A reader asks about how he can start to rebuild his life after two violent attacks and being diagnosed with PTSD. Doctor Dannii Cohen answers.
I have been violently attacked twice in less than a year with no provocation from me before the incidents. After the first time I was diagnosed with PTSD and put on medication which helps, however, the most recent attack last night when I was beaten, robbed and threatened with gang reprisals has left me feeling completely empty. It’s not like last year where I began to see my attacker everywhere (even though it wasn’t him) and felt gripped by fear, this time I just feel empty, defeated and believing it’s only a matter of time before it happens again if I stay in this area.
I don’t want to go to my GP because in the 3 or 4 minutes they will allot for an appointment I will be unable to explain things as I am now, most likely ending up with the escotilapram dose being put up. What can I do outside of medication to move past this and control the PTSD?
I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you. I am also annoyed with your GP for just giving medication. Trauma does not go away with pills. You have to talk about it with other people, you have to move through the pain and work hard to move through it so you can leave it behind you.
These feelings you describe, feeling empty, scared and defeated sound rather like PTSD caused by the traumatic event. You really need professional help to deal with those, because leaving this untreated could see you face a lot of avoidable psychological difficulties in the future. Please see a psychologist or counsellor.
Also, have you been to the police? If these people keep attacking you maybe they can help too, this should not happen a third time!
The best thing I can do is leave you with the contact e-mails to LGBT support and help groups. Maybe they can put you in contact with LGBT community help close to you.
The LGBT Foundation Helpline might be best, as you can report a hate crime and ask for mental help anonymously.
You can email the helpline anytime at email@example.com and they will reply to you within 10 working days.
For immediate support you can call the helpline on 0345 3 30 30 30
There is also the Switchboard LGBT+ helpline a telephone service giving support advice and referrals to young LGBT people.
Helpline: 0300 330 0630 (lines open 10am to 10pm)
I hope you will find the support you need.
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The resident Agony Uncle for THEGAYUK.com with over seven years of counselling experience with the LGBT+ community.