Undiagnosed PTSD - A reader's story

by Elloise

I had a very traumatic birth 3 years ago in which I lost half of my blood volume and the medical staff just kept telling us all was normal. Anyways they finally broke down and drew for hemoglobin and ended up giving me 4 units of blood...after 28 hours. Anyways since then I've been more anxious than usual and even started becoming slightly agoraphobic. I knew something was wrong but I didn't know what. This grew into my being convinced something was wrong physically.
Here we are 3 years later and I started having chest pain which turned into a massive panicked state that lasted for a week. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I thought for sure something was seriously wrong. This was 2 months ago since then I've been diagnosed with PTSD and have been experiencing massive anxiety/panic almost constantly. I'm learning relaxation techniques from my psychologist since I don't want to go on meds. The worst symptom is lack of appetite and massive nausea. I've lost 25 lbs already and that really scares me because I'm on the small side to begin with.
Anyways I feel like I've completely lost control. I wish I would have realized I had PTSD sooner then maybe my nervous system wouldn't have gotten to this point. I'm so scared I'll never be the same after this. The panic/anxiety is literally scarier to me now then my trauma.

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Jul 04, 2017
You will get better Elloise ...
by: Jude

but it's not going happen over night.

I am sure most visitors to this site can relate in some way to your story and feel deep sympathy. Really the problem is massive ignorance in the medical profession (wonderful though they are) about different types of constitution (body/mind types) and the non-medical ways in which people can be helped.

Yes, childbirth is a natural process. But, it’s a process in which, up until recent times, mothers or their babies have regularly died!

And of course it is an experience, even in the best of times, that is very stressful. Follow that with insufficient rest, the demands of a newborn and frequently interrupted sleep, and it is a recipe that ends with many mothers feeling jittery, irritable, exhausted and anxious. Is this ever really acknowledged, let alone treated or part of standard practice in giving women tips and advice? Doesn’t seem to have happened with you Elloise and it certainly wasn’t when I had my children.

Hmm, it seems I feel a bit cranky about this!

You definitely can recover from this whole awful experience. But you need to make some changes that will help you. Relaxation techniques are a great start.

The other main thing at this stage is to find food that you can manage. It is very hard to eat when you are overwhelmed with anxiety, feel nauseous and probably have a chronically dry mouth. You need to find some soothing, easily digestible, warm and comforting foods.

Forget about what you think you should be eating for breakfast, lunch or dinner and eat only food that actually appeals. You may be surprised to discover for instance, how delicious a hot bowl of porridge (oatmeal) may be for you in the evening, with cream and brown sugar (or a more healthy option could be to sprinkle with chopped dates and pour over a cream made from almonds blended with coconut milk). Soups, warm smoothies, anything easy to swallow that you find delicious, are what’s needed.

Take a look at our 14 Day Treatment Plan
if you need some help working out where to go from here. And also our Best Foods for Anxiety page.

This is your first step to recovery, keep going and you will get there, inevitably, in the end.

All the best,
Jude @ anxietyunravelled

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