I FINALLY GAVE IN TO THE IDEA OF USING DRUGS.
I hate doctors and drugs, but I hate PTSD more.
When my PTSD was at it’s worst, I was desperate.
I would have knocked someone down to take their medication from them.
I viscerally hate doctors and drugs both, but by the time I realized how out of control PTSD had become for me I was desperate enough to go to every kind of doctor I could access at the same time QUICKLY.
And in asking for help, therein lay another TRAUMA!
Of course! Because trauma is everywhere, especially when you’ve become so unbelievably delicate and vulnerable.
The energy it took NOT to snatch the docs bald headed was almost more than I could take, but they were the necessary evil in my desperate little plan to survive.
So I went ahead and did both MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH SCREENINGS at the same time, to two brand new doctors in a brand new area, pretending to be calm, reasonable and patient when I was ANYTHING BUT! I just decided to IGNORE the things that pissed me off – or hide it from them anyway.
I even joined a PTSD group AFTER A WAITING PERIOD, OF COURSE. (If these so-called experts know anything at all about this PTSD stuff they really should know that by the time you beat your psyche into submission enough to go ask for help and deal with all that ensues you need help FAST. WAITING should not be an option.)
I got on a WAITING list for a specialized Therapist. I got on a WAITING list for a shrink. And I WAITED while a new General practitioner doc decided if I was “trouble-free enough” for her to bother treating (my words, not hers).
PTSD is not something I mentioned specifically in the GP intake, for obvious reasons.
I know how inherently lazy doctors are.
If I wanted ANY treatment I knew I had to shut my mouth and COMPLY until I could get REAL HELP. So I simply checked off the symptoms they asked about. (Hey, my brain may be addled but I wasn’t a total idiot, YET.)
Once I met with her I told her a previous doc mentioned PTSD. So having a depressed feeling as a reaction to the bad stuff happening to my brain, body and life on a daily basis, was APPROPRIATE. NOTHING was working for me.
Mind you, I have always abhorred taking pills, but at this time I had to just admit that I truly felt I didn’t have TIME to let this thing get worse. It was spinning out of control for me SO FAST and for reasons I absolutely could NOT IDENTIFY.
I needed my life to become bearable. I needed to have SOME element of control, and hope again.
For life to go on, there must be hope.
I was sincerely to the point of picturing the next step of the PTSD mess to be total dissociation and someone finding me crouched in a corner shaking and delirious, and shipping me off to the nut house for good.
To put it another way, I basically looked at pills as a lifesaver.
LIFESAVING PILLS FOR PTSD?
Where do I sign up?
THE ANTIDEPRESSANT PILL
So the General Practitioner doc – a perky, irritating little Polly Anna doll of a woman – found it in her Stepford-Wife little heart to give me an antidepressant because… when I told her I had PTSD she said, “Oh… are you depressed?”
So my easily-infuriated, addled brain instantly thought, “Really? You have a license to save or wreck my life, and you associate this dangerous, life-threatening PTSD only with the much-more-likely-to-be-benign depression? OH FOR GOD’S SAKE!”
FORCING THE WORDS OUT THROUGH GRITTED TEETH I CALMLY SAID, “Well, maybe that is part of it.”
POW! Here, have a “happy pill”… Zoloft!
So I acquiesced to her simple little cookie-cutter answer, because I thought ANYTHING was better than nothing.
I did tell her I refused to take any weight gainers or stimulants. Yes, I was depressed, but again, only situationally… uh… MY LIFE WAS COMPLETELY UNMANAGEABLE! I COULDN’T SLEEP! I COULDN’T WORK! I COULDN’T FUNCTION!
Now, I know that the doctor would put up with this circumstance in HER LIFE for about a half-MINUTE before she wrote herself a script or something that worked. Would she do that for me? NOT SO MUCH.
I told her Xanax worked for me for sleeping in the past with anxiety that was about 1,000 times less serious. She says, “Oh no, I don’t want to start with Xanax.” (Is it me or does this imply that she may GET to Xanax later?)
OK DOC, LET’S GO AHEAD AND START WITH SOMETHING THAT WON’T WORK.
She gave me Zoloft.
Despite the fact that Zoloft can actually INCREASE anxiety, it turned out to be a good move (luckily) on her part.
I felt no real side effects from it and in a few days I had a teensy glimmer of hope start scratching at me.
WOW. A good emotion. It’d been a while since I had that feeling.
Of course I had logical THOUGHT that there was hope, but not an actual FEELING.
And to my surprise, Zoloft continued to help. A LOT.
TRUE HELP was exactly what I needed. I couldn’t have all the pressure of “gutting through it” or “pulling myself up by my bootstraps” or whatever presumption of self-control my guilt-absorbing meter threw on me be the only hope I had because IT. WAS. NOT. WORKING. I needed help, and that tiny danged little pill was the start.
In the first month I actually had about 3 GOOD days, which is something I can’t say I’d had for months.
I even felt that little glimmer of hope. And that was enough to keep me going.
I still COULDN’T SLEEP. COULD BARELY WORK. COULD BARELY FUNCTION.
But I had a start.