Undiagnosed Learning more about C-PTSD. Trying Self-therapy. Hoping for a sense of belongingness and support system.

Lacrimosa

Learning
Hi everyone. I'm glad to have found this website. I've been clinically diagnosed with Chronic Depression, GAD, and Social Anxiety. I unfortunately don't have the means to afford formal therapy sessions. And so, been exploring different methods of self-healing for years, like trial-and-error. Only fairly recently did I come across this condition called C-PTSD and upon watching online videos, and reading up more about it, things have started falling into place. It has given me a deeper understanding of myself, and life has finally started to feel hopeful for me.

So... I'm trying to optimize all available help online and integrate them into my discipline. Right now, I'm focusing on self-facilitated IFS (albeit kinda wobbly, feels like groping in the dark sometimes), and supplementing it with some emotion regulating techniques like mindfulness practice, EFT, dance, journaling, etc. I've felt a bit of progress since late last year, but I often feel like maybe I should be doing more. I know one should not hasten healing, but since I'm doing it solo, I feel like I have to compensate it somehow with more effort.

I guess I just also want to know some success stories for motivation and inspiration. Or maybe hear some personal experiences/insights, as I honestly am finding it really lonely and difficult doing it all by myself.

Thank you so much. And cheers to healing!
 

Sideways

Moderator
Welcome to the forum!

I guess I just also want to know some success stories for motivation and inspiration
This place is chock full of inspiration, so you've come to the right place! And, ongoing motivation when things get rough.
I unfortunately don't have the means to afford formal therapy sessions.
Depending on what country you're in, there may be affordable (even free) therapy available, as well as a wide range of other supports.
Only fairly recently did I come across this condition called C-PTSD and upon watching online videos, and reading up more about it, things have started falling into place.
The good news about cptsd is that it's a form of ptsd. So, unless you have ptsd, you don't need to add cptsd to your list.

Cptsd is a complicated diagnosis that not everyone even agrees is an actual illness distinct from ptsd. It definitely doesn't lend itself to self-diagnosis.

There's some great articles available here, including differentiating between ptsd and cptsd.
 

Lacrimosa

Learning
Thanks for the welcome, and the information. I appreciate the concern and caution. I'd look more into the distinctions between ptsd and cptsd.

Cptsd is a complicated diagnosis that not everyone even agrees is an actual illness distinct from ptsd. It definitely doesn't lend itself to self-diagnosis.

I'm sorry if I might have made it appear that I take self-diagnosis lightly. In my aim for my intro to be as brief, light and 'cheerful' as possible, I have spared a lot of details, like my timeline. So I must have made the wrong impression, and seemed like I've just impulsively picked up the label of c-ptsd. I know there are some people who seem so quick to self-diagnose, and in effect appropriate mental conditions and wear it merely as fashion these days. Tbh, seeing such doesn't sit right with me too. I think we'd all agree that it demands much self-awareness and understanding before one can really claim a condition.

To shed some clarity, the 'official' diagnoses (of depression, etc.) I talked about was made 14 years ago, by a psychiatrist in a public hospital. I was young and at the height of my confusion and suicidal ideation at the time, that I just took any advise and drug I was fed. But even then, it felt like a half-baked assessment. The consultation was brief, and I wasn't very comfortable, so didn't fully open up to the doctor. So in the end I was quickly handed out drug prescription and recommendation for cbt. As mentioned, we didn't have the funds (even for that single consultation and first round of meds, my mom had to make ways to be able to afford), so I eventually stopped the meds (didn't really help that much anyway tbh) and resorted to self-healing. Since then, I've started my long hard search across different fields, especially in Psychology and Spirituality, to find a solution. But met with many difficulties, dead-ends, and almost came to a point where I felt there's just no hope for me anymore.

But a few years ago, I've come upon the idea of inner child healing and shadow work. I engaged in it, and thanks to that, I was able to regress and pinpoint the childhood experiences that caused me to have all these negative belief systems and overly intense fears and other emotional reactions, that cause even basic survival skills to be impaired and relationships to suffer. I have also explored many types of mental conditions and disorders, suspected a few of them, but ofc didn't just claim the labels without doing more research. That's how I've realized that those that I've been diagnosed with before are likely just symptoms of an umbrella issue. Finally made sense why, no matter how hard I try to change, and having phases where I seem okay, I still often go into major relapses where it feels like no work has been done at all. My triggers are still there. My negative schemas are still there. My intense reactions are still there.

And then, after looking into schema-focused therapies, I've been led into the field of trauma, explored it, and had this a-ha moment. I finally felt fully understood and my personal experiences since childhood validated. I did do some
research before applying the healing techniques (but ofc acknowledge the need to learn a lot more, thus the intro title). And now I am finally seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. :)

Depending on what country you're in, there may be affordable (even free) therapy available, as well as a wide range of other supports.

As for professional therapy. Sadly, I live in a poor country where even basic livelihood and healthcare are not given much priority and budget. Such that mental health is mostly seen here as a first-world problem, so most sufferers go undiagnosed and learn to just 'suck it in' and live with the pain for the rest of their lives. Even recently, as I've learned these new developments in Neuroscience and therapy, I did a search, and couldn't find a single local practitioner of IFS. And the one trauma therapy site I managed to find, is inactive. I know there are others, and would try to seek some more, but truthfully I have little hope that there would be any free, or even cheap available help. This is what led me to take to self-therapy. If only temporarily, until I can afford a formal one.

Again, thank you, and hopefully that clarified my original message. Have a good weekend!
 

Sideways

Moderator
Fwiw, I would have over-analysed posts in exactly the same way when I first joined this site as well!! There's extra reading here is all, and links to some excellent research. So you're in a good place where recovery is necessarily a self-directed thing!!

Welcome (sincerely!!). It's a great community here.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
hello lacrimosa. welcome to myptsd.

i started my own psychotherapy to recover from child prostitution in 1972. here in the cultural stigma on mental health was still pretty barbaric in those days. complex trauma such of child prostitution simply made me, "one of those girls." wink, wink. suck it up and accept your lot in life, sweetie.

we've come a long way since then. prayers in progress that you will, too. the healing of one is the healing of us all.

welcome aboard. hope you find stabilizing companionship here.
 

coraxxx

Sponsor
Hi @Lacrimosa , welcome here!

I really felt you reading your introduction because it's actually by reading a paper about CPTSD of what I hadn't much idea of up then and it described so well the state I was in that I started to cry. I then looked at the domain name under the paper was stored in, and it redirected me right here. This was a bit more than a year ago. And honestly this website (and more importantly, its members) have done more for me than any therapist has ever done. It's not all though and it's important to have some structured therapy I think, I am a strong advocate of good psychiatry, even if I know how half assed assessments can go. They wanted to diagnose me with BPD before going into anything trauma based because personality disorders are more traditionally diagnosed than trauma based disorders over here. I did know BPD quite well and while I didn't feel alien to it by many ways it still didn't really feel right. CPTSD did, even if the paper in question was mentioning prisoners of war. The heck, domestic violence is a very dark trap too. And in fact CPTSD became my actual diagnosis since my pdoc works with the ICD codes and not the DSM. (Just mentioning that her position is very much pro CPTSD and more into the trauma/dissociation approach than strictly PTSD one. That's also due to her location where the DSM is known but not used as the conceptual pilot for the profession. But psych blah blah)

I do also echo being drawn towards IFS, I think it's something that can be practiced quite alone since you're establishing conversations with yourself. But with the caveat that doing it can actually be destabilising or stalling if you don't have some way to manage yourself when getting symptomatic, I'm personally very grateful for medication because they really help me not to go full ahead into a meltdown like a bull ramming a door.

That said I'm happy you have found help with alternative methods and that it's working out for you. For specialists in trauma and/or dissociation, there are a few organisations that list practitioners internationally. I did find my therapist in one of them and she's been really good so far.

Sometimes it's better to get the actual person you want and ask over and over when they can take you and practice a sliding scale for the payments. It's kinda hard to press oneself like this but it was a friend of mine who recommended me this approach and it did work out. I know other people for whom it did work out too. If your case and approach is really something their type of therapy is directed to, that's really something you can do. And eventually even search for therapists through their papers or articles. Not unheard of.

So, all that to say, happy you found us.
 

Lacrimosa

Learning
Fwiw, I would have over-analysed posts in exactly the same way when I first joined this site as well!! There's extra reading here is all, and links to some excellent research. So you're in a good place where recovery is necessarily a self-directed thing!!

Welcome (sincerely!!). It's a great community here.
Oh haha, I see... I guess I did overanalyze. I'll be honest though, for a while there, I did feel a bit misunderstood and invalidated (thus the surfacing of the 'Defensive part'). But I realize that was far from what's intended, and it was just my reaction caused by one of my self-sabotaging schemas.

Thank you again. Looking forward to learn and also be able to contribute in this community. And to read more from you, maybe find snippets as to how you've managed to overcome the urge to over-analyze. :D

@Movingforward10 Thank you for the welcome and kind words. May I ask what actions you are currently taking to heal, while also not under formal diagnosis?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
@Movingforward10 Thank you for the welcome and kind words. May I ask what actions you are currently taking to heal, while also not under formal diagnosis?
I am in therapy, for the last two years. That's really helping me.
I'm becoming more aware of things. I was in denial for decades about various things and a very emotionally shut off person. So living more in my body, being aware of feelings and learning what they are, and learning how to process them, and learning how to express my needs, and learning how to be present rather than back in the past. Just lots and lots of learning!
Given the type of person that I am, I don't think I could do it without therapy, without that other person.
I try and read as much as I can about the various things that come up in therapy.
I can't do meditation or yoga as I find it too triggering. I would like to. I would like to be able to focus on my body intensely like that and be ok with it. Even trauma informed yoga or meditation doesn't work for me. Hopefully one day.
But: music and exercise help with keeping me calm and feeling better about myself.
And reducing my contact with my parents has helped a lot too.
 

Lacrimosa

Learning
@arfie

Thank you for the welcome and lovely wishes. :)

I'm sorry to hear of the horrible things you've had to go through. But glad that you have made so much progress in your healing journey since.

"the healing of one is the healing of us all" This is beautiful, and touched my heart so. ❤️

@ruborcoraxxx
Thank you for the welcome, and the words of support and advice. It's sweet, and also highly encouraging, to know the community and members have helped you so much in your journey. :)

Oh that's interesting. Actually, BPD is also one of the disorders I suspected, as I relate to many of the symptoms, though there are a few things that don't really click as fully as in C-ptsd. May I ask what the telltale distinctions are that made you certain you have the latter instead of the former? I'm wondering too, if it's possible to develop one on top of the other... And would the treatments be too different as to be detrimental to either, in case of misdiagnosis?

True about the difficulties in IFS. Particularly when a highly anxious part surfaces, and the Self gets lost, I would try to practice grounding techniques like mindfulness or breathwork, but if it's too much, have no choice but to abruptly stop the session and find a tried-and-tested distraction (usually going into fantasy mode) as band-aid. So I worry sometimes if that can cause retraumatization, since I'm deliberately triggering myself, and then somehow abandoning myself in the process...

Thanks as well for the tips in finding the right therapist. :) I do wish that soon I can have a more structured formal therapy.
 

Lucycat

Sponsor
Welcome!
I was diagnosed with CPTSD about 12 years ago. It has made such a difference to me, as I now have somewhere to hang my issues, my discomfort, my meltdowns!
After seven years of therapy I’m doing pretty well. It’s now 4 years since I stopped therapy ( although my therapist is on standby- he has said he will always take me on again if needed. But he retires later this year!).
I guess my point is, that CPTSD, is absolutely something that you can live with, given the right support and backup.
I hope you find the forum helpful. I certainly have!
 

Lacrimosa

Learning
@Movingforward10
Thanks for sharing. Lots and lots of learning sounds good! I think it's totally fine if you can't deal with particular practices yet; what's important is you are keeping up with the things that are currently working for you. It all starts with listening to ourselves, and honoring our unique needs. So you are doing great, and you can be proud of that. Wishing you the best in your healing journey. :)

@Lucycat
Thank you for the welcome and the encouragement, as well as for sharing your success story. Glad to know you are coping well on your own, after therapy. :)
 
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