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My take on PTSD

Thread starter #1
I went to Mt. Shasta here in California. I don't want to admit, but I heard of novel treatments for PTSD at a vet clinic there. I got a friend and we went camping. I went to meeting that night and met a guy who was a vet, who was likely being treated at the clinic. When I mentioned I had PTSD he became angry. He said I how dare I say I had PTSD because I wan't a vet, that I couldn't possibly understand what he went through. I figure this is what we do. I used to say stuff like that. That you couldn't possibly understand, and I am sure never giving you the chance. But something was bugging me. The next day I was at the Shasta Post Office and there was a newspaper. It was article about PTSD written by the VA. It said they had decided PTSD was incurable. It was a pretty disappointing awful trip. Later, I saw an article written by a psychologist at the VA. He said for years they had been telling vets that PTSD is a badge of honor for their sacrifice, that is shows they have served honorably. It is an attempt to soothe their symptoms, in a way valid, and not malicious in any way. I have encountered vets who have internalized this. I think the more accurate diagnosis of CPTSD is good. It differentiates because my perpetrator was my Dad, unlike an anonymous enemy, who can be hated. I also had a classic trauma. I don't want to speak out and mess with this. I doubt anyone would be helped and many would be harmed. Unfortunately, a women came to our local meeting. She said her doctor said she had PTSD, but she didn't believe it because she wasn't a vet. I think I will be sure and talk about CPSTD when I can.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
#2
It said they had decided PTSD was incurable.
Well, that's what all the science currently points to. It can't be "cured", medically. Just like cancer can't be "cured" (thats the most straightforward analogy - but many disorders and diseases work like that).

PTSD is treated, not cured. It will become dormant, or inactive - you could say, in remission. The individual would no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD....but it can come back. Something could re-trigger it, and the individual become symptomatic again.

So, I wouldn't get too depressed about whatever you read. That's not news, it's just the current understanding. Medically.

I think the more accurate diagnosis of CPTSD is good. It differentiates because my perpetrator was my Dad, unlike an anonymous enemy, who can be hated.
Just not true. There are combat veterans who have CPTSD. And if you do a little bit of reading about combat PTSD, you'll see that "hating the enemy" isn't some sort of differentiating factor. I'm not a combat vet, so I can't speak to it.

Sounds like you aren't one either, so I suggest you do some more reading about real experiences. Search for articles on this site written by @anthony, it's a good place to start.

Unfortunately, a women came to our local meeting. She said her doctor said she had PTSD, but she didn't believe it because she wasn't a vet.
But she might not have CPTSD, either...I'm not sure what your point here is, except that there's still a lot of mis-conception about PTSD: what it is, what causes it, how it affects the sufferer, how it's 'treated'....etc.

It differentiates because my perpetrator was my Dad, unlike an anonymous enemy, who can be hated
Sorry, gotta come back to this one. You're talking about the inner conflict of both loving and hating your Dad, is that right?

CPTSD is not limited to familial abuse. This is an important thing to understand.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
#3
@foggy

Thank you for writing this post. It is extremely interesting.

PTSD and mental health in general are so subjective in real world sense cause truly culture influences what is illness in the mind and what is not. I have familial CPTSD - sometimes symptomatic and sometimes not...depends and even when I am symptomatic it does not impact my life harshly enough to be concerned for my livelyhood or my relationships. it is more internal chaos and identity development to manage sometimes I feel ( personal anecdote) that my body has cptsd but my mind does not; hence, why I can take care of me in a sense and not fully collapse to it...this is my personal feeling and opinion.

Where I grew up, family intrusion, abuse, neglect or the whole nurture is truly lacking hugely. A great book I find interesting is The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel by Lancy. My culture I would say is mostly like children are chattels - must take care of the elders sort of style...100% anti cherubs here! so you can just imagine PTSD in a childhood would be rampant!. Now, same culture because it is so fundamental, ptsd is not a barrier ...if anything, culturally speaking crime is low (or used to be - the world is changing now) and marriages used to be longer and family relationships stronger but people have sort of fragmented selves and need others deeply (dependency is very high)...again my personal view so individualism is quite dead and if you show too much of that - then definitely you are displaying reverse ptsd that everybody has and you are the crazy one!

My point is ptsd and its debate is interesting. There are a lot of people who are severely sick and extremely unable to function in normal every day but there are also extremely functional and can take care of other both personally and professionally and all have ptsd. One may critically ask how does that work in the brain exactly?

It kind of makes you wonder why is that? To me, personally, we sanction people too easily for having mental health because our culture (north america) perfection is pervasive. If you have slightly human negative feeling and worse express it, you are diagnosed more or less. In my culture, mental health is sanctioned two major ways - crime or group (family or society) has decided or sanctioned the person to be mentally ill (attempt of suicide usually by fire or hanging is a good sign or having psychosis but being difficult, loner, depressed or anxious do not). The bar for mentally ill is quite high. Most who suffer depression or anxiety have family accepting that is just the way they are ...they consider character rather than mental health as long as you are functional and not having psychosis, you manage your thing openly in the family. The downside is women have more leeway than men...it is much more difficult for men to display their mental health so most commit crime or substance abuse.--- which will definitely give them mental health diagnosis or be sanctioned by the whole family or society.

I think sometimes some vets (and I cannot speak for them but I grew up with them a lot and can give my opinion) feel very much (at least generally) they are in the symptomatic phase of ptsd especially when new to the diagnosis and feel sort of disconnect with those who are quite functional and can perpetuate a long history of trauma. The impact of ptsd is important to note.

Now that I have been around and learned a lot about ptsd and still learning, the way I see, it changes every day and to me I feel it is up to the person seeking help to feel and resonate when diagnosed that is what they have and let others determine for themselves. When others tell you or tell others how to feel, what is their mental state, that is when sanctioning/diagnosing comes into affect and I am very leery about that.

Now, I take care of myself while I am aware of cultural and personal differences....but I will be lying if I do not say my cultural background helps me manage it differently than the culture I live in today.
 
#4
Like any other illness, PTSD can be severe and less severe. It is still PTSD. I used to be severe CPTSD, and I can't hold a job but I can do most things. The pandemic makes it worse. Mental illness is being discussed more and more, so hopefully people will start to understand that PTSD is not just for vets.
 
Thread starter #5
I'm just trying to make sense of my experience. I had a classic PTSD trauma, similar to a combat trauma. I also have a CPTSD trauma from child abuse. It feels like I don't fit perfectly into the NARP program and I can't find civilian PTSD groups. I then pursued the knowledge and treatment the VA had. I never said I was vet, I'm not. I did a ton of research. I watched the documentary Respirio (this was the best source), but a lot of other documentaries, actual footage and interviews, looking for clues. When I worked for a defense contractor, way before I pursued this, I went down to the college and talked to ROTC instructors. They seemed happy I was taking interest in what the did. One guy in 40s was shipping out. I wasn't pretending to be a vet, but I thought we had something in common. I was rejected every time, for the same reason. I wasn't a vet, they said I could not understand, so I gave up. I wasn't saying I was a vet, I was trying to find out how to treat my PTSD. I still feel something is off, that I don't fit in really any where. To tell the truth, I had a horrific experience at a civilian trauma clinic that opened in San Fransisco. The attending doctor asked me my trauma, so I told him. He then said angrily, "I could have told you you didn't qualify for our services, before you went into that litany". I was so hurt I almost passed out. He followed me out apologizing, but I didn't want anything to do with them.
 
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