im a 47yr old male. to start, my mom died was 11yr old of cancer, my oldest sister, who i was very close to had an accident when i was 14, she had some brain damage and was never the same. i lost my leg in an accident where i slipped in an auger. i was 15. my dad died of a brain anyuresm when i was 19. i smoked weed occasionaly as a teen. and drank beer up till age 38, ive never been in trouble with the law. i had a panic attack in my twenties and suffered depression for about a year. about 3 years ago i had a bone spur in my foot, which the dr. prescribed hydrocodone. it also helped with the pain i would sometimes get in my stump.(leg). i liked the feeling i got when i was on the pills, so i kept taking them even if i wasnt in pain. after 3 years i was addicted to them, the past 8 months taking 10 pills 10/650 or 10/325 a day. when i finally got tired of the guilt, money spent and sneaking around i decided to get help. ive been on suboxone for 2 weeks and when to see a psychologist. also im a very nervous person, i have all the symptoms of anxiety. when my kids (in their 20's) go out i stay up until they get home, always scared im going to get a phone call in the middle of the night telling me something has happened. after my 1st visit with the psychologist, she diagnose me with post traumatic stress disorder. she said the reason i got addicted and worry so much is due to losing my leg when i was 15. not sure if i agree with her. i do think about it sometimes when i see someone running or walking fast, i think to myself "i wish i had my leg back". or if i see myself in a video i realize "I WALK WITH A LIMP". but i then think to myself "it could be lots worse" then i forget about it. ive never had dreams about my accident or think about the actual details of my accident.and ive read that is one of the symptoms of PTSD. i would like hear opinions as to rather that seems like a correct diagnosis. thank you
Hi......I feel this is a result of a combination of all you endured at such a young age. Anxiety is often linked to a past traumatic event in our lives which we feel we dealt with at the time, when we really never did. All we've done is tuck it neatly away, and it rears it's ugly head eventually in the form of anxiety and/or depression demanding to be dealt with.
Losing part of your leg as you did had to be a very traumatic experience for you. I think the pain meds and beer were ways of "self-medicating" allowing you to worry less, and forget which is a common and easy road to follow. But as we know it never has a good ending. I truly commend you for realizing all that you have and wanting to address each issue. As for worrying about your adult kids at night, that just goes with the territory of being a parent. Mine are 39 and 40 and I still worry about them, and they give me no reason to. I think it's even worse when you have lost a lot of loved ones, and have a fear of losing another one. That's the case with me, so we probably worry a little more than most parents, but it's just part of being a parent. I think therapy can help you learn to worry less about the kids and will help you deal with your past. I feel you're on the right path, and I would stay the course and see what happens. You've been thru an awful lot, one hs to wonder how much of it still hurts. I wish you all the best and keep us posted, we're always here for you!
Of course, we can't diagnose you here, but my advice to you would be to seek out a second evaluation, preferrably by a psychiatrist.
Whether you DO indeed have PTSD or not, you've gone through more horrible and tragic events and losses in your young life than most people ever experience throughout an entire lifetime! While you may feel you have coped during these times, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a correlation between your anxiety history and your past traumas. You're only human...and having to deal with so much, it only makes sense that the stress is going to manifest itself in some way.
Also, people with anxiety disorders commonly self medicate, either with drugs, alcohol, other addictive behaviors. What you've described with the alcohol, pot and hydrocodone really all points toward self medicating behavior. I commend you for taking steps towards recovery!
My opinion is that you really need some therapy to help you deal with all of these issues at the same time. The addictions, the past traumas, your anxiety, and how you deal with it. Even if you feel you are "ok" with everything that has happened to you, exploring your feelings about those situations could really help you have some closure. You've suffered grief and loss to a level most of us couldn't even begin to imagine. Even the loss of your limb usualy requires a grieving process. While I give you a ton of credit for trying to handle these situations the best way you could, I'd be willing to bet you maybe didn't "handle" them as well as you may thought...which is what maybe led to the self medicating behaviors and anxiety.
In the end the actual "label" of what you have (PTSD versus panic disorder for example) isn't really as significant as how you address all the issues that have led you here. Seek out a second opinion, and find a good therapist who can help you with ALL of these issues. You need to seek out and be proactive about after care for your recovery process as well. A good therapist should be able to help you with all of that.
The very best to you, please stick around and keep us updated. I'm very sorry you had to endure all that you did. No person should have to burden that much tragedy.
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