Therapy Is Not Helpful To Me, But Do I Need It For Documentation?

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Powder

MyPTSD Pro
I have not found any meds or therapy helpful to me in my PTSD recovery at all. I also do not like going to therapy because enough of my life has been wasted on the trauma.

What I think helps me is self-care, a positive way of doing exposure therapy on myself, and talking about what has come up for me via intrusive memories with my husband. Establishment of trust with my husband has kicked off the healing process. The rest unfolds as it should and it happens at home. I have to spend time thinking about and reflecting on the past in small doses, and then talking about it with my husband.

Basically, I suspect that this is a kind of therapy.

When I went to therapy, I was basically hearing an echo of my husband's statements, and it got annoying to have to pay to hear the same thing from a stranger that is already said in my home and main relationship.

But, even though my PTSD symptoms have reduced to being much more liveable since processing the hot spot traumas that have come up for me spontaneously, my health is taking a nose dive.

I have an autoimmune disorder that is coming into its own and have also a weak immune system. So I have chronic Shingles, that don't respond to my meds for them and keep me sick and in the Dr. most of my free time. I have a good chance of losing my eyesight or other severe damage from the illness.

The Dr.s so far haven't helped me with this. They say to reduce stress.

In order to do that any further, I may have to stop working and apply for disability.

I don't think I can go there because I'm not in therapy for PTSD. In fact, my PTSD might be worse than I think and I may be in denial (again) so it would help me track my PTSD if I had a good Psychiatrist who can administer CAPS scores and other scores and help document what's going on with my health as it relates to my PTSD.

Can anyone speak to this? Anyone not want a "relationship" with a T (I confess I do push people away and always have. I have kept my marriage over 20 years, some extended family I am close to and converse with often, and function well at work and in my own family, so I do not see a big issue with my tendency to not desire many relationships).

I don't want a relationship with a T. I just want a Dr. who can guide my health and life/career related decisions so that I don't work myself into the ER.
 

Muted

MyPTSD Pro
Tough question...yes and no for me. A part of me questions if you have ever found a therapist that is truly right for you. It sounds like you have a great relationship with your husband, which is wonderful. However, the right therapist can offer valuable feedback from more of an objective perspective.

I also push people away and find I'm currently struggling with this. For me, it feels safer than feeling like when it comes down to it, they really won't be there for you anyway. I am keeping my T at a distance because of this. I do think it is now hindering things as we've progressed closer to core roots, but I am aware enough to know my own security needs to go there and I absolutely refuse to allow myself to be that vulnerable without a safety net. For me, my husband cannot always be that safety net. So...who knows what'll happen now. I am aware of this familiar feeling of when I start shutting people out and I can usually sense when it starts.

I'm not sure if that helps at all... I'm sorry you're in this tough situation with your health and everything.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I don't think I can go there because I'm not in therapy for PTSD. In fact, my PTSD might be worse than I think and I may be in denial (again) so it would help me track my PTSD if I had a good Psychiatrist who can administer CAPS scores and other scores and help document what's going on with my health as it relates to my PTSD.
You should check whether or not the shingles is sufficient to build a disability case on. If it's not, then yes, I'd have a strong guess you'd need to be registered in some kind of therapy - though hopefully people with more disability experience can speak to that.

But you are saying "my PTSD might be worse than I think" - and that makes me wonder if you shouldn't look into the various therapy supports that might not involve a 1-on-1 with a therapist. Will your insurance support a referral to an IOP? Or, does your health network offer some version of wellness seminars? The care system I use has all sorts of 10-week things on mindfulness, stress reduction, etc - techniques taught in a group setting, and it's not at all about talk therapy, just learning skills. You might get something out of that.
 

Powder

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you. My work offers an online sort of course in stress management that I selected but haven't done because it will be very general and time consuming for me right now, when I'm actively putting out fires with all the time I have with my health, which is the source of most of my stress. I don't know but I think my body's autoimmune disease and my PTSD are confused, so I can't separate the two.

For instance, I am in a flare of the Shingles and the autoimmunity right now that's lasted for about 15 days. Today and yesterday, I was fine in the morning, but as my body gets more inflammation going during the day, after 11 am, I could hardly talk while I was teaching because I could not inhale and get a deep breath and when this happens, I am not sure if I was having a kind of lung swelling called Pulmonary Hypertension that makes it hard to breathe that goes with my AI disease or PTSD, or a combo.

This then makes my voice shaky and my body feel anxious. In the past, it triggered Fight, Flight or Freeze reactions in my body, and I would flashback and get a full on Asthma or drowning feeling attack, and I do not "have Asthma, at all.

So I guess in this PTSD body, as I'm sure with everyone who has something like that, things combine and make it exponentially harder to understand the source and steps to cope. It gets frustrating when therapy works on one level and not another. It takes a holistic approach.

Another example is the Celiac with AI, and how when I eat gluten, I have what feels like a racing heart, which I attributed to PTSD, but which is purely Celiac. It causes immense anxiety.

How much of PTSD does the T treat as "emotional" and controllable via the mind, when that has no bearing? See, after going off wheat, my PTSD is about 80% improved. After a year off gluten, I am med free for PTSD, but still having PTSD symptoms, just more tolerable.

I believe my answers are in my body, not in therapy. But I also am aware that our system will likely grant for PTSD that is best documented going back to 1997 vs. an autoimmune disease, which is common in women and comes on gradually such that it might not be clear when it becomes a problem as far as they are concerned. (hoping this makes sense. I don't feel too great at the moment.)
 

Powder

MyPTSD Pro
I've never heard of such a thing. Thank you.

I see a Rheumatologist June 26, or if they have a cancellation. That's the soonest they had. I want to have a Dx of my autoimmune IA disease. My abusive father is dying of the AI disease, which has diseased his heart and intestines.

My sis and I also test positive for AI but we don't know what we have, or if its the same base AI or unique clusters.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Yes - sometimes advocates work in a separate non-profit, and sometimes they are state funded.

A patient advocate can really help navigate the system.
 

Powder

MyPTSD Pro
I have co-workers with cancer, and close to retirement age or at that age, still working. Maybe by choice. Seems like losing all your hair and having multiple cancer surgeries would be open and shut.
 

Powder

MyPTSD Pro
@joeylittle

Would a Patient Advocate at a University Medical Center be similar? I have an appt. at this U. in late June to seek a Dx of my AI disease. This disease (or at least the major symptoms) appears to be shared among the paternal family line. Uncle, father, sister, cousin and I have similar symptoms. Father is dying of it in his 60s after multi heart surgeries to attempt to survive it. (I don't feel sad; I feel anger that he'll die with my sister by his side because she still has amnesia for the abuse. I'm sad about that.)

My sister is already on Plaquinil, which is the go to, as I understand, for AI disease symptoms, but not a long-term solution. She has to have it to be able to work as a massage therapist (to treat her rheumatic pain.)

My sister and I should pursue Dx, since our father didn't follow up and is now dying of complications from untreated AI disease. Since he did the "putting out fires" approach, rather than the Dx, treat, prevent, delay progression of the underlying cause of the systemic disease, he's paying for it now.

I'm experiencing obvious emotional entanglement of PTSD and trauma and unresolved family abuse history along with the physical disease that is becoming clinical now; was subclinical before.

Having AI and a Immunoglobulin deficiency is the recipe for chronic, recurrent Shingles. PTSD stress doesn't help. So I seem to have that sort of trifecta. Chronic fatigue and pain and sickness is the main complaint at this time, along with appearance of more random AI symptoms.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Would a Patient Advocate at a University Medical Center be similar?
Yes - very similar. They will not be as directly familiar with disability law (probably), but they will be able to help you navigate the system, get to who you need to talk to more efficiently.
 

Powder

MyPTSD Pro
So far, I know that I have several Dxs and only one is PTSD, with the others being medical genetic problems. These are keeping me very sick all the time.

My Doctor just told me that I am in the wrong job. I have a deficient immune system, and shouldn't be a teacher, exposed to stress and germs.
 
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