Depression in Reaction to Feeling Good

This was originally posted on June 1, 2015.  I wrote the first paragraph to share with other people struggling with PTSD.  I’ve been going back and reading older posts and finding them comforting and validating.  This one resonated because I am deep in despair.  It doesn’t feel like depression, but it does feel like numbness, apathy, exhaustion.  The exhaustion is real, and I was hoping to find something that will help.  I went to the Vreeland Clinic, because I know they have been able to help people that standard medical practice can’t help.  And I’m not interested in medication.  One of the things I had to do is collect saliva for a test for cortisol levels.  But I have had no luck.  I struggle with dry mouth, due to both medication and age, and I simply am not able to produce enough saliva to put in the collecting tube.  Being stuck in a process to help me feel better brings up all the messages Nancy Napier talks about.  “You don’t deserve good things” etc.

June 1, 2015

The worst thing about PTSD for me is to be where I am now: Technically called hypoarousal, it also means depressed and numb.  The numbness is my brain and nervous system’s mechanism for saving me from overload.  I can barely get through the day.  There are other things I need to do, like find someone to prescribe medication — my regular person is on emergency medical leave.  I have to find out why my application for Medicare B seems to have gone into the void.  Trying to jump through the hoops of the bureaucracy is too difficult.  This is why so many Veterans are in homeless shelters.  I’m not a Veteran — not of a foreign war — though I could say I’m a veteran of a domestic war:  I was traumatized in infancy.

Nancy Napier explains that this is in reaction to having felt good about myself recently.  “When we’ve been hurt as children, it’s not unusual to have parts of us that guard against hope. … Disowned parts of us fight back with messages that say we don’t deserve good things, that good only turns into bad in the end, and who do we think we are anyway?”  Getting through the Day, pp19-4

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