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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
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Introduction to Trauma and Stressor-Related DisordersSigns and Symptoms of Trauma and Stressor-Related DisordersDiagnostic Descriptions of Trauma and Stressor-Related DisordersWhat Causes the Symptoms of Trauma-Related Disorders? Treatment of Trauma, PTSD, Abuse and Other Stressor-Related Disorders Conclusion, Resources and ReferencesDealing with the Effects of Trauma - A Self-Help Guide
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Anxiety Disorders
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Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Please help.

Tue, Jul 22nd 2008

First a little background. I know I was suffering from some pretty serious depression about two years ago. My brother had passed away, and I was deployed to Iraq shortly afterward. I fought with all of my friends. They no longer speak to me. I drank to the point of blacking out. I cheated on my husband. A year of this later, I had debilitating headaches. Migraines and Tension headaches so bad that my hair hurt. I slept about 2-3 hours a night. I went to see a counselor and he diagnosed me with PTSD and serious depression. There were a few OCD tendencies that came with it, but went away over time, and with treatment. While going through this counseling, I began having flashbacks of when I was 5 and was molested by a 14 yr old girl at my babysitters. I spoke with my mother about it to find out more info as I had blocked it out for 22 years. At the same time as the headaches began, I was supposed to have gotten out of the military (stuck in Iraq due to stop-loss), and I was promoted. I had some serious issues. Growing up I had tendencies of eating disorders. I would throw up my food, I counted my calories, limiting myself to 900 a day if possible. I was continuously worried about upsetting people. I was raped twice while I was in college (most likely because I was promiscuous due to the childhood thing). I still have a very low self-esteem. The medicine worked for awhile, but my life over the past three years has been a series of nothing more than major events. I returned from Iraq, got out of the army, moved back to the US from Germany, found a new job, and moved again all within a 6 month period. I was feeling okay, and stopped taking my medicine. Which lead to what my mother calls "crashes." I was able to recognize the symptoms this time, as I had studied depression in hopes of trying to get off the meds. Over the course of the past year I have quit the meds four times, and consequently crashed each time. In April, my husband and I divorced. I wasn't happy, and couldn't find a way to be happy. Not unhappy just with the marriage, but life in general. I moved to a new state and started a new job, where I travel continuously, so I don't have to deal with people for very long. I can't prevent these major life events from happening, but how can I cope with them better? I am still on anti-depressants, but lately I fear they're becoming less effective. I have major fits of rage over the smallest things. I am paranoid, and wonder what motives people have for asking me questions or why they do what they do. These can last from a few minutes to a week. I KNOW when I am angry, I don't know what triggers it. In my mind I can tell myself to stop saying mean and hurtful things, but they happen anyway. I am a successful woman, and I have worked very hard for what I have, but I am afraid that I am working very hard at making myself worse by trying to ignore the root of my issues. What is wrong with me? How can I control this? I am trying to maintain my control over my mental health, but I really feel like my body is tired. I am definitely not suicidal, nor do I want to hurt myself. I just want to be happy. I have acknowledged my issues, so how do I get past them?

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