There’s basically two ways to treat PTSD and other severe mental disorders. I’ve found this out the hard way. I’m cognitive enough to know this because I choose the hardest way to survive this. Let’s get to the gist of it. The first way to treat PTSD is to have it diagnosed by professionals. The horrible part about this is that many don’t have insurance or even realize what exactly is happening to them. They don’t understand how it happened. Was it a huge traumatic event that suddenly rewrote their body and brain? Was it several? Why is their body and mind acting in such a way. We tend to ignore it. Still, at some point it becomes so severe we can’t ignore it anymore. The lucky ones give in to their family, bosses, acquaintances, partners, and coworkers insistence to seek medical help. The second way to treat severe PTSD is to be medicated into a barely cognitive stupor.
This is how it works. Your doctor, psychiatrist, therapist do what they do. Prescribe and monitor your vitals occasionally. However, kiss your personality goodbye. You were suffering anyways. They start with a pill to manage the symptoms. Near all of them are sedatives. Near all of them are dangerous. Absolutely all of them you can overdose on. You have nightmares? There’s a pill for that. It will just make your blood pressure drop so low you turn sheet white and lay down. You faint into slumber and you’re frightened or apathetic about the fact you might not wake up. Still, no nightmares right? Well, clearly nightmares are better than dying. Believe me after three days of that I said no way. Yet you need to stop all the spikes in adrenaline in your body. Your irrational thoughts, trembling hands, confusion, anger, despair, mind wandering to epic dark places, memory loss, fear, sweats, insomnia, muscles all seized in knots and that overwhelming dread that’s physically painful and has you hunched over. Skies are sunny and blue but inside is an electrical storm of suffering. So, they prescribe more meds yes plural. Your body is an experiment to a psychiatrist. Your therapist is a witness to your crazy or your savior but outranked by the psychiatrist who wants you to put you out of your misery by making you comfortable. Comfortable means your on a cocktail of pills that steal your personality, memory, emotions, affectionate nature, even blocks you from getting off. You take what they give you and you’re basically always in ghost mode. You’re what I consider a walking barely cognitive coma. You barely get out of bed. You barely leave the house. You stop really caring about anything. Sometimes you even drool while missing your mouth as you try to put food that’s tasteless into your mouth. Often times you don’t even care to eat or remember eating at all. There is no such thing as a weekend, a party, great friends, happiness, excitement, or anything that your medicated self is interested in. You’re not getting four to seven attacks a day but you’re also not really awake anyways. Most people end up like this. Americas answer to Severe PTSD is to put you to sleep. You might even end up in an assisted living situation or if you’re lucky enough to have a caregiver you may have a home where all you do is stay inside of it and usually use only one room in it. You want for nothing because the pills make you into nothing.
Now I’m not cool with being bed bound. I want to get better. Maybe you’ll have that moment where you look in the mirror and stare at vacant eyes and realize what the hell did you let these doctors do to you? Considering it’s your AHA moment to get off the meds? Prepare for electrical shocks, erratic heart beats, sweating, insomnia, panic attacks, screaming into your fist, thrashing in sleep and a perpetual restless leg syndrome. Your mind is a mess and your symptoms are even worse. However, you stop drooling, life reignites into you a bit. Damage has been done though. You’ll never be the same. It’s like having mild Alzheimer’s forever because your memory is shit for life. You also suffer so much you get back on your meds except you tell your doctors you want the lowest doses and something for when the panic or flare ups occur. They’re daily. Doesn’t matter if you’re safe, with tea, listening to the rain with a romance novel in hand. The monster that is your condition doesn’t care it comes and goes as it pleases. You’re also completely and terribly unable to cope with any stress whatsoever. You put your foot in your mouth. You’re confused. You’re broken. You’re irrational. You repay yourself often and you become the worst disassociated listener on the planet. Some sadly just end there lives. For constant suffering you have to have a super song fortitude of will to keep going. I have that. I don’t want to die. Nor, be in a vegetable state. Here come the remedies. You try and basically do whatever you can to manage your symptoms or increase your happiness somehow. Maybe it’s drugs or alcohol. Maybe it’s Yoga, Meditation, Writing, Reading or Gardening. Now the latter helps. Yoga definitely good. Meditation is epic. Even Gardening is therapeutic. Yet, don’t forget that even though you halved your doses and do all those things you still have PTSD. The worst part about it is that no one can see the cracks in your body and mind from the outside. They hold you to a standard like everyone else but you’re not everyone else. You can’t work most of the time. You can socialize but chances are someone is going to get offended because you’re a rollercoaster. You’re having your ups and downs without warning. You don’t look disabled you look crazy, lazy, or like a bad person. People start listing all the terrible things you said and you don’t even remember them. You can try to withdraw from everyone but that shit is lonely as hell. You’re already living one why live it alone? We’re social creatures. We need people sometimes. Problem is you have to wear a giant disclaimer on your forehead that says your mental or else nobody knows your diagnosis because you have your ups and downs. Let’s face it we try to do things during our ups not our downs. However they’re so transient. You may of been cool and collected or in glorious sedated control when you came over but then out of nowhere the monster rears it’s head. You crash, freackout, get offended easily, dread consumes you and if you’re lucky enough to have xanax you take it and go into the bathroom till it kicks in. Then you effing leave. Most times without even saying goodbye or grinding your teeth while you do.
I write a lot. I do the Meditation. I garden, cook, clean, eat healthy, take half of what’s prescribed and do my best to be composed at all time. It doesn’t stop me from word puking or putting my foot in my mouth or acting irrational, impulsive or crazy but luckily my husband is a saint and routines are my sanity. Anything unknown or new can break me. Yet I want to live not just be comatose so I try really really hard to be normal. Fact is you’re not. I’m completely disabled my lucidity comes in waves but I’m still just going through the motions and apparently offending everyone who doesn’t have a compassionate bone in their body. It’s exhausting. The lack of sleep. People misinterpreting every single thing you say or do. It’s awful. The worst part is my emotional response to stimuli is broken. I don’t show it but I’ll be hurting and crying on the inside. I’m sensitive I indeed have emotions I just don’t cry because it’s a combo of meds and insanity. Gods the rants they are just proof of my crazy.
So that’s my life. Being a disabled, hurting, medicated person, trying to eat healthy and do yoga with meditation pretending to me all right when I am not. I love don’t get me wrong. I’m loyal. Yet what does it matter when I’m judged anyways. It’s like living but barely. I feel like a fig tree in the dark slowly withering away. All because I can’t handle even the smallest amount of stress and people constantly treat you like your a lazy crazy scumbag no matter how much you cook, clean, are charitable or offer them smiles.
These are the days where people all think they’re news anchors and are effing mean. Where the sick are just sedated or pushed into a life that’s basically a balancing act of medications and people harassing the impaired guy because as usual they can’t see the broken inside us. It’s the days you feel shamed, guilty and like no one will ever truly understand or care. Still, you keep going. Cause all this anguish apparently means I’m alive.