Symptoms Of Depression? Unsure About Diagnosis...

I was in a car crash eight months ago.  I couldn't walk for four months so thought that, once I got driving and back to normal, the fear and jumpiness would go away.  Of course I would be worried for a while, its normal.

The thing is, since I have got back to 'normal' everything has got a lot worse.

I can be fine one second and then jumping around the next.  Bracing myself, grabbing onto the seat and calling out in fear when everythings alright.

I don't avoid the car. Well, I can't, but my days are exhausting.  I then have very vivid dreams all night and wake up tired.

I went to my GP who refered me to a counselling service.  During my first assessment they said a lot of my symptoms are like depression.  My apetite has altered, I don't go to the gym as often, my partner feels I am distant from him, I am not nearly as patient with people as I used to be...irritable even.

Personally I think these are not the symptoms of depression, but of a person who needs a good nights sleep and to be able to rest her brain!

I am logical and rational about what happened.  I have a wealth of driving experience and know that it was a freak accident caused by someone showing off to his mates and getting it all wrong. But there will always be someone showing off and getting it wrong...herein lies my overwhelming thought...

The guy that hit us knows why.  He put himself in an atmosphere/situation that he can easily avoid in future to feel safe again.  "I can drive my car at the speed limit, not race my mates, avoid overtaking on blind bends" etc.

I, on the other hand was travelling as a passenger, at the speed limit, not engaging in anything that would be classed as 'Risky', and BANG.

I cannot avoid that situation, or learn anything from it to take into the future to make sure it doesn't happen again.

I have always been positive and learned from negative experiences...when my Mum died... when I got divorced.

I have always been strong.  Even on the night of the accident when my bone was poking out of my skin, I kept my cool. Chatting and thanking the Paramedics.  Avoiding pain relief as I was happy to have my wits about me. Refusing a strecher and instead opting to hop out of the car.

I haven't actually been given any diagnosis, although PTSD has been suggested.  The counselling service gave me exercises to work through to avoid panic attacks when I feel them coming on.  But I don't 'feel it coming on'.  I just whole heartedly believe, for seconds at a time, that we are going to crash and it is going to be horrible.

I have my first session with a 'High Intensity Therapist' Next week.  I just want it dealt with. I can't carry on the way I'm going and expect to be able to handle everything I want to in my life :o(

x x x x x x




Exhale Exhale
36-40, F
3 Responses May 14, 2010

Intellectually you know or believe one thing, but what you are experiencing is an emotional response to this incident. Emotions don't know or understand logic. You now have these trapped negative emotions from this incident. Once you clear these trapped emotions this won't bother you anymore. That's what I do for a living. I get rid of that type of baggage.<br />
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Thank you so much for such an interesting and clear response. The way you describe the 'body thinking' certainly makes sense to me.<br />
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I have had lengthy conversations with my partner where he says, 'just don't think about it...concentrate on something else' and I've been trying to explain why its not like that...which is difficult, but I think your post may really help that.<br />
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I have to feel that I'm moving forward. I run a family business and they are being very understanding, but I feel I need to reward them with the knowledge that I am trying really hard to sort this out.<br />
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It sounds like dance has really been a positive thing for you. Working out in the gym doesn't really distract your brain...if anthing it just gves me more time to think about where the pain is in my leg and why its there.<br />
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I was thinking about doing something more competative but dance may be a good way to go :o) x x x

You sure expect an awful lot of yourself. I've found that sometimes you need to give yourself a break in order to start being able to handle your mental issues. And yes, therapists can help.<br />
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I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a couple of years ago, and when I descended into depression, I kept on blaming myself for getting worse. I thought I should be able to control it; that I would control it if I wanted to. My wife and my therapists had a hell of a time convincing me otherwise. Even when I did believe them, I still kept fighting and I still kept failing. It wasn't until I gave up and just let myself go into depression as far as I seemed to want to that I began to be able to get out of it. Weird, eh?<br />
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I'm no psychiatrist but it sure does sound to me an awful lot like PTSD. I hope you'll ask your therapist about this. I do know there are several methods of treatment, and one of them is a kind of desensitization treatment. You put yourself in similar situations over and over until your reactions gradually reduce to a manageable level. Your brain is reminding you of the danger, and you have to train it that this is not as dangerous as it thinks.<br />
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Certainly, sleep, exercise and eating properly will help deal with depression. It also helps deal with bipolar disorder. I imagine the same is true for any mental disorder, including PTSD. So I think you are right when you say you need more sleep. As to resting your brain -- mindfulness training. Meditation. Yoga. They all help with that, and indeed, they will help with your reactions to your flashbacks. Then enable you to calm yourself down much more quickly.<br />
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Logic, I'm afraid, doesn't help. This experience was felt most strongly by what I call your "non-linguistic" brain. Logic happens in words. Words don't translate very well into your non-linguistic mind. You have to reach that mind by stilling your linguistic mind enough so that you can feel the non-linguistic and work to calm it.<br />
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Again, yoga, meditation, running, music making, dancing and many other physical activities can help you still the linguistic mind enough to "hear" or feel the non-linguistic. Since the non-linguistic doesn't use words or symbols to think with, you have to learn how it thinks in a more physical or gestaltish kind of way. It's hard to describe. Your body does the thinking -- it feels like being connected to people and things around you and working in concert with them -- knowing things you can not possibly know. Except that's the non-linguistic mind's job. There's no magic to it. It's just that we rarely become aware of its existence.<br />
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I prefer dance and music to still my busy mind enough to use my non-word mind. Of course, the kinds of dance and music I do -- improvisational -- are particularly good for this. You never know what people around you are going to do, so you have to attune yourself to them physically or sonically ini order to be able to dance together or make music that sounds good together. After a while it gets so it feels like you are in each other brains and you are all thinking the same thing.<br />
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This is the state of mind where you can work on your issues and repattern your thinking. If I were in your position, I would dance out my feelings about this situation; letting the feelings overflow me safely. In this process I would work with the others dancing with me to bring about a new kind of thinking about the situation. I imagine .... well, never mind. If you do it, you'll experience what you experience.<br />
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Many people don't feel like dancing or aren't comfortable with music (there are organizations that can deal with this), so meditation is a good fallback. Anyone can learn that. Anyway, I wish you luck, however you choose to approach your issue.