Hello Everyone

Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Jan 12, 2019
Messages
554
Location
Minnesota, USA
#1
Hi,

This my second post. I was so desperate to get help when I found this forum so I posted first seeking help :) .
I’ve been dealing with PTSD since March of 2004. My panic attacks started in 2001 when I was working in a hospital and got an allergic reaction. I was sent to the urgent care ad was given a medication that made me have irregular heartbeat that now and ended up in the emergency room. I was having hyperventilation to the point I almost fainted. Since then I was dealing with health anxiety then developed into much more.
I’ve been through 3 wars by the age of 10 then living in a refugee camp which was more like a big prison for 5 years. Living in fear and been through so much.

I never believed in medication as a cure. I was so afraid of meds that I couldn’t even take a pill for headaches of common colds.

Things gotten even worse when 3 of my friends committed suicide within 2 years. That really opened the gates of hell on me.

I’ve been doing well for a while but last October I heard of another person that I’ve seen once did the same thing which triggered panic attacks and insomnia for a whole month. At that time I realized that I need meds beside therapy. I am on Escitalopram 25 mg. It’s helping a lot but still have days that I can’t control.

I am hopeful that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I love my wife and kids and want to be there for them. They depend on me so much that I can’t imagine them being by themselves.

Winter time here is brutal which affects my mood so I am waiting for summer time to get active and start a new chapter.

The trauma that I’ve been through, I believe, made me a stronger person and do appreciate life. I will survive and beat the monsters of PTSD, anxiety and intrusive thoughts. I can’t give up and hate to be controlled.

Most of us who are dealing with mental health issues are locking ourselves in a box that we created for ourselves. We need to break that box and be free to enjoy life. I find traveling makes me feel stable and make me fine for at least 6 months. Going out and socializing is very necessary for us.

Sorry for the long post.
I am very happy to be amongst you.
 
Jbb79

Jbb79

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Aalestrup --Dk
#4
Welcome, I Come from Denmark, That has Started wars x x I Hate my Country, for it, I Hope your Feel well - - Noone deserves a War x x From my end, I Want to see the Responsible burnt, At the stake, for Starting such Misery, and sadness x x
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Joined
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Messages
554
Location
Minnesota, USA
#5
Thanks Jbb79.
Such a small world :) . I am originally from Iraq. I am a US citizen now. My home country waged many wars on its Nighbor with catastrophic endings even for its own people.
We, as human beings and as nations, get along just fine. It’s the governments that fuel hate and animosity by using fear tactics to gain support and rally people for the interests of politicians. An old game with different characters and scenarios.
I totally understand what you mean. It’s our duty to educate younger generations or at least start with our kids to teach them that human life and freedom are sacred and have to be given ultimate respect. There is no valuable cause that’s worth shedding blood for no matter what that cause is. I learned so much from what I went through. I’ve been to many countries and the good and righteousness in people is more than what we see in the media. I love and respect all people. It makes life worth living.

Love and peace to all.
 
Jbb79

Jbb79

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Messages
336
Location
Aalestrup --Dk
#6
Thanks Jbb79.
Such a small world :) . I am originally from Iraq. I am a US citizen now. My home country waged many wars on its Nighbor with catastrophic endings even for its own people.
We, as human beings and as nations, get along just fine. It’s the governments that fuel hate and animosity by using fear tactics to gain support and rally people for the interests of politicians. An old game with different characters and scenarios.
I totally understand what you mean. It’s our duty to educate younger generations or at least start with our kids to teach them that human life and freedom are sacred and have to be given ultimate respect. There is no valuable cause that’s worth shedding blood for no matter what that cause is. I learned so much from what I went through. I’ve been to many countries and the good and righteousness in people is more than what we see in the media. I love and respect all people. It makes life worth living.

Love and peace to all.
Agreed ! ! x x x
 
Jbb79

Jbb79

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Aalestrup --Dk
#7
I'm sorry to hear about how much damage, we did, I never knew, About it . . .

The Politicians spun a Fine tale, I Hope they burn in Hell, For that </3 </3 </3

If I Could kill them, I would . . <3 <3<3
 
Jbb79

Jbb79

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#9
I Was actually Gonna murder Our Pig of a Prime minister, For Doing so x x

Except, I Have psychiatric sentence, If I did that, They Pump me full of all their Sick Poisons x x Prison I Could have handled, Not Life-long psychiatric torture ! !

1e06edba23fd62487ef2e23.jpg

1e06edba23fd62487ef2e23ada5a60a9.jpg
 
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N

NorasDad

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#10
Similar experiences without the PTSD

Hi, OP

Have you given any thought to OCD? I just got diagnosed after 40 years of confusion and I realized that my past feelings/behavior were actually a milder version of my panic attack self.

Another question: Is it the hyperventilation that drives you nuts? Is that what tips you over into real panic. That was my problem and I have a suggestion for you if you want.
 
N

NorasDad

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Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
144
#11
Thanks Jbb79.
Such a small world :) . I am originally from Iraq. I am a US citizen now. My home country waged many wars on its Nighbor with catastrophic endings even for its own people.
We, as human beings and as nations, get along just fine. It’s the governments that fuel hate and animosity by using fear tactics to gain support and rally people for the interests of politicians. An old game with different characters and scenarios.
I totally understand what you mean. It’s our duty to educate younger generations or at least start with our kids to teach them that human life and freedom are sacred and have to be given ultimate respect. There is no valuable cause that’s worth shedding blood for no matter what that cause is. I learned so much from what I went through. I’ve been to many countries and the good and righteousness in people is more than what we see in the media. I love and respect all people. It makes life worth living.

Love and peace to all.

Hi Hopeful,

Would it help you to write down the things you suffered? Maybe you could give us some feeling for your life before trauma. I would love to learn how life was in Iraq before my government attacked you.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
554
Location
Minnesota, USA
#12
I Was actually Gonna murder Our Pig of a Prime minister, For Doing so x x

Except, I Have psychiatric sentence, If I did that, They Pump me full of all their Sick Poisons x x Prison I Could have handled, Not Life-long psychiatric torture ! !

View attachment 14705

View attachment 14706
:) I would like for you to more careful about posting these things my friend. You know how they are.
It’s frustrating that they are lying to our faces with no shame. I don’t believe politicians and I stopped voting in elections because it’s like enabling someone who’s corrupt and evil to be in power.

War is very damaging mentally.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Joined
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Messages
554
Location
Minnesota, USA
#13
Hi, OP

Have you given any thought to OCD? I just got diagnosed after 40 years of confusion and I realized that my past feelings/behavior were actually a milder version of my panic attack self.

Another question: Is it the hyperventilation that drives you nuts? Is that what tips you over into real panic. That was my problem and I have a suggestion for you if you want.
Hi NorasDad,

Thank for offering help. I really appreciate your generosity.
I did speak with my psychiatrist at my first appointment with her which was 10 days ago. She told me it was an OCD but my psychologist I’ve been seeing since 2004 says it’s PTSD that’s causing the intrusive thoughts.

I wish it was hyperventilation or health anxiety only. It’s more like intrusive thoughts of loosing control and harming myself.
I am very sure that I have no intentions of harming myself or anyone else. It’s an extreme fear.
Escitalopram/ lexapro has helped a lot. I’ve been doing really good since I first posted about 4 days ago.
I don’t know if you have any suggestions for this issue and I am very open and appreciative for any suggestions and help.

Thanks again:)
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Joined
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Messages
554
Location
Minnesota, USA
#14
Hi Hopeful,

Would it help you to write down the things you suffered? Maybe you could give us some feeling for your life before trauma. I would love to learn how life was in Iraq before my government attacked you.
Hi again &#55357;&#56898;

Sometimes it does help to talk about it and other times it makes me sad and anxious.
It will require quite sometime to write about this subject:) therefore, I will do it sometime later. I will try my best to tell as much as I can.
 
N

NorasDad

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Messages
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#15
I never got my panic attacks under control until I got a doctor who said "Look, I did most of my work in institutions where you have to calm people down who are a lot more freaked out than you are. I will give you Klonopin until you can't wake up, but these attacks will stop".

He did not have to give me very much Klonopin but it was an enormous help.

Then another doctor raised my escitalopram to a higher level, augmented it with buspirone and I was able to get off the Klonopin (I don't recommend taking it for more than a year). After benzo withdrawal stopped, it was like a new world.

I've done a lot of relaxation practices and I'm sure you have too. Yet the practice that really brought me meaningful relief (along with a boost in the escitalopram) was forcing myself to think about the panic feelings again and again.

With war trauma that might not be a good idea, obviously. But you might do something like re-imagining the events (if they come to your mind intrusively) but "re-writing" them so that they don't work out painfully. It's not disrespectful. It's not delusional. You know the people who are dead are dead. You know what happened happened. But there's no reason for you to live with those past events intimidating you. You have a right to re-imagine them all you want until they are not painful. You know the past. You won't forget.

You don't have to tell yourself the story again and again. You don't owe it to anybody. Reliving it won't protect you or anybody else. You're in Minnesota now. You're fine. That's the truth.

Of course you're afraid of the past. I'm sure it was a nightmare. You survived. You're a hero. Believe it.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Joined
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Messages
554
Location
Minnesota, USA
#16
I never got my panic attacks under control until I got a doctor who said "Look, I did most of my work in institutions where you have to calm people down who are a lot more freaked out than you are. I will give you Klonopin until you can't wake up, but these attacks will stop".

He did not have to give me very much Klonopin but it was an enormous help.

Then another doctor raised my escitalopram to a higher level, augmented it with buspirone and I was able to get off the Klonopin (I don't recommend taking it for more than a year). After benzo withdrawal stopped, it was like a new world.

I've done a lot of relaxation practices and I'm sure you have too. Yet the practice that really brought me meaningful relief (along with a boost in the escitalopram) was forcing myself to think about the panic feelings again and again.

With war trauma that might not be a good idea, obviously. But you might do something like re-imagining the events (if they come to your mind intrusively) but "re-writing" them so that they don't work out painfully. It's not disrespectful. It's not delusional. You know the people who are dead are dead. You know what happened happened. But there's no reason for you to live with those past events intimidating you. You have a right to re-imagine them all you want until they are not painful. You know the past. You won't forget.

You don't have to tell yourself the story again and again. You don't owe it to anybody. Reliving it won't protect you or anybody else. You're in Minnesota now. You're fine. That's the truth.

Of course you're afraid of the past. I'm sure it was a nightmare. You survived. You're a hero. Believe it.
I want to thank you for taking the time to reply.
I am on lexapro as well but only 25 mg. It’s working for me but I feel it should be at 30 mg but my doctor is not doing it. I have an appointment on the 21st with my psychiatrist and hopefully she will do that. If you don’t mind, I will show her your post where you mentioned that you are taking 60 mg just to assure her that I won’t have serotonin syndrome. As for a fast relief, I was prescribed diazepam which’s Valium. I am terrified of addiction. I’ve never used drugs in my life nor drink alcohol. Also, withdraw symptoms are terrible, I’ve heard and read about. For the past 2 months I’ve only used diazepam 5 times at 5 mg. It does make me relax and I get good night sleep. I will not take it for another week just to be on the safe side. It’s not like Klonopin. It’s doesn’t last as long. I am not sure at this time. And to tell you the truth, from the suffering I had this past October, I would rather stay addicted to anything to make my anxiety go away. I as anxious with panic attacks 18 hours a day. It felt like I was on death row. I know I contradict myself. Very confusing.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Minnesota, USA
#17
The trauma that I was exposed to at a young age was very graphic. At 11 years old, I stood on the body of a man that got shot right on his right check while he was running in front of me. I froze in my place looking at the blood still pumping out from his face with his heart beat. That was during the uprising of 1991 against Saddam’s government after the first golf war and the withdrawal from Kuwait.

We were without food. I remember we had 3 pieces of bread that were given to the children while my dad, mom and older brothers and sisters were looking. My mom had tears in her eyes not knowing what to do.

I was born a year before the Iran-Iraq war. It’s was not on our side of the country but my brothers, cousins and uncles were serving in the military. We were on our nerves all the time that any moment one of them is brought dead. That war costed The Iraqi side a million of its finest young men.

My oldest brother was executed in 1986 by Saddam’s secret services agents for having political views that were void as treason. We were under the eyes of the most brutal regimes history ever known.
Till this dat y, I remember my dad used to sleep with gun under his pillow just Incase Government agents raid our house in the middle of the night. Usually when they raid a house, they take everyone including women and children. They have no honor nor shame to torture and rape women.

The night they executed my brother, they came to my house and told my dad to go with them. We thought my dad was taking in to be jailed. My mother and sisters were crying and the Nighbors came over to show support and comfort my family. A half an hour later, my dad brought the body of my brother. I saw how they washed his body before burial. In our culture if your dog howls that means something bad is going to happen and that’s exactly what our dogs did the night before his execution.

I can go on and on to what happened during the gulf war but I think this should be enough for now.

Sorry if I wrote too much and sorry if I bothered you my friends.

Till next time, please be safe.
Blessings and peace to all of you.
 
N

NorasDad

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#18
I want to thank you for taking the time to reply.
I am on lexapro as well but only 25 mg. It’s working for me but I feel it should be at 30 mg but my doctor is not doing it. I have an appointment on the 21st with my psychiatrist and hopefully she will do that. If you don’t mind, I will show her your post where you mentioned that you are taking 60 mg just to assure her that I won’t have serotonin syndrome. As for a fast relief, I was prescribed diazepam which’s Valium. I am terrified of addiction. I’ve never used drugs in my life nor drink alcohol. Also, withdraw symptoms are terrible, I’ve heard and read about. For the past 2 months I’ve only used diazepam 5 times at 5 mg. It does make me relax and I get good night sleep. I will not take it for another week just to be on the safe side. It’s not like Klonopin. It’s doesn’t last as long. I am not sure at this time. And to tell you the truth, from the suffering I had this past October, I would rather stay addicted to anything to make my anxiety go away. I as anxious with panic attacks 18 hours a day. It felt like I was on death row. I know I contradict myself. Very confusing.
What I think about valium. klonopin, etc. (benzodiazepenes - "benzos" I call them) is that you have to make sure you take enough to control the panic because you don't want to need it for long. I would suggest putting 2 valium in your shirt pocket and when you feel anxious just tap them. That worked for me for years. I knew I had them there, and that was enough.
 
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Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Minnesota, USA
#19
What I think about valium. klonopin, etc. (benzodiazepenes - "benzos" I call them) is that you have to make sure you take enough to control the panic because you don't want to need it for long. I would suggest putting 2 valium in your shirt pocket and when you feel anxious just tap them. That worked for me for years. I knew I had them there, and that was enough.
If I may ask, did you have any withdraw symptoms?
I am going to discuss benzos with my psychiatrist next week. I also wanted to know about the side effects of Escitalopram/lexapro that you’ve experienced with such high dosage? The only side effect that I have now after almost 3 months is fatigue and sleepiness. It doesn’t bother me much but I have hard time doing any activities. Panic attacks are almost disappearing but the anxious feeling is still there. I am very happy reaching this improvement so far compared to October. I don’t know if I should go up to 30 mg or if I should force myself to go out more and exercise even though the weather isn’t helping.
I can’t thank you enough for your help and suggestions
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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#20
Hi Hopeful,
I would love to learn how life was in Iraq before my government attacked you.
Despite the sanctions that was imposed on Iraq in 1991 and lasted till the invasion and the fall of Saddam, the country was very stable and safe. You could travel from north to south and east to west at any time of the day even if you end up parking your car on the side of the road in the middle of no where, no one dared to to do anything to you. Yes Saddam was brutal but he kept law and order in the country. During the oil for food program, everyone was getting a monthly food portion for free from the government. The poor was surviving and didn’t need to beg. Now, even middle class families have hard time surviving. Last time I visited Iraq was in 2015. Believe me, it looked worst than when I left in 1991. There’s no law and no boundaries for anything. Imagine that we had one party rule under Saddam with one military and one law and now we have over 10 different political parties and each on of them has its own militia in addition to religious extremists that have their own armies. In this situation, only a miracle can save Iraq otherwise it’s destroyed for good. People want change but instead of one enemy we have hundreds of enemies. The wealth of the country is shared between politicians to support their militias.
There is no educational or medical system. Everything is privatized where before it was free. No agriculture and no manufacturing because Iran has to sell its goods somewhere.
95 % of graduates can’t find jobs while foreign oil companies bring foreigners instead of hiring the locals that the only thing they get from oil is pollution and cancer.
Back the security issue, there are kidnappings almost daily. There’s still bombing and assasinations. In the past 3 months more than 15 activists where killed in broad daylight. Each militia has its own secret prisons.
Religious scholars are manipulative. They tell the poor and the sick to heal through prayers while they take private jets to get treated in the best hospitals in Europe and America. All of them and don’t exclude any.
I am not exaggerating. I still have family there. I laugh when I hear the term “ Government” in Iraq because there’s none.
 
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