• Quote of the Day
    "For most people, transformation is slow. It happens without you realizing it."
    Marsha Linehan, posted by Daniel

hesmysavior

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
3
Points
1
11 months ago i was in a car accident and almost died.i suffered a broken leg,ankle,jaw,skull fracture,and 3 broken ribs..i was air lifted to the trauma unit in the next state over where they had me on life support for 3 days.i lived..now i am suffering with not being able to ride in a car without just stressing..i literally react unconsciously..i jerk without doing it on purpose..i have kicked the dashboard accidently..anyhow,i dont know where else to look,and hope i can find someone who understands this turmoil i have..i have had 12 surgeries,and have more to come..its not over,and i fear it will never be..i have began to see a therapist..have any of you experienced this sort of thing? what has helped you to move forward??

jamie
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,956
Points
113
Hi, Jamie:

As I presume you've guessed, what you are experiencing is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There are some effective treatments for this, including a procedurte called EMDR -- there is more information in this section.

Do you have access to a therapist? Is this feasible financially and otherwise in your area?
 

Cherry

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
28
Points
1
severe accident

Hi Jamie, welcome. Even though I have not been involved in a serious car accident, I have been involved in 3 car accidents where I was rear ended and sustained soft tissue damage and now I believe at some point and time nerve damage.

After the first accident, it seemed as though whenever I was driving, I would hit the panic button whenever somebody came even close to me or made a quick stop at an oncoming intersection. Of course this type of behaviour intensified after the second accident. After the third accident, I actually had to remove my rear view mirror, because I was spending too much time on what was going on behind me rather that what was going on in front of me.

I suffer PTSD not only from this accident but from earlier childhood experiences. This must be very difficult for you to come to terms with. I do hope that you seek some therapy. I have just begun the EMDR process that Dr. Baxter mentioned and will be posting info. and results as I go along. This is a relatively new type of treatment for PTSD, but apparently has been very effective.

Please keep watching my posts. I find that while I am seeing my psycholgist that I am learning a lot about this type of process. There is really not a lot of layman type of information out there. Even when I try to explain to people that I am connected with, I find it difficult to explain. I am hoping that throuh posting after sessions that this process will become clearer to people who may be contimplating this treatment.

Love. Cheryl
 

hesmysavior

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
3
Points
1
i have been seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist..they have me on lexapro,clonopin,neurontin,trazadone,ativans..i am having extreme nightmares.and cannot funsction hardly at all anymore..i cannot go to my kids stuff with out extreme panic attacks..very hard..my family says move on its past you ..you survived..well my mind is trapped right now..and no one of them understands..
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,956
Points
113
How long have you been seeing the psychologist? Is s/he experienced in treating PTSD? What methods is s/he using to help you?
 

healthbound

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
901
Points
16
I find painting to be extremely helpful. It helped my subconscious work through some of my trauma. I had a really difficult time with getting the images out of my mind. By painting them I felt they were transferred onto the paper and so I didn't have to keep them in my mind anymore.

I also painted my experience with recalling the event (ie I wouldn't paint the events, but I would paint how I felt while recalling the event). I would then paint the experience and myself reacting the way I WANTED to react instead of how I was actually reacting. This helped me to move through feeling immobilized.

I also started writing a blog (www.blogger.com). I felt like I was able to get the memory out of my system by writing. Also, I made a few "blogger friends" who have been very supportive to me.

Lastly, I found it incredibly frustrating to hear people say, "get over it", or "let it go". I also put a lot of pressure on myself to get "better". The added pressure just made things worse. Whenever I notice I'm being hard on myself I try to just allow myself to have my reactions and feelings and try to be as understanding and patient as possible. This can be difficult to do, but it really does work for me.

I wish you the best and empathize with you.

Regards,
Heathbound
http://actualizing.blogspot.com/
 

HA

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
1,516
Points
36
Jamie,

I hope you are having a better day today. I can't imagine what you must be going through.

Healthbound,
What a great blog! Why don't you put it as your website on your profile?
 

healthbound

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
901
Points
16
HeartArt -
Thank you for your positive feedback! I'm honored that you read some of it. I took your suggestion and just added it to my profile!
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,956
Points
113
I addd it to your signature, too, healthbound, so people will see the link wheneevr you post. You can remove it again if you prefer...
 

SS8282

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
152
Points
16
Hi Jamie. I have been in a bad car accident myself. I can't remember part of it, but I do remember the first impact and after my car has stopped moving. I was in physical therapy for over a year, and I've had back problems ever since.

What has helped me is self-talk. I kept on repeating to myself that I am in control, just keep my distance, watch for other cars, it's NOT going to happen again. The 'mentra' (for lack of better word) that I used most of the time was this: I'm going to be ok. Just because it happened once, doesn't mean it will happen again.

Getting back behind the wheel was the scariest thing I've done, but I knew I had to do it. I couldn't go on live without driving again.

I don't know how your accident happened. With me, somebody tried to beat a red light and hit me. They had to break my door down to get me out.

For a long time - even after I stopped physical therapy, every time I drove to an intersection, I had flashbacks. I would then turn up the radio to help calm and distract my mind. Now, I realize that sometimes music can be too distracting, but it help me.

Also, give yourself time. Lots of time.

I don't know if all my babbling helped, but please know that you even though you might not be what you were before the accident happened, but you can be better. Time. time. time...
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,956
Points
113
Time may and probably will help, but PTSD can recur even years later.

Therapy isn't always required, depending on the severity of the PTSD reaction, but in most cases it will significantly help.
 

TRleslie

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
4
Points
1
car accident and ptsd

just wanted to tell you...I do completely understand how you are feeling... only my results are a little different.
See, 8 years ago, I was in a severe head on collision. I 'died' 13 times over the course of the next 8 weeks and I was in a coma. after i woke from coma I was paralyzed from a severe traumatic brain injury - literally every major lobe on my brain had been damaged seriously or only slightly in some areas,however from the grace and mercy of God, I am a functional person now:)
except for I suffer from dibilitating PTSD and whast doctors have deemed to be 'unresloved/unfounded anxiety and personality disorders. I have gone through psychological treatment for 6 or 8 years for severe pai and anxiety attacks. but to be compleletly honest with you, medications and talk therapy did not even touch the surface of my PTSD. I learned as much as I could about 'behavior therapy' although my psychologist did not have any training in that area:( my panic attacks and my fears, ironically are not about being in a car - i drive now again, very well, and i enjoy driving or traveling as much as possible, which s not very often for me:( my problem now is walking on concrete or tiled surfaces - ie. the mall, or parking lots. and I don't do so well in large crowds od people oo. I walk with a cane now - tis after doctors told me I will never walk again. I forced myself to learn to walk aain, quite by accident haha(another long story)
When I would go to shop or any crowded place, I would literally feel I was dying. I would freeze and my body would become numb and I felt detatched from myself. as if I was standng outside of myself and seeing myself in this horribly fear.nothing I would do would make my legs move. I couldn't breathe, I felt i will faint and fall and die and then I worried that all of these people around me would see that and I became very self concious. I started to become slightly agoraphobic and even a little obssessive- compulsive about that and soon I would avoid situations in which I knew panic would occur. but after many years of avoiding, I finally woke up one day and said to myself it's time to get this under control. I left the next day for a cross country bus trip hahaha when I put myself in that situation, I was giving myself 'behavir therapy' in a sense. I had no choice but walk in parking lots or bus stations filled with people. I survived bus stations and people for 6 days . yes, there were many times I needed to ask for help, or I felt I will die. and many times I beat myself up and said to myself 'are you this stupid that you will go alone so far from home when you know you can not walk well and panic attacks will probably kill you?' hhehehe But I forced myself to face my fears and at the end of those 6 days, I was much more confident and I came to undertand myself so much more too:)
of course, this probably would not be a very good idea for you if you can not easily bear to be in a car, a bus may not be such a good idea too.
and to be honest, I really can not even think of a way for you to face your fears the way I did except that I do know that 'facing your fears' in the situation I was in, it was difficult for the first 2 or 3 days. after that it was sooo easy for me. with a combination of 'breathing excersises' which frankly, those did nothing at all , until I combined that with 'behavior therapy' and 'mind control ' too... just you must say to yourself 'this is just anxiety or panic, it will pass and I will not die from this'
annother good 'therapy ' that has gotten good results is music therapy. during attacks, your body has reached 'fight or flight' stage- which is completely normal in most instances, but when your panic and/r anxiety is an inappropriate respons to a normal situation , it becomes dibilitating and really, you must do whatever possible to 'talk yourself down' and relax yourself, distract your thoughts, and regaiin control. Music has a calming ffect, unless it is of course, loud, harsh music. it can relax your mind and dstract your thoughts as well, concentrat on the music and focus on the words or sounds. once your mind is focused on something different, your brain will relax once more a little easier, and you will again regain control over your senses. when doing this, don't think about how you are regaibning this control, just give in completely to the relaxation. try this in your home a few times first, in a 'safe' situation. ie. lie on your bed and turn on whatever music will relax you most, make the volume be loud so it will drown your thoughts and practice deep breathing and practice mind control..practice saying those things that will give you feelings of control again. do this daily and teach yourself these relaxation techniques well... then after you can properly bring yourself to complete relaxation, go to your car and sit in your car without going anywhere...just sit in your car a few times and concentrate on relaxing your body and mind completely. and then after you can handle that without so much anxiety, force yourself to take a short drive ( or ride with someone else driving) jut go around the block and back or only 1 mile ;) all the while, use music to distract you and mind control to bring your thoughts back to reality :)
I'm sorry this is not gonna be easy, but it will get easier the more you force yourself. I suffered PTSD and evere panic attacks for nearly 8 years and I recieved so much advice about how to cope. And , even I am not a doctor or therapit, I only can offer advice from my personal experiences.
Anyway, I hope yuo will find this at least a little helpful.I apologize for writing so much lol
Good luck with getting control again and I am sorry for your accident. I really don't fully know details about your accident, but believe me...I do understand what death feels like and how scary 'hell' can be after:( let me close by reiterrating the advice you have recieved previously, time is your best ally now, really. honestly, you may not ever get past panic and anxiety associated with PTSD but in time, you will become much more functional and your coping strategies will increase to a more managable level. but meantime, don't be discouraged. remember, your mind can do amazing things to assist in your funcuality.
breathing excersises;
self-talk;
medications;
talk therapy with a therapist who has experience with PTSD;
music therapy;
support from family/friends;
these all willbe helpful for you. Some will have greater advantage to you than others.
but most importantly;
TIME...
I sincerely empathize with you and hope the best for you;
I apologize for such a long post :p
 

Latest posts


Top Bottom