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PTSD Workbook Symptoms... Simple & Complex

Discussion in 'General' started by becvan, Sep 6, 2006.

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  1. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    This is from the PTSD Workbook.

    It covers the two types of symptoms and labels.

    Bec
     

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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    You know bec.... that is spooky, because here I have been for the last couple of days now wanting to emphasize the difference to people, in that one is not actually worst than another, but instead it is more a labelling system to determine other factors.

    For example, acute and chronic is merely a label put upon time having the symptoms after the traumatic event. Lets face reality here, not many will face the full symptomatic effects of PTSD one month, or even three months, immediately after an event, instead maybe a residual quantity of symptoms could be present, but PTSD itself is something that more manifests over time, not whack, here I am.

    Then we have that complex one, where the only difference is that complex is used if other diagnosis are given in conjunction with PTSD itself, ie. you have PTSD, panic disorder and GAD! The funny thing is, is that an expert in trauma once told me, that anyone who has PTSD for more than a year undiagnoses, should actually have complex each and every time, because it is merely just labelling the individual symptoms.

    I remember when I was diagnosed, my doctor said to me that he could label me with severe depression, panic disorder, blah blah and PTSD, but then he said to me, that realistically a sufferer should already have most of these factors as part of their PTSD, and not realistically seperately should they be labelled, because it gives people a worst complex of their condition, and instead they should just be told they have severe PTSD. Mind you, he didn't tell me this until I poked around for it some time later during the course of events.

    I guess this is why I call PTSD, PTSD, and not acute, chronic or complex, because those labels really have bugger all to do with anything, except give the sufferer a complex mentally processing that their PTSD is worse than someone else's because of this label attached, when in fact their PTSD is the same as pretty much everyone else, except the label refers to circumstances of time or other diagnosis instead.

    This community confirms that for me each time someone pops up with complex PTSD and they think they are worse than say someone with severe PTSD...

    People do need to learn that the label does not change the severity of symptoms, and all symptoms are the same. It is the difference between physicians who want to label opposed to those who do not, and merely time having symptoms and whether other disorders or illnesses are also present.
     
  4. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    Okay, hopefully this post works!

    How about I simplify it? This is how I see it.. Simple means one traumatic event or isolated to a singluar period of time. Complex means more than one event and spanning numerous time spans or entire life span. So symptoms for both will range accordingly (also taking into account range of coping skills etc.)

    So when I say I have complex, that means that I have had numerous traumatic events spanning many years (okay, okay, my lifetime thus far.)

    It is not worse nor better. As everything, there are strengths and weaknesses to this!

    Bec
     
  5. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Yer, its nothing that you posted or anything bec, in that I didn't fault anything you have posted, more that this is something I have been watching on this board over months now, and seeing that some sufferers believe that one is worst than the other, when in actual fact, the three different labels have completely different meanings to what most think they do, ie. as mentioned above from you and me.
    • Acute - symptoms more than one month, less than three months.
    • Chronic - symptoms more than three months.
    • Complex - chronic + another disorder related to symptoms, ie. panic disorder, GAD, major depressive disorder, etc.
    I think it was more my thought process, in that I have said it once or twice before what the differences are by the medical terminologies, but haven't really posted anything hard about it, just sort of passing conversation.

    Complex PTSD is only a footnote within the DSM for physicians to use if the sufferer has already been diagnosed with multiple disorders, thus the word "complex" then jumps out immediately as saying, "I have multiple disorders, not just one!"

    I guess it sometimes annoys me that some physicians love to go label crazy with people, in that they forget that the sheer labels they apply, also generally cause distress to a sufferer, and make that healing process just a bit harder because the sufferer thinks they have something worse than others who heal from PTSD.

    I love that you raised this and that you have posted substantial documentation for people to read about it. Thank you very much bec...
     
  6. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    No problem!

    I figured too, that simplifing it would also help! Sometimes we just confuse ourselves!!! LOL

    Bec
     
  7. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    I think I'm going to start a poll about this... physicians vs. therapists diagnosising...

    You see, where I am, physicians don't diagnosis for mental illnesses. They can recommend a diagnosis and refer you to a head doc but that's where the buck stops. Complex PTSD is not considered a dual diagnosis here. It is simply covering all the symptoms that *could* be classified under numerous diagnosises but isn't seperated. It is simply the label for someone who has had more than one traumatic experience covering longer than one time period.


    Ohh this fascinates me!! Must start a poll!!

    Bec
     
  8. Kells

    Kells Active Member

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    Here's a link to the site about PTSD that the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has available that describes the differences between PTSD and Complex PTSD. The difference isn't the length of time the sufferer has the symptoms or multiple diagnoses, it's the duration of the trauma and the differences in the symptoms and their severity due to the prolonged trauma. Those with Complex PTSD have experienced trauma over a longterm period of time as opposed to one event.
    http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/facts/specific/fs_complex_ptsd.html
     
  9. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Nice kells... thanks. I think where the differences lay, is which version publication you are diagnosed. [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread118.html"]PTSD Assessment[/DLMURL] outlines the diagnostic criteria of the DSM IV, however; the DSM IV (TR) is the latest revision, and it only includes a footnote about Complex PTSD, as before the (TR) version, complex PTSD was not an official diagnosis.

    What I just found interesting though, is it looks as though the DSM V is going to break up PTSD into different types, like depression is, where you will have:
    • Acute PTSD (More than 1 month, less than 3)
    • Chronic PTSD (3 months or more)
    • Combat PTSD
    • Complex PTSD
    This is going to be interesting... at present though, only two official diagnosis are written within the DSM, being acute and chronic, which can can read from the actual DSM IV (TR) at the bottom of the symptoms. BehaveNet is the official site to house the copyright version of the DSM. As you can see, only really two official versions of diagnosis are present today.

    What I do get though from research that kells presented, and this one from, is that the DSM V will break them up, though currently complex PTSD is actually not a real diagnosis, because it is only actually mentioned in the footnote of the paper copy of the DSM IV (TR) currently, where this Dr. Judith Herman wants to actually characterise the diagnostic criteria much differently. So at present, by the looks of things, complex PTSD is not an official diagnosis, more one just made up and agreed upon by certain physicians, and not actually legally documented until DSM V is released.

    I don't even really understand why they would want to categorise Combat PTSD for, because the circumstances you get it are all unique, the end result of PTSD is the same, regardless of the label they attach.

    I think the more doctors stuff about with these diagnosis of mental health, the worse the outcome for the patients are going to be.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  10. Kells

    Kells Active Member

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    I do understand what you mean about labels, it sure does seem that they have gotten a bit too far out of hand over the years. However, in this case I do agree with Dr. Herman because by seperating PTSD into these categories, they are in effect tailoring the treatment to more effectively and efficiently treat individuals according to what caused their specific PTSD as opposed to a 'one size fits all' approach. As there are more than one type of Schizophrenia and more than one type of Bipolar Disorder, it's about time physicians recognize that there will be differing consequences for differing types of trauma, even if they somewhat resemble one another in the end, as in the case of many types of mental illnesses.
     
  11. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Yer, good points kells... good points. I just hope it doesn't make some people worst because of the nature in which PTSD reacts with the mind, because sufferers already believe everyone else is worst off than them, let alone if further labelling occur, some may feel more depressed because they are labelled then that they are not as bad as others. Interesting though...
     
  12. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    It truly is the "eye of the beholder" isn't it?? :smile:

    To me, the "complex" label is much more desirable than mulitple labels like PTSD, Panic Disorder etc.. Where others may prefer multiple labels, some only one and some none!!

    It's all in how we veiw it, not how others do!

    Bec
     
  13. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    Just a quick note:

    The DSM-V will not be published until 2011. So don't expect any changes to language, symptoms or labels until then!

    bec
     
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