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The Propensity Towards PTSD / Family Connections

Discussion in 'General' started by Marlene, Nov 2, 2006.

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  1. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    This is something I've been thinking about for a while. Please bear with me while I try to organize my thoughts.

    First though, a little background on my family and me. I've dealt with depression and anxiety most of my life. It started after the onset of puberty. My mother, my sister, my brother, myself and now my oldest daughter have all fallen into this same pattern. We've all talked about it and figured it was hormonally related (due to it starting after puberty).

    My brother was recently diagnosed as bi-polar. At 40 he is finally on meds that are helping him to have a life rather than self-medicating with booze and pot (which has all but destroyed his life). My mother has been told by her doctor that she's going to be on anti-depressants for the rest of her life. Why? I don't know. She's from the generation that if a doctor tells you something you don't ask questions...you just do it. I've tried to get her to ask questions and tired of beating my head on that particular wall very quickly. I have PTSD (I know, I know...please let me get to my point) and we're keeping a real close eye on my oldest daughter.

    Here is my point. Obviously there are mental health issues with my family. In all of the research I've done on PTSD, the question of why one person gets it after exposure to trauma when another exposed to trauma doesn't get it has been raised again and again. Has there been any research or has anyone heard of any where the person with PTSD is studied, their past mental health history (pre-PTSD) AND that of their family is studied? Could past mental health problems (depression, anxiety, OCD, etc.) be the thing that determines (or contributes) when a person has trauma and PTSD comes into the picture?

    I have no idea. It's just something I've been pondering. Anyone want to toss in their two cents on this?
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Marlene,

    There are studies here in the information sections and within world news surrounding these exact issues; what ultimately causes one to get PTSD opposed to another! They don't know, and there is no scientific proof to the actual vunerability as yet. They don't even know if it is actually a vunerability at all, but simply more the realistic nature of the issue itself, being how the individual perceives an incident as traumatic to themselves.

    Veiled has a twin, suffered the same abuse, she got PTSD her twin sister didn't. Same genetics, same abuse, same instances, one has, one hasn't. Why? Because even though they are twins, both still have their own unique personalities, which veiled perceived the trauma worst than her sister, hence PTSD. Veiled could have also suffered more, in that she didn't actually have PTSD until another calalyst trauma affected her uniquely, instead could have only had symptoms based on PTSD earlier. Who knows? Nobody at this stage in life.

    Doctors are looking for genetic flaws, similarities, brain scans, etc etc etc; and just when they think they find similiarities, someone pops up without that similiarity at all, same outcome, thus back to the drawing board. They cannot find a common similarity genetically pre-PTSD, only post PTSD with parts of the brain reducing in size and so forth.

    They have studied groups of soldiers pre-deployment, then post deployment, PTSD presents, still nothing in common apart from the exposure to trauma and that each individual felt helpless or fearful about the incident individually.

    I understand what your searching for Marlene, but the doctors themselves can't find as yet either with all their studies. What they do manage to find, is what they go out looking for, ie. take specific cases of PTSD only, look for specific traits, etc, to find the answer they often want, which is an incorrect methology for a study, but hey; you can't tell them, because their the doctors, and they know it all apparently.
     
  4. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Makes sense. My husband and I have two totally different views on our oldest daughters hurting herself and talk of suicide. He said he was concerned and watchful, but knew deep down that she wouldn't kill herself. For myself, I lived in white-knuckled terror for almost two years. But I had also just lost two people I loved within a 12 month period and deep down inside I was afraid she would do it. He doesn't understand why I just can't 'let it go'. I can't put into words why I haven't been able to...yet. I'm hoping that my therapist can help me to work through it.

    I was trying a little linear thinking on this thread...but PTSD is about as non-linear as I found in life so far!

    Do you think maybe doctors are really teenagers in disguise???????? :eek:

    BTW-glad you're back and feeling better.
     
  5. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    I'm glad I read this thread, thanks for starting it Marlene, because I didn't know the whole idea of being predisposed to PTSD was a theory... I have always been told that it's a fact, and that, consequently, if I hadn't had the predisposition, I never would have developed PTSD. I know it is not intended as such, but it always makes me feel like I am flawed in some way, or it is somehow my fault that I have PTSD. And I also I find it hard to believe that anyone in my situation, having the same thing happen to them, could not be traumatized. But the doctors have told me over and over that a person who was not predisposed would have symptoms for a few months only, and then get over it.

    And LOL yeah doctors sure are full of themselves!!
     
  6. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Batgirl,

    If this thread helped to ease your mind, I'm glad. I've never heard of being predisposed to PTSD. Did they say you were predisposed to it because your father had it or did they give you another reason? I'm trying to wrap my mind around the logic behind the doctor's words, but I'm unable to. Probably because I can't find the logic. I'd like to see that doctor go through what you've been through and 'get over it' in a few months. Jerk-wad!

    BTW-you are not flawed, it is not your fault you have PTSD. You are an incredibly strong person to have gone through what you did and to have found the strength to keep going forward when to just stop would have been the easy way. I think about you a lot during my day and I'm blown away by your strength.
     
  7. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    I have heard off it being used, and more and more seem to be jumping on the bandwagon with the throw away line, which affects the therapist / physician none, but gives the suffer the illusion that their is something genetically wrong with them, which just is not the case. They are taking a part of current theories and using them before any single one has been factually proven.
     
  8. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    OK, I have insomnia and am stuck awake... but the predisposed is total BS. My sister and I are identical twins as Anthony said, but I want to emphasize identicle genetically down to a freckle on our face that is just a couple inches aside. Blood tests would show her kids as mine... Our bro is insane. She was pimped out and severely abused by her husband (one of them) she has had his BS get a person to show up at her job and put a shot gun in her face to send a message to him. He forced her to sleep with is own dad to pay for his crack. She was abusing pills at one point and dealt with other drug addictions. She has a major phobia of pills now as she took a muscle relaxer and all she remembers is it was a pink pill. It had the opposite effect and he let her lay in the floor, another was there who took her to ER or called ambulance. She attempted suicide. ODed on iron vitamins. She was raped for years by our brother and has full recall mine is repressed. Our parents tossed us out as kids. She a little later than me and she moved in with me when my mother shipped her out at 16. Abuse by long term boyfriend, she had cervical cancer. She had the plumbing removed to only have him punch her in the stomache just days after surgery because she would not have sex with his drunk ass when he came home that night/morn.

    These are things I know about and coming to mind, lord knows what she has not told me and popping in my head. But she is OK. She has moved on and is OK and deals just fine and happy. Her daughter was raped over the summer I just found out by a 30 yo man. She still is fine. HOW?????

    Me I am a mess and I did not have it worse in my head. Maybe just as bad in my own way but why me and not her. She was being insensitive tonight, I rarely speak to my family now. I told her it was like the panic attacks she used to get and she no longer does and controls and I had not had the pleasure yet. I did not get it. I told her PTSD is like that, you just have to have it to get it. She seemed to understand that. She still does not understand why it has left me so disabled and she can function just fine. Man my first panic attack I felt like an ass for me thinking to her quit over reacting, but I see she may have had those but that was it and got over them.

    My doc has even brought up how he wanted to meet her, we would make a great case study. All I know it is a mystery and want to get better, not be studied. All we can do is face it and try to cope. But trying to figure out if there is a root cause beyond trauma, there just isn't, and if someone tries to feed you that, they have no clue, no proof. Not even a little.

    I wish there was something I could "blame" for feeling weak. Ain't gonna happen. This is just what we have been dealt and we have to find our way to coping. Sorry not what you are looking for but about as close to genetics and the relation on this board.

    Now overall anxiety... that could be nurture as much as nature. I am clueless on that part.
     
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  9. sibemom

    sibemom Active Member

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    I have often questioned WHY NOW rather then before when I was in an abusive marriage, suffered many losses and traumas but seemed to get through it all, not easily but nothing like what I have now and actaully those situations I know made me stronger. I guess I feel that a person can handle only so much before you CRACK and really I thought I had. I don't understand it either, because each person has different symptoms, or gets over it quicker. With me I am not nearly as bad off as some people, yes I have the panic attacks, flashbacks, etc.... but it's still very real, not that I want to admit it most of the time. What causes it to happen WHO KNOWS, and why some people who can go through HORRIABLE TRAUMA'S and still come out emotionaly healthy NO CLUE! I am actually disgusted with myself because in so many ways I feel so much weaker than I thought I was. Did events pre accident leave me in a greater postition to get PTSD???? The doc says NO, did prior traumas make me more vulnerable to it, again the doc says NO, he pretty much says this is still a mystery.
     
  10. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Ann,

    You may be one of a couple of groups. Maybe you faired well and you finally did just "break". Or like me...

    I thought I did fine. I did not know there was an issue. I was always raised and told I was strong at the same time a "bitch" who did not take any shit. I had back bone that was "wrong" to have in my younger years to have my mother turn to look up to me as an adult I seemed to be able to deal with anything and again I most certainly was nobody's walking mat. I did not know what apathy was growing up but now I know and see it. It has been there.

    When I went down, I kept it in. I did not open to docs except for bare essential treatment to symptoms. So I had depression, mild mania (mind would not calm at night or keep thoughts out), insomnia, alcoholisim... built up to panic disorder and many years of agoraphobia. Finally that last doc after 10 mg xanax and 30 mg buspar did not control said something is up. Went to one shrink and with little talk and not telling me what he thought he gave me a round of meds. It calmed the panic, and when I showed my normal doc he said this is for bi-polar. I am not. So he took treatment over again until it was beyond his control with dope. Then a new shrink he sent me to, female this time.

    PTSD came down as she pulled my life inside out. I found a different doc and he said the same. I just did not see it or believe it. It started out small, but was allowed to fester for years and add more to it until I had the ultimate breakdown.

    As go through my time line I see ups and downs. My ups never got as high as the one before over the years and the downs got worse. My ups got to the point of I could check the mail and feed kids and animals. I saw a pattern in relationships as I thougt was bad luck and poor me. No, my perspective was just way out of whack.

    I think my bro got the ball rolling, an ex that abused me and almost killed me was the major catalyst, what followed was self destructive and me being easy prey and not knowing I was abused when it happened I was so emotionally screwed up I did not know what was right or love.

    Once you get this diagnosis and you think you were fine for so long until you just snap... Like me. Now I can look back and see the patterns over years...
     
  11. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Actually they gave me no reason, just told me that PTSD is an anxiety disorder like panic disorder or social anxiety disorder, and everyone who has an anxiety disorder has a predisposition to it. The psychiatric nurse even used her own experiences as an example to me... she was in a severe car accident as a teen and one of her friends died. However, she didn't develop PTSD. So therefore, she said, she was not predisposed. Like her experience and mine could be compared!!! :boxem:

    I'm sooo happy to hear you say that, because I felt like that for a long time and was basically criticized for it and told to accept the fact that I had a genetic predisposition. They even said my depression was clinical, which I fought, because I always thought clinical depression was there regardless of your life circumstances. Whereas with me, I only got depressed after what happened, so I figured my depression was directly related to my experience, and that therefore I had a reason for being depressed. Duh. But my logic seemed to escape them.... I guess they didn't want to be wrong.
     
  12. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    This is how I felt, too. And like sibemom, I've asked myself why now? Why didn't I fall apart when all of the rough stuff was going on?

    Like you, veiled, I've always been told that I was strong. So if I'm strong, I can't fall apart. Why not? Because I'm strong, everyone needs me and to fall apart would make me weak. My mom still tells me I'm one of the strongest people she knows. I want to tell her not to say that. But I can't do that because then I'll feel guilty for bursting her perception bubble. I'm still having problems (and feel guilty) because 'I snapped'. I'm strong...I shoudn't have. I should have been strong enough to handle this without falling apart. Logically I know that it's not true...but try telling that to my emotions. Part of me wants just act like nothing's happened, everything's fine. Just pretend that I'm fine, the doctors were wrong and go back to my 'real' life. Part of me knows that's not going to do anything but make things worse. So I have this on-going internal battle/debate and I wish I knew how to make it go away.
     
  13. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    You have to come to terms that PTSD is absolutely no way a reflection of weakness. We are all strong to survive what we have. Burst mom's bubble and illusion. It feels better having not to carry other's weight afterwards. But like has been said on here before. If you apply enough pressure anything can and will break. Does not make it weak. Strenght is shown just being here trying to help yourself.
     
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