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does anyone have any good advice for living with ptsd other than drink myself into oblivion or other similar approaches? it scares the hell out of partners and even ourselves because we react unconsciously, especially when we sleep. certain meds help, but then again not everyone responds the same to the same med program. amvets and vfw are out for me. a recent episode had me in a panic that i had assaulted a psychiatrist for three days because she actually shook me to wake me. needless to say, i woke up swinging and startled, then when things started registering in my mind what was going on i froze up. don't ever want to repeat that sort of thing again. my ptsd is from being raped, in combat and a police officer. seems like something would click in my skull and tell me i need to find something less exciting to do. no such luck.


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Living with PTSD is hard and requires education. you need to learn about what PTSD is, how it affects your mind, how it affects your body and what PTSD means in your specific case. Everybody has specific triggers. each person with PTSD has to learn what their triggers are and determine how/if they can avoid them and make a plan of what to do if they encounter them. I know exactly what my triggers are and have a plan for most of them. It helps me feel more in control.
(and btw, you know you will not find the answer at the bottom of a bottle...)
The psych that shook you was way off base. Never touch a patient with PTSD if they are out of it...that is inviting trouble...it is also a boundary issue. You were probably dissociated. That was completely unacceptable. Any person who dates someone with PTSD needs to learn about this as well. Boundary issues are important in regular life but they become magnified in people who have had traumatic experiences. Knowing how to relate to the person you love is a good thing and in the case of someone with this condition there are just a few new things to learn. Even being alseep with someone with PTSD is different...nightmares or talking in your sleep, needing a light on, insomnia...you name it. But we still deserve love and the right person will see past all the problems.
PTSD can come from many things. I'm sorry you were raped. My PTSD came from a horrific childhood of incest, beatings, domestic violence, and rapes. Meds can help if you find the right ones but I know for myself that therapy was necessary as well.
ok, I had a lot to say about this...


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well, concerning triggers, my little bro and i (both vets) are fully aware that you do not touch either of us to wake us. we wake each other from a distance and have also certain waking methods to communicate danger or the possibility of it. i also have had to explain these 'rituals' to my gf's in the past. even my friends and roomies when i lived in ny had to learn this. once one of my friends forgot to make an awful racket to let me know he was coming up and friendly. fortunately, i recognized him before i pulled the trigger. needless to say, both of us were deeply effected by that incident, but he also never forgot to raise a ruckus while approaching me in my sleep. before this past month, i stayed constantly at an orange if not red state of alertness. i absolutely could not bring myself to a lower state of readiness, even when i was at home. i was on a med that is commonly used to treat ptsd but it and i did not work out right. in fact, it made all of my dreams flashbacks from my past. so bad that i was trying anything to avoid sleep.


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the other bitch about being a vet and having lived a very high risk lifestyle/job, is that just out of the need for survival and safety, immediate action drills are incorporated into daily and nightly routines, even sleep. then when you get out of the life, these things are so ingrained that you do them witout even being aware of them. even something as innocent as keeping a cane beside the bed for those mornings that decide to remind me of all the abuse i have put my body though ends up across the room or some such similar thing. either way, it isn't where i left it, but i have absolutely no recall of moving it or even dreaming about the past or just having a flashback. it makes me feel like i need to wear a straightjacket as bedclothes. the meds knock my ass out, but they don't make me stay put. this builds upon a viscious cycle of isolation because i am deathly afraid of hurting someone i love. this explains why my kitty leaves the bed when i fall asleep. fortunately she hasn't been hurt, but apparently my movements were enough to scare her away while i am unconscious. you have now met my demons from the past

sarah plain and? average

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I am 27 years old. I want to be in a relationship, but the prospect of physical intimacy seriously frightens me. Sometimes i am ok to hold hands with a prospective lover, and sometimes even a quick kiss on the cheek is acceptable. But nothing more...yet. and sometimes even these things prove impossible. I try to stop it, if i know it will happen, but i have hit people or screamed and run from dates who tried to kiss me, or pulled away from a casual embrace, unable to explain myself. Then she gets the idea that i am not attracted to her. Which is not true in the least. I dont want to scare anyone away before they even talk to me, but i want to be honest...no surprises, so they know when i pull away that its not them or when i crumple and curl up and go mute they did nothing wrong.
Is there anyone who could possibly understand?
I have been in therapy for 15 years. And things are improving, but i want to form attachments with people outside of the mental health community (no offense to my good friends therein) and more recently i have had questions.
Questions that i cant ask my therapist. She is a straight woman and seems to shy from such discussions, whenever i broach them.
Questions that i am afraid to seek in books, or videos, or media because i dont want to bite off more than i can chew, and risk scaring myself worse.
Questions i tried to ask the last two women who claimed they loved me, but that made them impatient, petulant, and angry.
Is anybody willing to answer some questions?
"...tell me what is it you plan to do with your one most wild and precious life?" ---Mary Oliver


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I live with PTSD and bipolar episodes everyday. I did not seek help until I was in my early 30's. The doctors that have treated me over the years have tried to keep me "stable" with medications. After several years they finally got the right combination. From what I've been told I have blacked out for no reason and hurt people around me. My ptsd is the primary reason for me being bipolar according to my doctors. I am a veteran also, before the double diagnosis I drank and did just about any and all drugs. I am always scared of people getting to close to me for fear of endangering them. I wish I could tell everyone that this goes away, but for some it only gets worse


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well, the only thing i ever found at the bottom of a bottle was an empty bottle. not exactly a healthy or constructive choice, but one positive was that it allowed me to keep going until i was ready to start dealing with things. however, i do not recommend it. having a not so active night's sleep is how i measure progress. when my bear is still in bed with me, i know that it was a relatively peaceful night.

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