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cPTSD and memory/parts

Gareth

New Here
Hi all, hope everyone is ok.

I’m in UK & my 40s and I was diagnosed with complex PTSD a few years ago after a previous diagnosis of BPD/EUPD. Suffice to say, I score highly on the ACEs scale.

For decades I’ve suffered from emotional dysregulation and emotional flashbacks, as well as the usual symptoms. I’ve had nearly two years worth of therapy (mostly EMDR and grounding) and one thing I’m working on with a psych is dissociation. I’m aware that I dissociate badly at times (losing time too) particularly in times of stress, vulnerability or boredom but I’ve found out after the event that I’ve been doing unusual things. This can be anything from getting drinks without memory (once driving to a local coffee shop and back and only realising when I took a drink and wondered where the cup had come from), to conversations on social media for hours that I have no recollection of. Throughout my life I’ve had issues of writing documents for work and home - only to find once I’ve started that I’ve done them, I find that I’ve already done these before … again with no recollection.

Has anyone else with cPTSD experienced similar?
 
Hi, thanks for sharing!! To answer your question, I've definitely had similar occurrences in the past, often in times of high stress and trying to keep busy before the burnout crash (my current way of coping) would I find or recall that I must have - what I know now as (dissociated). It's happened with coffee, I don't think to this day I could tell you where the coffee cup came from... and filling up at the petrol station. I only intended to put in £10 and no way on earth would have gone further, I could have swore that I was watching the screen the whole time like I always do when filling or partially filling! It was mortifying and embarrassing - being a private petrol station, it wasn't as simple as the supermarkets where they simply have you the no means of payment form. 🫤

Hoping this answers your question, though dissociation doesn't seem to be frequently prevalent with my symptoms... I have now seen a consultant psychiatrist who assessed me via telephone, "symptoms in line with PTSD with strong personality factors" . He mentioned it was difficult to diagnose over the phone and one occasion. I definitely have C-PTSD and didn't need him to mention the subsequent issues that have risen due to frequent and recurring trauma and my way of dealing with it ... I know I don't have BPD / EUPD, only some very slight elements that are definitely attributed to complex trauma on the whole... With this being read (and) said, it seems this is more common than I thought... Do you think in your case it is a definite co-morbidity?
 
Hi, thanks for sharing!! To answer your question, I've definitely had similar occurrences in the past, often in times of high stress and trying to keep busy before the burnout crash (my current way of coping) would I find or recall that I must have - what I know now as (dissociated). It's happened with coffee, I don't think to this day I could tell you where the coffee cup came from... and filling up at the petrol station. I only intended to put in £10 and no way on earth would have gone further, I could have swore that I was watching the screen the whole time like I always do when filling or partially filling! It was mortifying and embarrassing - being a private petrol station, it wasn't as simple as the supermarkets where they simply have you the no means of payment form. 🫤

Hoping this answers your question, though dissociation doesn't seem to be frequently prevalent with my symptoms... I have now seen a consultant psychiatrist who assessed me via telephone, "symptoms in line with PTSD with strong personality factors" . He mentioned it was difficult to diagnose over the phone and one occasion. I definitely have C-PTSD and didn't need him to mention the subsequent issues that have risen due to frequent and recurring trauma and my way of dealing with it ... I know I don't have BPD / EUPD, only some very slight elements that are definitely attributed to complex trauma on the whole... With this being read (and) said, it seems this is more common than I thought... Do you think in your case it is a definite co-morbidity?

I’m not entirely sure to be honest. If you look online there’s a raging debate about BPD and CPTSD, if they’re the same thing etc. I’d heard that one place in the UK is automatically transferring their diagnoses of BPD to CPTSD (not sure if this is true). When were you first diagnosed with cptsd and have you had any treatment for it?
 
Has anyone else with cPTSD experienced similar?
Yes & No.

Yes :
- Dysreg,
- Severe dissociative symptoms including fugue states & lost time (had a scare a few years ago where I ‘woke up’ on a bus in Chinatown & thought I was waking up somewhere in SE Asia… which isn’t outlandish… I used to do that kind of shit all the time; then have to Back To The Future it, to find out when/where I was, and hopefully why, who -if anyone- I was with; as well as other practicalities like if I got into the country legally or not). It had been yeeeears since I’d gone to sleep in one part of the world and snapped out of it in another, far more often I just lose a few hours here, a few days there. I find posts on here, all the durn time, that I don’t remember writing, but they sound like me, so that’s alright (That’s one hugely useful trick when my stress is up; journal..At worst that lets me know I’ve lost time I didn’t know about -I’m nearly, but not quite, eidetic- and at best they help fill in the blanks).
- Starting projects only to find out I’d already finished them.
- Flashbacks
- Complex Trauma

No:
- Childhood trauma (I’m super low ACES)
- BPD/EUPD traits
- Parts
 
Yes & No.

Yes :
- Dysreg,
- Severe dissociative symptoms including fugue states & lost time (had a scare a few years ago where I ‘woke up’ on a bus in Chinatown & thought I was waking up somewhere in SE Asia… which isn’t outlandish… I used to do that kind of shit all the time; then have to Back To The Future it, to find out when/where I was, and hopefully why, who -if anyone- I was with; as well as other practicalities like if I got into the country legally or not). It had been yeeeears since I’d gone to sleep in one part of the world and snapped out of it in another, far more often I just lose a few hours here, a few days there. I find posts on here, all the durn time, that I don’t remember writing, but they sound like me, so that’s alright (That’s one hugely useful trick when my stress is up; journal..At worst that lets me know I’ve lost time I didn’t know about -I’m nearly, but not quite, eidetic- and at best they help fill in the blanks).
- Starting projects only to find out I’d already finished them.
- Flashbacks
- Complex Trauma

No:
- Childhood trauma (I’m super low ACES)
- BPD/EUPD traits
- Parts
That must be particularly scary. I feel like I’m somewhere inbetween. Do you still suffer from these gaps where you’re functional but with no memory?
 
That must be particularly scary. I feel like I’m somewhere inbetween. Do you still suffer from these gaps where you’re functional but with no memory?
Haven’t had any long ones in a long time, but short ones, for sure.

Minding my StressCup & emotional monitoring/regulation helps a lot. Being really present/grounded/proactive.

The time in my life where I’d just sort of wake up in Hong Kong or Jburg? I was running reeeeally wild, to the point of being pretty durn feral. Knowing where the upper limits to my personal spectrum are? Means being proactive is part & parcel with the art of living.
 
Haven’t had any long ones in a long time, but short ones, for sure.

Minding my StressCup & emotional monitoring/regulation helps a lot. Being really present/grounded/proactive.

The time in my life where I’d just sort of wake up in Hong Kong or Jburg? I was running reeeeally wild, to the point of being pretty durn feral. Knowing where the upper limits to my personal spectrum are? Means being proactive is part & parcel with the art of living.
I’ve not narrowed mine down yet but I suspect they last from minutes to hours (but can happen more frequently during times of dysregulation). What causes/causes yours?
 
I’ve not narrowed mine down yet but I suspect they last from minutes to hours (but can happen more frequently during times of dysregulation). What causes/causes yours?
Triggers, stressors, stress / life stuff, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, “therapy hangover”, and just running symptom-hot in general.

If you haven’t read these two things, yet? (Below). SUPER useful.


 
Triggers, stressors, stress / life stuff, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, “therapy hangover”, and just running symptom-hot in general.

If you haven’t read these two things, yet? (Below). SUPER useful.


I’m just reading now, the cup is definitely something that resonates with me. I saw a YouTube video that used a similar model to explain how multiple cups contain the trauma and stress. Have you been diagnosed with anything medically/psychologically?
 
Have you been diagnosed with anything medically/psychologically?
ADHD-Combined Type (since I was a kid)

PTSD (complex trauma) for a little over 20 or 25 years, now.
- First blowup was in the late 90s
- Second blowup was 2014

Anorexia + Trauma Related Food/Eating Issues.
 
ADHD-Combined Type (since I was a kid)

PTSD (complex trauma) for a little over 20 or 25 years, now.
- First blowup was in the late 90s
- Second blowup was 2014

Anorexia + Trauma Related Food/Eating Issues.
Thank you for sharing and sorry to hear that - sounds like you’re on the mend though?

Did you ever remember much about what happened during episodes? Mine seem to be mixed in terms of remembering (although I wondering if that’s more about finding clues and trying to work it out).
 
Hi UK based with a diagnosis of CPTSD too

I really recognise what you describe (including the mixed recall later on). Have you ever looked at/ discussed with therapist discociative disorders (and the overlap between them and CPTSD) ? It's really helped me recently understand where I might sit on that 'line' of dissociation even though it's been really hard to accept initially. There are a few UK based specialist clinics that provide very useful information/ tools that I'm slowly reading through. It's like finding all the right words for experiences I've had for ages but couldn't verbalise.
 
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