Unfortunately, a PTSD sufferer becomes limited in what can be accomplished. There are countless days when I wish I could have written down what I had experienced. But so many of those times I would try and fail with the inability to form thoughts into words or even put thoughts in order. Thoughts quickly got lost in a quagmire of neurological tangles.
For the first time in over 12 years, I feel uninhibited. And it’s thanks to medication.
Medication is not my initial go-to source, and I’ve resisted it over the years. In 2002 and then 2012, two different doctors put me on anti-depressants because I did not sleep well. All 3 that I tried (Zoloft, Amitriptyline, and Trazodone) worsened my mood. I did not and do not have clinical depression; i.e., no trouble getting out of bed.
Recently, a third doctor prescribed gabapentin, otherwise known as Neurontin. The web mostly talks about it as an epilepsy drug, but as psychiatric chemical reactions are often a mystery, it’s no wonder there is little information out there for it treating PTSD or anxiety.
It’s day 3 of taking 200-300 mg per day. I am less reactive, feel more social, and generally more happy. Also, if I wait to take a dose, I can feel the onset of anxiety, unlike in the last 12 years, when I just felt numb. Feeling anxiety’s onset is helpful for practicing sensory emotional regulation (“tipi” in Europe).
Yesterday, when I started to feel the anxiety, I sat down, closed my eyes, and paid attention to my physical sensations. My jaw got tight, my breathing almost stopped, and then I felt a pulling sensation from my chest and forearms. I stayed with those sensations, observing each of them one by one. Slowly each sensation dissipated until I only felt the warmth of my hands. Though SER helped that instance of anxiety, more followed. As with any emotion, there can be many triggers.
I hope to be drug-free soon. And I hope to be able to write down all of the other stories I haven’t shared yet, because they were too difficult to remember. For now, I will look back at unfinished drafts and private posts and make them public, so I can share my perspective on this illness.