Relapse & Post-Traumatic Stress from My Illness?



A couple of weeks ago, after a few challenging life events (the death of a family member and getting fired from the yoga studio I was teaching at), I must confess that I had somewhat of a relapse.  I’m even hesitant to call it a relapse because in my book I said that I was fully healed from the illness.  I was afraid that if I got sick again, that it would invalidate my book and my message.  In my book, I say that the mental illness was not my symptoms, but my inability to function.  The truth is, over the past few weeks I did lose my ability to function.

The first thing that went was my sleep.  Then my thinking became disorganized, to the point that I couldn’t get anything done, or make decisions.  However, I felt more mentally clear than I had in any of my previous relapses, and my other symptoms weren’t as terrifying.  Whereas normally I take my remedy once per day, I have been taking a high dose of a different remedy four times per day.  (The reason I am not specifying which remedy it is, is because homeopathy is individualized medicine, and the remedy that works for me and my illness may not be the one that another person needs.)  My wife and I were a little late in catching the onset of the symptoms, so by the time my doctor switched my homeopathic remedy, it took a week to pull me out of it (rather than a couple of days).  I have already started returning to work and am functioning in my life again.

While it is hard for me to accept that I had a relapse, this experience did teach me a few things:

  1. It proved to me once again how amazing homeopathy is.  If it were not for homeopathy, I would have been back in the inpatient hospital on multiple psychotropic drugs, and it would have taken me years to recover and get my life back.
  2. It made me realize how important my mission to help people with mental illness is, and it re-invigorated my passion for the cause.
  3. It showed me that I may have some post-traumatic stress from my illness and from what I’ve been through.

Post-Traumatic Stress

I recently heard on a radio show that post-traumatic stress is not just the result of war.  It can be caused by any stressful situation, depending on how a person is affected by it.  During this recent relapse, I felt that I was exhibiting some signs of post-traumatic stress injury.  Some of my difficulty with decision-making, my difficulty trusting others, as well as the physical discomfort that I was experiencing, I felt was at least in part due to the trauma that I have endured in my life.

I decided to meet with a therapist about it.  He seemed to agree that it was possible, and he recommended a therapy for PTSD called EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).  He said with PTSD a person gets stuck in one side of the brain, and that EMDR balances the two hemispheres of the brain.  A light is used and the person follows the light from side to side with their eyes.  He also mentioned that audio with sounds going back and forth from the left ear to the right ear could do the same thing.

I decided to look online for audio that I could listen to on my own, and I found the following album on Amazon:

EMDR Music Therapy Album:

I bought a couple of songs for 99 cents each, and I have to say they are quite amazing!  I just listen on my phone (with the Amazon Music app) with headphones, and not only is it very relaxing and pleasant, but I feel that it is very therapeutic.

One thing that I have learned from my over ten years experience with mental illness is that mental illness is not linear.  There are ups and downs, detours, steps back and steps forward, and winding roads.  We need to be able to “roll with the punches”, adapt, and utilize the resources that we have to the best of our ability, in order to move forward.  Human beings are incredibly resilient and can recover from even the harshest of circumstances.  I’m in this with you and I truly care about helping people who are suffering to recover.  God bless you!