Op-Ed: The pandemic, Hurricane Ian and me — a doctor whose friends say I have PTSD
If you are anything like me, you probably have a lot on your mind at the moment. I was just diagnosed with PTSD, and my entire life is revolved around this disease — a condition that, as a person with bipolar disorder, I have been at the center of for the last few years.
How you are able to take on your disorder while trying to survive what has become the deadliest pandemic that America has ever seen? How did the condition — characterized as a “post-traumatic stress disorder” — first manifest itself before the coronavirus pandemic?
There are many ways to get there. You could get a history of the last three decades of your life. Some of my friends and family have told me my symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger and panic attacks started around the time I became pregnant with my daughter in 2004. The first diagnosis of PTSD I remember having was when I was eight years old — when I got my first seizure. I had a lot of seizures. For months I would get them more than every two or three days.
It was not a very big shock when I started having more and more seizures. I was seven years old and I think part of my trauma was that I was really scared of getting my tonsils out, but my mother said, “That’s not what’s going to happen, ’cause you’re a good kid and you don’t need to go to the hospital.” So I went to the doctor and they said, “You’re not going to have a tonsillectomy, you already have one.” So then what happened is, I got my tonsils out and that was my first time having an injection of muscle relaxants. I had these tonic-clonic seizures, where you have this violent, seizure-like seizure. And then I started having more and more seizures in school. I had a lot of seizures and my mom came and picked me up, and I had to go to the