I can tell them, "I'm not coping now" & have them listen & help me. I haven't been able to do that yet. It feels so bad to let them continue with the exam/test when I feel panicky & powerless, & like I want to get away, but don't manage to say a thing. I feel locked in my own head at those times.

    & again, history repeats, in that no-one seems to notice my distress. I thought I couldn't hide my feelings anymore? But maybe I do? Most of the time. I know no-one sees anything, because most of the time, things are in the background, but when not, surely people see?

    Maybe most people don’t look or listen.


    1 person found this helpful
  13. Living57
    Living57 avatar
    80 posts
    5 November 2021

    Hi to everyone

    Firstly I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read and answer my post.

    Secondly I will give you an update. After I put up my second post I was contacted by Beyond Blue who forwarded info to the Suicide Call Back. They rang and we spoke on the phone for quite some time. It was a good move by BB and the call allowed me to get my feelings out and have them validated.

    Since then I have seen my psych and dr and told them how I feel etc. I am suffering from disassociation, now I have a name for it, I'm not going mad, which I thought I was. It doesn't stop this from happening but I can feel safer in knowing.

    I am still extremly low and my depression and anxiety is very high. I am living on edge. My psych said I am incredibly hard on myself, I have no choice, I have to be, I am not capable of anything else. I cry such a lot, it makes feel awful but I can't stop myself and the tears never seem to stop. I feel so angry with myself, my emotions are so tied up and twisted that I know when they come out I will be in a really bad place.

    I'm trying so hard to find some peace within myself, but all I see is a black hole and me at the bottom, not able to get out, a tiny glimmer of light far away in the distance, not able to be reached.

    I'm not worthy of anything, I deserve the life I have, I doubt it will change, when you are told all your life how unworthy you are, unlovable you are how you are not capable of anything, eventually it is the life of the person you have become.

    Writing this has made me sad and incredibly sorry that I have once again put my misery on other people, but this is really the only outlet I have.

  14. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6141 posts
    5 November 2021 in reply to Living57
    Hi Living57, 

    Thank you for updating us with what is going on for you.

    We are so happy to hear that you reached out to BeyondBlue, though we are sorry to hear that you are still feeling extremely low and your depression and anxiety is very high at the moment. 

    We just want to remind you that all life is important, including yours and support is always here for you. You have already shown such incredible strength, simply by reaching out and we are so glad that you did. You are worthy of a happy life, please know that you never have to go through this alone.

    We want you to know that there is always extra immediate support available to you, whether it's from our professional mental health counsellors Beyond Blue (available 24/7 on 1300 22 4636) or our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467).
    We also strongly urge that in overwhelming moments you get in touch with our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467).

    Keep checking back in with us whenever you feel comfortable to do so.
    1 person found this helpful
  15. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    1735 posts
    6 November 2021 in reply to Living57

    Hello Living 57,

    I'm so glad you have written again.

    I'm also glad you continue to talk to your doctor & psych. Just knowing something you experience, has a name, can be understood & explained is such a relief. I remember when my Psychiatrist first explained, giving me some names for experiences, how when he did I felt a little less weighed down after.

    I can easily relate to being way too harsh on myself. Being as harsh & cruel to ourselves only feeds the depression & anxiety. It does nothing to sooth or bring peace of mind, as I m sure you know. I have learned, though, we do have some choice. One thing we can do is to challenge the validity of those thoughts which are so very much like the judgements we heard when growing up.

    I don't know if this will help, but let's see. I am helped tonight by your update, how you said BB contacting you, having thethe Suicide Call Back Service contact you, & how they had a long chat & were helpful, validating your feelings, All of that, if I ever am in need of the services, I know, by your experience, that they are people I could trust. How do you think that makes me feel?

    I'm proud of you. You could express yourself so well, you told me clearly what happened, & that is of value & worth to me & many other people reading here.

    & this is how we challenge those harsh judgements. We have to actively look for examples in what we say & do, which repudiates those harsh judgements, & build up a heap of experiences we have noted, because we were watching, which we can then hold up, saying, "There, see, I am worthy, I am capable of being helpful. I Dare for myself, Other people relate to what I have said, & are supportive & feel heard as well - I can make positive change in their lives, so I can do the same for myself"

    You've got me saying exactly what I need to say to myself. We don't need to be listening to those old judgements. There are plenty of better voices to hear.

    I also aslked myself, what makes me think those harsh words aimed at me were correct? We trusted them when we were kids, but now, we've lived a bit, seen some things, know more now than what we knew then, so maybe they were wrong! Imagine that? & they were. My parents & other people around me, made lots of them. I've made heaps of my own. Some are harder to deal with than others, but I am not going to flush myself down the toilet anymore.

    😺with warmest virtual hugs with purring,


    & a big thanks to Sophie_M 😺

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Mum Chris
    Mum Chris  avatar
    193 posts
    6 November 2021 in reply to Living57

    Hi living57

    Reading your post I can really relate to how you are feeling. The forum has been awesome for me to make some sense of my feelings and to get support. I don’t have that anywhere else. I do have a counsellor that rings me and I can pour my feelings out and she’s very practical. She helps me make decisions I’m not talking big decisions either. Small things like do I forward this letter and she helps me decide. The decision was no I didn’t forward the letter because it was bringing back fear and sadness.
    mmy constant crying has stopped and I’m sure yours will too. Being trapped in a hole of despair and sadness and feeling shut away from the world and happiness will stop too. The hole will just fade away. For me it’s close by and I can find myself back there in an instant but it’s getting easier to feel ok. I found myself making a joke and laughing just now. It was a shock it was nice.
    Do something good for you make a special cuppa or go watch some birds or flowers. Do your hair get dressed like you are expecting visitors. Whatever is doable for you that gives you pleasure. ❤️❤️❤️ Take 15 minutes for you.
    I hope you continue to post because I can see that I’m not alone there’s people that feel what I feel.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. Sad Tigress
    Sad Tigress avatar
    2 posts
    23 November 2021
    New to this post. I was married for 29 years to a physically and mentally abusive man. I left him four years ago, but he still managed to get into my head. Our son and I wound up homeless, penniless and I attempted to take my own life. Long story... Even after all this time, I still have nightmares. I have had counselling and am on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and stuff to help with my nightmares. But I still have such a physical reaction to things. I try everything my psych tells me to do, but there are days when I just want to curl up in a ball and die. Loud noises frighten me. People yelling, swearing, kids screaming drives me into a shaking, teary ball of jelly. Outwardly, I look okay, but inwardly, there is still so much going on. I got a really well paying job and ended up having to quit. My short term memory is shot. I can't remember things that happened two days ago, but I can remember stuff that happened years ago. My son will walk in and ask me "are you watching that movie again?" and I have no recollection of having seen it before - at all. I know I've made improvements in my mental health with a lot of hard work, medication and sheer determination. I am a semi-regular patient to my psych - he'll discharge me from his care, but I always end up being referred back to him. He's lovely by the way, and is very understanding. But I still feel as though I've lost myself over the last thirty years. I tell people too much about myself, and I truly can't help it. I feel compelled to spill my guts and I can't stop doing it. My mind wanders and I still lose time occasionally. I've studied to try to get better jobs, but I just can't seem to retain new information. I find it hard to do complex problems, forget instructions etc. I'm applying for DSP because I'm getting to the point where constantly failing in my work, is destroying my self-esteem. I'm not a highly intelligent person, but I feel like a complete loser and I am starting to go back into my pattern of avoidance, not wanting to leave the house, etc. I'm trying to clean up and organise the house and even that is overwhelming and I can't seem to stay on task with anything. I just don't know what to do anymore. I've tried so hard to overcome my bad marriage, do Certificate III's to get jobs etc, but I don't seem capable of dealing with stress, criticism or learning new info. I fall apart at the most stupid things. Can someone help me?
  18. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6141 posts
    23 November 2021 in reply to Sad Tigress
    Hey Sad Tigress,

    Thank you for such an incredibly brave and honest post. We're really glad you could open up to this community.

    We have reached out to you privately about this, but wanted to let you know that we’re here, and you can talk to the lovely Beyond Blue counsellors about this at any time you think it would be helpful on 1300 22 4636, or via our webchat or email here (11am-12am AEDT). You can also talk to Blue Knot about this on 1300 657 380, every day between 9-5 (AEDT). Their counsellors are experienced in working with people affected by trauma. They also have some resources on their website which could be useful to visit, particularly the pages on Survivors Self Care

    If you'd like to start your own thread on this topic, you're so welcome to. It might help the community to spot your post that way. There's some tips on how to do that here

    Thank you again for your courage and strength in sharing your story. It might take some time for our kind community to spot your post, but we’re sure they will soon be here to offer their support and understanding.  

    Kind regards,

    Sophie M
  19. Sad Tigress
    Sad Tigress avatar
    2 posts
    23 November 2021 in reply to Sophie_M

    Thank you so much, Sophie. Your kind words and information are very much appreciated.

    Yours respectfully,

    Sad tigress

  20. Mum Chris
    Mum Chris  avatar
    193 posts
    24 November 2021 in reply to Sad Tigress

    Hi sad tigress

    I read your post and I could see me in your posts. I was told I had PTSD and got treatment but recently had a terrible thing happen and it destroyed me and then I was diagnosed with complex ptsd and when I learnt more about it well it was more like me. Sustained abuse where you are in fear of your life and you have no control over your own safety does a lot of damage. Scatters the brain and geez it’s everything you describe.
    Im just climbing out of mess and still not ok but I’ve been told to do nice things for myself each day. Eat well get exercise and do my hair and really treat me well. I listen to relaxation music when my brain is too noisey. Do all the nice things for you. It’s helping me and from previous experience my memory improved. When your distracted you are not putting down memories there’s heaps of help for memory training out there. Crosswords and Sudoku are very helpful.
    Hope today was a better today

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