Having PTSD And Depression

i-have-survived

When I arrived for my second appointment yesterday with A., the first thing she said to me was, “I want you to know that you do indeed have PTSD.” She told me that while we already knew this, the diagnostic questionnaire I filled out the previous week also confirmed this. She went on to tell me that I also have depression. I told her that because my anxiety is so high, I don’t even focus on my depression. She told me that this makes sense with PTSD.

I have not faced either of these, I have just been suffering for years in isolation within myself. Ashamed of the paralyzing struggles I have been dealing with. Trying to hide them all and minimize them even to myself. I didn’t want anyone to know the depths of which I have lost myself and how alone I feel inside. How much I have lost my ability to function and do the basic things I used to be “on top of” before the bottom fell out of my world. I have been so hard on myself, every day frustrated with myself because I cannot accomplish some of the smallest basic things. But I didn’t know this was a part of depression. I didn’t want to know either.

Making simple phone calls puts me into tears. My husband just gracefully has been taking care of even these small tasks. I could not even say the words, “I have PTSD” or “I have depression.” I just WAS them and I have become lost in them and filled with shame because of the havoc they have wreaked inside of my very being. I have lost myself in ways I didn’t know it was possible to lose oneself.

Over the past year, since starting my blog, I have made some progress. I have been able to do things with my husband that I could never do alone. And they have been wonderful experiences. But I am still struggling to get my life back, to get a sense of myself that allows me to function the way I once did. Maybe this is something that only someone who has or does struggle with depression will be able to understand.

Today I read a blog post by Annie, Dealing With Depression, on her blog Gentle Kindness, Healing Truth Artistry. I couldn’t stop crying as I read this article. She described everything that I have been struggling with. I have been struggling without a name or explanation for any of this. I have been hiding it all from the world and myself. My shame has shame and this is not something easy for me to face or admit.

My husband was with me when I read this blog post and when he saw my emotional state, I told him what I was reading. He said to me, “I have known you were depressed for a very long time now. I just haven’t known what to do about it.” It seems maybe I was only hiding it from myself. I think somehow he knew I couldn’t bear for him to even speak these words to me. I couldn’t face for any of this to become real and out in the open. Everything in me has been projecting to him, “No! please don’t speak those words. I could not bear to hear them or face them.”

If this is what you call depression, it is one of the most excruciating struggles I have had to face. I am a high functioning person in the sense that I can hide all of this very well when I talk to other people. My biggest fear has been for anyone to know this struggle I am dealing with. I can hide it so well that if I were to spend time with you, you would have no clue of the struggles I have inside. But this has only caused me to be more alone and isolated in this struggle.

Today I grieve for the level of shame I feel inside of myself. I grieve for the heavy weight and burden I have been carrying that has been crippling me inside. I grieve for the fact that I have been in so much pain for so long that I don’t want anyone to see. Because once you lose yourself, you have no hope of saving yourself no matter what positive thing anyone else says or sees in you.

With depression we try to be okay even when we are not. We become what others need us to be. Anything to keep others from seeing the depth of this struggle. I don’t know if this is something common among those who struggle with depression or if it is unique to those who have also been silenced and shut down their whole life by others or from having to deal with psychopaths in our lives.

I have lost so much in my life. I never knew that the most excruciating thing I would ever lose is myself!

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25 thoughts on “Having PTSD And Depression

  1. This is really sad….I feel your emotion and heaviness, but I also feel the relief from you that you are accurately naming what you’re experiencing.Coming to terms with diagnostic labels is an emotional process, and takes time to sink in. Denial protects us. It’s like I couldn’t label my abuse as trauma for a long time, as it was too upsetting to have it dawn on me that it was traumatic. You don’t have to pressure yourself to be high functioning. Expectations on yourself are detrimental. There is a necessity sometimes, and a freedom to realising you don’t have all your shit together, and you are doing as well as anyone can possibly do, anyone who is processing real significant trauma that is. What an emotional day for you ❤💛 hugs Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Summer… I cry as I read your comment. It means a great deal that you understand this. “Denial protects us.” Thank you for that. And for “You don’t have to pressure yourself to be high functioning.” Yes, this has been a real emotional release and day for me. Thank you for all that you have shared. The pressure of hiding is immense!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also relate very much to your post. I share the feelings and the struggle to keep them hidden.

    I am glad that A has brought this out into the open, it is no longer a secret to be ashamed of. I would imagine that for anyone who has experienced any kind of abuse depression is very common. It is sad that we have to hide how we feel.

    Maybe after reading this I might be brave enough to talk to my therapist about these feelings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your own experience. I really hope you can find the courage to talk to your therapist. I wasn’t able to tell her how severe it is or here on my blog, but I am going to try to tell her next week. It is a crushing pressure to hold it in. It is awful that on top of suffering the effects of abuse, we carry the weight of having to hide it and to be perfect too. It is an impossible task. Now we can be brave together! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I could have written this! It fills me with so many emotions blue. I used to run daily here and there, errands, school trips and now I struggle with simple things. I have thought, could it be depression? I know I am anxious and it gets worst and then a little better. I look back and things I could do months ago, are now huge struggles. I will read the article. Thanks for putting this into words xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Lyn I really hope that blog post helps you too. It forced me to face it. Please know that reading it can be VERY painful, seeing the depth of the struggle we try so desperately to hide. Hugs xoxo!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel anxiety reading these things and I guess I see that I have not faced things. Although I blog about it and do recognize my fear, I have not actually faced these things. It makes me so emotional to read or think about it! thanks xoxo

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I get that… you make me not feel so alone Lyn. You are not alone! Maybe we can find courage together to face it. When you have to live your life just shutting up and taking it, maybe our fear and struggle just to face it is understandable!

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you so much, Blue. I realize shame has never come up in my therapy …. but maybe that is why I am so terrified and depressed and all (which only my PCP and therapist know about – being high-functioning is a mixed bag, isn’t it.) I will bring it up next session.

    Also, Thank you for Annie’s excellent article. I have just recommended your blog and hers to https://jennslife2013.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/choices-may-trigger/.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Bless you. I was so touched when reading your post. I, too, was diagnosed with PTSD and Depression but with me, it was the PTSD diagnosis that I backed off from. And the word “trauma” used to send me for a tailspin each time my therapist said it. I finally got up the nerve one day to tell her that she needed to stop saying that word. When she asked why, I told her that I had never thought of my childhood of being “traumatic” , that I had merely told myself for all these years that I had had a “shitty childhood” (pardon my French here). She sat there for a minute just looking at me and finally spoke. She said she wanted to read a list of experiences to me and for me to pretend that they were happening to a young child that I did not know. She said that when she read each one, she wanted me to think about whether or not they were “traumatic” for the child or just “shitty experiences” and to tell her my thoughts about each one. As she read them and I answered that they were definitely “traumatic”, I began to cry and finally was able to admit to myself that I had indeed experienced traumatic events in my life. What an eye-opener that session was for me. I still have a problem saying “PTSD” out loud to anyone but I honestly think that it has to do with the fact that I somehow consider PTSD to belong to our military men and women who experience horrific events during war. Thinking that I, too, could experience PTSD, in my mind, is like being disrespectful to them. I know it’s silly, but that’s what my mind tells me.

    I started my own blog last September, hoping that being able to talk (or write publicly) about some of my experiences would be a way to deal with my depression. I must say that hitting the Publish button after writing some of my posts is almost like having someone rip out a toe nail. It is that painful. I worried about whether people who knew me would be ashamed to be my friend when I revealed my past and about whether my posts would be embarrassing for my family, but I must say that I have received nothing but support from my friends and family. Being able to open up after a lifetime of wearing a series of masks has been a relief. I still have my trunk of masks and most definitely still wear them at times, but I find that I don’t have to get one out nearly as often as in the past. I still have much that I have not been able to write about, but it is becoming easier to be open and to let go of some of the guilt I have carried for all these years. My daughters have told me that if there was ever any guilt floating around in a ten-county area around my house, I would claim that the guilt was mine. I’m down to about a 6-country area now.

    I wish you nothing but happy days ahead and the ability to find yourself again. I pray that you and I can become happy and healthy together through our blogs.

    ~~ Betty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am sorry you have struggled so much. I think many people are suffering silently with depression and PTSD and don’t know it, just like we have, for these very reasons. Thank you for all of your kind words! Blessings!

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