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Anyone dealt with a situation like this?

H

Hamiltonian

New member
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
2
Location
NYC
Hi all,

So, my spouse has CPTSD, and has done for around five years. The initial diagnosis determined that it was prompted by the medical trauma associated with the death at birth of our first child, and also some earlier traumatic experiences. The episodes at first took the pattern of a breakdown triggered by something (not always easy to tell what). She would fall to the ground, sometimes rolled up, and would be screaming or sobbing. After the first time, and especially after the first few times, we figured out how to deal with it a little better, using various techniques to reduce the severity of the episodes.

Since then, things have been a mixed bag, with some good times, and often periods of months without issues, and some very bad times, with breakdowns on all sides (I have suffered from depression, and we also have two children with special needs). My spouse has a good therapist and has gotten good advice, and she hasn't had a serious episode of the initial type in years. Still, she had trouble with sleeping - lots of nightmares - and stressful situations often bring out serious issues (almost every vacation is preceded by a near breakdown).

Now though, we have a new situation. She feels very dissociated from myself and the kids (and the dog). She feels like she's meant to be somewhere else, like that she's meant to be where we were 12-13 years ago, and that either she's switched place with the spouse who is meant to be here, so that her "other" life continues with her being replaced, or that she's simply travelled forward in time, with her life and loved ones from that time being left with her having disappeared.

Now logically she knows that is not the case, but it's how she feels. She feels very dissociated from us, and like we are basically strangers. She talked to her therapist, and the therapist said it's cause she is burned out, and needs an escape - so her mind is basically seeking escape routes by dissociating and imagining this other option. She said it was probably depression with psychotic features, and was somewhat related to the PTSD. Her recommendation was to look into ways of getting a bit of a break from things, and that even researching options like that was helpful in terms of making the escape seem possible (I guess thinking it through).

Now, she had a sort of a creeping flashback type of situation on Thursday night, and had a difficult time dealing with on Friday (but not all the way, like she was still seeing the kids as hers), then she went to sleep on Friday evening and slept through to the next morning. I was hopeful that the next morning she'd have slept it off, but she was having a much harder time, and was texting me to say that she'd done this and that "for your kids", as though they weren't hers (I was at work). She had to go lock herself in her room for most of the day. Luckily she had an appointment set up for that evening with her therapist (pre-arranged), and after she talked it out with the therapist she seemed to be doing better. She talked things out, and by late in the evening she seemed to be her usual self, and we were able to spend the evening together. She was able to lie in the next day, and when she did get up seemed fine, was affectionate with the kids etc. Then she had one or two moments of frustration, and had to take a break in the bedroom. Following that, she quickly reverted to the same as the previous day.

So the timeline was Thursday middle of the night - flashback, Friday daytime some feelings of exhaustion and frustration, slept a long time through to Saturday morning, then most of Saturday till she spoke to her therapist she felt dissociated. Then from around mid-afternoon today has been dissociated again.

Does this sound recognizable to anyone? Has anyone experienced similar issues, themselves, or with a family member? Any advice on how to handle this?
 
H

Hamiltonian

New member
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
2
Location
NYC
Currently things are going fine (today at least), and back to more or less normal. My spouse has been looking into the possibility of doing ECT and also TMS. She's concerned about the possibility of memory loss with those. Also Ketamine, but the cost seems prohibitive.

Anyone have any experience with any of that?
 
SunnyDaze

SunnyDaze

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,699
Location
USA
I have no experience with those but wanted to ask what types of therapy she has previously tried.

Is her therapist a trauma therapist? Has she tried EMDR,CBT,DBT? Has she considered trying a different therapist?
 
C

Cornflowerblue

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
36
Location
UK
I have cptsd i believe and one thing I find is that when I’m particularly triggered by someone or something I constantly turn it over and over in my mind Like I’m trying to grapple with a problem or understand something or piecing together disparate pieces of a difficult puzzle. Everything else is a rude and painful interruption to this process when I’m trying to ‘solve’ my pain. It cuts me off mentally and emotionally from my little family with Young children. It makes me sad and irritable and not present and unable to cope till it passes.
 
L

La_Tubereuse

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Europe
I have cptsd i believe and one thing I find is that when I’m particularly triggered by someone or something I constantly turn it over and over in my mind Like I’m trying to grapple with a problem or understand something or piecing together disparate pieces of a difficult puzzle. Everything else is a rude and painful interruption to this process when I’m trying to ‘solve’ my pain. It cuts me off mentally and emotionally from my little family with Young children. It makes me sad and irritable and not present and unable to cope till it passes.
It is the same for me. It is actual as obsessing and licking a wound, which is painful, but the pain won't go away. I'm feeling so bad these days. I wait until it passes, in my cocoon of pain.
 
C

Cornflowerblue

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
36
Location
UK
It is the same for me. It is actual as obsessing and licking a wound, which is painful, but the pain won't go away. I'm feeling so bad these days. I wait until it passes, in my cocoon of pain.
Exactly. And the pain never actually disappears for long does it. I feel the same :(
 
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