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How can I get over this medically induced Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

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I had a normal, social, and independent life. Midway through college, I became afflicted with a severe pain syndrome induced by exposure to light and learned that the cause was a difficult to treat and life-threatening condition.

I moved home to my parents' house at that time to receive medical care; however, treating me became increasingly difficult under even the best of physicians. At the same time, the severe pain induced by light became increasingly more reactive to being triggered and I became homebound, unable to go outside at all. This turned into not being able to open the blinds and that turned into having to spend the majority of every day in an almost dark room. My medical treatment flopped many times - failed surgeries and a traumatic systemic lidocaine toxicity complication where I almost died and was aware of all of it.

I've now been homebound at my parents' for two and a half years, unable to drive, go outside, go anywhere, or open my blinds. It's been more than a year since the traumatic systemic lidocaine toxicity event.

Since that event, on the two or three occasions that I've had to go out for groceries when my parents were out of town, I find that I've gone into a meltdown panic attack and I feel scared because I'm out and alone. I'm a little nervous being alone in the house, but it's being out and alone that terrifies me. This is so different from how I used to be.

What can be done about this and is this some kind of medically related PTSD? A therapist told me to meditate and that was it.

This question was submitted by 'Summer'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Summer and thank you for writing in.

You certainly have been through a lot (and are due a change of luck). It might be the case that you have been responding post-traumatically to the systemic lidocaine toxicity event. You felt you might die and you were fully aware of that. This is just the kind of situation likely to produce Posttraumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD].

Questions to ask yourself to ascertain whether PTSD is in fact affecting you would be:

  • Do certain things remind you of that time and bring back a sense of the feelings you had during that event?
  • Do you have flashbacks?
  • Do memories of that time not seem to have faded the way more neutral memories have?
  • Can you recall that time feeling calm or does remembering it make you feel as or nearly as panicky as you did back then?

If you genuinely are suffering PTSD from that time (and remember a lot of PTSD is short-lived and is processed naturally), then just meditating will be of little direct help. I'm guessing you may be in the USA. If you contact our office, we may be able to find someone near you who is trained in the Rewind Technique, which is a fast, safe, and comfortable way to lift trauma so that symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks, and generalized anxiety can diminish quickly and you can feel better.

All my best,

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - December 30th, 2014 in

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