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PTSD, bereavement and being 'over sensitive'....
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PTSD, bereavement and being 'over sensitive'....

Hi Everyone

I would really value your input on this.  The background - which i'll put as briefly and factually as I can is that I witnessed the sudden death of my father nearly 2 years ago.  His heart ruptured, suddenly....and all i knew was that it looked like something was going to burst out of his stomach, he looked in terrible pain and then he seemed to pass out.  It was then a nightmare for another 2-3 hours as ambulance and then hospital personnel fought to try and save him.....

of course no one knew the heart had ruptured or they'd have probably stopped much earlier.

Putting it briefly leaves out a lot of detail, including my concerns about what my dad experienced and the fact that at times during the sequence of horrific events he was concious and at one time even tried to lift his head up when i asked him too (this was after the rupture....and how he even managed to try that i'll never know).

The last 2 years have been consumed with panic only - nothing else....devastation at the loss of my dad, but panic....panic that something like that could just happen, could it happen to me next, etc.....I have episodes of just going cold and feeling like something catastrophic is going to happen RIGHT NOW....a lot.  They come out of the blue.  Recently i've been given beta blockers and they are a real gift right now, they have taken the edge off the panic.....to a degree.....but then there's the other issues....

and where do i begin?  Those experienced in this stuff know what i mean.....no point in me listing the range of emotions i'm going through - far too extensive....

One thing that is getting to me lately though is i'm starting to be really angry with people.  I don't show it that much, i'm not behaving differently - but i am furious inside.  I'm seeing injustices everywhere.  If i mention these to anyone else they tend to agree that it's not me, that the injustice is real......but I've never been aware of ....well being aware of it all so much.  

I phoned up a helpline regarding some welfare help that my mother could get temporarily.  My mother has never had anything like this before in her life....and i was just making enquiries after someone had suggested it - this is just for a temporary period whilst the estate is settled......but the person on the phone was so suspicious of me and was witholding information which wasn't making the conversation easy.....and i understand that they probably get people that try to play the system but i'm not like that and they just made it really difficult for me to try sort out a problem....and i've got hundreds to sort out re my father's estate, helping support my mother who's never dealt with all this stuff before, etc.

I just keep seeing the worst in people lately, keep seeing their mistakes, what they are overlooking, what they are neglecting....

A friend asked me if i was managing to find time for myself and get some distance between me and my mother (i've done a lot for her since this all happened) and I started telling her how difficult it is as I keep imagining how it is for my mother, what a terrible shock, my father was so healthy in appearance, had never been ill....there was no reason for her to witness him die suddenly that day (as I had also).....and this is what my friend said...'yes but doesn't that sort of thing happen to people all the time?'

I didn't show it, but I was so hurt and upset by that comment.  Anyone any thoughts?  Is it them?  Is it me?  and if it is them, why have i never noticed before?  Is this part of a PTSD 'type' reaction....that's what my primary physician called all the panic....although i have not had a psychiatric diagnosis.

thanks for listening to this.
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675718_tn?1321008971
i am sorry to hear about your father it seems you have a little bit of anger also; although you have nightmares and panic attacks you may have PTSD i would see a doctor about your reactions to stress and panic. i was injured in combat and i've been suffering from ptsd since '94. since then i abused drugs and alcohol to self medicate i also suffer from flashbacks and nightmares because of what happened to me. not a day goes by that i don't think about what happened to me i will never forget it for as long as i live :)
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Like Drifter states, you seem to suffer from PTSD.  I am also a vet (ODS) and dealt with this since.  It is terrible and only progresses if you don't get help.  I have some suggestions based upon my experience.  I've been with a psychiatrist since diagnosed (mine is very good).  Over the years I've taken 2/3 of the meds available.  Some quit working, some don't work and others have terrible side effects.  It is trial and error and you have to try to be patient enough to deal with that.  But you need counseling.  You experienced something terrible and emotionally devastating.  Imagine how powerless you felt at the time.  Over the years, those unresolved feelings have just escalated and slipped into other aspects of your life.  For both you and Drifter I recommend a therapy using lights. A light bar and a counselor work to relive the event, trigger sensory feelings and then progress to use the same to reduce your reactions to the event.  Can't think of the name at the moment but will return with it soon.  It was the only thing that really helped to reduce the effects of my most dramatic triggers.  
Has your doctor given you an anxiety medication to deal with the panic episodes?  Aprazolam 0.25 mg or Lorazapam?  I take them as needed depending upon the type of stress and panic I may have.  After a while, just knowing I have them helps and I don't take many now.  It sounds lame, but really try to get into some relaxation exercises.  There are tapes or cds that specialize.  Look for one where it runs about 20 min and talks you into a relaxed state, then brings you back out.  You will feel refreshed and relaxed.  After a while, you learn how to use those techniques on your own.  I have recently (after all these years) been to the VA and am working with a PTSD specialist.  This technique is what I have been looking for all these years.  You talk about specific episodes and the counselor talks you thru it.  During this time you begin to see it for what it was, look at how you are safe now and eventually learn how to file it in your mind.  It may take more than one treatment, especially if there are multiple things that contributed to the PTSD.  But whatever you do......DO NOT STOP TRYING TO GET HELP!!!!!!!  When i lost my first child, my depression turned to terrible anger at everyone who had a healthy baby.  I completely understand what you are feeling.  Please don't give up.  Drifter......I understand what you are going through.  Have you been to the VA?  Is there a good VA near you>?  I realize they can be difficult.  Ours was terrible 16yrs ago and I never went back.  More money has been alloted to them and you would never recognize this VA compared to what it was.  They have patient advocates; press them for help.  Back then, I even threatened a Congressional if they didn't switch me to another doctor.  Ongoing psychotherapy helped over the years to learn how to identify triggers, symptoms and techniques to deal with it all.  Please, don't either of you give up.  One doctor may not work.  Find another until you know this is the one who can help.  With the PTSD clinic, I have finally allowed some things to stay in the past.  I still think about them but without the rage I have felt over the years.  PTSD is lasting but you can learn how to control it.  Take care, both of you and write back.  .  
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Rapid Eye Movement Therapy  
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1795730_tn?1316495556
i also saw my father die only difference is i was a paramedic at the time and worked on him till the sqaud got there all the way to the hospital and at the hospital as well we all did everything we could but he still died  i lived with that guilt for a long time and finally talked to a therapist who helped me figure out it was not my fault when its your time it is your time i will pray for you and your mom as i know it is aterrible thing to have to go through but it will get better with time look into therapy it really does make alot of difference
god bless you and your family
mikeinohio271
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Avatar_m_tn
Watching your father die has to be a horrible experience.  I had to make the decision to "unplug" my father from life support, so I can almost get what you're feeling.  Let me start by saying that I am no doctor.  Anything I say is based on my own experiences, but you really should seek the attention of a good, reputable therapist that deals with PTSD, anger issues.

Okay, with watching your father die... you probably feel as if there was something you could have done, or maybe something you could have done different that might have made a difference.  Perhaps you are mad at your dad for "checking out" a bit early.  Perhaps you're a bit mad that your dad died right in front of you.... none of this is wrong or out of line.  I ran all of those emotions in my head for years.....  your mind is somehow trying to justify something.  

Finding the truth in the matter, which you have now, is really key and I think needs to be focused on.  Your dad died of a specific condition, you had nothing to do with it, and even professional help could not have done a thing.  You did what was necessary....  that doesn't make it easier, but you should be able to put that part to bed.

The anger issues fall in line there somehow too.  Your mind is manufacturing something that you CAN be in control of.  What is important here is to take every situation for what it is, remember that you cannot control other people, and that anything that has ever happened is in the past and it cannot be changed.  It would be a good idea to journal or write down your emotions and everything surrounding a difficult time.  You may be able to track down specific triggers that launch and emotional attack.

It is all treatable.  Talk real well with your PCP and find a good therapist.  Good luck to you
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