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Old 2012-05-10, 11:43 PM   #1
Simon Jester
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Health So uh, does anyone know anything about PTSD?

I mean, I'm going to my doctor as soon as she can fit me in but just the thought of getting in a car right now is freaking me out. Does anyone have any experience with this? I drive a forklift for a living so being too freaked out to drive really isn't an option for me.
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Old 2012-05-10, 11:53 PM   #2
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Totally understandable. When is your appointment?
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Old 2012-05-10, 11:56 PM   #3
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It may take some time.

I actually just recently heard a program regarding how we process memories and how that relates to PTSD, with your brain reconstructing memories when you recall them. With how some medications have potential for their use in treating it, by either allowing the recollection to be divorced from the negative emotions (beta blockers), or by allowing the reconstruction of the memory to be manipulated, essentially causing selective amnesia.

[And why that makes some therapy methods, like Prolonged Exposure or CISD, actually bad ideas.]

This is a valid medical condition. If it's bad enough that you have to go on disability, then so be it.
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Old 2012-05-11, 12:32 AM   #4
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Yes, and with good treatment things can get better.
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Old 2012-05-11, 1:23 AM   #5
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A recent rat study showed that rats who were given doses of rat marijuana within a day of a traumatic event had fewer PTSD symptoms than rats who weren't given any (and rats that were given some 48 hrs after the event)

However, no studies have been done on humans, so yeah

My sympathies, dude.
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Old 2012-05-11, 1:26 AM   #6
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Sorry man. I actually was going to mention something in your thread about possibly dealing with the mental side of the experience.

Things get better with time.
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Old 2012-05-11, 1:36 AM   #7
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Oh noooes

Can you sit in a parked car (in the back if you have to) for a bit? Eventually you might feel bored enough to want to take it steps further... until you might be ready to drive with someone again. Then alone, hopefully.

You can do it!
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Old 2012-05-11, 1:47 AM   #8
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I was scared shitless of driving for a while after my accident. It does take time, and yeah take advantage of any resources available to you.

Eventually, I just had to keep driving to get to work and get stuff taken care of and eventually you stop freaking out that someone is gonna clobber you out of nowhere.
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Old 2012-05-11, 2:13 AM   #9
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Strongly suggest seeing someone now. There have been studies lately showing that the sooner you start getting treatment for PTSD, the better results you'll get.
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Old 2012-05-11, 6:00 AM   #10
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I work with people like you every day. No matter how scary the car is and no matter what level your anxiety gets to, it is so important for you to seek treatment now. PTSD doesn't go away with time. Over time it erodes your functioning bit by bit until it controls every aspect of your life. Trying to bargain with it ("ok, well, we won't drive today if you keep the crippling anxiety at bay") only feeds it and makes it stronger and it will want to take more of your life as a result.

Treatment for it does work. Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy both have great outcomes, despite what a previous poster has mentioned. Remember that PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, and know that you can regain control over it with treatment and hard work. I hope you are able to get the help you need and wish you good luck with a very difficult situation.

Edit: I didn't realize this was the very beginning of these symptoms. PTSD only describes anxiety that persists over 6 months from the traumatic event. Anxiety should be high immediately following but in many people it recedes over the first few months. Understand that anxiety is normal right now and try to power through it. You might be surprised how fast it reduces once you get back into a routine.

Last edited by Osias; 2012-05-11 at 6:20 AM.
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Old 2012-05-11, 6:01 AM   #11
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I was really glad to see you weren't physically injured in the wreck Simon. Got my fingers crossed that you'll beat this thing and be back to pre-crash status in no time.
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Old 2012-05-11, 7:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osias View Post

Edit: I didn't realize this was the very beginning of these symptoms. PTSD only describes anxiety that persists over 6 months from the traumatic event. Anxiety should be high immediately following but in many people it recedes over the first few months. Understand that anxiety is normal right now and try to power through it. You might be surprised how fast it reduces once you get back into a routine.
I was going to say this. I had a mentally ill woman stalk me down the street and hold a knife to me in a shop a few years back, and for a while afterwards, I could barely even leave my room. I was jumpy, and terrified of everything, and really not functioning well at all. For a while, I seriously couldn't imagine being able to walk down the street carefree the way I had before. I do still get really anxious when I feel like someone is walking too close behind me, but most of that initial fear just faded away eventually, and quicker than I would have expected.

This isn't to invalidate what you're going through now, or downplay it, or say you shouldn't deal with it at an early stage, because you totally should. But understand that things are VERY raw the day after an event, and you should give yourself time to ride that initial wave of feelings out before you start pressuring yourself about getting back to 'normal.'

Last edited by mayfly; 2012-05-11 at 7:12 AM.
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Old 2012-05-11, 8:11 AM   #13
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It just happenned, it's normal. It'll get better over time.

The important thing is that you don't let it keep you from getting into cars too much. My accident was caused by ice, not another driver, so I kept thinking I'd lose control again. It took me a while to feel confident in my own driving, and also to feel safe while other people were driving (since I wasn't holding the wheel, ever little sharp turn or swerve made me imagine the driver was losing control, while everything was perfectly fine for them).


Take a few days to rest and heal up, but afterwards you have to get back on that wagon. I heard of people being unable to drive after an accident, I think if you ease yourself back into it it'll get better and better.

You will feel paranoid for a good while when driving. It's completely normal, and not necessarly a case of PTSD. I think time will tell on that. But it's completely normal and expected to be shaken for a while after a grave accident.

If you want to talk more with someone who's been through a similar crash you can hit me up. We can compare notes.
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Old 2012-05-11, 9:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osias View Post
Edit: I didn't realize this was the very beginning of these symptoms. PTSD only describes anxiety that persists over 6 months from the traumatic event. Anxiety should be high immediately following but in many people it recedes over the first few months. Understand that anxiety is normal right now and try to power through it. You might be surprised how fast it reduces once you get back into a routine.
I know you're probably not suggesting that it isn't, but it can't hurt to repeat that getting therapy ASAP is still a top priority as a preventive measure against developing PTSD later.
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Old 2012-05-11, 9:18 AM   #15
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Simon, I know how you're feeling. When I was a kid, I nearly lost my dad when a drunk driver hit him. It freaked me out very badly.

To this day, I don't have a license but I do have a learners permit..so progress!

All I can say has been already said, find a consuler to speak with or for that matter...anyone. I find just talking to someone relieves alot of worries/stress you may have.
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Old 2012-05-12, 1:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Moldywart View Post
I know you're probably not suggesting that it isn't, but it can't hurt to repeat that getting therapy ASAP is still a top priority as a preventive measure against developing PTSD later.
The research is out on that, actually. There's an infamous type of therapy that tried to be First On The Scene and thereby prevent PTSD from forming. Turns out it made people more likely to develop PTSD. The natural anxiety response is normal and the body has ways to recover/manage that anxiety on its own. I'd recommend people give it a shot on their own at first, honestly.

I'd only recommend therapy for those that feel their anxiety is interfering in their life in unmanageable ways.
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Old 2012-05-12, 1:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osias View Post
The research is out on that, actually. There's an infamous type of therapy that tried to be First On The Scene and thereby prevent PTSD from forming. Turns out it made people more likely to develop PTSD. The natural anxiety response is normal and the body has ways to recover/manage that anxiety on its own. I'd recommend people give it a shot on their own at first, honestly.

I'd only recommend therapy for those that feel their anxiety is interfering in their life in unmanageable ways.
Emotional retelling of the event in the psychological first aid groups was shown to increase the likelihood of a person developing ptsd. They have since changed the protocol.
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Old 2012-05-12, 6:37 AM   #18
Simon Jester
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Thanks for all the advice guys. I drove down to the store yesterday (4 blocks) I may not have gone over 20 the whole way but I did drive so that's progress.
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Old 2012-05-12, 9:13 AM   #19
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Emotional retelling of the event in the psychological first aid groups was shown to increase the likelihood of a person developing ptsd. They have since changed the protocol.
Yeah, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. Sounds totally great in theory, buuuuuuuuuuuut, that's why we have research.

Edit: Good stuff, Simon. Keep doing that and just work your way back up to driving longer distances and faster speeds. You'll be good as new in no time.
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