Tuesday 13 January 2015

While I'm back here, this is where I'm at right now...

As you will have seen, I've been AWOL from this blog for much of the past year. It's a real pig, but I've been battling with this darn Post Traumatic Stress Disorder thing which began to rear its ugly face just over a year ago. It's really annoying because, like many of these things, you can't just 'snap out of it'. No matter how strong you feel you are, you can't just push it to the back of your mind and get on with things. It's doubly annoying knowing that it's now my turn to admit that, OK, I need help to get my head back together again and, yes, it's not surprising when you think about it that my brain has suffered an adverse reaction to the years of extremes which it encountered as a result of my son's struggle with anorexia.

Last spring, I began with some private treatment while waiting for NHS therapy (long waiting list... sounds familiar?). Then, in the summer, I had six months of CBT aimed at reducing or removing the numbness that was one of the PTSD symptoms. It was like a mental anaesthetic; I couldn't feel very much - good or bad feelings. Thankfully, the CBT seems to have worked and my feelings are back!

But with this has come a far heightened anxiety - the kind of anxiety that reacts in the extreme to small incidents that don't warrant it; way out of proportion to the problem. The kind of anxiety that causes shouting nightmares, night after night, which make you feel rubbish during the day through lack of sleep and the fact that the trauma of the nightmare's content takes a while to dissipate during waking hours.

I am now on a course of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy which is thought to be particularly helpful for symptoms of PTSD. I have my third session in an hour's time. The therapist is really nice; the location - a tiny room in a nasty run-down inner-city NHS medical practice - isn't.

Meanwhile, I've been having to avoid most things to do with eating disorders, not because I want to, but because I have to: they seem to trigger the PTSD symptoms at the moment.

But I hope to return.

And 2015 is the year that we finally throw off the remnants of what anorexia has left in its path!

PS: The great news is that my son, Ben, now 21, is doing just fine on every front: eating, food, mood and social. Fabulous!

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