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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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DomoKay Offline
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Question Overcoming PTSD? - August 6th 2011, 12:16 AM

I had a pretty rough experience a few months ago, in the beginning of April. I went on a class trip a few states away and on the way home, our bus caught on fire while we were in it. It was about 2 a.m. and I was awake talking to my friend when all of a sudden it got extremely bumpy and started smelling like burning rubber. I almost immediately knew the tire was out, but the bus driver must not have noticed because he drove for a while before finally pulling over. By the time the bus driver pulled over and got out to look, smoke was spewing out of the side by the tire. I was directly above the burning tire when this all happened, towards the way back of the bus. The bus driver ran back on and yelled at everyone to wake up and get off because the bus was on fire. It took, what seemed like, forever for everyone to get up and around to actually start evacuating the bus. Everyone was so groggy and tired they didn't really know what was going on, so they slowly started packing their stuff up thinking we were at a rest stop, while I was sitting above a tire on fire, watching the flames come out and feeling it getting hotter and hotter on my bare feet. I remember screaming at everyone to get off the bus, but nobody seemed to hear me. The scariest part was just waiting there, trapped on the back of a bus with the smell of the burning rubber and oil, stronger than you could imagine. Trapped as it got hotter. Nobody was moving fast enough for me to get out. I thought I was going to die right there. Words cannot even explain how terrified I was. I somehow got off of the bus and I turned around to look at the bus, and it was completely in flames. It was so bright. I can clearly picture it right now, turning away from it and still seeing flames in the kids' eyes as they stared at it too. The bright light reflecting off of their faces.

That's all I really remember. The next thing I know I wake up in the ambulance. I went into shock and wasn't getting enough oxygen. I didn't know where I was, I thought I was in 7th grade (when I was in 11th), I said a whole bunch of nonsense. It's really blurry after that. I really don't remember any parts of the rest of the way home after we got on a different bus... I had friends tell me afterward that they were trying to talk to me but I was just staring out at nothing, like a zombie.

I ended up going to therapy twice a week for a while, seeing a therapist that I had seen a few times prior for my depression and other mental health issues. He, ironically, has helped many people and businesses in trauma situations, such as bank robberies and such. I was diagnosed with acute stress disorder, I believe was the term, and from my understanding, it is kind of like a less severe form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Therapy helped me a lot, and I eventually tore away from my zombie-mode stage.

Now, I can look back at that moment and not totally panic, but it still bothers me. I think about it everyday, multiple times a day. I guess what I'm wondering is, how do I get over this completely? Will I ever get over this? Sometimes I wonder if I've just tried to push it to the back of my head so much that I haven't actually dealt with it. I can't be calm riding in a car. Things from that beautiful city that I saw on that trip are tainted by experience. I want to get back to normal. Is that possible? Will I ever be able to go days without remembering this? Or is this just the new normal for me?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I apologize for the length... I tried to keep it short. :P

Last edited by PSY; August 6th 2011 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Moved thread to the Anxiety sub-forum.
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Unknown10 Offline
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Re: Overcoming PTSD? - August 6th 2011, 02:38 PM

Hey there.

It takes a while for traumatic experiences to become the past. You will eventually get over it, but the 'healing' process is genuinely long. I'd suggest that you keep talking with your therapist, keep talking to people about your experiences, because talking about it will help and hopefully you will recover from it and it won't bother you as much anymore.

I hope I have helped.
Take care,
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Re: Overcoming PTSD? - August 9th 2011, 12:11 PM

Hey Kelsey,
Im so sorry this happened! I cant imagine how terrifying it must have been for you! as Lex said, the symptoms and effects of traumatic experiences take time to go away. But they will go away! In the mean time, have you been taking anxiety/stress medication? (Im sure you have) Anyway, good luck with everything. Pm if you need to talk

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