Other Is borderline trauma a thing?


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One year ago I went through a deeply traumatic experience related to religion. I was being threatened with the never ending punishment in the unforgiving flames of hell along with the most monstrous creatures out there. Wondering why? Because of who I feel attracted to. Needless to say, I regretted being born and never had I been as desperate, miserable and suicidal as then. I could feel my dreams for the future being crushed. Maybe i overreacted, idk, but hey i was only 17, plus i already was emotionally sensitive because of my ocd symptoms (i was about to be diagnosed 2 years ago). Anyway, this crisis lasted for about a month, cuz dad helped me get through this. Many things used to trigger my flashbacks a couple of months ago, until I talked to my father again, giving him the whole explanation. He basically got me out of that situation, both of my parents accept me. Now I feel better, or that's what I like to believe. However, I dread going to church and did not go for a year. Since it was Easter, I decided to go together with my family a few weeks ago. I had been okay all day but when I arrived at that church, kind of a panic attack sprang up. You know, palpitations, feeling weak, crying....On that night it dawned on me that I was still quite traumatized. I didn't even enter that church! It was just in sight and i heard the priest talking into the microphone and singing. It's just that memories of me bawling my eyes out on those nights began flashing through my mind. I also realized that I can't go to quiet places without feeling uneasy. I'm talking about getting out into nature, as being in a calm place, especially by myself, makes me feel like I'm alone in this world, just like how i felt during my existential crisis. I call it like that because at that moment i realized i'm going to die, and, even more, that i can die anytime. I'm way more pessimistic since then, always thinking i'm not going to be among the lucky ones to live a long peaceful life....

Does this sound like borderline trauma to you? Is this even a thing?


that is not borderline trauma. it is trauma. being told repetitively that who you are and who you love is a sin and that you will be and deserve to be tortured in perpetuity for that sin is traumatic and abusive. i am pleased that you are no longer in that situation.
@maicrop24, while that certainly sounds horrible and traumatic in its own way, you cannot have gotten PTSD from this unless you were threatened with actual bodily harm. Threatened with being sent to hell, while absolutely awful (and disgusting to do to a child), doesn't fit Criterion A, which is how PTSD is defined.

The person was exposed to: death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence, in the following way(s):

Direct exposure
Witnessing the trauma
Learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma
Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma, usually in the course of professional duties (e.g., first responders, medics)

So while you were certainly traumatized, this incident cannot have given you PTSD. Which is good news! Because having PTSD sucks.

If you're not in therapy, I highly, highly encourage you to try it.


Does this sound like borderline trauma to you? Is this even a thing?
The types of trauma that can CAUSE ptsd, are called Criterion A Traumas... and whilst there are thousands upon thousands of individual kinds (from ice climbing accidents to rape to armed robbery to domestic violence to combat to.... insert thousands of types of trauma), they narrowly fit into 2 categories; immediate threat to life (including sudden & unexpected death), & sexual assault.

Those 2 kinds of trauma? Do not even begin to encompass the experience of PAIN.

PTSD? Is not a pain-disorder, nor pain-scale. There are far more painful things out there, than the specific kinds of trauma known to cause PTSD. Like losing a child, arguably one of the most painful things in life, only causes PTSD a tiny percentage of the time when their death ALSO meets PTSD requirements. That doesn’t mean that a parent who loses a child to cancer is in any less pain, than a parent who loses a child to a car accident or domestic violence. Nor does it mean that a parent who loses a child to a car accident, but develops a phobia, or GAD, or OCD, or an eating disorder, etc. is in any more or less pain than a parent who “only” loses their child, or a parent who develops PTSD. The PAIN? Is from the loss of their child. What disorder they develop? If any? Is totally secondary to that pain. The pain and grief is real. Full stop.

Existential crisis? Bigotry? Suicidal Ideation? Self hatred? Are all incredibly painful things. Often terrifying things. Colloquially? Traumatizing, for sure, since trauma is used as a synonym for pain. Scientifically traumatizing? Depends on the disorder/condition being considered. Medical trauma, for example includes both a skinned knee no one fusses over and having your leg cut off, as medical trauma “simply” means injury to the body. And there is a huuuuuuuge spectrum for that. Normal life trauma all the up to life threatening trauma. PTSD Crtierion A Trauma? Which is very narrowly defined as trauma that can cause PTSD? No. For other disorders? Possibly. It depends on the disorder being considered.


How wretched are the people who did that to you.

We are all still learning about trauma. My non professional two cents is that thinking you're gonna die during a panic attack is traumatic and qualifies. Pandemic isolation and fear of death by Covid has a lot of folks in the throes of PTSD. Psychological perception does play a role. Plus, we don't know your whole story. Please go to a qualified trauma T and let that person assess you instead of internet strangers. In good hands, working through this will be of benefit. Hugs to you.


One year ago I went through a deeply traumatic experience related to religion. I was being threatened with the never ending punishment in the unforgiving flames of hell along with the most monstrous creatures out there
I'm sorry that happened to you. It sounds a deeply traumatic experience. An abusive one. I'm glad you are out of it and have a family who accept you.

Does this sound like borderline trauma to you? Is this even a thing?
I think , to try and make sense of things in our minds, we often look for answers in diagnosis or labels: something to help explain what happened, why , rationalise it to make the pain of it abate and not happen again.
My (also unqualified) two cents is: labels are sometimes helpful and needed, sometimes not. What happened to you clearly was wrong. It sent you to a place in your mind where you were not coping because of what was being done to you.
There are specific criteria for PTSD to be diagnosed. But that doesn't stop something being traumatic or causing trauma. This is where labels sometimes don't help (or the search for labels). You know how you felt and you know it is causing you to panic when going to church, which means there is something for you to process and overcome because of what happened to you.
Having a T might help to process it all and reduce panic attacks.

Hope this gets better for you.


I think it is very easy to really get lost in diagnostical words that sounds scientific but do not mean anything in the scheme of one's real life. You could have a painful birth and forever suffer from same symptoms as PTSD and no way you could even remember the reasons. To diagnose PTSD, clinicians must to follow certain criteria cause they cannot get inside our head to see what happened so they ask lots of question and then determine PTSD and still diagnosis change every few years. The most perplexing thing about PTSD is even having an abusive childhood will give you PTSD...IMHO, sometimes PTSD is cover for all so the clinician can treat you unspecified time. It is not black and white. Many people who have been diagnosed other things are now diagnosed PTSD and sometimes the other way around too...please do not get lost in this.

No matter what you have, what you are diagnosed, and what you may believe, it sounds you had a terrible experience that is questioning your own mental health, sanity, and your psychological well being (and even existence) and that truly seems horrifying for anyone. I hope you seek if not already have one - a therapist to listen to your own mourning, pain and experience and help you find solace.