Diagnosing Family or Friends with PTSD

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becvan

MyPTSD Pro
There is a current trend to apply the label of PTSD to our family and friends if they have any anxiety, trauma, or depression. Many members are self diagnosing other people.

This is not healthy for a few reasons. One being that it's rather unfair to the friend or family member (whether living or not.) How would you feel if someone was running around telling others you were bipolar or clinically depressed? Not very good I would bet. We are not doctors. We are not experts that can diagnosis and treating someone you know like this is rather insensitive.

The second reason is just because someone may have experienced trauma, death, pain, anxiety etc.. does not mean they have PTSD. PTSD is actually a lot less common than some people think. You can even have every symptom of PTSD but not have PTSD. A very small percentage of people actually develop PTSD. Keep this in mind.

The third point I would like to address is the view that it's being passed on. PTSD is not hereditary. You can not pass it on from one member to the next. You can teach your children unhealthy coping skills, fears, etc.. but you can not pass on PTSD. PTSD is damage to the brain from trauma. It is caused by a chemical imbalance between the two hemispheres. This is not something you just pass along.

Thanks,
bec
 

morgan

MyPTSD Pro
Just want to add that our brains actually look different than normal brains. we have enlarged hypothallymus or something like that. We learned that in the hospital. It's actually very involved. I'm glad you brought this up. It was very insightful.
 

batgirl

MyPTSD Pro
Yes I have changes to my brain, it shows up on the MRIs I've had, it's the hippocampus that is shrunken. Not sure about hypothalamus being enlarged, that's interesting. There's an article about it here on the forum that explains the hippocampus part:

[DLMURL]http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread292.html[/DLMURL]

Not everyone who has PTSD has the hippocampal shrinkage though. There's a lot they don't know about it yet, it's sort of in theory stage still. So if you don't have it doesn't mean you don't have PTSD.
 
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morgan

MyPTSD Pro
Oops!

:doh:Thanx Batgirl I knew it was something along those lines. My memory just sucks is all. You were very gracious in your correction too. I appreciate that as I'm extremely sensitive at times. Have a good one!:wink:
 

Linda

MyPTSD Pro
You can even have every symptom of PTSD but not have PTSD. bec
Excuse me, did you mean - to have every symptom alone, or all of them? If all of them, then how can you have all symptoms but do not have disease?
Well, your are right about self-diagnosis, however, sometimes there are situations when professional help is not availible, but the one who has some knowledge may understand what is going on.
I think if no names are disclosed and if no other help is availible that it is OK to label someone here. Although iof course more appropriate to say "i think" or "I suspect". There are many people in the world who have PTSD and do not know that just because they had never been seen by the specialists.
 

nathan

Learning
ever since i was diagnosed a few months ago, my mom now thinks she has it and that she can tell when other people have it. i actually find it very insulting, because it undermines my problems. shes like, oh well if you have it then i have it too, but mines worst than yours. its like a competition.
 

becvan

MyPTSD Pro
Linda, the best bet would be to go into Anthony's blog and watch his videos on diagnosing PTSD. He explains it a lot better than I do.

I see nothing wrong with saying you suspect someone might have PTSD. I even have someone close to me that I suspect might be developing it.. although I'm not sure either lol.

Hope that helped some.

Nathan, You sure we don't have the same mother? That was almost verbatim what my mother said when I told her I had PTSD. She is a very sick woman. As is yours. I feel for ya.

bec
 

hodge

MyPTSD Pro
shes like, oh well if you have it then i have it too, but mines worst than yours. its like a competition.

Nathan, You sure we don't have the same mother? That was almost verbatim what my mother said when I told her I had PTSD. She is a very sick woman. As is yours. I feel for ya.

I knew there was another reason not to tell my mother!
;)
 

Seeking_Nirvana

MyPTSD Pro
I believe my son has it, but he won't go to the doctor to find out why he has the symptoms he has.

I had a doctor who treated me for depression for 20 years and never diagnosed me with PTSD. I diagnosed myself with it due to research on the internet, and when I switched doctors I told him that I thought I had it. After the interview he agreed I was correct.

If I had known 20 years ago I had PTSD I may have had a better chance of trying to recover quicker because then I would have known what I was dealing with. I find no problem in telling some one that I "feel" they may have PTSD only if they ask my opinion.

Honestly I wished some one would have told me they thought my diagnosis was PTSD. It would have saved me a lot of years of wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

Tammy
 
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