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Other Anyone else have comorbid disorders that made drs "discount" your trauma?

Thread starter #1
Recently went to a new GP for a psych referral to get documentation for my trauma, and was told that my emotional dysregulation was "just ADHD symptoms", and that what I am feeling (the cptsd symptoms arising from having an abusive childhood/adulthood) could just be a thyroid issue. Despite continually repeating that I've had ADHD for 20 years and know what my symptoms are from it, I still only walked away with a referral to an ADHD psychologist not a psychiatrist. Its hard enough to talk about the abuse, but to disclose trauma and have it ignored because of a preexisiting condition? I'm willing to accept a possible thyroid issue on top of my other disorders but to imply that my childhood trauma has nothing to do with any of the psychological changes the last two years pissed me off.
 
#2
It went the other way for me. I have PTSD and unrelated migraines that run in my family. When I would get a migraine that happened to be around treating my PTSD symptoms is when I first experienced this. I usually don't go to the doctor until days 4 and 5 of my migraines because, that's when I know the first has ended and I got another on the way and need medical attention.
A couple of migraines were nearly written off as panic attacks. I had to go back twice each time to get proper treatment. I got so frustrated I told the doctor that if I came in with a broken leg they would say it was anxiety. It probably didn't help that my migraines and ptsd treatment had me on edge at the time, lol!
From my experience, GP doctors only want to treat one thing at a time. You aren't only a patient. You're in control of what problem they treat and how it will be treated. Exercise that to request a referral specifically to a psychiatrist.

I want to add that emotional dysregulation is a symptom of PTSD. And it's been awhile since I researched ADD and ADHD but, I'm not so sure that it's a symptom of those.
Getting blood work, your thyroid and heart checked are not bad ideas when you suffer from anxiety and PTSD. It can rule out other serious conditions that are very similar to symptoms caused by trauma.
 
#3
And it's been awhile since I researched ADD and ADHD but, I'm not so sure that it's a symptom of those.
It’s pretty foundational, actually. Often the only way to tell the difference between ADHD mood swings / emotional dysreg and Bipolar mood swings / emotional dysreg is to do a med trial, and see if stimulants regulate/smooth things out (ADHD) or drop kick the person into a mania or mixed episode (bipolar). Even on stimulants, however, and especially without them... emotional monitoring and regulation that makes DBT look like playing with legos... is a daily and ongoing thing. PTSD emotional dysreg on top of ADHD dysreg? :banghead: OMFG. It’s brutal. Especially as ADHD emotions don’t “fade” like normal emotions are supposed to? They come on full force, until they’re replaced -or altered-with something else coming on full force.
I'm willing to accept a possible thyroid issue on top of my other disorders but to imply that my childhood trauma has nothing to do with any of the psychological changes the last two years pissed me off.
Try and remember that medical doctors don’t specialize in all 700+ of psychological disorders. The referral to an ADHD specialist? Is actually going to be one of the most useful things he/she could have done... because someone who specializes in ADHD will be able to see -very easily- how much of what you’re dealing with is waaaaaay beyond ADHD, & how much is ADHD responding in a way that’s atypical for neurotypical people AND for people with other disorders.

Case in point? When my ADHD hyperfocus marries to my PTSD symptoms? Grounding (standard grounding) isn’t going to help, because focusing MORE is just going to make things even bigger. Instead, when both disorders are chiming in, I have to hit the symptom with either both sets of coping mechanisms... or specific combos of coping mechanisms, like this kind of grounding will help, whilst that kind just makes everything worse.

Even better? If the ADHD specialist is good at what they do, they’ll also likely know Trauma specialists who are ALSO good with ADHD people. Because otherwise they’ll just piss them off, ya know? Like an Autism specialist knowing tutors who work well with autistic people, and are pissed off by tutors who handle their people badly.

This doc, on the other hand? Would be shooting in the dark to recommend anyone. Better to get the referral from someone who gets you, than someone who doesn’t.
 
#4
I pay a crapload extra to go to a good quality GP.

Because a lot of GPs are shit, or have preferred issues that they deal with a lot, to the exclusion of a reasonable degree of knowledge across the board. And then there's the 'get you out the door' attitude that cheaper GPs often need to adopt when they're billing at super low cost.

Maybe find a new GP. Yes, this one may be right that your ADHD and thyroid could be significant factors in what you're currently experiencing. But to disclose a history of complex trauma and not consider that to be part of the mix? Seems a little bit of a stretch.

Because a history of complex trauma makes you particularly vulnerable to a wide range of mental illnesses. So, unless the GP did a reasonably thorough workup of your psychiatric symptoms during the appointment? Then they should have referred you to someone who specialises in reaching a proper diagnosis.

In some places psychologists are qualified to make psychiatric diagnoses. In other places they aren't. And in some places, most psychologists aren't able to refer you to a psychiatrist.
 
#5
And in some places, most psychologists aren't able to refer you to a psychiatrist
That’s a very good point... because it’s an extra step or 2 to get the referral, in that case. Asking the psychologist to contact your GP with “I’d like PatientABC to see So&So Specializing in Such&Such, via the Whatsit Clinic, contact info to follow.” As well as the form signed by you allowing them to share that information with your GP.

I had over a dozen different insurance companies during the time with my old GP... one of the things I LOVED about him was that if I ever wanted to see someone that my insurance required a referral from him (instead of making the appointment myself/self referred, or getting a specialist referral?) I just wrote down their contact info, and he printed the referral out. Wham bam. Loved the hell out of that man. It probably helped that the first referral I asked for was to someone he saw himself, and periodically I’d get the “Oh! John! He’s fantastic!” my asking to see people he knew, or knew of by reputation. When they were people he knew, he’s also place a call getting me a prime spot in their schedule, or tell me to use his name when booking the appointment. IE getting in to see booked out specialists next week instead of in 4 months.

Very much agreed... A great GP? Is a game changer. Absolute godsend.
 
Thread starter #6
Because a history of complex trauma makes you particularly vulnerable to a wide range of mental illnesses. So, unless the GP did a reasonably thorough workup of your psychiatric symptoms during the appointment? Then they should have referred you to someone who specialises in reaching a proper diagnosis.
I know that I have a difficult time disclosing trauma and symptoms, so I wrote down a comprehensive list of both ongoing issues and symptoms that emerged in the last two years... the GP's response to that was "looks like you've done a lot of research", which seemed like a weird comment seeing as they knew I'd been meeting weekly with a clinical psychologist for the last year so of course I'd refer to my symptoms in specific terminology. I felt like they weren't getting that the trauma was an important part, so I tried elaborating on some of the abuse and was shut down mid story with some vague segue about enmeshment (which i know is an issue but also a relevant issue). Previous diagnosis's of depression and agoraphobia were completely passed over, everything landing back on the ADHD.


The referral to an ADHD specialist? Is actually going to be one of the most useful things he/she could have done... because someone who specializes in ADHD will be able to see -very easily- how much of what you’re dealing with is waaaaaay beyond ADHD, & how much is ADHD responding in a way that’s atypical for neurotypical people AND for people with other disorders.
Thanks for that new perspective, I forgot that they'd be able to rule out the ADHD behavior rather than just confirm it. Turns out the "great" specialist they had mentioned referring me to has since ceased clinical practice so no clue where they'll refer me.

That’s a very good point... because it’s an extra step or 2 to get the referral, in that case. Asking the psychologist to contact your GP with “I’d like PatientABC to see So&So Specializing in Such&Such, via the Whatsit Clinic, contact info to follow.” As well as the form signed by you allowing them to share that information with your GP.
I've had to jump around a bit with my care, my initial psychiatrist who seemed to "get" my issues gave a diagnosis of agoraphobia (this was before I was semi-comfortable disclosing abuse), got assigned a councilor who was unequipped for the type of issues I have which wasn't clear to me until I had spiraled, after realizing that I went out and found a psychologist with a background in trauma/childhood neglect-abuse issues. I then lost access to my psychiatrist around when I realized that while my psychologist agreed that I have cptsd I needed a psychiatrist for any official documentation. My psychologist wasn't allowed to give a referral or relay diagnostic impressions, so I had to start at square one with a GP to get a referral.


Fast paths and self-referral for psych issues should be more common, and psych triage should really include "Are you experiencing suicidal thoughts, do you hear voices" and "or are you in danger from others". Basically my last three months of self advocacy and doctors appointments add up to no psych appointment until after my student visa expires, meaning I move back into an abusive environment. The fear of having what little mental stability I'd built being dismantled is real...
 
#7
I had one. He tried to explain everything away with "You're Bipolar". Whether I have any true bipolar symptoms is up for debate, and if I do, they are the least troublesome of my DD, PTSD, GAD/SAD, OCD and even BPD.

When I tried to tell him about my trauma, he answered "You can't process it due to your bipolar."
 
#8
No one diagnosed my trauma for 30 years in spite ofy repeated efforts. But I was extremely repressed and tried some treatment that did nothing when I first decided I'd been sexually abused as a child. Even then no one said trauma or PTSD, that took another 10 or 15 years.
 
#9
I got different disclosures issues round trauma et all.

As in if telling providers, trauma usually makes sense of whole lotta outta the whack things.

But given it's None of your biz personal to me, and anything less is NBD I'm coping in my book, getting treatment people is a bit biatch.

I tried disclosing 'just' DV & ongoing violence. Things I got just shame & pride issues with, but not honor & grief & other foundational f*ckery.

It still ain't parsed to the docs that great.
Didn't necessarily think I'm lying.
But I don't present the same in crisis. I get so outwardly cool & lot of things people needa look at the actual injuries and not be all mixed signals confused I ain't a sobbing screaming mess.
 
#10
Yup. I have general anxiety disorder and schizoaffective (bipolar and schizophrenia combined). My PTSD was labeled "inactive" in the papers from my last hospital visit. Yet, having been bullied as a child was well at the root of the problems I presented with.
 

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#11
I'm autistic and sometimes people think my trauma issues are from my autism. When I was in middle school I was in a special education school and I had panic attacks and they punished me for them because they thought I was having behavioral problems due to autism.
 
#12
I'm autistic and sometimes people think my trauma issues are from my autism. When I was in middle school I was in a special education school and I had panic attacks and they punished me for them because they thought I was having behavioral problems due to autism.
I have the opposite. My psychiatrist doesn't believe in my autism/Aspergers coz, she says, all my symptoms could be attributed to complex childhood and adult trauma, which she diagnosed me with. But she's a trauma specialist and knows Sweet FA about Aspergers/Autism.

It's frustrating coz I KNOW I'm on the spectrum, but it costs more than I can afford, at this point, and my gp was like "Why pay all that money for something you already know?"

Well, I've figured out that getting my right diagnosis, will open doors to appropriate treatment, so I guess there is merit to being listened to and taken seriously, when there's a co morb situation.

Being a female, it's been a long haul, getting good info about how Aspergers/Autism presents in my XX genetic sitch, which has made a lot of us overlooked, as we often fly under the radar coz we try too damn hard to blend in.

It doesn't work, but lots of us are quieter, than many of our male counterparts, about how much we are socially struggling. That's my experience, anyway.

I hid in books. And was very, very, quiet, for the most part.
 
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