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Avoiding reality or just being realistic?

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Midnightmoon

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For a few years various healthcare people have tried to get me to go through a psych assessment for CPTSD, I 'tick' all the boxes. At the minute I have no diagnosis of anything, so I can't get any help and I spend half my life wondering why I can't just snap out of it and be 'normal'. CPTSD feels like that's for 'real' stuff, and it constantly feels I'm being dramatic and just moaning over nothing.

Diagnosis is the barrier to alot of things, but I feel like I'm lying, even if I went through with it and it came back as a yes, I'm not convinced I'd feel validated, just ashamed I'd 'taken' the diagnosis and it's not mine to have. I've never been able to identify any trauma in my life, just that I have rubbish coping skills.

Anyone had similar? How do you work out if you're just being realistic with yourself or if your avoiding something that might be there?
 
I don't have a diagnosis but shared (share a bit still?) the same view that my experience wouldn't warrant it to be enough.
But I think part of all of it, is dismissing what happened?

How about reframing it? Professionals are saying have an evaluation. That's just meeting someone to rule in or rule out a possible diagnosis. No harm in that? You say the truth about what you have experienced and how life is for you. And they determine if that meets the criteria. Or not.

After that, you may or may not get a diagnosis.
And then you can work on the feelings of how you feel about that and if you agree.

Sounds like life is hard and you need a diagnosis to access therapy? So, getting a diagnosis (the right one), will help?
 
I'm in therapy privately, but I pursued it because I couldn't work out why I couldn't 'get over' myself, I never considered it could be anything other than me messing around and wanted to be taught how to stop it. Trauma has been brought up again and again, each time I apologise for being dramatic enough for people to think it's there. Therapy is very slow going, and my T feels that's in part because I need to accept that a diagnosis is there and it needs to happen to work through the avoidance around having it there. My life is very 'stuck' and realistically a diagnosis would open doors to more help, but I'm not at all convinced I'm justified, or that I'm remembering things right. It's a hard one
 
Ah. I understand.

You obviously don't need to share anything here at all. But you say you are without trauma?
So I don't know if that means you haven't (or feel you haven't) experienced any of the events that are listed in the criteria?
I wonder if growing up you had psychological trauma? Again you don't need to share anything.

If you asked me when I was 23 if I had any trauma in my childhood. I would have said no. She's 24 some of the memories came tumbling out. Aged 40 more and my healing journey really began.
 
i started psychotherapy in 1972, more than 20 years before "ptsd" and its controversial sibling, "cptsd" were available. my case is extreme and i believe there is a good chance i would have suicided had i waited for those theories to coalesce. still, radical acceptance of my "abnormalities" was critical. by whatever name, theory or treatment program, one cannot heal until the injuries have been acknowledged and inventoried.
 
Ah. I understand.

You obviously don't need to share anything here at all. But you say you are without trauma?
So I don't know if that means you haven't (or feel you haven't) experienced any of the events that are listed in the criteria?
I wonder if growing up you had psychological trauma? Again you don't need to share anything.

If you asked me when I was 23 if I had any trauma in my childhood. I would have said no. She's 24 some of the memories came tumbling out. Aged 40 more and my healing journey really began.
The general consensus from my T is that she feels I have early developmental trauma, mainly because of how I present with her and my symptoms. I struggle with talking about childhood, I recall very very little which doesn't really help with the struggle. I'm in my 30s and it's never even been a consideration before, I just assumed I 'failed' at being a decent adult. I'm glad your on the journey, but I'm sorry it's taken so long.

i started psychotherapy in 1972, more than 20 years before "ptsd" and its controversial sibling, "cptsd" were available. my case is extreme and i believe there is a good chance i would have suicided had i waited for those theories to coalesce. still, radical acceptance of my "abnormalities" was critical. by whatever name, theory or treatment program, one cannot heal until the injuries have been acknowledged and inventoried.
Yes, I think accepting there's 'something' there is a huge part of it, I'm just struggling to know if it's there or if I'm just not putting in enough effort.
 
I'm just struggling to know if it's there or if I'm just not putting in enough effort.

let me know if you find a clear and easy answer to this question. i'm still guessing my way through, one guess at a time.

one of my most used recovery mottos is, "itsy bitsy baby steps." with itsy bitsy baby steps, i can back off and clean up after a missed guess far more easily than i can while i am leaping tall social injustices in a single bound.
 
That was the hard, first step for me. Accepting that it wasn’t originally me. Accepting that even though to me it wouldn’t look like “abuse” to a random observer, from the POV of my infant/toddler self and my developing brain it was indeed abuse. And it’s okay to call it that, at least to myself and my therapist.

Giving what happened its proper name internally doesn’t mean I am assigning blame, either to me or to others, because IMO blame is “too big” a concept for a babybrain and the situation it was in. I had normal, primal needs, and they were not met, and it wasn’t my fault; there was nothing I could have done. It’s not a baby/child’s role to care for itself; we have no choice but to rely upon others. Because things didn’t happen as they should have, my wiring defaulted to certain ways of being that were once helpful but maybe now not so much.

Anyone had similar? How do you work out if you're just being realistic with yourself or if your avoiding something that might be there?
I did something that was very helpful to me.

i have very very few memories before the age of about 8 or so, so as a part of a therapy exercise I researched and wrote out a year by year history, from conception onwards, including how my family felt and what they were going through, where we lived, who was around, etc.

just the bare facts of my first few years were enlightening, to see them summarized and unembellished. A complete childhood in two pages. It helped. There was indeed something there that was invisible to me before.
 
I'd 'taken' the diagnosis and it's not mine to have.
It’s not any more personal than being told you have a torn muscle, or influenza. If you get a diagnosis, it’s a measurement an illness. Nothing more, nothing less.

A diagnosis is definitely not part of your identity. It’s not who you are. It’s not a judgment about how successful you’ve been at living or coping. It’s not even necessarily permanent.

The only reason to even bother with getting such an otherwise meaningless thing? Is to make sure you’re getting the right treatment, to give you the best chance to live your best life.

I've never been able to identify any trauma in my life, just that I have rubbish coping skills.
Yeah, you and me both! And I’d reckon more than half the folks here.

So you don’t go round wallowing in how hard your life has been, in comparison with everyone else. Awesome. That’s resilience.

You’re also pretty hard on yourself. Your coping skills have kept you alive. Even if your life has been trauma-free, that means your coping skills are doing a reasonable job. Beside the point, though, since coping skills don’t enter into it when diagnosing PTSD.

It’s also the reason that self-diagnosis of illness, including mental illness, is about as helpful as trying to stick your elbow in your ear. Don’t even bother trying, because there’s no way we can be objective enough to do an accurate job!

An evaluation is, in itself, rarely bulletproof. I’ve had dozens, and they can pump out some pretty bizarre conclusions sometimes. But the reason I got them, every single time, was to try and ascertain what treatment was going to be the most effective.

A diagnosis is not a judgment about you. Any more than my diagnosis is a judgment about me. It’s a measure of something I have, and the single most helpful way to determine the treatment I should have, so that I can get on with living my life.
 
It's reassuring that others get this weird head space. A diagnosis would help, sure I don't want the label, let's face it no one does! If it is what I've got then at least if its on a bit of paper in a medical office somewhere it opens doors that are currently firmly locked.

I struggle with the validity and realness, which is a constant demand on my head. It's so much easier to believe your not trying hard enough as supposed to maybe there's something else going on, and try as hard as you like, your not fixing it by declaring everythings absolutely fine and carrying on regardless.

Thanks for the very useful input, it's probably something I need to think about more
 
Diagnosis is the barrier to alot of things,
Could you expand on this a bit? Do you mean things like proper treatment?
Yeah, you and me both! And I’d reckon more than half the folks here.


I struggle with the validity and realness
Me, too!

I was officially diagnosed with cPTSD a few years ago, but I got a DID diagnosis in 1998, and I STILL don't think anything "that bad" happened to cause it. I definitely feel more accepting of it, though.
 
Real truth is we hide early life trauma mostly because "we have always been that way." Painful memories are buried and paved over with some guy standing there saying "move along, nothing to see here."

It's the ultimate tell in whats going on - the giant mindf%$k of those memories that hurt so bad we try to bury them even deeper and at the same time they are screaming to be heard.

So people wander through life facing all the problems and symptoms and still refuse to believe it happened to them.
I went down the same road and guess what changed when I was diagnosed? Nothing - with the exception I did the correct therapy to help fix those problems. Then my diagnoses changed to cPTSD and what changed? Nothing. Except I got the right help to get better.



The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

Carl Jung
 
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