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Question
Posted by: Once bitten ever shy | 2019/07/12

Reaction to dog bite

I was walking in my garden when my neighbor's too big and vicious dog without warning leaned over the far too low fence and bit me badly on my upper arm....fast forward a month and I am healing well. The thing is, I usually bounce back from trauma rather well. Apparently I cried hysterically (all the way to the hospital) and was bleeding profusely. It didn't help that the owner was really stupid about it (I'm being kind and polite), blaming me, being defensive and totally irrational really. We since let it go (not pursuing it legally) as they raised the fence to 6ft etc. But, I became very weepy, had nightmares, kept hearing and seeing that dog's mouth going like a camera shutter, the pain, and the shock of my family. I couldn't concentrate or work for a week. I went down the chemist and bought some calming tablets which helped and now forget to take them. I realise and was told it is a sort of ptsd. Thing is Cybershrink, can I safely assume this is all over and that I am over the trauma of it? I am working, feel better all round - I'm just still angry at the idiotic behaivour of the owner really. I'm in my early 50's.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2019/07/15

Dear OnceBitten,
From the sound of it, you seem to be describing, rather well,  what is called an Acute Stress Disorder.  It's actually a very common and normal ( though obviously highly unpleasant) response to having experienced sudden and traumatic stress.  It includes the features you describe and potentially many more.  The good news is that in the great majority of occasions it resolves itself, within 30 days or less,  and we recover our equilibrium.  Occasionally it may progress into PTSD, in which case it would deserve more treatment, potentially with medication and skilled counselling.
From what you say, it appears you have made a normal sort of recovery, and may no longer be troubled by this. Remember that such a reaction is not in any way a sign of weakness but a normal reaction of a normal person, to an abnormal event. I'm delighted to hear that you're feeling better.
It's very wise to let your anger subside : maybe your neighbour has been negligent, uncaring, and insensitive.  The anger usually causes more pain to you than to the annoying people.  Maybe they were alarmed by the blood and high anxiety themselves, and were less helpful than they should have been 
But one needs to be cautious about going a legal route.  The costs are high, both in cash and time. Even setting to one side the routine faults in our legal system, such as ridiculous delays and repeated postponements ( as the lawyers get paid, anyway, when a matter is postponed, usually this delights them ),  there's also the disadvantage of the fact that such cases often require you to spend loads of time thinking about what happened, and testifying about it, and being cross-examined about it, which would be unpleasant for you and would not promote your healing.
Let us know, in fresh messages on the forum, how things go for you

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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