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In the meantime

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  When I was 16 I was assaulted by four other boys.  I was punched repeatedly in the head until I collapsed, and then they took turns taking running kicks at my head.  They kicked me, laughing the whole time, until I stopped screaming, then they took a few more kicks and finally lost interest.  It was the single most frightening experience of my life.  I didn't have any concussions, but the bone beneath my eye (an orbital fracture) had to be replaced.  Afterwards I sank into a deep depression, and whenever I think about it I get extremely anxious.  The thing is, I try to not think about it if I can help it.  I'm 26 now, but even the thought of it raises my anxiety levels to the point that I don't want to even leave my apartment.

    I'm waiting for kaiser to approve my medical insurance now so I can see a doctor.  Should I try to move through the feelings, or is it the kind of thing I should work on not remembering?  Is there good medication for PTSD?  There are a lot of feelings of shame that I have associated with it, too.  Any tips from PTSD sufferers in terms of everyday things you tell yourselves to remain calm, cool, and collected?  Do you think PTSD contributes to your everyday anxiety, or is it jsut when you consciouslky think about the incident?

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One of the most important things I tell myself - and others tell me - is that what happened to me was not my fault. No matter what kind of second-guessing I engage in, it's not my fault. It wasn't your fault that four sickos attacked you.

I believe that PTSD contributes to the anxiety I feel on a more-or-less daily basis, whether I'm thinking about it or not. My expeerience is that working on "not remembering" doesn't work. But it's really important that you have a safe place to explore those issues; you're doing the right thing in getting the okay from Kaiser. Is there anyone you can see in the interim, any local organizations?

There are medications that help with the symptoms of PTSD, which include depression and anxiety. There are good therapists out there, good psychiatrists who know their meds. And this board is also a great help to a lot of people.

Good luck, and let us know what's happening.


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