Blow me over with a feather: PTSD

I had my first visit with the psychologist today to discuss issues surrounding my brother’s death, as well as everything else that has happened since day dot. It’s probably as well she had a new looking pen, there was plenty for her to write down. She was much better than other psychologists than I have seen previously, so much more engaged, not the usual ‘mmm, right’ that leaves you wondering where to go next.

As I discussed events recent and past I mentioned how I often relived events over and over, often vividly, especially when I felt I’d made mistakes, constantly judging myself for having done so. It was the bullying from my childhood that often replayed though, constantly reminding me of what had occurred. Based upon what I’d discussed she suggested it was highly likely I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I was a little shocked to say the least, I honestly thought this was limited to people in the military, or those who were raped or similar highly traumatic incidents.

There’s an eye-based therapy they can use which will assist with transferring the memory from short-term to long-term, thereby removing the memory from likely being relived over and over. My little sister, currently working towards becoming a psychiatrist, says the therapy is very effective in practice, so I am encouraged to hopefully move forward and get past these long-lived memories, finally.

Time to talk

I’ve always been a loner, very much a case of growing up intensely bullied and either no choice or a coping mechanism. Despite the bullying ending once my high school days were over my being a loner did not, I am very much the introvert and do not enjoy social situations greatly. 

In my teen years, and again for a short period in my mid-20s I saw psychologists to help with problems and suicidal thoughts associated with what people had done to me, but never found them of great help. Ultimately I ended up walking away from their sitting in the chair writing and nodding and collecting their fee as I felt like I got nowhere fast. I moved past those thoughts and twenty years on I think I proved I am stronger for it, though I still suffer for my school years and fight against depressive thoughts. 

Sadly, depression runs through my mothers family like diarrhoea, and a bad case of it too. At the start of April I lost my little brother to it, ever since I have been riding a roller coaster of emotions trying to cope with losing him. I had thought I’d gotten to a place where I was ‘okay’ but then my father criticising me for not making a video for his wake (I had no content!), and discovering my brother had been suicidal for three years and no one told me hurt deeply. 

Yesterday, at my regular doctor’s appointment, I just broke down. She’s a great doctor, insisted on time off and using my workplace’s employee assistance program to get help. So back I go, in hopes that these psychologists will be different to those many years ago, engaged not passive, and help me find a way forward.