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My Life Has Gone Down the Drain


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I used to be a pretty happy person. Everything was good in my life. In the winter i got mugged by a hobo in a very scary situation with too many details to put down. After that i was never the same. I went into a deep depression. With in a month and a half i had gained 20 pounds from binge eating excessively. I have stretch marks all over from how fast i gained the weight. Now i have very low self esteem. I'm very fearful now and when ever i see a hobo ask for change i get scared. Recently i have been having dreams of the mugger and i wake up in the night. I am scared that something really bad now is going to happen to me. What should i do?

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi fisher 5,

You may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the mugging. Wow, that is awful and I regret that it happened to you. However, there is help.

You need to see a psychotherapist who specializes in treating PTSD and you need a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication to help you with two things: your depression and your sleep. Recovery from PTSD depends on getting good and peaceful sleep. The trauma wakes people at night with terrible nightmares.

It is important that you act quickly in getting help so that your anxiety and panic does not get worse.

In addition to psychotherapy and medication I also recommend that you do several things:

1. Learn mediation and use it everyday.

2. Yoga is hugely helpful and includes meditation.

3. Get plenty of exercise, aerobic in nature.

4. Learn deep breathing and deep relaxation techniques, and that will happen when you learn Yoga.

You need a Psychologist or Licensed Clinical Social Worker who are trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Another type of psychologist or social worker are those who are trained and certified to use ERMD and that works well with those who have PTSD.

Have you suffered traumas in the past?


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Only a local mental health doctor who is familiar with your case can make an accurate diagnosis. however, it could very well be PTSD or something similar that has occured for you. I would suggest that you contact a local mental health doctor (a psychiatrist or psychologist) and see what they think.

There is reasonably effective help for PTSD style conditions today. Medication can be used to manage symptoms (but not to eliminate them). Psychotherapy is a very important aspect of effective PTSD treatment. Various talk therapy formats work on the principle of exposure therapy, helping you to talk about your trauma so that it becomes something more tolerable, and something more in the past than the present. A newer therapy called EMDR is also available which is supposed to dramatically reduce the impact of trauma memories in a short amount of time.

As far as self-help approaches go, exercise, yoga and relaxation strategies are good things to do for any emotional problem. These physical interventions promote physical and emotional health both.


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Guest ASchwartz

I completely agree with everything Mark has said. A diagnosis can only be done with a licensed and trained mental health professional who meets with a person directly, face to face, gets All the facts and necessary information and then makes the diagnosis.

Here, in our community, the only thing that I or any of can do is give a very superficial suggestion of what might be, could be, perhaps is, etc, but we cannot in any way make an informed diagnosis.

Sometimes, in reading postings and responding, in my enthusiasm, forget to use important words like: "it could be PTSD, Perhaps, Sounds like," etc and have yourself evaluated for any possible diagnosis.

When you see a professional person, and have yourself evaluated you then have something more reliable than any thing we could possibly say about the diagnosis of any person here. In other words, we can talk about PTSD but we cannot say that any of you actually have it, not with any type of reliability. Always go to a live, real and direct professional.

Allan :P

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