Anxiety UK corporate and group memberships

Corporate Membership

A recent study estimated that mental illness costs the UK economy as much as £100 billion per year and results in 70 million sick days per year. This makes it the nation’s leading cause of sickness absence.

However, as an employer, it’s not just the financial cost to your business that you need to consider, but the impact on your employees and their perception of you as an employer. As a good employer, you’ll want to invest in your staff. And creating a mentally healthy workplace improves productivity, increases profit and brings out the best in everyone.

People living with mental health difficulties can and do work – and supporting them can save you significant costs in terms of staff turnover, under-performance and untapped potential.

Corporate Membership benefits

We’ve developed a unique Corporate Membership offer, which will enable you to invest in packages of support for your employees.
These include a range of self-help options and guided support that will last for an entire year. Membership includes the following benefits:

  • Subscription to Anxious Times magazine per employee (worth £12.99)
  • Access to discounted therapy rates (self-funded by employee)
  • Access to our online resources
  • 25% discount on snoozzzy weighted blankets
  • 25% discount on Alpha-Stim AID devices
  • 25% discount on purchases of Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules
  • 10% discount on a Listening Books membership (usually £20 to £45 per year)
  • Access to the online CBT programme, ‘Beating The Blues’

Corporate Membership includes access to a discounted half-day training session designed to help your employees to recognise
the signs and symptoms of stress, anxiety and anxiety-based depression, as well as showing them how to get the best out of their Anxiety UK
membership (which forms part of the corporate package).

* NB Corporate membership does not include access to Headspace

Corporate Membership costs

Our Corporate Membership Packages prices are:

  • £32 per head for 50-100 employees
  • £30 per head for 100-500 employees
  • £27 per head for 500 employees or more

For companies with fewer than 50 employees, try our Group Membership For more information, please contact
partnerships@anxietyuk.org.uk, call 0161 226 7727, or fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you

Corporate membership v EAP package

 

Benefit Corporate membership EAP service
Annual membership of Anxiety UK  

Yes

 

 Yes

Access to self-help and guided support materials  Yes Yes
One hour well-being assessment  No  Yes
Access to fully  managed talking therapy service (including comprehensive data reports on service provision)  No  Yes
Access to talking therapy service (funded by employee/beneficiary)  Yes  Yes
Dedicated helpline for beneficiaries/members  No Yes
Option to produce jointly branded resources No Yes
Discounts on Anxiety UK training packages  Yes  Yes

Corporate Membership Expression of Interest Form

Group Membership

Whether you’re leading a support group, society, fitness group or a shared interest group, if you’re a not-for profit organisation, you can benefit from our Group Membership. This will support the mental well-being needs of your members. A Group Membership won’t only save you money, but will also give your group access to discounted training sessions held with one of our anxiety experts. This will strengthen your knowledge of anxiety, stress and anxiety-based depression.

Group Membership benefits

Membership includes the following benefits:

  • Access to reduced cost therapies (including Clinical Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Acupuncture).
    Once you’ve applied for your therapy, you’ll be contacted by a therapist and seen within two weeks
  • Subscription to Anxious Times magazine (worth £12 annually)
  • Access to our Members’ area and other free online resources
  • Access to our Members Only online message boards
  • Free copy of Understanding Anxiety booklet (worth £3.99)
  • 25% discount on purchases of Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules
  • 25% discount on snoozzzy weighted blankets
  • 25% discount on Alpha-Stim AID devices
  • 10% discount on a Listening Books membership (usually £20 to £45 per year)
  • Access to the online CBT programme, ‘Beating The Blues’

This represents a total value of over £90 annually!

Group Membership costs

Our Group Membership Packages prices are:

  • Up to 5 people: £180 – a saving of £20 from Standard Membership!
  • Up to 10 people: £360 – a saving of £40: one Membership free!
  • Up to 15 people: £550 – a saving of £50: almost two free Memberships!
  • Up to 20 people: £720 – a saving of £80: two free Memberships!
  • Up to 25 people: £900 – a saving of £100: almost three free Memberships!

If you’re interested in membership for a group of over 20 people, please contact us to discuss the options available.

Purchase a Group Membership

Help others by providing advice and support to those in need.

Comments ( 73 replies added)

  1. aisha 10 December 2010 Reply

    Hello, just enquiring wether you may have a translated artical in urdu on ptsd

    Regards
    Aisha

    • territorevell 10 December 2010 Reply

      Hello Aisha. We do have some of our materials available in urdo. To find out for sure, please ring our helpline on 08444 775 774, Monday-Friday, 9:30-5:30.

      We hope we can help.

      Terri – Anxiety UK

  2. Anonymous 2 February 2011 Reply

    Hi Philip,
    vivid dreams and nightmares are one of the side effects
    caused by seroxat, i was taking seroxat myself a few years ago and i would advise you to do some research yourself on SSRI’s, i was suffering with vivid dreams,electrical like buzzing zaps in my head which i still experience now and again even though i stopped taking them 5 years ago, i also suffered tremors and became aggressive and hostile while taking them

  3. Anonymous 14 February 2011 Reply

    Although being diagnosed with Post-Trauma Stress in 1995, i didn’t have a good relationship with my counsellor and walked out after being accused of ‘playing the sick role’. The diagnosis doesn’t seem to have been recorded and when i mention it to doctors now the whole issue is being ignored. I am being treated like a liar. In 1992, i was in a hostage-style situation and physically and sexually assaulted. I didn’t know if i was going to get out alive and went through a distressing court case after.
    Should i persist in trying to talk to my consultant psychiatrist about this? Every time i am ignored i feel like i am in the witness box all over again, so would be grateful for any advice.

    • dz 8 March 2011 Reply

      Hi Anonymous. It sounds to me as if neither your counsellor nor your doctor has much understanding of PTSD. Fortunately for most people it is such a rare thing that the vast majority of counsellors don’t have any understanding of it. PTSD is effectively a mental injury, not an illness, hence the term “Post Traumatic”, but counsellors in general are trained to treat illnesses, hence the problem. I’d suggest you leave that counsellor and look for one who has had some training in helping with PTSD. Similarly, many psychiatrists don’t have any genuine understaning of PTSD. Sadly, these people are presumed experts, but often they’re way behind those of us who unfortunately know PTSD from the inside.

  4. shayna maddock 24 February 2011 Reply

    hey there,
    im writing a story for a school project and have decided to base it around the suffering post traumatic stress causes some people. i taking it from the stereo typed “crazy” point of view but at the end showing at hint of sanity….
    but i have kinda met a probem, i was wondring can ptsd be caused by a court case ? in my eyes i suppose it could considering even if their found not guilty youve still got a lot resting upon your shoulders afterwards, but i would just like to make sure XD.

    • dz 8 March 2011 Reply

      Hi Shayna,
      Yes, PTSD could be caused by a court case, provided the preconditions of excess stress, being falsely accused but unable to prove innocence & the person feeling trapped in the court are in place. However, if the person is found “not guilty” PTSD is less likely as the overwhelming relief of a verdict in their favour would most likely prevent PTSD forming. Far more likely if the verdict goes against them and the person is so crushed by this verdict that they cannot face a similar situation again in order to prove their innocence. This is a situation in which the injustice of false accusation could be combined with dashed hopes of justice and it seeming that the court itself becomes an instrument of injustice. The reason for needing the verdict against is that PTSD takes both an original incident and time afterwards to form. It is for reasons of time that troops are routinely debriefed after any battlefield incident. Coming to terms with what they’ve been through by sharing it with others who accept their experience as valid can de-fuse potential PTSD. So leave your character suffering repeated injustice which remains unresolved through several appeals. Even better, a suspended sentence as the character wouldn’t experience the worst possible outcome of actually being jailed for a crime they didn’t commit, so jail hangs like a further threat against them, but nobody believes them. If you experience a worst case outcome & survive, you’re more likely to believe you can handle this & so wouldn’t suffer PTSD, but if the threat & false accusations remain unended, PTSD is possible.

  5. Anonymous 6 March 2011 Reply

    Hi,
    I was diagnosed with ptsd in 2004. after being physically attacked by a brother in law. i am 45 in two weeks, when i was a child id been abused by my father and a sister and also whilst in school, i then suffered more physical and sexual abuse by my two husbands.

    By the time i was 30 i had been divorced twice an my mum died suddenley.

    I spent the following ten years taking anti depressants an in and out of councilling, i also stayed single and read a hell of a lot of self help books, i thought i was on the mend by the time i reached 39, i was training in college and was feeling quite optomistic about the future, id been off the antidepressants for 2 years.

    Then just before my 40th birthady i suffered the unprovoked attack by my brother in law.

    Initially i used alcohol to deal with it, and i attempted suicide 3 or 5 times.

    Last year i spent 9 months in therapy again, and had started to talk about things that id never spoke about,
    then out of the blue my therapist told me she was leaving the service! I was dumbfounded.

    Im back on antidepressants, sertraline,my gps put my dose up to 200mg, but im staying on 100mg. and i am on another waiting list for more therapy, i am having nightmares, flashbacks, the nightmares an dreams are all muddled an mixed up, im pretty sure ive developed body dismorfia,
    as ive got all the symptoms, i hardly go out and dont want to become a recluse as i have the chance of taking my teacher training to the next level, but im ridilled with insecurity and lacking confidence.

    I really really want to move on with my life, but feel like i am stuck, and dont no what or who to turn to.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

    • catoneill 7 March 2011 Reply

      Hi Anonymous,

      Thanks for being so open about your experiences, it can’t have been easy for you. It sounds like you have been through so much in your life already, and that after making such progress another trauma has caused you more pain. If you were looking for longer term counselling or CBT we can help – or you might want to try EMDR, which has evidence for its effectiveness, or speacialist trauma focused CBT – both of these are recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). The EMDR association has a list of registered EMDR practitioners if you were interested in getting in touch. I hope you can get the help and healing you need.

      Best wishes

      Cat (Anxiety UK)

      • Anonymous 7 March 2011 Reply

        thanks for your advice, i will follow it up.

      • samantha 19 March 2012 Reply

        i have only just been told i have ptsd i am struggling my family just think i am a the way i am for no reason but all i wnt them to understand y i am like i am,, i have had a bad life from a young age but now i am findin it hard to cum to term of the hard life i have so much as happened in my life i thought i was strong but i am not the same person i was yrs ago i was alway the joker of the party and all thats gone will i ever feel normal again? plz help?

  6. Nik 7 March 2011 Reply

    I wish someone out there could help me. In January 2010 my daughter died at full term pregnancy. It was a horrific experience. I had been in the hospital 3 days earlier she was alive. I said she was in trouble, nobody listened to me. I had a history of phobia of birth. I had waited 20 years for her. When they said she had died, i felt like the bottom had fallen out of my world. They then despite my phobia put me through 3 days of being induced, a horrific experience, before finally cutting her out of me 3 days after her death. I still feel the scar righ across my stomach. 6 days after she died, her father left, no word no explaination. I had sold my house 6 weeks before she died for 50k less than it was worth to financially support her. My youngest daughter is now pregnant – expecting a baby girl. I then went through an abusive relationship with a man who pretended to be my dead daughters father and manipulated and abused me. Its now 14 months later and no help from the NHS. Solicitors are proceeding against the NHS on 5 counts of negligence. My world is devastated. I had to return to work 4 months after she died in a hostel which was full of mums and babies. I get flashbacks panic attacks and nightmares. I do wish that there was someone out there who can help me.

  7. dzerj 8 March 2011 Reply

    In 1992 I was subjected to a kangaroo court workplace disciplinary tribunal. At the time I was certified as unfit for work due to stress, but I was fetched from home one evening & placed in a confined situation where 2 known abusers from the workplace spent some hours making false accusations against me. They were their own witnesses, judge & jury. I was not allowed witnesses. One of the abusers was the departmental personnel officer. Consequently even thugh they could not dismiss me I was moved from my job. My new boss welcomed me explaining she had been specially chosen as she had previous experience of working with people suffering stress. Her previous PA had had to take early retirement due to stress. I was then to work as her PA. Needless to say, my health deteriorated and in 1995 I was forced to take early retirement due to apparent stress.
    When I retired I had lost the ability to read. My time varied between weeks on end when I could barely get out of bed and times when I would go mad exercising, often simply disappearing for days on end. I was having constant flashbacks of incidents from work. Antidepressants & all other medication failed to work. In the hope of an “accident” that would not look like suicide, I volunteered to work in Bosnia in the immediate aftermath of their war. It was the best thing I could ever have done.
    I could no longer face administration of any sort & it took until 2005 for me to apply for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. My application was refused. I was given the opportunity of an appeals tribunal. I explained that as the PTSD was caused by a tribunal, I could not attend an appeals tribunal. I requested instead a 1:1 meeting to identify the documentation that would be required in support of my claim. I received assurances that procedures would be adjusted to account for my injury. No adjustment was made. I have no memory of what happened, other than being terrified & being unable to leave. Nevertheless DWP have taken this totally inappropriate procedure as “proof” that the kangaroo court either didn’t happen or didn’t cause injury.
    In 15 years I’ve learnt to live with the flashbacks. They still recur, in fact I’ve had one whilst writing this. I remain unable to carry out administrative work or indeed to work for long hours.
    My question is, how can I proceed from here?

  8. andy 1 June 2011 Reply

    I had a car accident in 2009 ,it was quite bad with the car been a right off .At hospital they confirmed that disks in my neck had bulges on the c5,6,7.I was put on the sick.A few months after this while i was still off l lost my job when the firm went in to liquidation.Now in 2011 the doctors tell me i wont be able to do my old job any more as a contractor.Im unemployed and have just been told that i have clinical depression, chronic pain and ptsd.I have a great GP and he is trying lots of different drugs to help me but its going to be a long road to some sort of recovery.

    • anon 1 June 2011 Reply

      Hi Andy,

      Are you still in a lot of pain? I had a bulge in my L3 and L4 and it went on for quite a while. I have heard that mindfulness techniques (like mindfulness based cognitive therapy) can be good for chronic pain management, and also CBT can be useful for both PTSD and pain. CBT is available through Anxiety UK. If your PTSD is the primary problem then there is also support available using a technique called EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprogramming), which is one of the government approved therapies, along with CBT.

      Sorry to hear about your problems, hope things improve for you soon.

      Cat (Anxiety UK)

  9. Rhian Jones 9 June 2011 Reply

    Hi, reading your comments I feel I am not alone, although all our experiences are unique.
    It is only now at the age of 31 I am able to acknowledge the number of traumas I have experienced. In mid April my self-esteem hit an all time low after finding out my organisation is being restructured (possible redundancy) at the point I needed to accept we may need to accept fertility treatment. I’m now taking Amitriptyline 35mg and Propranolol 40mg (anxiety) as I fell to pieces and only after paying for a private counsellor did I realise the numbness was like a past experience of PTSD and reliving past traumas. My question is does extreme stress and anxiety trigger a recurrence of PTSD? I have had a emotionally traumatic childhood (although not intentional) being the primary carer for my father (Bi-Polar/ Unpredicatable & violent), mother (absent/working), sister (physically and emotionally abusive), witnessed a fatal construction accident at the age of 20 and diagnosed with PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome at 28. I did undergo counselling and felt recovered, I recall my counsellor saying I should be careful in the future and wonder now whether it was a warning that my PTSD may return? I am asking as only after accessing a private counsellor last week did she attribute my physical and mental symptoms to PTSD. Since April I have experienced low self-esteem, depression, flashbacks of violent childhood incidents and fatal accident, sleep disturbances, extreme anxiety, emotional numbness, difficulty concentrating and found myself dreading or avoiding going out except where necessary (attending work – how I have managed this I have no idea, hidden strength of character maybe!). So can PTSD reoccur as when I started with my employer I did not declare it as I believed I had made a full recovery?

    • dzerjb 13 June 2011 Reply

      Hi Rhian,
      Extreme anxiety & stress can not only trigger recurrence of PTSD, it can also cause it in somebody who has not experienced it before. It doesn’t mean that you’re suffering PTSD again, but the symptoms you’ve described are certainly those of anxiety & this has got stirred up by recent events making you feel as if the past were recurring.
      Any PTSD sufferer exposed to any situation bearing similarities to a previous incident will find PTSD gets re-triggered. As PTSD caused anxiety in the past and your present situation is causing anxiety, it will naturally cause you to remember & feel again all the things you experienced in the past. It is a natural cycle. The good news is that having been through all this in the past and having survived it, you can have confidence that you will be able to overcome it once again. Your counsellor should be able to help you through it, but it is you who will be doing the overcoming..
      Anxiety is an overload of fear. Fear is designed to trigger our “fight or flight” mechanism. An overload causes us to freeze & so we end up with depression, low self-esteem & everything else you describe. The ideal way to deal with it is not through drugs, but by using the fear chemicals for what they were designed for – to run as if our lives depended on it. Any prolonged exercise will do, the less you have to think about what you do to exercise the better. As you exercise your brain will start to go over all the stuff that has been causing problems & will process it. You will probably have to exercise 3-5 hours at a time so choose something you know you can keep going at alone, then do it at least 3 times a week for the next few weeks & let your brain run through things. For example paint a wall with a tiny brush. Begin by drawing the situation that’s making you anxious on the wall, then keep going till you’ve obliterated it by painting over it. You may need to do this a few times, but as you do so your brain will process the situation & you’ll find you can handle it again. Or if you choose running, imagine the face of somebody who you see as causing the problem being pounded into the ground by your feet as you run. These ways of directing your thoughts will really will work!
      You’ll find that as you get the strength to deal with these present anxieties in this way, the memory of past things will also stop bothering you again. When you’ve reached this stage, you need finally to seal these things in so they can’t recur. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to go into a church & pray, maybe leaving a token such as a lighted candle into which you’ve poured all these things or just symbolically imagining you’re taking off a cloak & leaving it in front of the altar. If you can’t stand religion then either draw or write the bad things down, put the papers in a box, then a few weeks later when you’re ready destroy it – burning it & then scattering the ashes like a funeral helps. It may sound like play acting & role-play but it really does help to set a point from which the past is dealt with. Look forward to that time. It will come. But for now the therapist & a lot of exercise will help.
      All the best.

  10. Anonymous 14 July 2011 Reply

    I understand that the traumatic event must have been very distressing, although I cannot appreciate to what degree.
    What is it that’s actually wrong with you now, though?

  11. pete 26 July 2011 Reply

    I have first hand experienced a traumatic event, i was accused of being involved in an incident where somebody died as a result of a bar brawl in a popular bar in town. i was questioned for days by police that tryed to persuade and convince me that i did certain things as there were many allegations against me or someone similar to me, in the end i was charged with murder and remanded in custody with real murderers for 2months before bailed i always stated i was innocent yet news papers and storys made out i was the main person.after 6months on bail and a curfew and was placed back into prison again for a further 3 weeks for break bail before being bailed again. after a 2month trial i was found not guilty of all charges put against me. from this point on i have become emotional numb, lost all emotional connections with my family and sometimes children, iam now going through divorce as i felt my wife never loved me, and my current girlfriend is the only person i feel for but even that i have ruined by sometimes shouting or jus getting angry for no reason at all i sometime i feel i cant trust anyone. i just dont understand whats going on with me and sometimes i have nightmares that something similar to what happened happerns and the court procedding happern again but this time im found guily. anyone know what im going through?

    • anon 28 July 2011 Reply

      Hi Pete,

      Sounds like you have been through an absolutely awful time, I can only imagine how difficult this period of your life has been. It is only natural that when you go through a trauma such as this there are some feelings that last following it. Have you thought about counselling or CBT as an outlet for how you are feeling? This is something we can offer, but you can also access it through your GP if you need it.

      Please feel free to call the helpline if you need to talk to someone on 08444 775 774. You are not on your own with these feelings.

      Best wishes

      Cat (Anxiety UK)

  12. jane 23 August 2011 Reply

    hi everyone in may 2010 i was in a taxi as a passenger with a friend coming home from a night out, he was on his phone and was speeding he went head on into another car in the other lane ,i nearly died i few times but pulled through my friend was,nt hurt ,the taxi driver was,nt either,my injuries were broken neck ,broken chest bone ,ribs ,my left thigh ,i also broke my pelvis ,cut my knees open had no skin lefted on my right leg front and back cut my head open,i was bleeding cause of my pelvis ,but they stopped that,i was then in hospital for 3months ,i had lots of operations,and still am ,i am experinceing flash backs even though i dont remmber any oh it ,i never stop thinking about it and its competely changed my life ,iam now disabled,and fell why me iam on antidepressents,as i hate my scars and my body now i cry all the time ,i dont sleep do you think i have p,t,s,d

  13. Colin Stannard 18 November 2011 Reply

    I do not have flash backs, but I am disconnected from my emotions. I went through counselling on the NHS for depression they told me I had had an abusive childhood. When my mother died what ever mechcanism was keeping my anger in check broke i became incandesant with rage, it took me at least 9 months to calm down. My father was a very aggresive person as a child he frightened the hell out of me, I really can’t remember what the trigger was my mother turned to me at the age of 5 to support her emotionally. I had to numb myself to my own emotions to survive now that I want to feel something I can’t. I have come through suicidal feelings ,depression, acceptanace and forgiveness. It is now about disconnecting myself from old coping stratergies, Someone very close to me has just revealed a terrible experience emotionally I feel nothing, All I have ever felt is this overwelming sense of anxiety which along with anger and rage are the only emotions I can freely access. Is this PTSD

    • Volunteer 18 November 2011 Reply

      Hi Colin

      It could be PTSD given what you’ve experienced in your childhood, and the emotional detachment may be your self defense machism and/or coping stratergy. However, I believe getting you some professional support is more important. I would recommend counselling for you and a trained counsellor should help you to understand and explore the experience and feelings. We do offer them in face-to-face and over the phone and webcam at reduced rates. Please consider my advice and stay positive.

      Andy

  14. Chris Perry 18 December 2011 Reply

    Hi All,
    I dont know if i am suffering PTSD..please advise..

    I lived with my wife within her family in Derbyshire for about 8 years and was very happy.
    We had been sweethearts since late teens at University for 11 years.
    In 1994 she turned nasty and ditched ne in May of that year.
    Since then she has refused to communicate at any level and has turned all the family and mutual friends against me .
    I have been shunned by all these people i love for 17 years.
    I lost everything : my sweetheart ; the family i love;my home;my pets and fairly soon my job.
    2 weeks after being ditched i suffered a minor stroke which left me with poor balance leading to the job loss.
    I was in extreme mental pain at my situation and desperately wanted to die.

    Every thought in my head was towards her or her family,and all dreams were them abusing me.
    I would mistakenly see her and hear her everywhere and was continually jumping out of my skin with these visions.
    I couldnt use supermarkets for years because i saw her in every isle.

    !7 years on the pain is with me all the time and every morning when i wake the pain of reality returns.
    Thoughts of 1994 and the continual shunning bring all the emotions in abundance : alienation;rage,extreeme anxiety;depression;guilt;and a feeling of being trapped.

    I was prompted to think of PTSD after seeing the Guardian article on the Doctor who won £4.5m compensation for psychological abuse leading to PTSD.

    Does my experience/behaviour suggest PTSD ?

    Cheers Chris.

    • Jerry 19 December 2011 Reply

      Hi Chris,
      You’ve identified many of the classic symptoms, a traumatic incident, years of suffering, and all the painful emotional crap that you just can’t get free from.
      It’s quite probable you could be suffering PTSD.
      It’s not easy to get a diagnosis. If you’re in the UK, NHS mental services absolutely refuse to diagnose. Usually you have to go private to get a reliable diagnosis, but what will you do with one if you get it?
      Your response to reading the guardian article is also typical of a PTSD sufferer. Your chances of achieving anything like the same are virtually nil. In order to get anything via the legal system you need to have made all the right moves with the right authorities & to have got everything verified back in 1994. It strikes me tat the doctor knew exactly what he was doing whilst he was being abused. Most of us don’t have that luxury.
      Also, as yor injury is more than 5 years old, the legal system wouldn’t consider it.
      Like you, I’m a PTSD sufferer from trauma in the 1990s caused by systematic workplace abuse. I had to take early retirement & got nothing but a reduced version of the pension I might have had if I’d been able to keep paying in to the scheme. Compensation? Forget it!
      There’s just one thing you can do & that is to seek some help to reduce the effect of the trauma on your life. Begin with the website http://www.tir.org/practitioners/index.html & I think you’ll find the sort of help you need.
      All the very best & I hope you find this stops haunting you.
      Jerry

  15. Anon Female 27 December 2011 Reply

    I had a breakdown 7 years ago and was put of antidepressants and sent to a phsycologist. One of the Dr’s I saw said it was possible that I was suffering from PTSD relating to a rape which had happened previously and supressed memories of abuse. I was never really given the chance to talk any of it out properly just given lots of panic and stress coping strategies and at times talked to in quite a patronising manner, in the end I gave up on the councelling and moved on with my life – new job, new friends, new home. The medication made tired and I ended up gaining around 5 stone in weight, other than going to work my social life tailed off dramatically, as I result of all this I have been celibate for the whole 7 years. I just recently came off the medication and it has been a struggle. However I got the courage to kiss a guy at a party recently and one of my friends questioned wether I had really been raped in the past because of it. (Another friend had apparently told them about the past incident) I was very upset and since then have been having nightmares and panic and anxiety again. I feel like a failure and don’t want to go back on medication but also feel like I can never really move on from what happened to me and that I am still being judged and talked about behind my back. I made a fool of my self recently when propositioned by another man as I freaked out about it and I am left to wonder if I am ever going to be able to conduct a normal relationship again. Can anyone recommend any useful therapy for me to consider that doesn’t involve meditating, writing stories or drawing pictures and that will actually give me some closure.

  16. Anon Female 29 December 2011 Reply

    That should read put on antidepressants… not off

  17. shaz 29 December 2011 Reply

    hi all,
    4 years ago i heomarraged after havin my daughter it happended to me at home i lost alot of blood and the doctors at the hospital told me if i had com any later i cud have been dead. 3 years later i fall pregnant again and the fear of that happenin to me made me bad, i took loads of asprin to try and miscarriage yes im not proud but it was sheer panic. i ended up in hospital to be told again i cud hav died with the ammount i had took. so now i have a fear of death i constantly stress that i will die or my loved ones.every week have some imagned illness like cancer or hiv my kids cant cough with out me stressing over them im scared its effecting them to me being like this. i visisted the councilor to be told i cant be suffering with ptsd its health anxiety but feel wat caused it is my near death exsperiences the g.p at the hospital said its ptsd. i dont want to take medication for it as i am scared to take tablets now due to nearly over dosein i just dont know what to do i take every day at a time and avery day is a battle for me. i ahve a supportive partner and 2 lovely children i just want to be normal im all well up until i get alot of stress stress cant be avoided in my life work amd my family are alot of stress. i dont laugh alot i dont smile im just numb to feelings thank you for listening

    • Anxiety UK Volunteer 30 December 2011 Reply

      Hi Shaz

      That must be very distressing for you. Have you spoken to any professionals, i.e. therapist or psychologist, after that traumatic experience? I would recommend you to speak to a therapist and get some professional support. We provide a range of therapy including counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and clinical hypnotherapy. May I also suggest the Overcoming Traumatic Stress by Claudia Herbert and Ann Wetmore to you? This is a very well written CBT book and should give you a better insight on your experience, and suggest techniques to manage the stress and anxiety. Best wishes.

      Andy

  18. shaz 29 December 2011 Reply

    my symptoms are insomnia, hot flushes,blurred vision,foggy head,migrane,crying alot,tingling and numbness in my arms,sore throat,tiredness through lack of sleep,nightmares do i have to take tablets to get better or can i fight it myself please could anyone advise me

  19. Dzerjb 30 December 2011 Reply

    Hi Shaz,
    This sounds pretty awful. Sadly, tablets don’t do much except hold the symptoms until you’ve sorted yourself out, so best not to start taking them if avoidable. I suggest instead you read a book, but not just any book. Ask your library for Waking the tiger by Peter Levine. If they haven’t got it, it’s less than £10 on Amazon. I think you’ll find it helpful.

  20. shaz 30 December 2011 Reply

    hi andy i have spoke to my g.p his answer was i can do three things for you medication.sick note for work or Councillor. he doesnt take me serious i can tell in his patronizing voice and i had one session with a councillor who basicaly said i dont have ptsd i have health anxiety and the best thing to do for me is try and get the stress out of my life that causes to bring on my anxiety symptoms. so im back to square one wat should i do. i think its terrible how im so confused in wats best for me. thanks for your reply.

    • Anxiety UK Volunteer 30 December 2011 Reply

      Hi Shaz

      Our volunteer therapists are specialised and experienced in treating anxiety and may be something you can consider. One session of counselling is obviously not enough given that you had such a traumatic experience. Whether it is health anxiety or PSTD, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are getting the right professional support. Name is only useful if you are searching for help, not as an excuse. I strongly recommend you to speak to a therapist or a counsellor. Let us help you and give us a call on 08444 775 774 to speak to one of our volunteers for more details.

      Andy

  21. shaz 30 December 2011 Reply

    hi Dzerbj
    thank you for your reply tablets are the last resort im adamant in not takein them. i will purchase that book for a defo thank you

  22. shaz 4 January 2012 Reply

    new year and new start i thought i was feeling 99 percent brilliant i felt that i could over come my anxiety and that im strong. after today though i think different stress from family has caused me to relapse and the symptoms are here.i just wish i could run away from it all in to a different place where i was normal when i thrived on challenges and i felt like i could take the world on why oh why?????? thanks for listening to me rant

  23. Harry 13 January 2012 Reply

    Although not a former military professional, I was deployed to Algeria in the mid 1990’s ( oil & gas work), and can only summarise as human carnage the acts that the locals were performing on each other. After wiping the contents of a four year olds head from my face one day, I snapped, returned to the UK, and effectively, lost a year in time. I was a broken mirror, and have spent the past 16 years putting those pieces back together. No therapy, no medication will work without buy in, and it’s really hard to communicate your emotions when you are in effect emotionally switched off. Until that time in my life, I’d never been seen as cruel or cold, my children have seen me as this person.
    My comment here is this, for me, the mainstream support, understanding, attitude to, and treatment for PTSD has been a journey that at times has been in itself almost as painful as the condition.
    Seriously, I wouldn’t wish PTSD on anyone, as I’m sure none of us would. My most frustrating aspect is explaining and educating, even now I watch people and they don’t get it, not a judgemental comment, just an experienced eye.
    The analogy I give when people ask, imagine not seeing, not hearing, having no ability to speak or smell, and you can’t feel via touch, that’s what it gets to in emotional lick down, it takes years to acknowledge that and crawl back out, but during that time, you are operating in a fight or flight mode.
    I’m presently battling a relapse, but with a wiser head, refusal to lock myself down, I know that this will pass. However, on the outside, I’ll display someone who is tense, on edge, and emotionally charged.
    To everyone out there like me, keep the faith, there is light, dont give up, rely on logic and the eyes of your loved ones for strength

  24. Megan 18 January 2012 Reply

    Harry,
    I found your comment really moving.

    Unlike a lot of the people previously commenting, I have only experienced severe anxiety for the past three years. I’m still only a teenager but I’ve been severely depressed for most of my adolescent life and have missed a large part of the growing process so many take for granted.

    I find all these comments helpful as I gain new perspective and identify with the extreme energy it takes to feel ok and carry on in daily life. I’ve tried to take my own life 5 times in the last 2/3 years and it is such a struggle to find the strength to continue until it gets better.

    So Harry, your last line “keep the faith, there is light, dont give up, rely on logic and the eyes of your loved ones for strength” really hit home.

    For all of us, if we persist, it can only get better than this.

    Stay strong!

    xx

  25. tina 18 January 2012 Reply

    hi im not sure if i have this iv got to go back and see my docotr and maybe have another medical done on the 7th of june last year not long after passing my CBT i felt confident enought to motor cycle into towen on my own and sods law i had a big van smah into the side of me drag me up the road then knock me over i was lucky i had bad bruising to my legs and whiplash i suffered from night mares after im so scared to ride again iv got rid of my bike even when im on the back of my partners i start to panic to the point i wont go on with him im so scared im gonna get hit again i start tensing up feeling sick and my viser is wet from where my breathing has got really bad and i get i horrible pain between my shoulders near my neck ( which i was told if i get stressed i will get ) i can be walking on the paverment and if i see a big van i move as far away from the road as i can if one is going fast on a road i get visions of myself or someone being hit the driver who hit me admitted liability i would rather this had never happened he ruined my dream i had from a young age of riding a motorbike 🙁 i feel im not a safe driver now thats why i sold my bike i wont drive cause i dont weant to panic and cause a accident to someone else

  26. andrew 19 January 2012 Reply

    I was very moved by the comments and experiences of all the contributors above. I work at a school and witnessed one of our young pupils killed in a road accident. After the event, I thought I was doing okay but the worried looks and comments of my colleagues and friends suggested otherwise. I found it increasingly difficult to sleep for more than a couple of hours and had no appetite, I would also find that anything related to accidents and children would reduce me to tears. Eventually I went back to my incredibly sympathetic GP who prescribed Citalopram and referred me to a counsellor. If people question you please remember the following; you have been through a traumatic experience that has already happened and has completely stressed you out, it is therefore a post traumatic stress disorder. If your GP is unsympathetic then try and find another, if your boss is unsympathetic then take union advice. You and your family/friends will get you through this. Be strong

  27. bee 21 January 2012 Reply

    i am amazed. i thought i literally was the only one suffering from ptsd due to work bullying. my twitter account is doobwhatsit. anyone in a similar situation, please come and say hello x

  28. C. 23 January 2012 Reply

    Hi,
    I don’t know if I have PTSD but I was thinking to share my story since I haven’t really told or talk to anyone about it.
    Five years ago someone in my family had a very violent death and I was there,saw everything.I must say it did affect me a lot.After that incident I refused to talk to people for a long time(or maybe I just couldn’t) and my only comfort was my dog,but she died not long after,and after that my parents divorce came along.All this happend in less than 4 months and it was a lot to digest.At 17(at that time I was just a teenager so everything felt twice harder),and after all those events my mom suffered a breakdown,and I had to be there for her and my younger brother who was 12.It was hard,but I did it.
    I had to deal with depression,insomnia,nightmares,and I didn’t look for any help,because I thought that there’s no way someone would understand the situation unless they’ve been through same situation or close to it.
    I did tried to talk once with a friend who is in the army,but I dropped it because for him it was very hard talking about stuff like this since he witnessed his friend’s death in Iraq.
    And even after all this time is still hard to recall that day,but I am trying my best to live with it.

    • Anxiety UK Volunteer 25 January 2012 Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. There is help available through Anxiety UK, such as our counselling service. If you take a look at the Get Help section of our website, information can be found there.

      Best wishes

  29. Anonymous 4 February 2012 Reply

    Hi

    I was recently diagnosed with ptsd and bery recently on waiting list for a psych. my GP encouraged me to talk to her about what had happened. After seeing her for ~6 months, I started to really trust her and I told her everything and she was really good about it in the session.
    However, I;ve noticed that since then, she’s been really different with me and doesnt seem to want me to speak to her about it. She also started making my appointments much less regular (despite my condition getting worse) and I think she doesnt care about me anymore.
    I’m not sure whether shes doing this because she’s a GP (but she has been encouraging me to tell her for the last 6mnths so i dont think its this) or because she thinks its my fault, that im a bad person (etc) or because she doesnt believe me…or because she dislikes me
    i really trusted her and she was one of few people i speak to and that knows my ‘secret’ so this is really stressful for me and its making me slightly suicidal << i wouldnt tell her that its making me suicidal though.
    Theres defo a very big change and im not being paranoid. :'(
    im nowhere near seeing a psych yet so it cant be that.
    do you think i should ask her and if so, how do i say it without sounding ungrateful?

    any views appreciated (even if you think im being ungrateful) 🙂
    thanks

    • dzerjb 7 February 2012 Reply

      Hi Anonymous,
      This sounds to me like normal practise. Your GP’s done the right thing in giving you 6 months to talk. Now she’s taking the next phase of the role which is to encourage you to find any therapy or strength you need from other sources. The problem with PTSD is that it doesn’t resolve that easily. In fact the NHS regard it as incurable. It isn’t, but you need to come to terms with the incident that caused the problem.
      A couple of possibilities for help. First & cheapest, there’s a very good book called “Waking the Tiger” by Peter Levine & Ann Frederick. Well wort borrowing from your local library or even buying yourself a copy so you can pencil notes in the margins as you read. Seond is to have time with a specialist therapist. Have a look at the website http://www.tir.org/practitioners/europe_middleast.html & see if you can book an appointment with one of these folks. They really can help.
      All the very best.

    • C. 7 February 2012 Reply

      Hi there,
      I can say I know many things about doctors,and what I can tell is that the reason she acts like that is probably because she thinks you are getting better(this is one of the reasons why dr do that).
      I totally understand you,as I suffered of PTSD and I know how hard is to get over.All I can say is try to think positive and maybe talk to your doctor and tell her how you truly feel.
      Good look and hope I was usefull.

  30. Lily 7 February 2012 Reply

    I have just been diagnosed with ptsd after an incident that ocurred in late 2011; I was alone, asleep in the house when a man broke in. First thing I knew was the light being switched on and the man with a carving knife. He came to steal, he threatened me, he tried to rape me. We fought, I got the knife off him, getting my hand cut and covering everything in blood in the process. I eventually shut him out of the bedroom, and called the police. They went to the wrong house. He ran off, they arrived and they have been fantastic ever since. The man has been caught and the hearings are in process. I cannot praise the police enough, and I have had the most incredible support, from my partner, friends, Victim Support, The Haven…

    But I am not all right. This is the second time I have had to sign off work, and my employers have not been very supportive throughout all this, I am worried that my work record is in jeopardy. I get panic attacks and breathlessness, very vivid nightmares; when I see people who dress like the man, or hear the accent (very strong South East London) I need to get away. I wake all the time, my throat closes up and sometimes I am nauseous. I keep wanting to just leave the house and keep walking, for good or something like that, but I am always tired. I have never liked knives, now I practice cutting meat, so that I will never be awkward or scared of a knife again. It’s ridiculous. It reminds me of the point where I was facing him,trying to work out in my head if I had it in me to strike him down. Horrible.

    I never want to feel helpless again. I never want to scream again and not be heard. And if I have to fight, I want to be able to fight with such confidence I never feel this terror again. People say I won because I got the knife off him, because he wasn’t able to rape me. I appreciate how lucky I have been. But I don’t feel right at all.

    Thanks to whoever reads this for hearing me.

  31. dzerjb 7 February 2012 Reply

    Hi Lily,
    First, I’m really sorry to hear this has happened. You have been through an incident from hell & somehow you’ve survived & amazingly you’ve even had the strength to hold something of your life together.
    You said this was late 2011. How long ago? It’s just that it takes several months for something of this nature to begin to resolve, or even show what direction it’s likely to take if it doesn’t do so immediately.
    You say the police have been really supportive. There’s something else they may be able to do as well, which is to refer you to a counsellor. You need someone to listen, not judge or advise but simply listen whilst you share & come to your own resolution about this. A good counsellor will be able to do this in a really helpful way.
    As for your work, few workplaces are likely even to understand let alone offer any support. Business seems to have forgotten the economic value of people & all they do is demand that we turn up 100% fit & leave everything else outside the door, just as if we were machines. So apart from a few trusted colleagues, it’s unlikely anyone else will offer any form of support there. It’s simply switch off & do, though admittedly many people use that very environment to escape the memory for 8 hours a day & that in itself can be therapuetic.
    It’s never going to be easy, but there are indications that you’re going to gain the strength in the next few months to overcome all these problems. The first is that you’ve been able to share this. That in itself is amazing. Well done! The second is your determination to continue fighting. You found the stength to fight when it happened and now there’s a mental & emotional fight to face, which like the original fight might make you fear you’re not going to win, but you did win against all the odds in the first round i.e. in the physical fight and I think you have the will & determination to win this round too – the mental & emotional fight. Not feeling right is just an indication that there’s still more to do.
    I hope that helps. I believe that in a year you’ll not only be stronger but you’ll be more sure of the amazing reserves of strength you have already demonstrated.

  32. C. 7 February 2012 Reply

    I know how hard is to talk with people about the things you’ve been through.But think about this…you’ve got nice people around you who support you and are near you no matter what.And if you think that this will help,get some boxing lessons or self defence lessons.Maybe that will help you feel more confident .

  33. Jennie 7 February 2012 Reply

    I am just coming to the realisation that I may have been living with PTSD for most of my life. I was run over when I was 5 and since then I have found certain things very difficult. I don’t have a memory of the accident itself, just the moments around it but I was conscious the whole time.

    Then five years ago I was in a relationship where I suffered prolonged abuse. I was raped every day for the last three months of our relationship. I was alone in France with him where I didn’t speak the language and hadn’t built up any friendships. I couldn’t talk about it for many years and it is only now that I am in a relationship again with a man who is patient, kind and caring that I can start to look at why I react to things the way I do.

    I have recently started therapy and it has been very hard, tiring and emotional. Whilst I still feel in the pit, I am now able to believe that there is light at the end and that I don’t have to avoid doing thinsg and going places to stay safe and unjudged.

  34. lily 13 February 2012 Reply

    Hi Dzerjb

    Thank you for your encouragement and your comments. It happened at the end of November 2012, so it is good to know that I’m not being weak or silly in still feeling its effects. Thank you for telling me that.

    I have been seeing a counsellor, and recently had an appraisal with a psychiatrist who wants me to go see him again the day after tomorrow, but I am reluctant, I don’t really know why. I don’t want to feel like a machine that needs fixing if the right spare part can be found. This week seems crammed with stuff about the incident. I have forms to fill in from work, they haven’t given me information about my income which I really need to know so I have to physically go to my bank and sort it out. The hearing at which the perpetrator is meant to give their plea was adjourned to this coming friday, at which point I am expecting a call from the Crown Prosecution Service on the subject of trial/charges brought or dropped…just stuff. I need to go to the doctor’s very soon if I wish to stay signed off; my GP has already said they are happy to do this, but my employers will be very difficult with me.

    And all I want to do is get dressed, walk out the front door and keep walking until I find somewhere I feel peaceful.

    Thank you again for your words, they make me feel much better.

    Lily

    • Anonymous 17 April 2012 Reply

      Hi Lily,

      I enjoyed hearing your confident, pragmatic tone in response to such trauma and am pleased you survived such a horrific incident. Congratulations on being so strong!

      When I read your concern about being a ‘machine to be fixed’, reluctance to see the psychiatrist and wanting to just get better I chimed in. Perhaps I can help: I developed PTSD symptoms when I was 21 and I felt perhaps similar feelings, I didnt want to see therapists and I sought practical, unemotional solutions, if any. I couldnt believe what was happening, as it was delayed onset, and it struck me as ridiculous when I perceived myself as privileged, fortunate young person. I went to 6 psychologists before one was pragmatic yet intelligent and sensitive enough.

      You have experienced a trauma that will have altered your brain chemistry to produce PTSD. In my opinion, it is best to see if someone can help you rebalance and it may take a while to find that person.

      There are researched ways of dealing with this that can help you. EMDR helped me greatly to handle the memory of being chased and threatened with death with a crow bar. When I was sexually abused by an alternative therapies “therapist” (recommended by some second cousins!) my psychologist gave me boundary-making therapy where I pushed him (a very tall man) away with cushions. He increased pressure and I pushed harder and harder, always pushing him away. This in combination with boxing would surely help. If you are wanting to shut away your feelings, another mental exercise I did to confront things was descending a staircase into a cellar and opening the door, what do you find? Whatever it is, find a good therapist to talk to about it 🙂 !

      Above all, you are wonderfully strong, and opening yourself to therapies is part of your strength!

      Reading Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth maybe help you find inner peace, I never thought I would read a self-help book, but this is really good. and not really ‘self-help’.

      Best of luck xxx

      • Lily 19 April 2012 Reply

        Hi Anonymous

        Thank you for your kind, practical words; I find your experiences of therapy and recommendations very interesting.

        My attacker is in prison. I have been working with a psychiatrist using EMDR to desensitize me to certain flashback images. It does work, I stopped doing it because there are so many images, I thought I would be in therapy for the next decade! The flashbacks no longer intrude on me out of nowhere, they only happen if I see something reminiscent. Some days ago I had a panic attack because I saw an image of a woman on TV holding her hands up, blood covered, in the same position I held mine when the wound bled down. I panicked, hid, cried, felt stupid. But things like this are happening less.

        I don’t really deserve your commendations about being pragmatic and strong; things got very difficult. My employers had never been supportive throughout the event. I came back from sick leave, they handed me my notice. Then I got a visit from a man who claimed to have met my attacker in prison – he said the victim had got a grand kicking from the other inmates. The whole thing was surreal! I told the police, who said they knew who it was, and they would have a word with him. I am to dial 999 if he ever contacts me again.

        Right now, I feel strangely blank and tired all the time. I try to make plans, but my head is empty. It’s hard for me to leave the house, not because I’m scared but there’s this weariness. Zumba awaits me this evening – it’s important I go, just to make myself move.

        So thank you for your thoughts, they come at a timely moment. I will look out for ‘A New Earth.’

        Finally, please let me applaud your for your own strength, and the generosity of spirit that led you to write to me. Respect and best wishes

        Lily

        • Anonymous 20 April 2012 Reply

          Hi Lily,

          I’m sorry somebody strange contacted you like that. At least it is recognised by the police and you have routes for protection. I was abused by a member of my family (the main source of trauma for me) and the rest of my family were so oblivious/neglectful they threatened to cut off my ‘inheritance’ if I didnt ‘make it up’ with my abuser! And the police (who I finally realised I could contact when I was 15) could only offer me a restraining order which would have made things worse for everyone in my family. I moved away instead (and was still blamed for making things difficult.)

          In terms of the exhaustion and blankness I recognise this. I was always hugely energetic, positive, busy. When PTSD started to develop I could barely do anything – i failed my exams at university, could barely read a book and walking 15min down the road would leave me breathless and dizzy. I ate more to try and manufacture energy, went to the gym every other day and did yoga but it didnt help. I was pretty oblivious to other peoples feelings too and felt painfully depressed or numb.

          This is because (i think, but im no doctor) you, underneath it all, are in a hyper-aroused state, continuously stressed, ready for handling danger and it is exhausting your body. You may not feel ‘stressed’ like you do in a scary moment or a flashback, but I think there is an underlying tension that is hardly detectable but has a massive effect on your whole brain chemistry.

          The good news is that with the right treatment and time, this will be very much reduced. like a cramp is painful you just have to relax to let it pass. You have to let your life slow down for now and just make arrangements to cope as well as possible. Your head may be empty right now but slowly the life will trickle back into you, all I can say is give it time, relax and keep being treated by someone you like. If you ever feel suicidal (which may happen) recognise it is a symptom of your condition, not an urge that needs to be acted on.

          That is a real shame your work are so awful and unsupportive. You can take action against that if it is discriminatory. You will find other work and dont let their malpractise make you feel personally attacked. They are bad business people!

          Thank you for applauding my ‘strength’- I find it very therapeutic and strengthening to write to you! And I am just as weak as anyone else, I’ve just had a bit more practise writing and thinking about problems.

          Because you feel down, exhausted etc you will think you aren’t worthy of praise or that you are strong. They fact is you are coping with something very difficult and extraordinary and you have to give yourself as much credit and encouragement as possible. One therapist said ‘imagine you are speaking to your 11year old self’ when I was being angry at my uselessness. Or maybe just imagine you are speaking to someone else – like me, who you just praised.

          I hope this isnt too long! I also hope Zumba went well.

          I assure you, you will find more work. For now you may need to take time, keep looking for a good therapist and do whatever you can to relax. This might mean baths, sleeping in, not doing much or reading books you like, everyone’s different.

          I am happy if anything I say is of use!

          Best of luck,
          Sophie

  35. lily 13 February 2012 Reply

    Thank you C, I really feel that you may be right. I am looking into boxing at the moment.

    • C. 13 February 2012 Reply

      I also did boxing for 2 and a half years and it helped me feel secure…..Happy to be of help:)

  36. alison 2 April 2012 Reply

    My friend was shot in Kurdistan when he was 14yrs old. Hes now 45yr old and suffers constant nightmares about death and seeing people killed. He went to GP who gave him sleeping pills. He needs help not tablets

    • Lily 3 April 2012 Reply

      Hi Alison

      I am so sorry to hear about your friend. It must be truly frustrating if the only help offered seems to be to just blank everything out, and I wish I had something constructive to offer, but I am just a lay person, with no real experience. So please forgive me if I say something ignorant. I mean well.

      Has your friend considered counselling? It can be very hit and miss, and it can take ages to find the right counselling, but if he asks for it, his GP can refer him, and at least get the ball rolling.

      I hope your friend finds some peace of mind, and an end to his nightmares. Having a friend like you, who cares about him so much must help.

    • Volunteer 4 April 2012 Reply

      Hi Alison

      This must be very distressing for you and your friend. I would strongly recommend your friend to speak to a counsellor or a therapist who is trained to deal with PTSD and anxiety. I would also recommend the “Overcoming Traumatic Stress by Claudia Herbert and Ann Wetmore” to you and your friend. The book is full of excellent explanation and techniques that you pick up to manage the anxiety etc, and you don’t necessarily have to read the whole book. Please also visit our Get Help for more information on the support and help available to you and your friend.

      Best wishes
      Andy

  37. maxine dauti 21 April 2012 Reply

    my boyfriend killed himself in 96 and by 98 my father also did the same , i was kinda of fine for years and then last year it all come back like it just happened yesterday ,i remember things that i thought that had forgotten, it herts to the core , i feels like someone died last week yet it happened 16 and 14v years ago , i have stages when im fine and i think ive got better then bang it comes back like a tone of bricks , why is that ? this has been going on for a year and a half now and i still feel like shit almost every day , i went threw a stage where i blamed my dad for taking the lime light from my boyfriend , i feel like i could end it all if i wasnt for my kids being here , am i ever gonna get better ? i feel like i want .

  38. C. 25 April 2012 Reply

    Hi Maxine.
    I totally understand how you feel…I watched my best friend die and couldn’t do anything about it.Happend almost 6 years ago,but for me it feels like it happend yesterday.
    And I think it’s the same with everyone who went through situations like this…to feel alright and then not to…is it normal…it’s part of being human.
    My advice for you is to look at the bright side …try to count your blessings;try to stay positive and try to keep yourself busy…it’s working for me.That way,I don’t have time to think about it.
    And the thing is that you can’t move on until you let go of the past.Letting go is the easy part.It’s the moving on that’s painfull…and at some point we all have to let go and move on,because no matter how painfull it is,it’s the only way to grow.

  39. Lily 27 April 2012 Reply

    Hi Sophie

    Everything you say is of use!

    In particular, what you mention about this hyper-aroused ready-for-danger state of near exhaustion really resonates with me. I am flat and tired.

    Sometimes the thought does creep into my head that it would be a lot less trouble not to be around. But I try to keep your comment in mind, that the emptiness will pass, and life will trickle back in. Right now, it all seems so slow.

    You understand so much. Are you a counsellor? A pity for some if you are not, because your insights are tremendously helpful.

    I am so sorry that you never had the kind of support and protection you needed and should have had, and marvel at your strength in coming this far over such protracted pain. How extraordinary that someone who was given so little now gives out so much. Thank you for that.

    Wishing you the very best

    Lily

  40. Anonymous 28 April 2012 Reply

    Hi Lily,
    No I’m not a councillor but I’ve considered it! I used to give my mum advice from when I was 11 and she was leaving my dad and getting her car smashed up by my brother!
    Absolutely the life will trickle back in, because this is a reaction you are processing. Your body needs time just like if you were fighting an infection. That’s why we call it ‘mental illness’ and why there is nothing wrong with getting professional help.
    I’ve had a friend commit suicide and I know that for the person it truly seems the best thing, so I wasn’t sad for him, but I knew he could have recovered and no matter how useless he thought he was it destroyed his family and damaged his friends irreparably! so as hard as it can seem at the time you have to hold on -for everyone’s sake- because that state of mind doesnt remain and you will be so thankful for every sunny moment and smile once you come out of a blackness like that.
    The thing that stopped me going too far down that road when i first developed ptsd was a car accident! The physical pain (I had liquid food for a week and facial stitches) distracted me from the immense mental pain! Its relevant because i think physical stimuli might help when youre no longer able to think, whether it’s to relieve (not necessarily escape-that takes time) depression or distract from that sense of petrified hyper vigilance, it could be swimming (lots of tactile sensation) boxing or another sport, maybe acupuncture maybe regular massage maybe a holiday in the sun
    -anything to distract you physically from this state of numbness/ anxiety.
    Remember this deadness you feel is a ‘reaction’. You just have to be kind to yourself in dealing with your body’s reaction. open yourself to help wether its books and ideas or physical things and new experiences, everyone is different just don’t give up on yourself because you are an important human life and it’s great that you have survived this experience.
    I am really no doctor or councillor so as much as i enjoy trying to help my words cant be as helpful as what is out there, so i hope you find someone who really knows what they are talking about to give you professional advice.
    Best of luck, if I ever become I councillor I will have you to thank 🙂
    Sophie

  41. Passion Generator 12 July 2012 Reply

    My wife experienced the existence of an old man inside her head few months ago. The old man used to sit on a rocking chair, and scold her for all her inefficiencies and used to order her to work hard to overcome her shortcomings. The old man used to be active whenever she wanted to have rest or sleep. Thus the old man did not let her sleep or take any rest. This happened, when we were running through a very bad (may be worst) relationship. I was completely annoyed with her and wasn’t in the position to give her the love that she wanted from me. Whenever she told me about the existence of this old man, I realized that it was all my fault. I adored her, started to take care of her and the old man evaded away just within one or two days.

    However, the problem in our relationship is still not over. Still I’m standing at the same position. The difference is that I could pretend to be happy with her over the last few months. Now, I’ve lost my resistance. I can’t render my love towards her. After our office work, when we meet each other at our house, I can’t feel happy. Although I don’t involve in any confrontation with her, she understands that I’m unhappy with her. This makes her gloomy. Two or three weeks ago, she told me that she experiences a flashback video of all the misdeed of mine with her, whenever she feels upset — while walking along the road, or working in her office. I again started to pamper her. But this time, I could not be able to continue.

    Now, we are in the worst situation of our relationship. I know, I’ve to take care of her. When she’s out of my sight, I feel ok, I call her, talk to her, even kiss her on cell phone. But when she comes in front of me, I can’t control my annoyance and anger against her. Its seems, electric short-circuit and sparks take place in my head. I don’t misbehave with her, but she understands my feelings by watching my face.

    We have a one and half years old baby. We can never think about getting divorce. But I’m not happy with her, and can’t make justice to her in my behavior. This is making her mentally sick. I’m very much worried that she will loose her mental balance on some day, if this continues. But I can’t pamper her any more, the way she is right now. I’ve thought to consult with a psychiatrist for both of us for many times, but haven’t yet gone to anybody. Cause, the doctor will ask me to give her the love that she wants from me. I know, I’m unable to do that. Then, what is the benefit of going to a mental doctor? I really don’t know how to solve the problem … Just wish us a good luck.

  42. billy 24 July 2012 Reply

    hello, i am a 32yr old male, i was recently asked if i have ptsd by an ex soldier. i used to serve in the army over 10 years ago. i only served in northern ireland but i encountered a few situations where i thought i could actually die, mostly being beaten up. while i was doing training i had shocking news that 4 of my close friends died in a horrific car accident. it hurt me really bad and it obviously affected me greatly. i eventually passed my army training in the end. through the years my life has never really been the same, i left the army after 3 years as i couldnt do the job. i signed up for 22years. i poured my heart out basically to this ex-soldier who was part of a homeless charitiy.. i told him the run up also to me being homeless… part of it is that i was attacked in a nightclub by a gang and was very lucky not to be killed as glass was found milermeters from my main vein behind my ear and jugular. that is one of many things that has happened to me, other in a nutshell was being locked in a flat while i had the hell kicked out of me for hours by a mad man. ive always felt not right for over the past ten years and i have had server depression and bouts of suicidal thoughts. when i have been set upon (nearly got mugged) i got put in prison for it for 2 years, i made a noose from sheets and was found out before i did anything with it. ive had failed relationships and a few attempts of a career that have failed. i always get bouts of failure and i have now totally isolated myself from my family in england, i live in scotland. i hate to talk most of the time to my family and feel that nobody really cares. i always think im no good and better off on my own. i do however have my happy moments and im a totally different person. ive always thought that ptsd is something to do with war or witnessing something terrible. i am really looking for opinions and the next stop is my GP tomorrow. its not who i am and its not what i want to be, i know i am better. it would explain alot. thank you for reading i welcome comments that help.

  43. Brooke 6 August 2012 Reply

    I was camping and my drink got spiked. My mum came to pick me up as I was really ill and I couldn’t be bothered walking all the way around the beach as it was far too hot so I climbed up the hill and tried to cross the train track. 2 trains were coming my way and I stood still in fear. I cannot remember how I managed to get onto the grass I just remember being in tears, shaking and hearing the sound of the train horn. I can still go on trains but since then I have lost all my self confidence, I’m painfully shy, I always think I’m not good enough, I take panic attacks and although I have always been an emotional person it has got alot worse. I spend alot of my time crying and ave suicidal thoughts, I’ve also tried to commit, but it just doesn’t happen. I don’t know if this is PTSD but reading the symptoms, I can relate, very well.Just wish I could be happy again.

  44. C 13 August 2012 Reply

    Hi Billy 🙂
    First of all,thank you for sharing your story…I know is not easy.
    I also got PTSD after my grandma died next to me in a horrible accident and I confess it wasn’t easy dealing with all that by myself,so my advice for you is to ask for help…is not something to be ashamed about~~it shows that you are brave enough to admit that there is a problem and that you want to fix it.
    Keep a positive attitude and surround yourself with people you trust and feel comfortable with(maybe your family :)…and no matter what,know that you are not alone 🙂

  45. ann 22 August 2012 Reply

    Hi Billy, I hope you managed to get some good help. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot of trauma and it will be good to go and get some help. I really identify with you saying you want to be on your own – it can help reduce the stress for a while, but then it can lead to you feeling over lonely as well – so it’s trying to get the balance right there. You sound like a lovely person and you need to know you’re loved and loveable. Give yourself a break and know that you’re worth trying to get help for – things can and will get better. Taking steps to a more peaceful future is a great thing to do. It may take some time, but it will be worth it. Take care, Billy – and good luck to you – I’ll be thinking of you. all the best to you – Ann

  46. Lorna.x 28 September 2012 Reply

    I feel invisable, as if i dont exist.
    My life is a whole catalogue of disasters.
    When i was young i was abused by a cousin. Although i have told nobody in the my family, i am sure my sister knows as i think she was abused by the same cousin. My sister and i nolonger speak and have not had any contact for meny years.

    I married my first real boyfriend when i was twenty, six months into married life something changed and my then husband became violent, being beaten by him on a very regular basis. He took control of me only letting me go to work so he had more money to spend on himself. He alienated me from my friends and family so i had nobody to turn to . I fell pregnant as he wouldnt let me take the contraceptive pill and he started to rape and abuse me in other sexual ways on a regular basis as well as beating me. I had a baby girl and not even then did he change. he continued to rape and beat me within a month of me having my baby.The final straw was him beating me with a wooded brush shaft while i was holding my daughter. I phoned the police and i was out of that nightmare.

    I met another man two years later who seemed perfect but after a eighteen months he started drinking and losing his temper and in no time turned violent beating me so bad that i have permenant damage to one of my eyes. the last incident of violance towards me he took me hostage at knifepoint. I only managed to escape when the police dog unit sent in a dog to capture him as a neighbour had called the police so that was the end of that nightmare.

    Stupidly i started drinking, trying to block everything out my daughter was now staying with my parents as i was falling apart unable to cope. I tried to take my own life three times but i couldnt even get that right.

    I met a kind gentle man and life seemed good for the first time in my life. My daughter came home
    to live and i eventually married my gentle kind man after four years. Family holidays together, decorating our home me learning to drive and getting my own little car life seemed perfect. Then i started to notice my husband was drinking alot. As the months passed he drank more and more becoming aggressive. We split the day he first directed his aggression towards my daughter.

    Now a year since my second marriage split, I cant cope every day is a living nightmare!!
    I now suffer from agrophobia, deppression, anxiety, panic attacks and disturbing flashbacks. I am tired all the time as i am totally unable to sleep at all during the night as i become exccessivley distressed during the hours of darkness. I spend the night repeatidly checking and checking that all my windows and doors are closed and locked tight. I feel as though i am in a state of super alertness all the time and jump at the slightest noise.

    How can i ask my GP if i could be suffering PTSD. I havnt been to an appointment with my GP for almost a year now as all he says is ‘OH DEAR YOU ARE HAVING A ROUGH TIME.’. Ive never been offered ny treatment but think that could be due to the fact that i overdosed on tablets a couple of times a few years ago. Anyone got any advice?? Would a GP read a letter if i wrote all this down and give me some help? I have never told anyone everything that has happend in my past as i just can not talk about it, i did try once but i couldnt speak i just couldnt get the words to come out my mouth.

    Im sorry about all the spelling mistakes i am SO upset while writing this and sobbing so hard i can hardly see of breath

  47. dzerjb 1 October 2012 Reply

    Hi Lorna,
    You’ve had a really tough time & I agree its the sort of thing nobody should have to go through. Let’s start with the diagnosis angle. You haven’t mentioned anything here that is a symptom of PTSD, but the sort of things you’ve been through could leave anyone suffering it. There isn’t much value in having the diagnosis anyway. In the NHS it’s regarded as untreatable & all they do is fob you off with timewasting by supposed experts who you quickly discover know less than you do about what you’re suffering.
    PTSD is a really seriously debilitating injury, it’s never an illness. It can be made worse by exposure to any circumstance bearing similarities to the one(s) that caused it. On the other hand, being able to talk & think through these experiences in a safe environment with somebody you know & trust will help you to come to terms with them. You mentioned your sister might have been through something similar. Is there any way you could talk with her & see if that’s so? If so, it could be a healing experience for you both, provided of course you each agree never to share the other’s story with anyone else. Your history is yours alone & if both of you respect that, being able to talk together could help deal with the injuries you’ve received. If your sister hasn’t suffered in the same way, or doesn’t want to talk about it then you need to find someone you can talk this through with. Their role isn’t to advise you, just to be a safe ear so that you can lay out the problem & begin to come to your own conclusions about what might be best for you & your daughter in the future. If you know of nobody else to help, a local church might be good but you must stress that they’re there only to listen & not to judge or advise you. They haven’t had to walk in your shoes so they’re not qualified to do anything but listen.
    As you’ve discovered, somehow we end up vulnerable to being mistreated in exactly the same way by other people. Psychologists suggest this might be due to our family background. If there’s a certain type of behaviour in our family, we will treat it as perfectly normal & won’t be alarmed by things that others would know to steer clear of. There’s a good book “Families and How to Survive Them” by Robin Skynner & John Cleese which will explain this. Worth borrowing from your local library.
    I hope all this helps. Believe me even PTSD can be survived. You’re pretty close but I don’t think you’ve got it & you don’t want to. Having PTSD is a bit like an amputation – without anaesthetic! But even amputees survive & triumph – did you watch the paralympics? Far better to recover in tact & I think both from what you’ve said & haven’t said that you’ve got a fair chance of doing that.
    Good luck & I hope you can come to terms with all this & triumph!
    Dzerjb

  48. Michael 3 October 2012 Reply

    This is the story of my horrific experience with PTSD. I have suffered from anxiety / panic disorder most of my life with accompanying depression. The summer of 2010, I was having a major setback with my symptoms and was truly suffering. Then one warm July night, I drove down to the corner bank’s atm machine to withdrawal $700. I turned my car off because I had to make an atm deposit of a check as well as the withdrawal. Because it was so hot, I had rolled down the windows. I did, however, have enough sense to lock my doors. The $700 dispensed, I reached for it and then it happened. A hooded man appeared from behind a dumpster and hollered “don’t move” as he was pointing a gun at me. Out of the clear blue, I was being robbed at gunpoint. In my mind, I saw the faces of my children and my wife. I instinctively floored the gas pedal after getting the car started. All the while, he was walking toward me and warning me not to move. In one quick move, I pressed the gas pedal to the floor, rolled up my power window, and slouched down as far as I could into my seat. I was barely able to see over the dashboard. As I looked into my sideview mirror, I seen him chasing and reaching for my back door handle while waving the gun. I remember letting out chilling, rediculous moans as I felt that a bullet was going to enter my head at any second. The car seemed as though is was moving way too slow, and for good reason. Apparently, when I slouched down so quickly to “duck” and protect my head, I had thrown the car into neutral. I somehow (don’t ask me how) realized I was in neutral and knocked the gearshift down one notch into drive. I continued to floor the gas pedal, and I got away. I watched in my rearview mirror as I was speeding away the two men running to get away. I then picked up my cell phone and dialed 911. I was hyperventilating to the 911 operator so badly, that she asked if I needed an ambulance. I was in the worst panic attack of my life and some new, hideous fear was raging through my body as I tried to give details about what had just happened to me. I was in complete shock. It all happened so fast. By the time I got home and told my wife and children, my panic symptoms were out of control. Cops arrived at my house, and I had to contain myself to go outside and talk to them. In the following days, weeks, and months…I suffered horribly with insomnia, flashbacks, hypervigilance, panic attacks, depression, and I lost 35 pounds from loss of apetite. I had never been so sick (nor so scared) in all my life. I would go for walks and end up walking for 10 or 15 miles. I had anger issues, and (I’m ashamed to say) that I even became hateful and non-trusting toward anyone of my attacker’s race. (For the record, I am not a racist…I was dilusional from the event). For the sake of wrapping this story up, I have since completely recoved. For anyone who may be experiencing something similar, I want you to know that you CAN get well again. It DOES get easier with time until one day, you will be symptom free. The victims of violent crime fund in my state paid for me to go to psychiatric counseling. After only three sessions with my therapist, I was well on the road to recovery! Hearing him tell me that this was an “unusual event” that was not targeted for me specifically…I began to heal. He told me that one day, I would recover and feel “normal” again. He even convinced me to “put my mind in another place” by encouraging me to go back to college. I did go back, and made the Dean’s list with a perfect 4.0! There were times when I thought I would never even survive the incident. Not only did I survive, but I somehow came out of it a whole new person. I seem to have a much higher tolerance for anxious situations. Dare I say, I haven’t had a single panic attack since my recovery. Many of you may be thinking that the crime wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been….I mean, I wasn’t even touched or shot! But I was suffering from a recurrence of my panic attacks and anxiety and depression on the night he “got me”. I think it just sent me over the edge. But I am living proof that “this too shall pass”. Not only can you recover from PTSD, but maybe it’s possible to walk away from the experience stronger than you were before it all happened. Peace be with you!

  49. Dzerjb 3 October 2012 Reply

    Hi Michael.
    This sounds like a horrific experience, the sort that could leave anyone traumatised. It sounds as if you were beginning to suffer some of the symptoms of PTSD, but you got exactly the right support at the right time. Not only that, but at the time of the incident you took enough active control of the situation in order to get yourself out of it.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if recounting your story reminds you of the strengths you have but didn’t realise existed until you were recovering. It really is encouraging. Keep telling people about this. People need to know there is hope
    It also reminds me of something I learned while visiting a prosthetic limbs centre in Romania. The sooner after the injury people get their new limbs the more they can do with them, but leave it too long & they see themselves as disabled & they never really achieve anything. Your story has both elements, first seeing yourself as anxious with panic but now after proving yourself through the sort of experience nobody should have to go through, you’re stronger than before. Well done!

  50. Anonymous 26 January 2013 Reply

    Hi, I am only 11 but I was in a car crash in 2012 and couldn’t talk to people about the accident and I also couldn’t sleep in fear of having a brain bleed or something crazy. I was terrified to get into a car and looking at our car (which mum kept) gave me flash backs. A few months later just after Christmas my grandad passed away from Parkinson’s disease and pneumonia, an illness I had when I was 8. I began to have less and less sleep. I am a competence swimmer and am due to go to New Zealand nationals but my lack of sleep and practice is not helping. My mum was in the crash with me but she is not as bad. I used to be without a care in the world but now I’m cautious and can’t watch any car crash things. I think I have health anxiety aswell but my dad just thinks I’m stupid when I mention it. I also feel sick when I look at a car similar. My parents got a new car because if the trulouble it caused me. How can I get over it?

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