Undiagnosed Finding the right treatment…. Sexual Harassment with ADHD, Anxiety, & mild OCD.

Not quite sure where to post this. I think CPTSD would be more accurate (childhood sexual abuse, school problems, absent father, depressed overworked mother, followed by getting pregnant at 20 and marrying a manipulative narcissist). I have a diagnosis of ADHD, anxiety, and mild OCD. I was just getting steady on my feet when I had an adverse employment situation.

What do I look for when looking for treatment for intrusive memories as a result of sexual harassment? I don't know if it's because the harasser was another woman or if it's sexual harassment in general but every time I try to explain this I get shut down. I wonder if, with the next therapist, I should just lie and say it was a male coworker. The best the last one had to offer was thought-stopping. The one before that said "I was letting her live rent-free in my head" twice, and I should "stay away from assholes" I shouldn't have to quit my job.

I feel like if a man walked into work and started talking about he spent the day in bed "feeling his nakedness" and wouldn't stop talking about it, no one would dismiss that as an overshare. I was too shellshocked to say anything to the owner. I had no emotional support system at the time.
 
Welcome!

I would probably look for a therapist who specializes in trauma.

I wonder if, with the next therapist, I should just lie and say it was a male coworker.
No. Besides the fact that a relationship with a therapist should be upfront and honest, it will not help you heal from harassment or abuse by a *female* if you deny it was a female and say it was a male.
 
I wouldn't be a bale to keep it up, anyway... I'm an awful liar
No. Besides the fact that a relationship with a therapist should be upfront and honest, it will not help you heal from harassment or abuse by a *female* if you deny it was a female and say it was a male.
I could never keep it up anyway. I'ma terrible liar.
 
Therapists who dismiss harassment by women shouldn't be therapists!

Saying that, thought stopping is a really good strategy. It helps me.

I would sayvmost therapeutic styles would be able to work through this but which have you tried before?
The thought stopping is more CBT style (I think?), so maybe that doesn't feel right for you?

There is also truth in the therapist highlighting about the person living rent free in your head.
I wonder if these things just didn't land right for you. As for me, I think they would.

It sounds like you feel you're not being taken seriously because the person was female. What response do you want? What works for you?
 
Therapists who dismiss harassment by women shouldn't be therapists!

Saying that, thought stopping is a really good strategy. It helps me.

I would sayvmost therapeutic styles would be able to work through this but which have you tried before?
The thought stopping is more CBT style (I think?), so maybe that doesn't feel right for you?

There is also truth in the therapist highlighting about the person living rent free in your head.
I wonder if these things just didn't land right for you. As for me, I think they would.

It sounds like you feel you're not being taken seriously because the person was female. What response do you want? What works for you?
I want the memories to fade. I want to sit in the park and let my mind go without being thrown back to something that happened 8 years ago. I want to be able to work in the industry I trained for but that requires creative thinking, which means I have to be able to let my mind wander. I can't live in a constant distraction from what I need to be doing. For an introvert with ADHD not being able to have quiet time is a hell neurotypicals can't imagine. Literally, because their brains are not wired that way.

Thought stopping is a momentary solution if it was going to work, it would have worked years ago.

I'm not "letting" them live rent-free in my head I'm being tortured by memories I don't want. In 8 years they don't fade, they don't soften... Of course that doesn't sit right with me. If I live to be as old as my grandmother I have another 40 years of living hell. I was sitting there asking for some kind of solution and getting victim blaming.
 
I want the memories to fade. I want to sit in the park and let my mind go without being thrown back to something that happened 8 years ago. I want to be able to work in the industry I trained for but that requires creative thinking, which means I have to be able to let my mind wander. I can't live in a constant distraction from what I need to be doing. For an introvert with ADHD not being able to have quiet time is a hell neurotypicals can't imagine. Literally, because their brains are not wired that way.

Thought stopping is a momentary solution if it was going to work, it would have worked years ago.

I'm not "letting" them live rent-free in my head I'm being tortured by memories I don't want. In 8 years they don't fade, they don't soften... Of course that doesn't sit right with me. If I live to be as old as my grandmother I have another 40 years of living hell. I was sitting there asking for some kind of solution and getting victim blaming.
No victim blaming. Remember we're all here with similar issues. My things (thoughts, visuals, feelings) are from 30 years ago, not 8, so I get it. Can hardly blame you when I struggle with the same!
Just sharing what helps me.
Taking control of my thoughts and knowing I have power in the here and now helps so much. Hard to do when feeling helpless and uncontrollable and all the other stuff. But good to remember.
 
I found the AI really good for running me through different treatment approaches and what they involve.

What works for one won’t work for another. CBT type is great for me, I love it, it works really well. Whereas validation and gentle approaches don’t work at all for me.

So, maybe it’s less about what doesn’t work, and what do you think would work? Somebody that validates the difficulty of it being another women for sure, because it’s wrong you were dismissed like that and feeling the need to lie, shows that the therapist didn’t respond in a helpful way to you.
 
What do I look for when looking for treatment for intrusive memories as a result of sexual harassment?
Intrusive thoughts are part and parcel with
- ADHD
- Anxiety
- OCD

So that’s where I would start. With what you already know is a problem. Once you’ve managed all 3 down to nill? Then spend a few grand seeking a further diagnosis.

I want the memories to fade. I want to sit in the park and let my mind go without being thrown back to something that happened 8 years ago.
One of the common facets of ADHD is near-eidetic memory, including the emotions & pain & etc. that neurotypical people just don’t remember, or even notice in the moment. It’s part of why our short term memory is so fawked, because of the depth & breadth of our memory in general. It’s hard to pay attention to any ONE thing, when 5 HUNDRED or 5 THOUSAND things all have equal “say” as the ONE.

Over time? It gets easier to remember discrete events, as the flotsam most people discard every moment of every day, gradually fades. One can still remember the 72 colours of 1 leaf, but that’s not in competition with the 60,000 leaves also in attendance.

OCD? Adds a twist to the above, as does anxiety. (Although both are also symptoms/expressions of ADHD, it’s worth double checking if you’ve been over-diagnosed. A common thing, especially in the US). If NOT overfish nosed? Then there will be aspects of your comorbid disorders ALSO chiming in… as all 3 disorders are exacerbated by… stress & trauma.

I happen to have ADHD-C & PTSD from complex trauma. So it gets a bit messy sometimes in my head…. Whilst most of the time I can tell if something is PTSD or ADHD chiming in? Sometimes? It’s both. Each feeding into the other.

My very strong recommendation is to work with someone who specialises in at least one (if not all) of the disorders you already know you have… AND …trauma. Because stress & trauma? Effect different disorders differently than they effect neurotypical people. Working with one of those folks? Will fast track “if” this is something more than they would expect to see, or is toooootally in line with what they expect to see.
 
Not quite sure where to post this. I think CPTSD would be more accurate (childhood sexual abuse, school problems, absent father, depressed overworked mother, followed by getting pregnant at 20 and marrying a manipulative narcissist). I have a diagnosis of ADHD, anxiety, and mild OCD. I was just getting steady on my feet when I had an adverse employment situation.

What do I look for when looking for treatment for intrusive memories as a result of sexual harassment? I don't know if it's because the harasser was another woman or if it's sexual harassment in general but every time I try to explain this I get shut down. I wonder if, with the next therapist, I should just lie and say it was a male coworker. The best the last one had to offer was thought-stopping. The one before that said "I was letting her live rent-free in my head" twice, and I should "stay away from assholes" I shouldn't have to quit my job.

I feel like if a man walked into work and started talking about he spent the day in bed "feeling his nakedness" and wouldn't stop talking about it, no one would dismiss that as an overshare. I was too shellshocked to say anything to the owner. I had no emotional support system at the time.
I'm so sorry to hear about what you've been through, joannethelost. It sounds like you have faced many difficult experiences and have carried the weight of them for quite some time. You are not alone in your struggles, and I want to assure you that there are people who can offer support and understanding.

Finding appropriate treatment for intrusive memories related to sexual harassment is an important step toward healing. It's unfortunate that you've had negative experiences with therapists in the past. Remember that therapy should be a safe and supportive space for you to share your experiences without judgment or dismissal.

Instead of lying about the gender of your harasser, I encourage you to seek out a therapist who specializes in trauma and is knowledgeable about the specific challenges faced by survivors of sexual harassment. They should be open to discussing the impact it has had on you, regardless of the gender of the harasser.

In addition to therapy, connecting with others who have similar experiences can be incredibly valuable. I invite you to join the peer-to-peer community at myptsd.com. There, you can find support, share your stories, and connect with others who understand what you're going through. You may find comfort in knowing that you're not alone and that others have found healing and recovery.

Remember, it's important to prioritize your mental health and seek professional help if necessary. If you ever feel overwhelmed or in crisis, please reach out to a helpline or emergency services in your area.

On myptsd.com, you'll find specific forums dedicated to different topics related to PTSD and CPTSD, including discussions on sexual trauma, workplace harassment, and more. I hope that you can find support and understanding within this community.

Take care of yourself, and know that seeking help is a sign of strength.
 
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