Depression, PTSD & Anxiety – My Story

Friday, 23 October 2015

Depression, PTSD & Anxiety – My Story

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events, such as major stress, sexual assault, warfare, or other threats on a person's life. Symptoms include disturbing recurring flashbacks, avoidance or numbing of memories of the event, and hyperarousal, continue for more than a month after the occurrence of a traumatic event.
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being People with depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, aches, pains, digestive problems or reduced energy may also be present.
Axiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. A strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen.
Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries.
Astrid Alauda

To be honest, it’s all of the above and more, and it’s flipping scary to have to experience – especially combined. My name is Emma and I suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety and Mild Depression – I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2013, Anxiety in 2013 and Mild Depression in 2015.
So, let’s start from the beginning shall we? I was first diagnosed with PTSD and Anxiety after experiencing a traumatic event in 2013, which then in turn ended up going to court. I attend counselling for a short while but it took 3 months for work colleagues to convince me that I needed help after an emotional breakdown at work. After my first session I felt relieved and attend several more until I myself felt I was ready to no longer attend, what a mistake that was. I was coping with the situation quite well and after finishing in court I felt relieved my ordeal was over, little did I know how much it would affect me in future.
About 6 months after the event was dealt with I started having these ‘attacks’, I use the term attacks loosely, and would feel like a complete freak. My body would start to feel faint; my eyes would then start to have almost pinhole vision – as if someone was closing curtains from the sides inwards, the shaking in my hands would increase and proceed to take over my whole body, I would feel sick and my head would feel like it wanted to explode. Once these ‘attacks’ passed I would feel very drained, emotionally, mentally and physically, at first I thought it was diet so I switched it up incorporating more fruit/vegetables into it and cutting out a lot of sugars (I try to do a 80/20 diet, so I eat 80% good and then allow myself 20% of naughtiness). Since the change in diet helped I put it down to that and thought no more of it.
8-9 months later I experienced another ‘attack’ and then they started happening more frequently, which coincided with a change in lifestyle/priorities/worries. These continued to happen for a couple of months before I went to the doctors concerned that my hair was greasy all the time, I was getting loads of spots, I was tired and teary ALL the time, I took things to heart a lot, my hair was snapping off even with no heat being applied for 3 months +. That was the moment she simply turned round to me and said “What would you say if I said I think your suffering from Anxiety and Mild Depression?” Well that was it, I broke down crying and said I JUST WANT SOMEONE TO HELP ME – These are the words that are changing my life for the better.

She immediately put me onto anti-depressants and organised blood tests, an initial counselling consultation and a double appointment with herself in 3 weeks’ time, just by her doing this I felt sick. I felt like I had failed myself, aged 21 and being on anti-depressants …. Why is this happening to me? What have I done with my life? Why am I not strong enough to deal with this? Why I am so stupid that I can’t just cope with it? These are the questions I ask myself after I’ve had an anxiety attack.
Suffering from Anxiety/PTSD/Depression is blimin’ scary and you do feel really alone, you feel as though no one else in the whole world understands what you’re going through, but they do, I’ve met so many amazing people who have gone through the same process of denial, anger, upset and acceptance and they’ve come out so much stronger in the end. I used to get, and sometimes still do, get so worked up and angry with myself for having this but it’s not my fault, nor is it anyone else’s fault, it’s just simply a reaction to something my brain couldn’t/didn’t want to process at the time and each time it attempts to process the series of events it still struggles too.
With a combination of training at the gym, support from my doctor, counsellor, manager at work, partner and even my private Pilate’s instructor, I feel like I’m gaining control of my life again. I still suffer with the anxiety attacks but now when they happen, I’m more aware there going to happen or happening – I even have a quiet place at work I can go to when I’m having one and my manage will just come and quietly sit with me until it’s over.  
Everyone and anyone who has experienced, is experiencing or is starting to experience PTSD/Anxiety/Depression deserves to be helped. NO ONE should feel like a freak and feel like they can’t tell someone about it or even begin to address it, learn from my mistakes. The sooner you come to terms with it, I promise you the easier it will be start helping yourself.

Have you ever experienced PTSD/Anxiety/Depression? Leave a comment below and we WILL change the stigma behind Mental Health.

I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.
Steve Maraboli

Emma x
I am not a medical professional. All of the above techniques are based on my own personal opinions and experiences. .
If you feel like you are struggling with any form of PTSD/Anxiety/Depression please consult your GP, or simply - talk to someone.
This is not a sponsored post.

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