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Complex PTSD - Diagnosed Short Time Ago

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by bob, Sep 17, 2006.

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  1. bob

    bob Member

    Hi I'm Rob, I'm from the UK and I have complex PTSD. I was diagnosed just a short while ago but have spent years trying to figure out what's wrong with me. I was bullied a lot as a kid both in and out of school and at home. My family is dysfunctional and abusive, my mum has an attention-seeking and narcissistic personality, she was abused and abandoned as a child. My dad has quite an outwardly cold character and is highly critical. My sister has developed severe personality problems. Growing up in an abusive home environment I was unable to learn the skills necessary to cope with life and as such was an easy target for bullies in and out of school. I also didn't get the emotional support I needed at home, mostly I just got emotional abuse. I have been beaten up on many occasions, but I think the emotional abuse I received at home has caused much more damage. I'm in my late twenties now and have probably had PTSD for at least 15 years. It affects me in everything I do, everywhere I go. I'm extremely nervous around people, I find everyday situations extremely daunting. I tend to isolate myself and suffer a great many problems that I'm sure you're all familiar with such as nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, etc. I've made a lot of progress and things will get better, but there's a long way for me to go.

    I've been reading some posts on this forum and I'm very pleased to see people other people that are experiencing the same sort of problems as me and finding ways to cope. Sometimes I read things and think that's *exactly* how I feel. When I thought I was alone it's encouraging to find I'm not. I'm looking forward to meeting and sharing with people here.

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  3. Farmer

    Farmer Active Member

    Hi Rob it's nice to meet you, like everbody here it sounds like you have had a rough go at life. The main thing it sounds like you can see the light at the end of the road.
    Hope to hear more from you.
  4. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member

    Hi Rob!

    Have you ever seen the show Cheers? This place is kinda like that...it's a place where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came!

    Isn't it great to finally find a place where you fit in...where people's experiences are almost exactly like yours...where their reactions are the same as yours?

    Keep visiting, posting, and reading, and soon you'll find yourself relaxing a bit, knowing you're "just like" the rest of us. Feel free to vent, cuss, scream, cry, yell, or whatever you want...we're all here for you!

  5. cdunny

    cdunny Active Member

    Hey Rob. Welcome to the Forum. We are all so glad to meet you. We hope that this site serves as an outlet for you in a world where it often feels like nobody "gets it". Your right in that social interaction is often very dificult with PTSD, and Im sure especially dificult with you, given your history of being bullied and your families failure to nurture. But although all of our situations are diferent the affects of PTSD are the same and we know what your feeling. I personaly think its awesome that your being positive about your recovery and are looking forward. Kudos to you. Welcome again and enjoy your stay.:smoking:
  6. carpediem2006

    carpediem2006 Active Member

    Hi Rob

    It's very useful to make sense of things, rather than just thinking as I used to that I was 'losing the plot' and other such analogies. Making sense of the reactions and realising that flashbacks were not indicative of early onset of schizophrenia, my forgetfullness was not alzheimers, my inability to concentrate was not dementia...I really was so concerned at what was wrong that I think I came across as a hypochondriac.

    One thing to differentiate is the difference between the symptoms of PTSD and possible low self esteem that can result from abuse. It is normal in that case for both to be occurring, as well as difficulties socialising or trusting others. You are right in that through not having support mechanisms you ended up being bullied. We become bullied as a result of being an easy target to choose as we no longer have the ability we should to respond.

    I am not sure if you have had counselling, and think that you are in the UK. There is a relatively new charity there, with national lottery funding that you may want to contact...

    Assistance Support & Self-help In Surviving Trauma
    HELPLINE: +44 (0)1788 560800

    They will have a freephone number most likely in the future but the charity has only recently been set up.

    It would also be worthwhile considering getting some counselling and also reading about cognitive behavioural therapy (a long expression which basically assesses how we look at things). The simplest thing to do with it is to find something positive that has come out of a negative experience. You may have to wrack your brains with it, but it does help break the negative thinking cycle.

    Apart from that there are positives for us all, the fact that we are sitting here with internet access, clean water coming out of a tap and food on the table puts us in the most privileged group of people already.

    The rest can be worked on.
  7. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

    Welcome Rob. I hope you stick around. We're glad you found us. :smile:
  8. bob

    bob Member

    Hi guys

    Thanks for your responses, you seem like just the great bunch of people I need :)

    carpediem, you're right there is a difference between low self esteem and PTSD. One thing is that I'm nervous around people, especially strangers and another is that when someone confronts me even in a seemingly innocuous way my heart starts racing, I shake uncontrollably and turn a pale shade of white. I suppose it's an exaggerated fight-or-flight reaction and it takes me right back to when I was a kid being surrounded by a group of bullies. It's sometimes hard to see that my overreaction is caused by the result of previous traumatic experiences rather than from a present experience.

    Thanks for helpline info, I'll try to give them a call. I'm on the waiting list to have therapy (possibly CBT, I'm not sure) with my local NHS
    pschological services department. I went for an assessment at their psychiatric unit and they discharged me from psychiatic care. I'm not sure if that's right or wrong, I'm not really sure what the difference is between pschological and psychiatic help. I guess pychiatric help deals with mental illness but PTSD is injury rather than illness? I've had counselling before and I'm looking at having more of it in the future.

    I just called Assist and they have a complex PTSD support group starting in 4 weeks or so. It's about 90 minutes drive from here but I think I'm going to make the effort to attend :)

  9. wildfirewildone

    wildfirewildone Well-Known Member

    Go For It!!!!

    :thumbs-up I see that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get better!! I have in the past...gone the extra mile to get to group therapy...The last one I went to was an hour's drive away...and I hated the traffic jams that I'd get into in the mornings :eek: I had an emotional problam with that as I feel TRAPPED in them....so what I would do was stay in the far left lane....that way I had open space on my left and that's how I dealt with that...also I did deep-breathing...I had people [not my friends] who would ask me why I drove so far...I answered them that I felt that I was WORTH it!!! I also drive an hour to get to my psychodoc...he's the BEST!!! and I drive 2 hours east to go to a hospital....it's the BEST too!! I DESERVE to get the BEST medical care that I can get!!!! :thumbs-up You do too!!!! I will be watching for your post how your first day went!!! The long drive gets tiring at times...just keep saying the mantra "I AM WORTH IT"!!!!..wildfirewildone...KEEPING THE PEACE
  10. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hi Rob,

    Welcome aboard mate, and glad you found us. Yep, we all suffer the same thing, same symptoms, same effects, same; just a different way in which we got to PTSD.

    Mate, glad you hit upon a support group and are going to give it a shot. Face to face can do so much more than just online, hence why people need to ensure they maintain / commence counselling to get that face to face interaction whilst dealing with trauma.

    Rob, I am with Carp, in that I think what needs to be focused first is your self esteem. Your low self esteem is a direct reflection of your life, and the way life has treated you more to the point. When you think your getting up, someone beats you down. Nothing worse than a family member doing that too you.

    People look at self esteem and think, "my god, how am I going to improve that", where in fact self esteem is much easier than that to comprehend, just harder to implement and manage. Self esteem is a direct reflection of a persons confidence. If you improve a persons confidence, you will automatically improve their self esteem. There is already some good information within the [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/forum20.html"]Interpersonal Skills[/DLMURL] forum on self esteem.

    I look forward to chatting with you more Rob...
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  11. bob

    bob Member

    Thanks for the advice Anthony. It makes sense what you're saying, I do have low self-esteem. This is clearly something good to focus on.
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