Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tonight I wanted to share a little about myself

As you know I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Conversion and Somatization Disorders, as well. These disorders were developed to help my body and mind cope with the after affects of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and childhood neglect that I endured from the age of 3 years old until 23 years old.

I suffered for 11 years with symptoms I couldn't explain. I thought I was going crazy so I hid it from my friends, coworkers, and family until my body didn't allow me to anymore. I started to lose control of my anger, had panic attacks, and anxiety outbursts for no reason.

I started to detach from family because I didn’t want to hurt them and I was afraid that they would leave me, so by detaching myself I thought if they left I wouldn’t grieve their loss. I am very lucky to have a dedicated husband and family so that didn’t happen. They stayed by my side and I received the help I needed.

I felt so much comfort once I reached out to fellow survivors because I couldn't reach out to family right away because I thought I was going crazy but I wasn't I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and by repressing memories and keeping it all stuffed inside. I became ill.

One example I was shopping at Wal-Mart with my son and I had all the symptoms of a stroke, lost my ability to speak, read, lost my memory, and was numb on one side of my body. I didn’t know the date, year or president, who could forget the president’s name. The worst part was my 18 month old son was in the cart and I forgot he was my son. Anything could have happened to him. What happened was my Conversion Disorder surfaced to protect my mind so I wouldn’t have a mental break down, but instead my body broke down. I stuffed so many secrets of my abusers’ in my mind and body that my body couldn't handle the burden anymore so it made me physically ill. The Somatization Disorder- is the physical symptoms are present and I was experiencing them and they are real but the doctors cannot find a cause for my symptoms. This is where you get the doctors who are rude to you because they prejudge you and it isn’t fair. I told the ER doctor in confidence that “My friend had a stroke recently and I wasn’t taking any chances so that is why I came in.” I overhead the doctors telling the nurse that “Her friend had a stroke so now she thinks she is having one too, as they all laughed at my expense. I felt humiliated and in an hour I had full recall of my memory and my body was restored to normal. My Psychiatrist said that the stress, anxiety got to such a high level that my body needed to take a break so that is what it did. That is why it is important for you to take care of yourself and to learn coping skills. 

Have you ever experienced an unkind doctor or someone prejudging you for your mental illness?

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