Oh, Bee. I am so sorry for the hell you have been through. And that you are still suffering.
When traditional therapy isn’t working, there are other options. For many people struggling with PTSD, ketamine infusion treatment has provided spectacular results. It’s used for several conditions, eg depression and chronic pain, as well as others, with an overall success rate of 70%. There is recent research showing a success rate of 95% in the treatment of PTSD.
Ketamine is also fast; relief comes in hours, not weeks or months. It’s a very safe, 50 year old anesthetic, still in use. For therapy, it’s given in customized micro doses at a controlled drip rate.
I’ve had eight two hour infusions myself. The original plan was to treat a neuropathic condition. Boy, howdy. It has healed so much more than that. In my wildest imagination, I could not have foreseen all it would do for me. Some protocols call for 40 minute infusions.
Even Dh, who never wants to try anything new, finally did a 40 minute infusion. He’s struggling with some damage to two brain memory centers. He loved it and got a lot out of it.
The cons: it’s still pricey and not usually covered by insurance because it’s an off label use. A synthetic, Esketamine, is fast tracking through the FDA in nasal spray form.
The results are not permanent. Many people find that ketamine brings them to a place in which they can do meaningful work in therapy. It’s common to return periodically for a booster as needed. My brain is so conditioned to the experience now that it gets deeper work done every time.
Fear not during infusion, you’re safe and whatever comes up, you will observe in a comfortably dissociated state while fully aware of everything going on.
One thing I would very strongly encourage is to have a therapist knowledgeable about the process sit with you during infusion. Best thing I have ever done for myself.
I will own up to being a ketamine infusion activist. IMO, it’s the best, and absolutely, the fastest route to relief. But, it’s not the only. PTSD symptoms can also be relieved for many via Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This is not my area of expertise, we have Bees with far more experience than I. The most important thing about EMDR is to be aware that everything hinges on the skills of the practitioner. Done incorrectly, not only will it be ineffective, it can be harmful. It’s also a not an immediate relief process.
There is also Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) which involves using magnets to stimulate select brain areas. I have not researched this in scholarly journals. Anecdotally, it doesn’t appear to be wildly successful. Yet. Modifications are being made all the time.
If you decide to give talk therapy another go, my suggestion would be to find someone with a specialization in Trauma Recovery.
Couples therapy could be helpful at some point. But, the PTSD must be treated first. Until that happens, I would expect intimacy to be problematic for you. My hunch would be that many things are probably difficult for you, with many triggers being associated with various behaviors related to intimate contact.
I am so sorry, dear Bee. Absolutely none of this is your fault. It sounds as if your SO has been doing the best he can figure out how to do. It’s crucial to get this horrific stuff cleaned out. It is going to come out, one way or another. It’s manifesting right now as intimacy problems. Please get some help to process everything in a healthy way so it will no longer have power over you.