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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a specific form of anxiety with relatively predictable symptoms and predictable triggers of the symptoms. I have lost nearly all of my personal and professional relationships, in part, because of PTSD–it is not a trivial matter that I can simply “snap” out of: it is a serious and debilitating illness.
Imagine you had a co-worker or employee who, every day, suddenly became overwhelmed and crawled under his desk. No matter how good he was at his job, do you think it would be good for the workplace to have an employee who is afraid to open emails?
Sometimes I am paralyzed by indecision and other times I experience anxiety attacks triggered by absurdly small and innocuous things.
I feel as if my rational mind is quite slow and I feel confused by things that normally would not confuse me. This symptom comes and goes, and only in May 2014 did I learn it was connected with my PTSD.
Every hour of every day, I must battle through events and symptoms such as above. No task, no matter how trivial, is guaranteed to be simple or easy. If I did not have to cope with my broken emotional reactions and my intermittently-hobbled rational mind, then I could certainly rise out of my poverty and other problems. But my emotions are out of control and my rational mind sometimes refuses to cooperate, so I am stuck in this downward spiral of poverty and mental illness.
All of the following have been prescribed or recommended by a doctor, and all of the prescriptions have been prescribed by a specialist, such as a gastroenterologist.
My goals are to heal, be financially self-sufficient, and to have a life of meaning.
I am posting my ideas because my medical conditions prevent me from doing my ideas. That is a primary definition of disability: a medical condition that prevents someone from accomplishing that which the person would be able to accomplish if the medical condition were not present.
Without help from other people so that I can heal, I will never be able to do any of my ideas. By posting my ideas, it helps me to not be attached to them anymore, and it seems that non-attachment is essential to my survival.
I am citizen of the United States, and our healthcare system only properly serves those who can afford it–plus it is the most expensive healthcare system in the world. For most of my life, I have not been able to afford full treatment. Nevertheless, since I was 23 years old, I have had some access to treatment and decent access to diagnoses. The result is that I have a deep understanding of what medical treatments I need–and what seems to be just as important: what medical treatments I do not need.
For my mental health, since 2007, I have seen general practitioners, psychiatrists, and therapists in Chicago, Beijing, Western Illinois, Cairo, the United Kingdom, and Austin. The diagnoses and prescribed treatments have been consistent. All have recommended medications to help me cope with my symptoms. All have stated that drugs will not cure my symptoms, and that I must make changes in my life if I am to heal.
The recommended treatments have included talk therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy. With a couple of my long-term psychiatrists (medical doctors who specialize in psychiatric medicine), we discussed the possibility of electroconvulsive therapy. It was never a serious option, however, because of the cost. No doctor has ever recommended inpatient programs. In Cairo, I tried to get into an inpatient program, but the doctors refused to admit me, in part because I did not fit the profile for someone who needed it.