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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / PTSD for Medical and First Responders

Topic: PTSD for Medical and First Responders

  1. Avanor
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    25 January 2017 in reply to TrailRunner
    A tech, I hear you I've been battling ptsd for almost three years. One thing that I can say is it will get better. Do something little each day and build on that. Make notes, most people with ptsd won't remember everything they want/have to do. But most importantly don't be ashamed of what you have. And forgive yourself for the bad days and congratulate yourself for the good ones. Best of luck
    3 people found this helpful
  2. TrailRunner
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    29 January 2017

    Thanks for the replies, it is day by day.
    I just wonder what everyone else has done between their psychologist sessions?
    I have a couple good days after my session, then its a slippery slope into average and shitty days after that. I find I get to day 4 and then i start counting down the days til i see my psychologist again.
    In the shitty days i feel like i just have nothing left, and i'm grateful that my session is only a few days away as I wouldn't know what I'd do if it were too long a wait. I find I have to lay low for the bad days, I'm too exhausted to seek refuge with friends or talk to my partner i just want to be left alone in the hope that the feelings just disappear (delusional i know..) I try to put on my armour even more on these days to protect me from more harm.

    She sets me a little project for the week which I know will be emotionally taxing, so i dont want to do it on my good days cause that would suck, but doing it on the average and bad days, i dont think i could deal with feeling even worse. So i find it hard to plan to start the project/homework. So how am i supposed to get better?!!

    How did everyone else get through the days between sessions?

  3. MarkJT
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    30 January 2017 in reply to TrailRunner

    TrailRunner, great question that. I used to get my phone and store things i needed to ask the psych in it. That would keep me busy and then also try and work out what i was trying to do, i.e. i am trying to learn mindfulness, what do i have to do to get better. I found that working on the things that i wanted to achieve made the days go quicker (when they were painfully slow).

    Learning what my triggers are were really important because i wanted to know how to combat them. Excessively draining on mental energy and not something that is to be taken lightly because you don't want to trigger yourself badly with no psych assistance nearby. I used to do this between psych sessions and report back on how i went.

    I exercised a lot. I ran and i ran. I don't know if you are exercising or not but a really good way to pass the time was exercise. Be that running, swimming or riding or whatever. Are you able to get some of that going between sessions?

    Just reading over your first post, i want you to know that you can recover and get back to work. I was hospitalised in 2013 with PTSD, depression and anxiety and 2.5 yrs later i completed my return to work and resumed full time duties.

    It is not an easy ride that is for sure but it can be done. You will learn so much about yourself and once you come out the other side, your medical knowledge will be supplemented by your mental health knowledge being greatly increased by the journey that you are on.

    Clinical treatment is an absolute must but you can assist this by exercising, eating well, staying away from alcohol, maintain a social circle - your friends, do they know what happened? I was very lucky in that my mates got around me and supported me. I hope that you have the same outcome.

    No doubt you have a mountain of questions, ask them if you want - more than happy to talk about what happened to me and how i recovered and maintain my health.

    Mark.

  4. TrailRunner
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    12 February 2017 in reply to MarkJT

    My psychologist has had me concentrating on food exercise and social life every week

    I have no appetite so I forget to eat. Pre events I would be eating every couple hours, I was preparing elaborate meals, I loved eating out! So it feels weird to be so aware that I'm not eating/enjoying eating anymore and I've lost 2.5kgs that I did not have to lose

    exercise- I had a kickstart back into it a couple weeks ago, it felt good to go for a walk or swim because I achieved something for the day. Now I get no joy out of it, I'm just completing what seems like mundane tasks which I had previously enjoyed.

    i went hiking and it sucked. I watched birds of prey and thought it'd be easier to curl up and die than continue with this crap. I didn't I kept hiking out crying the whole way. It was ridiculous.

    I'm now trying to look for anything that I could find joy in and it's so hard.

    i had multiple set backs from work being jerks these last few weeks which really didn't help.

    ive spent all that time dealing with problems from work, forms phone calls meetings. All that time could have been spent on getting better instead I was digging myself into a bigger hole.

    Some friends know what's going on. But they feel they need to give me advice, or tell me how worried about me they are (which feeds on my 'im just a total burden to everyone' mindframe) one friend with a broken foot tells me how hard it is not being able to work for a couple weeks. Ergh

    did you work on finding your triggers with your psychologist? ive found being immersed in bullshit problem solving of work issues, high stress and such flat affect, that lately I haven't had many flashbacks.. just my brain protecting me? Will they ever just piss off and not return?

    sorry for a few swear words, I've been in fine form this week.

    and another question about relationships. I'm getting so short tempered and low on patients with my boyfriend I'm scared that I'll flip my lid and ruin what we have going. Any tips on that?

  5. MarkJT
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    22 February 2017 in reply to TrailRunner

    TrailRunner, my apologies for the late reply.

    With the food intake, is it possible to keep a food diary? Schedule in meals at certain times? This will help you eat at certain times and eat certain meals.

    With the exercise, yes it can get very mundane so change it up. Try doing a mini triathlon one day, some hill running, hiking in different areas, do some yoga at home, set yourself goals etc. Would that help?

    Work can be a very tricky place to navigate. You can only control what you can. If others are being jerks, then they need to have a look in the mirror. You can take the moral high ground and rise above their childish and uneducated behavior - easy for me to say, absolutely, as I am not the one going through it.

    If you do not mind me asking, what are they doing to you at work or how are they behaving?

    How close are your friends? Are you able to sit down with them and explain that you just want to be treated normally and if you need an ear or a shoulder, you will ask for it? All in a nice way of course. The ones with the physical injuries, not a real lot you can do about that. It is not until someone gets a mental injury or illness that they realise just how bad it is.

    My first psych didn't give me any cuddles that is for sure. Iflashbt was very black and white with her. There was no softly softly approach which is exactly how i wanted it. I worked closely with her figgering out the triggers that were not obvious and then worked on techniques to overcome them.

    The bad news is that the flashbacks don't stop, well for me they haven't however the good news is that after going through exposure therapy, which worked a treat, i no longer freak out when i flashback. I flashback a fair bit but they just have no intensity to them. Sometimes when i get real intense ones, i stop what i am doing and concentrate on my breathing, listen to some music and try to relax and I settle down.

    With your boyfriend, it is really important to sit down with him and explain that when you are going off your head, it is not you speaking. Let him know the best you can what it is like walking in your shoes. Work on what is making you flare up and see if you can remove it from the area. i.e. people eating chips and crackers sends me bananas so if someone at home was eating them, i would remove myself from the area for a while until they were finished. I didn't want to impede on their lives to much so that is why i retreated to safety.

    Hope to hear back.

    Mark.

  6. A Tech
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    27 February 2017

    Hey everyone, I'm still so glad to see this thread is going. I promise myself all the time that I'll check in more often, but as we all know, LIFE HAPPENS!!!!!

    This is without a doubt the proudest thing I've ever done. As I've said before, when I was first diagnosed there was nothing out there for responders, medical staff, police, fire,etc.

    So this was born!!!!

    I'm definitely getting there thats for sure!!! Sometimes 3 years feels like a whole lifetime because I'm quite a different person now.

    This is something that all the psychs forget to tell us that I feel is rather important too! It's not a bad different, I feel stronger in so many ways. But it can be really hard on our families.They've spent potentially years (hopefully by our sides) seeing us at our darkest and as we get 'better', we're not the same as we used to be. For example I stand up for myself now to EVERYONE! I've cut relationships with friends and family for many reasons, but mainly because I now have the courage to put myself and my family first.

    This is where my husband still struggles, the personality changes. They're small, but they're there. He's not used to that from me. My son loves it, he's 21 and says I've finally relaxed! So PTSD changes the dynamics of the family, both while at rock bottom and when things are better.

    I'm not a fool though, I know that I still have things to work through. I don't have flashbacks or nightmares anymore and what used to be triggers haven't been so in close to 2 years now.

    My issues are the secondary depression that comes with a staggering number of PTSD sufferers (something like 90%?) I think.

    I spent 6 months last year where I went into complete hibernation, barely left the house. But these things have passed for now.

    What I am now aware of and I feel it's VERY important that we all are, is family history. I have a personal and family history of depression. Right there that makes it tougher to accept help. It's called stubbornness!!!!!!

    Right at this moment (and that's the easiest way to live at the moment) I'm doing good!

    I have a job interview today for my old job, but only part time!! Key point.

    More importantly for me is that I've decides with everything that's happened I think my family and I deserve some happiness.

    I start Uni this week! I'm finally taking the plunge to do the nursing degree I've wanted to do for 15 years.

    Anyway, just some random thoughts, I'm trying not to think of the interview in a couple of hours!!!

    AHH

  7. MarkJT
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    27 February 2017 in reply to A Tech

    A Tech, pretty similar to me in many ways. I've just clocked up four years since my diagnoses and i am a different person that is for sure, mostly for the better, not that i was a crap person before hand though.

    I also have a fair distance in front of me but for me personally, I do not think that I will ever recover 100%. I mean when you have a broken leg, you know when you have recovered when you can run again without pain but I think for the rest of my life, I will have to self check and look after myself and I am okay with that.

    This is a wonderful thread for medical and first responders as there are so many of us who have struggle or are struggling and we are all one big family when it all boils down to it.

    Thanks for starting it!!

    Good luck with the interview.

    Mark.

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  8. TrailRunner
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    28 February 2017 in reply to MarkJT

    Thanks for the reply Mark,

    Food this fortnight, I've joined a 2 week meal program from a local cafe, so my lunch and dinner is sorted.
    It'd be a waste not to eat them, so I eat them. I've started to feel hungry again, but it just disappears as soon as i have food in front of me so eating hasn't been as enjoyable as I'd like. But I think my weight is maintaining at the moment.

    Work was being really supportive, until they realised I wouldn't be "better" as quick as they'd like. My boss agreed with them and told me to take responsibility for my illness, and she said she doubted I was sick because of the incidents and that my life stressors are stopping me from being able to work. "not like youve made a workcover claim or anythning"
    So there goes that relationship with the boss. So I made a workcover claim, knowing it could be quite a futile activity.
    There was the inquiry in to my 2 incidents lately, I was getting prepared for them waiting for a phone call with my appointment time with the inquiry people. that phone call never arrived. Work had asked if I could be exempt from the inquiry, but never relayed that info on to me. THey knew 3 weeks before the inquiry that I had been exempt.I found out the morning before because I called them

    it goes on and on and on.But yes I am trying to take the moral highground and be above their childish and unkind efforts.
    Next week I have a consult with the workcover independent psychiatrist. It's exhausting
    I'm trialing returning to work, I was in the office for 4 hours, not able to do much work at all, but i slept my afternoon away. It was near impossible to concentrate or make any decisions it was exhausting. Tomorrow is day 2 another 4 hours.

    My boyfriend's response to me explaining how I'm feeling or what I'm going through is always, "you're the only one that can change or fix that" or "you have to try and just let it go"
    He is a supportive and beautiful man, but it's hard for me to explain my brain well enough for him to feel like he knows what i'm going through. He understands the extra external stresses put on me the past few months. But the actual PTSD circus show of feelings is harder for me to explain to him.
    I'm really on edge in situations i can't control, like all of life when i'm outside the house! And when I catch a fright or something he's starting to make the comment of "o cmon it's nothing"

    I dont know how I can explain it better to him really without sounding like Im complaining or being negative

  9. A Tech
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    28 February 2017 in reply to MarkJT

    Hi Mark,

    I'm so glad this has helped so many people. That was my biggest frustration in the beginning. Other than private psychologists that not every one can afford (I was lucky enough to be able too) there was just nothing or no where for us to chat and 'vent'.

    Your enalogy about the broken leg is perfect!!! And I think that's how we all feel. It's only after we've been doing this a few years can we express it so it makes sense.

    As for the interview! Well, I'd been struggling with the thought all weekend, torn because I was treated pretty bad there before I left, but I still loved what I did.

    So long story short, a couple of hours after I posted here I just thought 'what am I doing?'. I knew that once I went back as much as I would love it, I would end up giving up on my dream of nursing. So I called and withdrew from the interview.

    It was the BEST feeling ever!! To take control again of something in my life and not just let life happen to me.

    So my first uni class is tomorrow and I can't wait to start the rest of my life. For the first time in almost 4 years I feel happy and in control of my future.

    I never thought I'd say that again 😁😁😬😬.

    I had other HUGE issues going on at the time, not just work. My twin brother committed a crime that will see him spend the rest of his life in prison. This has been hard for me on top of, or as part of the PTSD. It also destroyed our family. I am one of 5 kids and now it's just my dad and me (plus my amazing hubby and son!!). I rarely see my brother at the moment because he doesn't want to know about problems!

    But that's ok!! Wow, I've never mentioned this in the last few years, but I'm just trying to have a life now. One that's mine and not his mistake or my PTSD!

    I want for us all to be able to talk, I think we need it to be able to move on. And I know I WANT TO!!!

  10. MarkJT
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    28 February 2017 in reply to TrailRunner

    TrailRunner, good to hear that you have joined the meal plan and that your weight is maintained. Small steps, remember that baby steps are need to be taken. Don't rush - each meal at a time. Don't worry about if you are going to have your appetite at tea when it is lunch time.

    With your boyfriend, I reckon it would be a really good idea for him to spend some time reading some posts in the carers section of the forums and really the forum in general. As you have described, it is difficult to describe what you are feeling like when suffering from mental health illnesses but by reading other people's (carers & sufferers) stories, he may be able to get a better idea of what it is like. Would he be open to doing this?

    When he says, "its nothing", that would be a good time, once you have settled, to explain to him what it is like for you. He can then put your words to your reactions and hopefully that will show him that it is very real.

    Hopefully you can keep chipping away until he has a good understanding.

    The work situation is far from ideal that is for sure. It is exceedingly difficult when you are in a situation like yours but to be told that you need to take responsibility for your illness and that she doubts it is from the incidents is really poor management. The workcover process is a long and exhausting one most of the time so you need to have your coping mechanisms down pat. Get into mindfulness and practice it - it will hold you in good stead.

    If you are having a rough time going through this process, remember this forum is always here for you to vent and ask questions.

    Mark.

  11. MarkJT
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    28 February 2017 in reply to A Tech

    ATech, peer to peer support is just so powerful. Although none of know each other personally, the support that is shown throughout this forum is absolute gold. Strangers helping strangers through their own journeys into and (hopefully) out of mental health episodes, so yes this thread is dripping in golden drops!!

    That is so awesome to hear that you felt so good when you cancelled the interview. Stoked for you! Brilliant that you are now on a path that you truly want to be on. Well done.

    I cannot say that i have experienced what you have with your brother and it must be horrible to go through but i really like what you have said in that you are trying to have your own life. I often say that it is really important for one to look after oneself first and foremost. This is because you cannot effectively care for others unless you are in a good place yourself. Yes sometimes we are forced to look after others when we are not in a good space but that, hopefully is not very often.

    You giving yourself a life will improve so many others aspects of your life - so excited for you. Keep thinking like that.

    Mark.

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  12. A Tech
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    3 March 2017

    I hate this monster that is PTSD!!!

    I was so happy a few days ago and then I could feel it slipping back in. Tonight I'm fighting those horrible urges in my head and I feel like all the good things that have just happened must have been a dream.

    Uni started this week and I haven't been able to get myself out of the house to attend one class!!

    What is wrong with me?? It's been nearly 4 years! I need this to be gone, anyway it takes.

    I need more help I think, I just have to get through tonight.

  13. MarkJT
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    3 March 2017 in reply to A Tech

    A Tech, unfortunately PTSD recovery is a marathon and whilst on that path, there are many speed humps. I got a really good piece of advice in my early days, the emotions come in waves, learn to surf those waves. Each time you ride the wave, you get better at coping with them.

    As you know, you will have good days and you will have bad days. The better you get at surfing, the good days will start to outnumber the bad days.

    It is really important to stay the course, continue to tell yourself that you will recover. Make sure that you are doing the best you can in helping yourself - eat well, cut alcohol, exercise, do you mindfulness and be kind to yourself.

    What is wrong with you? You were seriously injured and injuries take time to heal. There are many of us that have or are walking in your shoes and asking that very same question. You will be okay, it just takes time.

    Mark.

  14. Jugglin Strugglin
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    3 March 2017 in reply to A Tech

    Hi ATech,

    I just had a thought, (watch out? ) that might help you.

    Have you tried just going to the uni without attending the lectures. Just go and sit and people watch. Or go to the library. Or grab a coffee in the refec.

    All new students are unbelievably nervous. You aren't the only one. But you are already ahead of the pack with your previous experience. So it doesn't matter that you've missed these 1st days...you will easily catch up. There will be other mature age students feeling like bigger fish out of water than you, and you will be easily able to spot them. You can gravitate to them in breaks. I'm sure they will be happy to meet you and benefit from your experience. (well, maybe not the PTSD part, but your general medical knowledge). Generally, the nursing school is a bit more segregated to the rest of the uni, so check it out incognito, it might help you make a decision.

    This thread has been a big achievement by you, it has and will help many people. You should be proud. You deserve to go on and fulfill your dreams. I am a nurse who went on to do further medical studies, and can remember how I felt in those first days of uni.

    Perhaps your PTSD has tipped over to anxiety. I guess you have to ask yourself what is stopping you from going. There could be many reasons.

    If you are continuing to struggle and need more support or advice, perhaps you could start a new thread, as you will get more replies that way. It is only due to my background that I saw this post.

    Best wishes Lee x

  15. A Tech
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    3 March 2017 in reply to MarkJT

    Hi Mark and Lee,

    Thank you both for your amazing words of encouragement and understanding. I know that you appreciate what that means right now. I am feeling somewhat better this morning, less emotional and definitely less thoughts going on in my head!

    You both had some great points that I would like to answer. Lee I'll probably run out of space here, so I'll reply to you directly 😬.

    Mark your analogy about the waves and surfing is a similar model to what I was also taught. She (my amazing psychologist) mentioned it again early this week when I saw her. Great minds, our peeps!!

    I'm usually pretty good now at riding them out, I can feel it coming on now (so I can tell my husband) and he and my dad are both truely the best ever support I could ever have imagined (and my awesome son who's 21, though I try to keep as much of the details out as I can. He's a 'kid' and should NEVER have to be worried or burdened by his mum the way I was).

    The problem now is that after so long, it's taking a toll on my beautiful husband 😥. He's only just agreed to see someone himself. He's been everything for me and to me for so long, I can see he's completely exhausted. Where I'm going with all of that, is that now I'm trying to limit how much I 'dump' on him (he also has a highly stressful job, also in health!!!! funny that).

    He seems less tolerant than he used to be when I'm not doing so well. And I get that, so am I! None of us thought this could ever go on this long.

    I truely believe and my psychologist agrees, that I'm actually pretty much over the Medical side of PTSD, but as she said, its all like layers of an onion. You just get though one hard layer only to expose another. And somewhere deep in the centre, is the core! For those like me that C-PTSD, it's a life time of other personal traumas keep bottled up, until one day something triggers it off.

    So my trigger was work, but not the real cause of the PTSD if that makes any sense at all!! Don't get me wrong, I was showing signs of PTSD from work at least 1-2 years before my brothers troubles. So it would've caought me eventually.

    OK now I'm rambling, but at least I'm talking right?!I think what I'm getting at is that if I'm still having issues now that my sessions are moving towards my brother, all I'm going to do is defer uni until next semester. I WILL NEVER GIVE THIS DREAM UP!!!!But I need to finish this with him once and for all so that I can move on, he is the thing I am still allowing to hold me back.

  16. A Tech
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    3 March 2017 in reply to Jugglin Strugglin

    Hi Lee,

    I do like your style of thinking! It's much like my own actually (when I'm well anyway).

    I attended the orientation week with no problems at all, and I LOVED it. I knew in my heart it was where I needed to be. And that's ultimately why I decided not to go to the job interview.

    The biggest is problem is that I've started having 'shutdowns' again. Back in the earlier days after diagnosis, when things where overwhelming, I would end up in bed (sometimes for days) just sleeping. They tell me it was my way of self preservation. They didn't happen often, but enough to make it so I couldn't work etc.

    The few times I tried to ignore this need, were the time I ended up in hospital after a meltdown basically!. This hadn't happened in over a week until 2 weeks ago. Now it's happened twice and they were never that close before!! I hope you can understand my concern about uni?

    I still want to nurse more than ANYTHING in my life!!!!!! And I will. I'm just thinking that if this is happening again now that my psych and I are finally talking about my brother, that's obviously the trigger.

    I feel like I need to deal with him once and for in my head so that I can really move on, and start semester 2 fresh. I've already asked her about extra sessions and she's going to make it work!

    I also have my older brother who's at the same uni at the moment, so it's not uni jitters! Unfortunately I can't talk to him at all about my other brother. I don't know if I said n other posts but my brother has been disowned from the family, apart from dad and myself .

    When you mentioned a new thread, what were you thinking??

    I do feel that all of our pasts play a role in our PTSD, there is some huge number that supports that.

    With the anxiety, I was actually off a lot of meds until the brother issue came back, so we're fairly sure whats happening.

    But I love feedback and other ideas!!! That's what these posts are all about right???

    Donna x

  17. Jugglin Strugglin
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    3 March 2017 in reply to A Tech

    Hi Donna,

    Dont know what I was thinking really. It is not up to me, it is your thread after all. I guess I just didn't realise how the medical PTSD was intertwined with deeper layers. This morning, it seemed like your feelings now were different to that. You seemed to have got on top of that, especially seeings that your going back into the medical field, where you'll likely be reexposed to traumas in your training. Now I can understand how it is layer upon layer. If it helps you, I'm sure it will help others in a similar situation, and that's all that matters.

    It is wise to get to the core of these debilitating feelings, before starting studying. Your concern is certainly understandable. You have no choice but to deal with it now. Get to all of the issues that have been holding you back. Your psych sounds like gold. You are lucky there and lucky to know the self-preservation that works for you. That is a huge achievement and a big step towards overcoming this. Studying can be so full on, and stressful that I could not imagine starting such a demanding course with all these things going around in your mind.

    I can understand where you're coming from. My brother was a 'black sheep' and caused lifelong problems in the family. My childhood and early adulthood was spent visiting him in various 'centres'. I don't know what my parents were thinking, cos then I met & mixed with his 'friends'. Oh well, sadly I am the only one left now, so now I know there is no point in hard feelings.

    Our past goes to making us the person we are today, with a greater understanding and insight. Our personal struggles are incredibly difficult to navigate, but we learn so much along the way, it enables us to give back to those we love and know, as well as here on these forums. You will be a better nurse for going through all of this. Kudos to you for being so strong and proactive. The nursing world needs more people like you.

    Have you ever considered doing a few hours of volunteer work in a hospital or residential care setting. It may be something that will help in your future studies, as well as in your life in general.

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  18. A Tech
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    4 March 2017 in reply to Jugglin Strugglin

    Hi Lee,

    Your words were exactly what I try to tell others, 'Our past goes to making us the person we are today, with a greater understanding and insight'. Only you said it way better!

    You said something about your background but I'm sorry to say I'm not sure what that is. I'm guessing police or such because you have an very initiative insight. Or being a responder page it could be anything !!!!

    I did feel ready to hit that next stage in life being uni, until I made a visit to see my brother a month ago and couldn't go in.

    I've been at this PTSD game now for so long that I guess I do know what my thoughts and feelings mean intuitively, even if I can't process them right away. I was cleared for medical PTSD about 8 months ago, but my psych, GP, hubby and I knew there was more happening. I'd just been suppressing the other feelings as we do when it's too hard to deal with. Isn't that PTSD in a nutshell?

    Thank you for sharing your story too, that helped and I need you to know that.

    If you are any type of medical or first responder, do you think that had any impact on your career choices? Even subconscious? I also have disabled siblings, and I know that my upbringing is a HUGE part of why I'm in the medical field.

    Things to ponder!

    Talk to you soon, and thank you for being here 😇

  19. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    9526 posts
    5 March 2017

    Dear A Tech and All in this thread~

    I feel a little guilty because I've posted a thread and my experience putting down animals when on the job. I'm well aware this does not have the same level of seriousness as when human lives are involved.

    I would hate you to think I was in any way belittling your experiences . I too have graver problems which I have not mentioned, however the one with animals was a surprise after so many years and I wanted, along with my own benefits from posting, to say that - at least in my case - even fresh episodes become muted with time.

    The reactions I had to the human-related ones manifest much closer to the original events and too are - again in my case - much muted now.

    Thank you

    Croix

  20. MarkJT
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    1313 posts
    5 March 2017 in reply to A Tech

    Donna, great to hear that your hubby is seeing someone. Such a huge toll is taken by the carers - do you know there is a carers section on the bb forums? I think it is just as important that we get told we are not alone, that the carer's know that they also, are not alone. See if you can get him to have a read of some threads as he might get something out of it.

    I have read a few times that people who are more sympathetic towards others are more susceptible to PTSD. Whether or not this is 100% true I do not know but i think the reason why anyone becomes an Emergency Services worker is that they have an inbuilt want to help others.

    Like you, i think that events that happen in our younger years or situations that we are in certainly shape our future employment.

    Mark.

  21. TrailRunner
    TrailRunner avatar
    27 posts
    8 March 2017 in reply to MarkJT

    Hi Mark,

    I was fooled! I felt like my weight had plateaud, but I actually lost another 2 Kgs. I continue to eat the meail plan and this could be the week I maintain or put on weight again, fingers crossed!

    I'll see if I can get BF to peruse the carer forums to find some better understanding of whats happening.

    I had my independant psych appointment for workcover this week, it was hard and horrible (mostly just because i was so worked up about what it could be like) but i got through it. and binged on sugar and junk food so i was'nt thinking about it anymore (hello sugar crash and headaches)
    He did mention that perhaps I've hit my quota of traumatic experiences, and I may not be able to work in the same emergency field.

    Did your IME psych ask "what hand do you write with?" The oddest question of the day

    Has anyone returned to the same field of work and been okay?

    I don't want this to be the thing that pushes me out of clinical work, probably a pride thing! But i've been studying for years to specialise and so much of me is in that job.

  22. A Tech
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    A Tech avatar
    108 posts
    12 March 2017 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Please don't ever feel bad about the differences between animal and human, As far as I'm concerned, most are the same (with the exception of spiders, snakes or things that are basically grose!!!!) It's a girl thing!

    I'm one of those people that call my dogs my babies! So to me, the thought of having to euthanise an animal is just as devastating as the loss of human life.

    I remember as a child watching my dad cry when he thought I wasn't there, because my parents couldn't afford to pay a vet to put down our puppy who had norovirus, so dad had to do it.

    All my medical enthusiasm and passion has come from my dad, so when I think of that day I want to cry. I don't know how he did it!! Except that he just HAD TOO.

    I truely believe that that no ones experience is any less valuable than someone else's. It's just a different perspective thats all. But thats exactly what we need too. If we all share our experiences with each other, then tolerance is so easier. Not just with PTSD, but with life in general.

    So at least on this thread anyway, I want you to say anything you want too.

    No one will ever have the identical experience, but we all have something that we can relate too.

    Always share because it helps me, so I have to believe that it helps others too.

    Donna x

    2 people found this helpful
  23. Croix
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    12 March 2017 in reply to A Tech

    Dear Donna~

    I'm really grateful you replied, and for your generous welcome. I was feeling a tad isolated.

    I'm not sure I can express matters properly as to why I posted in your thread, but I can perhaps try to explain with an unrelated example.

    I have a disabled parking sticker, which entitles me to parking privileges (my disability is very minor). To get the sticker I had to pass a medical (or not-pass depending on your perspective).

    Lately I've seen many with those stickers who do not have the appearance of problems. I started to feel resentful, particularly if they took the only reserved spot. However I knew appearances can be deceptive so I asked my GP when next I saw her. She said that the rules had been 'relaxed' somewhat.

    A sort of medical bracket-creep.

    I did not want anyone to think the same was happening in relation to PTSD. I hope that makes some sort of sense?

    While I do have other issues that one jumped out at me recently and took me very much by surprise. So a new event appearing after a very long time was, for me significant information. As well the severity of the 'memory experiences' has reduced a whole heap compared to other matters in the late 80's. Some weaker flashbacks, but exit very quick, and deep memories that are not flashbacks, with self-awarness continuing. Again something of significance.

    The emotional turmoil was still there, but again weaker and easier to emerge from. No massive unexplained crying jags that physically hurt.

    So I put in the thread, partly to try to get matters of my own sort of sorted, partly to let others know what I regard as a couple of significant facts, the latter quite encouraging.

    Truth to tell I'm not that keen on the thread and tend to avoid it now the flurry of posters has passed. I'm a past master at avoiding things:)

    I feel for your dad, and for you. The memory of his pain, and your understanding of what he went though is most taxing.

    Animals are something my family has always had, and putting animals down under any circumstances a pathway to grief.

    I will take up your invitation and post here from time to time.

    My thanks

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  24. MarkJT
    blueVoices Advisory Group alumni
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    MarkJT avatar
    1313 posts
    13 March 2017 in reply to TrailRunner

    TrailRunner, IME's are hard things to go through that is for sure. I don't think i was asked what hand i write with though!!I am waiting to get the call up for my next one as haven't had one is ages.

    I have returned to the work that i did when i was injured with PTSD and others have also but others have not. I don't think there is any real criteria to see if you can return or not. I was just talking about this last night with a few mates who are now ill health retired, why did i get back when they didn't? I don't think that, that question is answerable though.

    We spoke about the loss of identity for those that are ill health retired because they didn't go out on their terms. Not something that I know what it is like but must be bloody difficult to get through.

    You have studied hard to achieve what you have so to be ill health retired would present challenges for you but that certainly (if it was to happen) does not define you as a person. Should that happen, i would encourage you greatly to let us know about it so we can help guide you through that process.

    Mark.

  25. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    9526 posts
    13 March 2017

    Dear Donna, Trialrunner and Mark~

    "But i've been studying for years to specialise and so much of me is in that job."

    I wanted to say this was a huge problem for me, leading to the mistake of thinking I was 'locked into' a career. That thinking significantly delayed matters and produced less than optimal results as a consequence. I should have acted a lot earlier.

    Croix
    1 person found this helpful
  26. MarkJT
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    1313 posts
    14 March 2017 in reply to Croix

    Croix, you are certainly not the lone ranger there. So many people if so many different professions get locked into their jobs. When you are ill health retired, you have not made the choice to leave that profession which is terribly hard to reconcile.

    I was lucky enough to get back to work full time but until such time that i hand in my retirement papers, by my own choice, I do not believe for one second that i out of the realm of being ill health retired. I know that i could get majorly triggered at any time which could lead to that.

    I have a few mates that have been ill health retired or forced out of their chosen career path and the loss of identity is clear and present. It is a really difficult situation to be in and one that i certainly hope that I never understand what it is like.

    Keep in mind though, that I certainly hold those that are ill health retired in high regard. There is no loss of respect or admiration from me.

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    9526 posts
    14 March 2017 in reply to MarkJT

    Dear Mark and all~

    Thanks. I can imagine how you feel about the PST coming back to bite you and being retired as a result. A most unsettling state to be in. On the up side I can say that after my condition reached it's peak I was able to handle things better. I hope you are there now too, and the ups and downs will be taken in your stride.

    I remember prior to my stress problems I had an accident on the pistol range which rendered an ear partially deaf. I was always worried from then on that the powers that be would decide to ditch me as a result - they never did. So I can well relate to your concern.

    The best I can say about my involuntary retirement was it was quite dangerous. There were a whole host of things that could have been done to make the transition more possible. Hopefully some of those measures are now in effect today.

    My point in my previous post to Trailrunner was that changing career paths when not undergoing a major illness, even if forced, can be a whole load of grief. Doing it when ill makes it so much worse - a whole different ball-game. If I had gone a different path early and not felt constrained to keep going in the environment that was causing the problem then there might just have been a happier outcome.

    Croix

  28. Gruffudd
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    Gruffudd avatar
    2271 posts
    14 March 2017 in reply to Croix

    I don't end up in this discussion too often. I think it takes a long time to figure out all the elements that contribute to trauma.

    I felt stuck at the department, because what else could I do? I did leave but am doing much the same job in many ways in the NGO sector. The difference is that the crisis I walk into is less and the bullying culture is back at the department all of whom I still deal with on a daily basis. So I don't think I am far enough away from it to really understand the impact that job had.

  29. Mobi
    Mobi avatar
    1 posts
    18 March 2017

    Hi all,

    im just so tired. Twenty five years in fire and rescue as an officer without any counselling then financial problems and now facing a Parkinson's disease diagnosis. I guess after reading others people's experiences I felt like my problems were insignificant and I was being weak. Then as a volunteer sea rescue skipper we pulled a dead guy out of the sea and suddenly I felt all my experiences flood back like they were now but once again as the person in charge I had to be strong for the crew just like the fire service. I'm not suicidal but sometimes I wish I could go to sleep and wake up to find it had all gone away. Is this how pts d is?

  30. MarkJT
    blueVoices Advisory Group alumni
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    MarkJT avatar
    1313 posts
    19 March 2017 in reply to Mobi

    Mobi, welcome to the forums mate and in particular this thread for responders.

    You have fallen into a trap that many do, underestimating your own problems. Your problems are your problems and you deserve to be given as much assistance, guidance and help as anyone else in these forums and also in the outside world.

    Check out this link for beyondblue's information on PTSD: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/types-of-anxiety/ptsd.

    Can you make a booking through work to get some welfare treatment? If you do not want to go through work, I would well recommend that you get your self to the GP to discuss this and maybe get a referral to the psych. You have 25 yrs built up and you want to make sure that your bucket does not overflow.

    Again, welcome here and would love to here more about you. Can you tell us about other symptoms that you are showing? We may be able to assist you through the journey that you are on.

    I am a 21 yr copper and have recovered (as much as you can) from PTSD. Live daily with anxiety and depression. I am pretty much full functioning again so going well....you can to.

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful

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