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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: PTSD/Panic Disorder/High Stress level

 hodgemommy - Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:51 pm

I have been diagnosed with a list of mental illnesses. They all boil down to my PTSD and Panic Disorder. I was sexually abused from the age of 6 until I was 10 years old. And then I was in a very abusive relationship (emotional, physical, and sexual) for five years (12-17 years old). The Panic Disorder runs in my family but no one else has ever had it as bad as I do. It controls everything I do. Or rather, keeps me from doing anything. I have two little boys and am married to a National Guard Soldier who is deploying in less than a month. I want to a hand hold on something before he leaves. I have visited with my Family Practitioner but he told me that I need to find a psychiatrist who knows what type of meds I should be taking. As well as a counselor to talk to. I don't like meds and I don't like to talk. But I'm willing to do all of this. Now that I have put all my effort into finding both a psychiatrist and a counselor I can't find any close enough to me that are covered by my insurance. I've tried everything I can think of. This is the last hope I can think of. Asking for advice. I don't like not being able to control what happens around me. It causes my panic to go haywire. If I'm being ridiculous, I really need to know. Can someone help me?
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:41 pm

Hello hodgemommy,

You have much to cope with, and what you describe is not ridiculous at all. It often happens that a woman who was sexually abused in childhood gradually becomes more anxious and less able to cope with stress until it becomes quite acute, often in her early 30s. Facing the situation alone can be terrifying. Your panic disorder could be related to your history, at least in part. You do need support, and medication may help. If there is a public mental health agency in your county, call and make an appointment for evaluation by a therapist. Psychiatric services would also be available through such an agency, and the charge for service is usually based on the person's ability to pay. If there isn't an agency in your county, check listings for the counties nearest you. Using an online support group can help, but probably would not be sufficient to address the level of trauma that you have experienced. You can search online for support groups in your county; support groups for those who have been sexually abused may be listed under "AMAC" or Adults Molested as Children, or as childhood trauma groups. Call the contact number and ask the nature of the group, and if your issue is included. Alanon groups sometimes address this issue, although it's not the usual focus. A person who has been molested in childhood may have issues of anxiety, anger, fear of specific situations, depression, self-mutilation, and extreme self blame, although they were in no way responsible for the abuse. It may help you organize your thoughts if you maintain a daily record of your symptoms and feelings, and use it as a reference when talking with a therapist or psychiatrist. There are many self-help books on surviving sexual abuse, which can be found on sites such as I do not have a specific book to recommend. It's difficult to begin the therapy process, but it's true that the first step is the hardest. I wish you the very best of luck.

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