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Not Sure If I Have PTSD - Besides I Have The Perfect Life, Right?

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Awakening, Jul 20, 2007.

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  1. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

    Hi, I am 30 years old woman, live in Melbourne & have been in therapy for 15 months working on "trauma" issues. I hate saying I have trauma issues, but according to my psychologist I do, and well she's the expert.

    I started reading this site on Monday. I was amazed at all the information and how I related to it. It was a bit of a relief to be honest. I like the sense of humour in this site. I never wanted to be a 'victim' and that's sometimes how this feels. Here no one seems a victim, they seem strong, funny & normal & brave. When I read Self-talk, Subpersonalities & Counterstatements - I thought someone had read my mind. I've been using that this week & it's been helpful, so thank you.

    What attracted me to this site? Well maybe two years ago a GP told me I showed 'symptoms' of PTSD, and had I experienced any trauma to which I strongly denied, because to be honest, I was offended. It couldn't happen to me. Which sounds like I'm up myself, but really I was just ignorant. I figured I'm strong, capable & responsible - now I know these qualities don't exempt you.

    I don't really feel comfortable listing my 'traumas' at this stage. Hope that's okay.

    My psychologist occasionally reads bits & pieces from books that invariably have titles with the words PTSD in them, but she has never said this is what you have or indicated that I have anything at all. And frankly I've never asked, I'm not sure if I want any particular 'title'.

    I've been struggling with work. I'm taking sick leave or annual leave or avoiding work altogether.

    The reason I'm struggling at work is I'm having difficulty sleeping & nightmares. Bouts of depression, anxiety attacks are something I've been living with for awhile now. I try to cope with alcohol & in the past some mild SI.

    Mostly I feel like I live in a separate world to everyone else. Like I'm no longer innocent, like I live on the dark side. I watch people laughing at bbqs with their kids and remember that feeling but no longer feel apart of it. I feel very alone. I also don't want to 'taint' other people with my shit.

    Finally, I find it incredibly difficult to 'feel' my 'feelings'. I might feel lousy all week, desperate to see my psychologist, and then once I get there I feel just fine albeit a little detached & robotic. My psychologist says I disassociate (?) somewhat during a session. We both acknowledge my difficulty in expressing emotions/feelings (although in the last month I've become much better at this), and we are trying to work on how to make me more comfortable about expressing feelings - suggestions would be most welcome.
    Wow, I'm really waffled on here!!!! And I thought I had nothing to say!!!:loopy:
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  3. Portabella

    Portabella Well-Known Member

    Welcome, hope you continue to visit, read and learn. Welcome to the Community, there is much healing and hope here.
  4. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    Hi Awakening......

    You had TONS to say, and did it very, very well. Welcome to the forum. I have only been here a couple of weeks and I love it. I have only posted bits and pieces so far, just kind of vague stuff. It would take me days and days to get it all out. Maybe weeks......:dont-know Anyway Welcome to the group, and whatever you can do, when you can do it is fine... Read, read, and the read some more......

  5. splost76

    splost76 Sleep Management Editor

    I don't really feel comfortable listing my 'traumas' at this stage. Hope that's okay.

    I read this and thought that this is okay. We all come to this place at different stages in our life's. For some of us we need to verbalize exactly what occurred to overcome this in our lives, others just sharing feelings and thoughts but not the actual things helps.

    So what ever makes you comfortable in sharing let it go, and we will listen and hopefully be able to help you heal some why you are here. Nice to meet you and hope you stay with us.
  6. nathan

    nathan Active Member

    welcome awakening! im new here as well but i already feel at home and hope you will too. from what i can tell, there are alot of great people here with profound stregth and experience and the willingness to help.
  7. Shinigami_Shimai

    Shinigami_Shimai Active Member

    Welcome to the group. You sound like I was about ten years ago, I just wanted to think that I was normal and there was nothing wrong with me...

    Well, I hope you find the help you need here.

    jaa ne

  8. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

    Wow, thanks so much for your welcomes.

    Thought I'd try writing out a bit more of my experiences.

    The main reason/s I am in therapy are because;

    -attempted rape at eighteen
    -abuse by a male relative in childhood

    Interestingly enough these weren't the actual reasons I entered therapy, but that's what I now find myself working on the most.

    That will do for now. Thanks again for your support.
  9. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Awakening, welcome. I relate to so much of what you've written! It has really helped me to be here and see how not alone I really am! I hope you find being here a similarly helpful experience. By the way, I love your username. Wish I'd thought of it for myself :) Take care.
  10. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Welcome to the forum. You are already starting out great getting things out of you.
  11. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hi awakening, welcome to the forum. I am going to take a rough guess here, but your just now beginning to come to terms that you likely do have PTSD, though are still in a little denial, though your certainly coming around too it. Therapists often don't go out for labels, unlike the doctors will. Labels often hinder the initial progress, though 15 months of therapy they should just be honest if believed you have it. If you are in the self honesty mood, then fill out the [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/forms/ptsd-diagnosis/"]PTSD diagnosis[/DLMURL] form and find out how close you are to a PTSD diagnosis, if not right smack bang in it. Though do remember, this is a guide, and other criteria are assessed that cannot be calculated in a theoretical assessment.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  12. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I did do some psych test soon after seeing my current psychologist. I did notice on the bottom of these forms "PTSD". I handed the forms in. I never asked for 'my results' and she never told me. Maybe I should ask.

    Here's the result of the test I did;
    Overall Summary of Combined Symptom Groups
    1. Pre-Requisites Score (2 points required): 2
    2. Re-Experiencing Symptoms (required between 10 - 50 GAF): 48
    3. Numbing and Avoidance Symptoms (required between 10 - 50 GAF): 39
    4. Hyper-Arousal Symptoms (required between 10 - 50 GAF): 36
    5. Social and Work Dysfunction (required between 10 - 50 GAF): 48
    6. How long have you had these symptoms: Four Months or Longer (Chronic PTSD)
    But as it says it's a test, I need to be seen in person. I'm not sure I want to ask. From I've what I've read PTSD is incurable, which sounds pretty depressing & hopeless to me, surely it can be overcome.

    I was hoping it is more post traumatic stress rather then an actual disorder, simply because I want to get better.

    A bit more about me if okay;

    Originally what got me into therapy was being told I might not have children. After 12 months I miraculously fell pregnant, only to find out at 10 weeks there was no heartbeat, & I needed a d & c. Naturally this was very sad and I went into therapy, and I've definitely dealt with this. I don't think this caused any traumatic stress just depression.

    During my time with this particular therapist with her delving into everything I mentioned this 'thing' at 18. I really didn't want to discuss it, eventually blurted out a couple of things. This therapist recommended I go to a 'trauma specialist' which is the psychologist I'm with now.

    Initially however I just finished therapy and did not go to a trauma specialist, as I really wanted to be out of therapy and living my life, and I had resolved the miscarriage/fertility issues.

    However, there was some significant drama with two family members in particular. It involved some threats of violence, threats of ruining my life one way or another etc, eventually involving the police and lawyers. It is somewhat ongoing so don't want to get into details. Fair to say I did not cope well with this one, nearly lost all touch with reality, etc etc etc. I went back to my original therapist who urged me to see trauma specialist and this is how I wound up with current psychologist.

    The above incident probably caused me to have some 'post traumatic stress' and at the moment some ongoing stress but I don't think a disorder. We discussed this incident and occassionally still do when it resurfaces but mostly we talk about the sexual assault and abuse as a child. These two things I've never previously discussed (apart from the sexual assault with the first therapist).

    My psychologist has said that a traumatic incident (such as the one experienced with the two family members) can then cause repressed traumas such as the sexual assault & abuse to come forward.

    What I don't understand is how I could not be bothered by these things all my life, and now suddenly they completely rule my life. It definitely feels like they are happening in the present.

    So I'm wondering if I never dealt with the assault & abuse - maybe I do just have post traumatic stress because I never dealt with the post traumatic stress at the time.

    Or has the stressful event of my 2 family members triggered PTSD but the assault & abuse the cause?

    Now I'm really confused!!!!!!! Sorry this may make no sense at all.
  13. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Don't try and put your finger on the exact moment, because your only going to baffle yourself more. Instead think of it like this... post-traumatic stress is what a person gets "immediately" after a traumatic incident. If PTS is not dealt with then and there, then you open yourself up for that stress to then manifest into post-traumatic stress disorder, hence where you likely are now.

    Most people sit in denial, and unfortunately until such time as you know conclusively whether you have it or not, you will not be able to begin the true healing process which can only be done when not in denial. Denial is like trying to help a sufferer that self medicates.... fruitless at the best of times basically.

    A person must have a few basics down before they can heal... hence why so many people sit in therapy for decades with little success, often because they simply have not come to terms with denial, instead sitting in sympathy or deny they are ill. A bit hard to fix something someone denies they have, ha?
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