Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Possible Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? (PTSD)

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: GreenMosaics
  • December 20, 2009
  • 04:56 AM

First to explain what happened, I suppose.

I am 16. Ever since I was little my mother has fought many different kinds of cancers. She's gotten through all of them but it's still extremely stressful. Just this past couple years she had skin cancer in her throat/back of tongue. She got radiation and chemo therapy. Which was hard for me to see her so sick and I couldn't do anything about it. During the recovering stage she got infections and had a horrible cough. This year in May I was doing my normal stuff and then she starts coughing a ton and it sounded to me like she was throwing up so I pretended to ignore it. I can't stand the sounds. But then my dad starts yelling at me to come in the kitchen and help. Then I got scared and I couldn't really move and my mom was struggling to tell him not to get me involved because it would scare me. So I just kind of sat there confused, not really knowing what was going on. But not really wanting to know. Then he yells at me to go wait outside for an ambulance. So I go outside and sit on the curb and wait, still not knowing what's happening. (You would think I would know by then but no.) Then they show up and go inside. Even after they left I didn't go back inside until a black cat came up to me being cute so I bent down to pet it and it hissed at me and I walked away and it followed me. So I go inside. Turns out she was coughing up blood. Not a little though, so much…it was really scary. She stopped for a while and she came up to tell me it was okay even though I knew it wasn't. They then traveled to the hospital. I don’t remember exactly how I felt, other than being terrified. My dad told me I looked so scared like my eyes were huge. After they left I just did what I usually do. Video games, youtube, pretty much anything to make sure I wouldn’t do anything bad to myself.
My mom had to get a 10-hour surgery to reconstruct her throat because it was basically deteriorating due to the radiation. Now she has to breathe through this tube thing in her neck and eat through a feeding tube. Not exactly the prettiest things to see.

So now I can’t stand to hear anyone cough really hard. Especially my mom. I internally start to freak out if I feel like it will happen again and I get some weird, almost choking feeling. Like I can breathe fine but it’s just tight. I do have hypo thyroid so maybe it’s from that but I don’t know. I’ve looked through the symptoms of PTSD on this site and I have 90% of them.

. Frequently having upsetting thoughts or memories about a traumatic event.
(They usually happen at night when I’m trying to sleep. My brain just wanders and it goes to it a lot and then I can’t stop thinking about it)
. Acting or feeling as though the traumatic event were happening again, sometimes called a "flashback."
. Having very strong feelings of distress when reminded of the traumatic event. (I usually feel very sick)
. A loss of interest in important, once positive, activities.
(I’m in marching band. Last year I loved it! This year I would do anything just to skip practice.)
. Feeling distant from others
. Feeling as though your life may be cut short.
. Having a difficult time falling or staying asleep.
. Feeling more irritable or having outbursts of anger.
. Having difficulty concentrating.
. Feeling constantly "on guard" or like danger is lurking around every corner.
. Being "jumpy" or easily startled.
All of these have been going on for more than a month

Also, I’ve been very paranoid. I always feel someone is going to randomly pop out of nowhere and shoot me with a gun. I usually feel like this at night when trying to sleep. Like I said earlier, my mind wanders and ends up there. Or when walking around I always have to look behind me because I think I see a shadow or I hear a noise. Only way for me to stop thinking about it is to play a video game. Even then, sometimes it’s hard.

So…I’ve been thinking about getting some help. But I don’t know if I can tell someone in person how I feel to some random person I don’t know… and I don’t want to tell my parents that I want help. They know about me being paranoid but not about how I feel about my Mom. It would kill me inside to tell them “I feel distressed because of what happened to you, Mom.” I think it would make her feel sad and that it’s all her fault…

I’m very sorry for the extremely long post…

What do you think?

Reply Flag this Discussion

2 Replies:

  • I would suggest that your school should have councillors that will help you deal with the awful experiences you have had to undergo.You sound very mature but what you havebeen through would be traumatic for anyone.Your favourite teacher should be able to guide you to the school councilor.I am not american so I do not know how your system works but I am sure your school would have someone who you could talk to and who is trained in ways that can help people.Good luck. My heart goes out to you and your family especially your mum.
    chrismia 159 Replies
    • December 21, 2009
    • 06:04 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I understand why your post was so long, and there is no need to be sorry.Read your post slowly and look what has happened to you.Do not be ashamed with yourself.With more experience you can handle more, but when over loaded your body will shut down.PTSD is a valid name for part of your problem but also you now have a fobia (there will be a fancy name for a "coughing fobia"), so this will perpetuate your problems.Also your coughing fobia has extended into a Panic Attack, so it is quite serious and needs dealing with.Deal with the 2 together at the same time. Cognative Behavural Theropy should help (fancy words for thinking intellegently), but also you need to accept and respect yourself because "you did the best that you could at with what you knew at the time" and I suspect that was what the cat was thinking.Rememeber that anaimals can detect cancers, warn people in advance about epileptic siezures and more.Your Mum has gone thorugh a lot and so have you on an emotional basis, which is a credit to you as it shows how much you care.Your Mum probably understands you well and you may have slightly different personalities, but from what you said, she has a good comprehensioin of how you think and does not mind if you are not perfect, well you are you, the one she loves.It was interesting, the cat followed you, animals are sometimes very sensative, perhaps it sensed your problems, was not happy with a stranger touching it, but equally sensed that you needed help.It is also important that you look after yourself and get your problems sorted out, otherwise it could make your "hypo thyroid" problems considerably permanently worse !Think logically about PTSD and also the combination "cough fobia with panic attack".Do not be ashamed, but appreciate how caring you are, which is why it hit you so hard !Try meditation and sleeping techniques and possibly try mantras.I personaly would say when you have bad thoughts, think possitively, if you did not care, you would not worry, and so you deserve a lot of respect, also you are not a trained proffesional, so how could ever be expected to perform to their standards !DO NOT WORRY that you are having all these emotions and feelings, they are natural and 1000s of people have gone through the same. There will be an end, it just depends on which road you choose.These problems will effect your overal health and if they get out of hand, could knock a few years off the end of your life, it could also effect your personal relationships in the future.So as before, do not feel you are at fault, you are a normal human being who cares a lot, and personally I would be proud if you where part of my family !"irritable @ outbursts of anger @ difficulty concentrating" are symptoms of stress and gland problems, which are to be expected when you think what you have gone through, so it proves your body is normal."Feeling constantly on guard or like danger is lurking around every corner.Being jumpy or easily startled." are all signs from your body, telling you many things. Be happy that your body is trying to help, it may not be enjoyable, but better to have the truth than to live with lies, as you will recover sooner !Your body is telling you about how unhappy you are, also you WILL NOT be performing to your best, so as a failsafe, if your body makes you a bit paranoid, then should something happen, then you will have the ability to react fast, so in fact, Paranoya is actually your body trying to help you.Hidding from your problems will most probably make things worse (e.g. playing video games - BUT there is nothing wrong in enjoying the pleasure of video games - I hope you understand the difference).If you do not address your problems, then you body will try harder to make you do something about it and your symptoms will become worse !You ahve already done a wonderfull thing, you have "sought help" by using this web site, whether it is professional, a good friend, or a stranger, the point is you are sorting it out ! Well done !You should be proud of yourself because you care so much, and not being able to tell close relatives is not ideal, but I am sure you should be able to tell them soon, and in the mean time, post messages, read other peoples stories and keep ensuring you are on the road to recovery.You will always remember how bad life has been, but equallly, you can truely appreciate when things are good (it might not seem like that right now, but time passes, presumably you would like marriage and children and a nice job and holidays and ... and ... etc.)Your parents already have a vague idea how bad you are, but I suspect that when you settle down to sorting things out, you may not need to have professional help, but equally, if you had a sexual disease, you would seek medical help to clear it up, so the same goes for any condition, but you are intellegent and you can do an awfull lot just by being logical and not hidding from your problems. AGAIN - you are distressed because you care, BE PROUD that you care so much !It is only a persons fault if they caused it intensionaly ! Cancer from smoking is not intensional. Cancer caused by other means is no intensional. To everyone good and bad things happen, so there is no blame on anyone !So respect your body, and respect yourself !Use your intellegence to ensure you recover and end up with a happy life.Wishing you the very bestTerry
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.