It’s been almost seven months since the incident with the DBT therapists. I struggle everyday with PTSD symptoms and depression. I am working on my physical well being since I do find benefit when I eat better and I’ve also rediscovered some supplements (that I already had here) that are also helping.
One huge problem is that my heart is now being effected in a big, scary and dangerous way. So I want to give a bit of info on that, before I get to my point about therapists and therapy….
When I get angry and then have an outburst, I get an irregular heart beat. It’s fairly new to have PVCs brought on after an anger outburst but I noticed it started during the reign of ‘speaker boy.’
As much of a fucking asshole that guy was/is, this was bound to happen, since I’ve been having rages and outbursts and anxiety since I can remember. Anxiety started very young.
The arrhythmia in general though, has been a problem that has come and gone for a few years now. At one point I thought it was caffeine and gave up all forms of it. I had been drinking coffee every day. And afterward palpitations seemed to subside.
However, they did come back and from my own observation, I’ve noticed that the arrhythmia is brought on by more than one thing. And no, caffeine doesn’t really help, but i don’t think (for me) it’s the main culprit.
One huge thing that brings them on is stress and when I feel anxious, PVCs happen. When I feel angry and especially after having an outburst, PVCs happen. I mentioned this above, I know.
The arrhythmia also seems to be brought on by cooked fat. This took me awhile to figure out and believe, but from other things that I understand, arrhythmia can be a symptom of histamine intolerance, which is something else I’ve acquired. Remember the coffee…well, I always add some sort of fat to my coffee. I was making these extravagant fatty coffees, with either the canned coconut milk or butter. I have had some pretty mean palpitations after eating things cooked in butter. And I’ve made enough connections to see that other fats do it too…olive oil included.
I also have been getting them at night and the arrhythmia really seems to take off when I lay down. This is many hours after I’ve eaten. And in fact I’ve noticed I have gotten an irregular heart beat while hungry…which is stressful to the body. So this makes sense also.
I had remembered hearing that there is a connection between the adrenals and the heart, regarding the chemicals that the adrenals release and how they effect the heart. It was an Eric Berg video on YouTube. (I’ll link it below.)
So I took that information again, and was able to apply it somewhat, having some of the supplements he mentioned that would help with adrenal fatigue.
I’d already made the connection that the arrhythmia in my own body was/is connected to stress, so I figured I’d try the supplements.
So the past couple days and nights I’ve been taking some of those supplements (that I already had in my possession) and the past couple nights I’ve been palpitation/PVC free.
It’s pretty quiet during the day too, but outbursts still effect me. And I know this because I had one yesterday. It wasn’t the same exact thing. Like I felt my heart was protected by the nutrients but it’s still weak from years of having it kicked around. There was no chest pain, but it was definitely not feeling great.
So back around to the therapy thing:
I reached out to and left messages for a couple therapists. One called me back today.
For once, I had a therapist ask me about myself in order to determine if she could help me. So I told her some of my story, some of my past (in a nutshell) and some of my present situation.
She actually determined that she would not be the right candidate to help me. And at first I felt frustrated and even a little pissed off that she even called. When I hung up, I felt like I’d been slapped in the face.
But then I realized that I was misdirecting this. There was a therapist I’d called a few years ago and told her on the message I left that I thought I might be borderline. She called me back just to tell me she couldn’t help me. Didn’t ask me any questions, just simply told me she wouldn’t be able to help me.
I felt traumatized by that call and her words. It triggered me into some symptoms and I was pissed that she even called me. (So a word to therapists: Don’t fucking call someone back just to tell them that you can’t help them. That does more harm than if you don’t call them back at all.)
Anyway, I digress…
The therapist I spoke to today though, that was not the case. She wanted to determine if she was the right person to help me BEFORE I got into her office and wasted both of our times. (My conclusion, she did not say this.)
And this is actually a good thing. Other therapists I’ve been the one to initiate asking them questions to see if they could help me and they just want to move on with scheduling without knowing anything first. I’d rather know that it’s not a good fit via a phone interview than find out a few sessions in that the therapist can’t help, doesn’t understand or just plain sucks.
And still I have not gotten to my point:
Through all of this, I discovered that going through therapy is not a good idea. At least not the type of therapy that has me telling my story. I get too worked up and triggered.
While talking to this therapist on the phone, I could feel the build up of stress. Behind that stress was the feelings of wanting to be understood, afraid of not being understood and reliving all that shit.
Reliving that shit, hurts my heart. It gets my adrenals flowing and whatever happens between those chemicals released and the heart, well it’s not good for me. My heart is way too weak and sensitive now to go through all that again and again and again.
What gets me though and something that I thought of as I was making this realization was that while I was in DBT, when I would go to my individual therapy appointments, my therapist had told me that the point of DBT was to get emotions and behaviors under control first (my words, I’m paraphrasing) and THEN work through the trauma, so that the working through the trauma wasn’t so triggering and could actually be productive.
This makes so much sense. BUT…what did I do in individual therapy??? I talked about the shit that caused the trauma. And then I’d get worked up, ranting, reliving, in high anxiety as if I was right there in that same situation all over again. And she would never stop me. I would just wind up and up and up.
My adrenals have been and are still always on overdrive. So my poor heart…
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with ranting. But there has been nothing productive about it for me. And given what it does to my body and the distress it puts me in, therapists should give a hand in stopping the person, especially if the person specifically asks them to.
I’ve been to therapists that I’ve asked to stop me when I become visibly distressed and stuck in the scenario (something a trauma trained therapist should be able to read) and not one has done that for me. Not one.
And then I rant about how they don’t do what I ask. So therapy has been harmful.
But the main discovery I made was that going through therapy and just sitting and telling my story will probably cause a heart attack and possible kill me now. So I won’t be pursuing therapy for now.
This video explains the whole cycle of what happens when under prolonged massive stress. I have all of this going on. (Please understand this is not about vanity. This is about what is going on inside the body. The outside may not be important in the character of a person, but it can and usually does reflect the health of a person.) Anyway this is an old video but if you go to Youtube and put in the search terms, “Eric berg adrenals and heart connection” without the quotes there are other videos as well. This one’s not the specific one where he tells the direct connection but he goes into so much here that may be helpful to many with PTSD. One big symptom of PTSD is not being able to tolerate stress and he talks a lot about this. Cortisol eats muscle and those of us with PTSD release a whole lot of it over the years and of course, the heart is a muscle.
One thing I’ve been doing is eating a lot more animal protein. Mainly beef but I’ve also started eating eggs and some raw milk cheese. I have also been drinking raw milk but am now finding I’m reacting with some inflammation in my sinuses, so that’s on its way out for now. I go through cycles with this and find that my body does well with it at times.
However, the red meat…I’m eating a lot of cheese burgers, and the reason I know it’s helping with my adrenals is that I was having mid back pain. I thought it was from having weak muscles in my mid-back. It would get really bad when standing for long periods of time. Or even when sitting in a not so comfortable chair. But all of that is clearing up.
I have experimented with this as well having an all carb day and the back pain comes back. When I go back to the protein, it clears up.
Disclaimer: I am only relating my own experience and thoughts. I am no doctor and none of what I wrote is to diagnose or treat anyone. What I’m finding to be true for me doesn’t mean it will be true for you.
Dr. Berg has lots of videos on the adrenals and I’ve taken some of the info and utilized it. In my opinion they are worth watching because people with PTSD are probably suffering from adrenal fatigue as well.
I’ve closed the comment section. Sorry. I am just protecting myself right now. I know people may mean well when they read something like this and then feel they should give advice.
I’ve written posts before about being discouraged about therapy and then read a comment or two about how I should keep trying til I find the right one? I don’t want to take the chance of getting such a comment again.
I also know that food is a personal thing and some people get mad when meat is mentioned. I don’t want to debate diet and feel that what you eat is your business. I am a conscious meat eater and buy from a local farmer who raises his animals eating the foods they are supposed to eat. They all roam his many acres and are treated humanely. I don’t eat grocery store meat but if I had to for financial reasons I would.
And I know that this is STILL not okay with some people. And that’s fine. But I don’t want to debate.