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I feel like im belittling people who are genuinely suffering from ptsd with my self-triggering. I feel like I'm doing this to myself.

soop

New Here
Hii, I just joined. I'm not entirely sure where to post this as I don't really understand myself, but I would really appreciate someone's thoughts on this.

Last year in november I was admitted to the ICU by ambulance after getting bloods done for my anorexia. I had the two worst months of my life and everything came crashing down on me. Since the start of this year it started to really effect me and I relapsed into self-harm. It's been constantly hanging over me and it always feels like that time. I relive it sometimes and have dreams about it. My psych thinks I might have ptsd and depersonalization. EMDR didn't really do anything since I couldn't feel anything during it.

I trigger myself on purpose and I don't really understand. This entire year I just keep going over it in my head and even triggering myself on purpose. I feel like I 'talked myself' into the ptsd symptoms (really sorry if this is insensitive). Especially the past week after I had an ER trip on sunday, I don't really feel it? I'm constantly thinking about how I'm thinking about the self-triggering. For some reason I just want to feel it, but when it happens I feel awful. I try to make myself feel worse to feel like the trauma was really that bad. They say I almost died, but I simply can't wrap my head around it. It feels so distant from me. The past year has just been one big unreal blob. I feel like I'm just faking it/trying to find reasons for comfort because of shitty parents.

Is it possible that my mind has made this all up to cope with everything bad in my life? I feel like im belittling people who are genuinely suffering from ptsd with my self-triggering, etc. I feel like I'm doing this to myself.
 
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There are a lot of disorders and conditions that share symptoms with PTSD, so sure. You may very well not have it.

But?

I’m sorry… Everything you describe is also totally normal for someone with PTSD.

Intrusive thoughts, disassociation/emotional blunting, doing anything to feel… anything… even pain (including triggering yourself on purpose, although people with PTSD trigger themselves on purpose for a lot of different reasons), deciding one doesn’t have PTSD (avoidance is a symptom of this disorder; when I’m doing really badly? I don’t have PTSD 10 times a day), etc.

Even having an ED is really common with PTSD, as it’s both an avoidance mechanism (a way to avoid thinking about trauma, because you’re busy, hyperfocused on food &/or your body &/or survival, staying in a constant delicate balance of life v death), as well as a means to assert control. And I don’t mean that “just” in an ED way, of taking control, but also your body is physically/emotionally/intellectually unable to respond in certain ways during starvation. So it’s particularly effective against anxiety & panic & intrusive thinking & emotional dysreg (like putting a warm fuzzy blanket on your brain, where it’s more concerned about survival than complex intellectual thought), if also a particularly lethal method. Far more lethal than substance abuse, or thrill seeking, or any other nuclear coping mechanism. As I’m sure you know, having been through ED treatment, anorexia has am even higher death rate than suicidal depression. It is, hands down, the single most dangerous disorder out there.

People with anorexia (waves hand, hello! Nice to meetcha! Really, a whole lot of us have both EDs & trauma related food & body issues in addition to the ED, which is part of why standard anorexia treatment doesn’t tend to work the way it’s “supposed” to) have a similarly difficult time with PTSD, as addicts getting clean do. In the beginning? Because there are no more happy chemicals flooding your brain, at your own direction, all of a sudden the trauma CRASHES in. Along with all the symptoms that have been beaten off with a stick, until now. So it’s like a flash flood of …everything… all at once. And someone just stuck a knife in our raft.

The GOOD news? There are actually other -super controlfreak friendly- ways to manage those symptoms back down AND to start treating the underlying disorder.

Again, maybe you don’t have PTSD. But? If your therapist is familiar with eating disorders and is seeing… more… with you? There’s a very strong probability there is more going on than ‘just’ the anorexia.

And it’s super smart of you to explore that.

Here’s a good starting point, and happy place, for the control freak in all of us. (Below)

 
Thank you a lot for your responses, I appreciate it!

@Weemie
My psych mentioned rumination as well. An obsession also describes it really well, because it does feel like that. She also mentioned I have intrusions.

@Friday
I'm honestly really relieved to hear I'm not the only one triggering myself and doing anything to feel.

It makes a lot of sense what you're saying. I realize it may have also stuck with me so much since my body and brain simply couldn't process all the stress and fear + other factors. Yeah, I've seen how anorexia absolutely wrecks you from others and myself. For a long time my mom was scared I wouldn't wake up anymore. It's a horrible disorder.

This made me realize something, thank you. I think the years of fear that my ED brought came crashing down on me when I started getting further from the danger zone and when everything changed drastically. Then also having that horrible hospital time is not a great cocktail.

My psych specializes in trauma, so I'm gonna tell her about the self-triggering and hopefully be able to learn more about why I do it. I'll check the cup explanation out!
 
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