New to the forum

Hi. i’m Kevin.
Our daughter has PTSD. She has a heart condition called Long QT. The symptoms of the condition appear as violent nightmares from which she cannot wake. Her first attack was at the age of 8. She had many, many attacks until she received a proper diagnosis, 3 years ago at the age of 20. In the meantime many, many visits to her GP and to A&E were unable to achieve an accurate diagnosis, with epilepsy and psychological trauma/abuse being, amongst others, suggested. Following her correct diagnosis - that she has a heart ahrrythmia, and her ‘nightmares’ were in fact her heart failing and she was experiencing a repeated near-fatal lack of oxygen, she was put on a course of beta-blockers which worked for a few months. When the symptoms returned, the cardiologists, fearing for her life, recommended an icd (pacemaker) which was fitted 18 months ago. Soon after that she experienced anxiety which led to PTSD symptoms. EMDR treatment with a therapist made it all much worse and she started using OCD to cope. For the past 12 months I have worked 1/2 days (self-employed) so I can care for her. Her mother, with whom she shares mutual love, is unable to offer the same support. As a depressive I find my understanding has similarities to her PTSD condition. In the past 12 months there was enormous progress in terms of overcoming her fears and returning to a near-normal life, but that has almost all been lost again as the PTSD gradually destroys her. She is now as over-run by fear as she was a year ago. She recently started a course of SSRI’s which possibly may help. She is terrified of seeing another therapist.
So, that’s where we’re at.
Thanks for the chance to speak.

What is she fearful of? (Sudden death from heart failure?)

Why is she terrified of another therapist?

How did EDMR cause such problems for her?

It’s entirely rational for her to be fearful of cardiac failure, given her medical condition - but are her fears ‘beyond’ that ‘rational’ fear do you think?

Is she in any kind of forum for others with similar heart risks? Would it help her do you think if she were, to see how others similarly affected cope with that perennial fear that her heart may suddenly fail catastrophically?

Hi Kevin,
Welcome to the forum.
How terrible it took so long for your daughter to get a proper diagnosis. It is very difficult to stand by watching someone we love suffer and feel powerless to help.
Hopefully once her meds have started working, she will agree to see another therapist. It’s imperative she likes and trusts the therapist/ counsellor for it to have a positive effect.

It’s good that you are able to keep working 1/2 days, what else do you do to look after you?