Peer support subsequent to trauma contributes to full recovery

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- including complex trauma (cPTSD) -- is debilitating, breaking down the body through anxiety and stress, and it poses a significant suicide risk in sufferers. MyPTSD seeks to help and inform those who are directly or indirectly affected by these conditions through peer-to-peer support and educational resources.

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Feb 3, 2013 at 10:54 AM
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March 29


Member, Female

LaurenZ123 was last seen:
Feb 3, 2013
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  • About

    March 29
    Hi everyone,

    My name is Lauren and I am 23 years old. I have complex PTSD and was diagnosed about 2 years ago. I was sexually abused by a family member when I was very, very little. I was also raped by an older female who threatened to kill both me and my family when I was 15. I don't really have much of a relationship with anyone in my family and realized that a lot of the friends I used to have were not necessarily positive influences on my life, so I am pretty much on my own 99% of the time. I have an amazing therapist, who I have been seeing for three years but her ability to help me is obviously fairly limited since the hardest times are at night and I can't always remember or report what happens or how things unfold accurately.

    I didn't have much Memory of my childhood at all until I was about 20 years old. I entered treatment for anorexia and bulimia and began piecing parts of my life/ memories together in treatment. My PTSD symptoms have gotten MUCH worse since then. I was/am very dissociative (especially at night). I used to not remember a lot of things, but now I am a lot better with that.

    When I was 21, I was admitted to a treatment facility that supposedly treated both trauma and acute eating disorders, but that proved to be an unhelpful experience. They did something called "somatic re-experiencing" there, which is basically reliving trauma both in your mind and body while they hold you down and you "fight" the perpetrator(s). My therapist is convinced that re-traumatized me and made things much worse. I agree.

    Fast-forward to today: I started a new job a few weeks ago that I really love but I am finding it much harder to handle dealing with my PTSD symptoms at night than I was before. I really have no supports in my life, as I do not share details of my PTSD or eating disorder with any "friends" and my family lives 3,000 miles away and refuses to acknowledge anything anyways. I can manage fairly well during the day and appear normal at work (thankfully), but at night I am tortured by my symptoms. It feels like I can almost always shut them off during the day, then the second I leave work or am alone they attack me! My eating disorder has gotten worse again, I self-harm, and continually feel like I am dying. I also have flashbacks and body memories that feel torturous as well. The body memories are the worst part I think.

    Anyways, I have realized that feeling connected to others helps me stay present and realize I am in fact safe and things are generally ok now, etc. I have really been looking to find ways to connect with other people who I can relate to, but still keep my job, which kind of led me here. My nights are by far the worst time for me, so I am hoping to be able to connect with some of you here and not feel quite so alone with all of the strange things my mind and body do in response to old trauma.

    Looking forward to talking with you :)