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I'm not sure if I have PTSD. What I have is not what I see i

KangarooRat's picture

I'm not sure if I have PTSD. What I have is not what I see in the movies. If I do have it, it is certainly not a severe case.
But I've had some traumatic experiences that I am just now accepting as traumatic and impactful. These past three years have been a discovery into my dissociative coping mechanisms, and slowly dismantling/recognizing them as I come across them. Pretending my experiences weren't that bad is one of them.
I feel distant from others, I get 'triggered' by small things (I can't take an abnormal psychology class or read the news for example), I have difficulty concentrating, I can't be around men without thinking of ways to defend myself... I've only had one experience of something that could be considered a flashback, though. I just don't know.
Other symptoms I am having that I did not find are fatigue, random crying, lethargy and lack of motivation. Is this normal? I've been having these symptoms all weekend and haven't been able to stop thinking about what happened. I think it this is because of a deep therapy session I had earlier in the week that got me thinking about the events in my life.

If I have it or not, I am paralyzed right now. I haven't touched any of my homework this weekend, including an essay due tomorrow. I can't get myself to care. Getting out of the mindset I am in right now seems like an impossible task. I just can't shift gears so easily right now.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I do really want to do this essay. Getting good grades is important to me.

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Oct 12

I'm so glad you reached out. Deep therapy can sometimes paralyze us as we process things, but it is a necessary step to mental healing. But then there is still life to tend to, like homework. I've learned it requires setting some self boundaries and balancing time to process with time for important tasks. Don't laugh, but I actually started with a timer. I'd journal for 1 hour, then do housework for at least an hour or more. Later on, I'd do another hour of processing. This helped to kind of compartmentalize my thoughts and emotions to allow me to tend to life. Just a thought that might help you. Prayers for peace.

KangarooRat's picture
Oct 14

@pam4him I love the idea of the timer. I think it is a really smart idea!
But I feel incapable of actually doing homework. Like, reading. But I suppose that is the paralysis.
Thank you for your support

Round3's picture
Oct 15

Perhaps break the chunks down. I seem to recall a study that proved 20 minutes to be the perfect amount of time to attend to a task. Reading is tough. I used to read every day but once ptsd hit I stopped because it was so frustrating. I would read a page and not remember it. I think this is just part of ptsd. But, it will get better. I now read for 30 minutes everyday while on my stationary bike. For school, do you take notes while you read? That might help reinforce the information. Or, read out loud so you are seeing the words and hearing them. Obviously, quiet environment but some people find that deafening, so a radio on very low volume might help. Sit on a yoga ball while reading to engage body too. Do NOT read in bed …. bed is for sleep. This is extremely important for sleep hygiene.


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