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How long does PTSD last?


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I had a weird flashback thing several months ago but initial events happened years ago.

Would PTSD last that long?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There is no time limit. I get flashbacks to childhood and I'm 45. Learning how to deal with them, bringing oneself into the present...stopping a dissociative experience if you can...things like that...learned in therapy. Complicated. Professional handling required, IMO. Particularly if the trauma is severe and protracted as mine was and a lot of folks' have similar stories.

It can be dealt with though, and successfully is the good news!

Hugs,

Suze

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A good therapy for PTSD is EMDR. It is fast, efficient, and you don't have to relive the events in order to rid yourself of it. You are the observer all the way through.

I just did this in December for PTSD, and I am amazed at my own actions and reactions. There is a pinned website at the top here that explains it.

Good luck.

Breeze

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I had a weird flashback thing several months ago but initial events happened years ago.

Would PTSD last that long?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes,  as others have written. Not only can PTSD last that long it will not go away until you deal with the trauma and memories in some way. Hard work but necessary if you want the demons to go away.

Erika

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PTSD is either worked through consciously, with or without therapy of some kind, or it stays. It's like a layer of your mind that becomes part of your presonality. It has as much persistence as memory.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My therapist made flashbacks easy for me to understand and thereby deal with by explaining them AS memories...just really instense ones. And as a memory, I could just experience the memory and let it go, returning to the present immediately.

If that makes any sense. It just kind of turned down the intensity of flashbacks by thinking of them as simply memories, however intense. Suze

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They are memories, but they're memories linked to very intense and painful emotions, which for this very reason are repressed, and for this reason are very hard to deal with when they come out, as the emotions themselves are ones that you don't often deal with.

Where do I take this pain of mine?

I run but it stays right by my side

So tear me open, pour me out

There's things inside that scream and shout

So hold me

Until it sleeps...

-- Metallica

(hear me)

And if my mind should close in fear

Please pry it open

(see me)

And when my face becomes sincere

Beware!

(heal me)

And when I start to come undone

Stitch me together

(save me)

And when you see me strut

Remind me of what left this outlaw torn

-- Metallica

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Wait, if I give up the traumatic memories related to my ptsd event, does that mean I have to give up my compensatory strategies?  Golly!  EMDR- a rumor.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have chosen to give up many of my trauma. With plain vanilla psychodynamic model of therapy with really gifted people. The visceral memory, aka, the flashback. Comes and goes, like gas. I've never tried EMDR. This seems to be working for me. My compensatory strategy is as simple as, "that was then, this is now, I'm having a cellular reaction..." Blah, blah...talk therapy me to me. I have no inner child. She has grown up. I act like a child at times, but I am all of 45.

For me it was about taking back what someone stole. Fuck that, I don't let them HAVE that anymore.

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  • 4 years later...
Guest Magnolia

Idk if I ever had PTSD before but lately my traumatic event has taken over me I can't sleep. Stop crying and freaking out about the littlest things but this happened so long ago I don't understand why I am feeling bad now when I've dealt just fine with it all these past yrs

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For me, the PTSD symptoms didn't start until I was safe--I was subjected to chronic abuse as a child for most of my life, and the bulk of the PTSD symptoms started when I went to college and was living in the dorm. From what I've read, it's fairly common for something to trigger memories and other PTSD symptoms years after a trauma.

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Guest Magnolia

Oh well I guess then it makes sens. Because i was also put through traumatic events for years when I was a child and now I'm a college student and my first semester living away from home w roommates

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@ Magnolia: yeppers...I repressed a bunch of stuff and it didn't come back until my Dad was both out of the house and no longer visiting often(age 20).

As to how long it lasts...varies. Depends on how much happened. For me...a long time of being a full basket case, which...wow I wasted a lot of time with that crap. Years I wish I had back to not be miserable in.

To that end, I would suggest you setting aside a time to yourself to think about it, write about it as intensively as possible, then not think about it for the rest of the day by keeping busy, and living a full and successful life, which you deserve to have.

It's what my last one-on-one therapist told me to do with the flashbacks to keep from spending all waking hours in flashback-land.

If you can get access to ANY therapy through the college, absolutely take advantage of it.

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Guest Magnolia

This is driving me crazy I'm having yet another sleepless night cause I'm crying...wat is wrong with me and how do I make it sttop? I thought I was the strongest person ever and would never cry over this like ever and Now I can't stop thinking about...is there any way I can work this out without seeing someone professional?

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is there any way I can work this out without seeing someone professional?

Chances are, no...but you could try, and let it mess up you life ten times worse than it has to.

I suggest you don't want to do that, that even if you can limp along without help you don't want to, because the quality of your life will be seriously compromised.

And you deserve to be happy, not to live a half-life. Abuse is all about the abuser.

It isn't the kid's fault.

And give yourself permission to cry, for crying out loud! Something awful happened, you have a perfect right to feel awful about it, and that doesn't make you a weakling. You're still alive, and are actually working towards having a successful life... therefore you are not a weakling. Severely abused children grow up to destroy themselves pretty often. They use things to continue to stuff the feelings down-drinking, drugs compulsive sex, eating disorders-either starving or binging, cutting, other compulsions-or they just flat out kill themselves.

Which leads me to another point...

Fighting your emotions at this point is going to slow the process down...the key is to manage them and work with them. They have been frozen in place for a long time. This is not a normal or tenable thing for most people.

Once you've cleared the pain(awful, horrible yeah, I know...) you will actually probably be able to feel more joy than you could before when you were locked down.

Meds may be something you want to get on...or maybe not.

I'm an organic depressive, so I go nuts without them...but it's going to be your choice what to do.

Honestly, I got hit more for crying when I was hit...and I still hate to cry most of the time.

I used to go to a place called www.Pandys.org. It's specifically for sexual abuse and rape...if your abuse was physical only, I'm not sure where to send you-run a search and I'm sure there are multiple sites though.

You know it's okay for you to join and keep posting here, even start a blog, we'll listen (look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes...).

I also recommend www.DBTselfhelp.org (thanks, Karuna!) for tools to help managing how and when you deal with your emotions.

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Guest Magnolia

Ah I see your point..I've neve hurt myself and would nvr think of it.. I feel mostly crazy because after my sexual abuse which happened from roughly 6 till 10 I was always oka I talked out with my parents and had been fine I just feel weird that now ..years and years ater I'm getting these feelings about being scared...I haven't even seen the person in 2 years and I feel more anxious about me crying and being paranoid than being more anxious about thee feeling...I'm used to always being the most cheerful optimistic person and I'm freaking out that I'm sad ... Idk y I'm rambling on and on but just my thoughts cause I don't wanna talk about this my parents who are the only people who know about my rough times as a child. Anyways thank u for the advice I really appreciate it and honestly it helps alot so thank you and I'll check that site out

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Ah I see your point..I've neve hurt myself and would nvr think of it.. I feel mostly crazy because after my sexual abuse which happened from roughly 6 till 10 I was always oka I talked out with my parents and had been fine I just feel weird that now ..years and years ater I'm getting these feelings about being scared...I haven't even seen the person in 2 years and I feel more anxious about me crying and being paranoid than being more anxious about thee feeling...I'm used to always being the most cheerful optimistic person and I'm freaking out that I'm sad ... Idk y I'm rambling on and on but just my thoughts cause I don't wanna talk about this my parents who are the only people who know about my rough times as a child. Anyways thank u for the advice I really appreciate it and honestly it helps alot so thank you and I'll check that site out

Feel free to ramble and vent, that's what the site's here for.

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