View Full Version : Hello, I am a PTSD survivor.

07 Oct 12, 07:01
Hello all! My name is Charlotte and I am from Pennsylvania, United States.

I have experienced a lifetime of trauma since I was a baby and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2010, a year after a bicycle accident where I had a traumatic brain injury. I had a period of amnesia before/during/and after my accident, and since I "came to" my perception has profoundly changed. I experience what they call in psychology "derealization/depersonalization", where the world appears very surreal and I do not feel connected/present in my body. I am beginning to explore Buddhism because I want to understand this disturbing change in consciousness. I am not trying to return to some lost state of being, but just "being", feeling present again. Also my perception is distorted by fear and I am trying to understand this too.

If anybody can relate to this, I would be so grateful.

07 Oct 12, 08:17
Hi CharlotteRusalka,

Welcome to Buddhism Without Boundaries!

I hope you will benefit from discussions between our members here, but remember that no-one here is able to give you specific advice relating to the condition you have described.

Our "Study Links" section gives some useful links for those seeking an introduction to Buddhism.


07 Oct 12, 11:31
Hello Charlotte, :wave:

Welcome to BWB !

I'm really sorry to hear about your accident and injury and hope that you are receiving therapy and counselling from health professionals.

I don't know if you can find the answers in an internet Buddhist group about changes in perception which have happened after a brain injury. It might be worth asking your doctor about the availabilty of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction which was originally developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

As you are newly exploring Buddhism, you might like to look at the Buddhist Studies guide at Buddhanet.


with kind wishes to you,

Aloka :hands:

07 Oct 12, 18:06
Hi Charlotte,
I don't think I've shared this on here before. Before Buddhism I had been a fairly regular marijuana smoker for some time. Eventually one day a couple of my friends tried a psychedelic drug called salvia. Salvia is a very strong hallucinogen though the hallucinogenic effects only last up to about five minutes and sometimes as short as thirty seconds depending on how much you smoke. After hearing about my friends' experience on this drug I decided to try it. However I was filled with doubt and fear about how safe it was and how it would affect me. When I took it I had a very intense hallucination, nothing particularly scary just very intense. It seemed as though I was actually where I was when I first got high on marijuana though we were a mile away. The question of who am I came about and I didn't really have an answer. After I came back from my 'trip' which lasted a minute at most I felt very depressed, hopeless and isolated. I too experienced what is called depersonalization. I went to therapy for a while, found Buddhism and I no longer feel as though I am depersonalized. It didn't take long at all for me to notice how meditation helped the depersonalization. Just try to constantly practice mindfulness and you will notice change perhaps sooner than you think. I actually think that we may all be a bit depersonalized/derealized. Buddhism is the practice of realization.

11 Oct 12, 07:22
Hello Charlotte :hands:

I wish you happiness. I hope that you find peace in Buddhism, and by socializing on this forum.