Friday, February 20, 2009

The Journey Begins

I received some big news yesterday. The insidious disease that has controlled my life for the past two years, depression, has "lifted". Lifted to depression means what remission means to cancer; I am better, although I remain at risk of relapse and only time will tell if I am completely cured.

Along with my good news, there was some bad. I have been experiencing a new and unusual set of symptoms recently, including a feeling of anxiety, fear and that of being overwhelmed. There have been very particular triggers (being present around conflict), and a significantly different set of responses to those I had due to depression. A light bulb immediately went off in my counsellor's eyes when I started talking through these feelings; within minutes, we were going over a set of symptoms that represent my new diagnosis, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

A rush of emotions hit me when I heard the news that I was free from depression but now in the holds of PTSD, and they have been swirling around my body ever since. There was a jittery excitement for the first little while, as well as an intense sense of relief. The relief was not only present due to the fact that my depression has lifted; being diagnosed with PTSD has given me a set of answers to the confusion I have been feeling for the past month due to the sudden onset of new and unusual emotions. Knowing what was going on made me immediately feel somehow freer, and that feeling has stayed with me.

This morning, I awoke feeling slightly overwhelmed by the situation; depression was something I understood, but PTSD is a whole new experience. I have spent this morning researching the disorder online, ordering books that I feel would help me, and coming to terms with the new journey that I am about to undertake.

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