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Trauma During Treatment of Extreme PTSD

Discussion in 'General' started by ptsd_cracker, Aug 31, 2007.

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  1. ptsd_cracker

    ptsd_cracker Member


    I'm new here and I wonder if anyone might have some advice for me. I have probably had ptsd for the past 15 yrs but was not diagnosed. Then 2 yrs ago I sustained a trauma where I was lucky enough to live. My PTSD became full blown and I went for diagnosis and counseling. At about 8 months into counseling I had an extremely intense flashback while on the phone to family members who got scared and called the police. When the police arrived I called my therapist to explain that I was in treatment and this was just a flashback. But due to the family's influence I was taken to the hospital. Due to the extreme stress I started to dissociate and have flashbacks of being taken hostage again and I started freaking and pulled a fire alarm. I was then physically and chemically restrained and placed in isolation for 7 days with no food/water or bathroom facilities. I have no history of violence or suicide but I came out extremely suicidal.

    It's been a year since that incident. I have no trust or faith in the doctors, therapists or nurses that are suppose to care for me. I have full blown panic attacks when I even think about getting help again. My flashbacks and nightmares are now of the events in the hospital. I rarely have suicidal thoughts anymore and no longer cry for 4+ hours a day. But I can't seem to return to work for more than a couple weeks without freaking out and pretty much starting back at the start again. My situation only has improved since they took me off all the medications in the last 4 months.

    I just don't know what to do anymore. How or where do I find help. How to I accept help when I have an extreme fear of being hospitalized again. I don't want to avoid doctors for the rest of my life and I want my life to improve more than it has.

    Has anyone had a similar experience and how did you deal with it?
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  3. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    Hi PTSD,

    You deal with your PTSD head on......You have to look at your trauma, write it all down, pull it apart, feel the emotions, feel everything associated with the trauma. How you felt, how it felt, what did you see, hear, touch, smell. Everything about it, and accept it, embrace it, and know that it will always be a part of you, NOT all of you. Forgiveness, understanding, acceptance, your responsibility that you own in it if any....There are many many stages, that we have to go through to get better. It isn't easy, it isn't quick, but it can be done.

    My first suggestion would be to deal with your fear of therapist. Overcome this one. You will probably need to see someone trained in trauma or PTSD... Actually it is more of....You really need to see someone.......Sorry but it's the truth.......

    Hang in there.

    anthony likes this.
  4. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

    I really feel for your situation.

    I saw a counsellor for a basic issue (unrelated to trauma). She was lovely, new to the job but able to help me with that issue. However she recommended I see a trauma specialist as it became apparent I had issues outside of her expertise & experience.

    I can't go into a lot of detail because of legal reasons, but I had a bad experience with a therapist & doctor. Not to your extent of being hospitalised, but it involved police, verbal abuse & was all quite dramatic.

    I was the worst I'd ever been in my life after that and I was desperate for help but terrified beyond terrified to seek it for fear of the same. I felt completely trapped & hopeless. I thought I was going mad, and was living in a twilight zone. It was awful.

    You know you need help for this, but how to find someone you can trust. How to get the courage to take that initial step?

    It's not easy. But for me, I sat very very still. I let all the yelling in my head, and the nerves quieten right down, and I imagined my body full of little dots. There was only one dot that felt it could ask for help. It was quiet, calm, nervous but strong. I focused everything on this one little dot, and came up with a plan.

    I researched trauma specialists on the internet, I rang the governing body of psychologists, and I got a feel for the sort of therapist that might suit me. My heart thumped all the time, but I was slow & deliberate & steady & just kept focusing on that one little dot.

    I found 3, and thought of it as calling for a plumber or builder or other tradespersons. Getting three quotes if you like. It was terrifying making those calls, but I kept reminding myself the choice was mine if I wanted to go in & see them. This was just a phone call. I could hang up anytime. Unfortunately courage tends to come AFTER the scary event, not before!!

    One sounded empathetic but not mushy, and could see me the next day. Again, I told myself I'm interviewing her, and at anytime I want to leave I will. Keep focusing on the one small little dot in me.

    I told her my most recent experience because it was important for her to know about my complete lack of trust for therapists, doctors. She responded in away I hadn't even dreamed off, and the burden was lifted.

    I still work with her and fifteen months later she has never let me down. She puts me in the drivers seat, and I drive the therapy sessions.

    I'm so thankful & grateful for the little dot that kept on pushing. It was the best decision ever, and worth the initial fear to find someone as good as her.

    Now I've written a novel & hopefully the little dot story is not too out there for you!!!

    Keep strong and keep telling yourself I can do this, I'm in control here. Best of luck.
    She Cat likes this.
  5. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

    Doctors and therapists can only help you if you firstly trust them, you do not, so they are likely not going to be off much help. So that leaves you then. That means that you are going to have to help yourself, which is more likely going to be a better overall benefit to you anyway, considering you have to do the work regardless as no person can do the work for you.

    Answer: help yourself, just as most do nowadays. Your here, that's a good start.
  6. ptsd_cracker

    ptsd_cracker Member

    Hypnosis and Memory Reframing

    Well I do see a psychologist now because of insurance reasons, you need that medical documentation to get your few pennies. I had to get the insurance company to choose him because I seem to attract the worst of the worst. I had phoned the college of psychologists to check out the previous therapist but they would not make any comment. I have filed a complaint with the college but it's still 4 months later and they are still investigating and they won't tell me a damn thing.

    I keep getting deja vous about having these thoughts before the events even occurred, like vague warning signs. Also my anniversary dates consist of days weeks or months at a time and when the are associated with other minor triggers I go into a complete clasp of systems, barely able to move, dissociative states, severe pain, emotionally erratic, insomnia, ice cold chills and the shakes, etc.

    I have been on various medication combos with the consisting med's:effexor, seroquel, trazodone, mirtazpine, celexa, wellbutrin, risperdal, clopixol which only caused me to become increasing worse. The only things that have helped are zopiclone, ativan and :pot: they are not effect 50% of the time. Now my psychologist is suggesting hypnosis and memory re framing. I'm not so worried about the hypnosis because the session will be recorded but I thought about the memory re framing. It sounded innocent at first but what happens if I go into a dissociative flashback and start talking about clowns instead of doctors. Isn't everyone going to think that I am more crazy :cuckoo:than I am?

    Has anyone actually had these methods work for them? Not sure if I'm getting good advice.
  7. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    Hi ptsd_cracker...

    Forgive me if I miss anything because I haven't read anything other than your first post before replying.

    I was hospitalised when it was later admitted that I shouldn't have been too - it wasn't appropriate for my problems at all and it was a truly awful experience. I came out worse than when I went in, and it is now a part of my trauma, and I have nightmares about it. I was not isolated in a room for 7 days without food water or a toilet like you, but I had my freedom taken, was locked in, and felt degraded by some of what I had to put up with. I was constantly under threat of sectioning to keep me there longer, which kept me there because I couldn't leave without the threat of being sectioned and kept there physically. And I couldn't physically leave because I was locked in. I had no privacy, no respect, no care, I wasn't allowed to talk to the patients about anything related to why we were there, if people got too close they moved them to a different ward, I wasn't allowed to pull a duvet over my face or go to the toilet without being followed in, we were shouted at, blamed, accused, and treated like animals. Too many things to describe right now, but if you ever want to know PM me and I'll exlain more in more detail if it helps you.

    Additionally, before hospitalisation I had not long got out of therapy with an abusive therapist, whom I later complained about. Whole long messy story there... again if you want details just PM. It wasn't quite the same as you, but the point is I lost all faith in professionals.

    Sadly my advice to you is not easy advice to use. You have to get out there and find a therapist and work very, very slowly on learning to let someone give you back some faith in professionals and to gain your trust. But... you can do it. Shop around for a therapist who really seems different to the ones you've had before... different to how the bad ones seemed can only be good in my eyes. Not all therapists are any good, and don't we know it... but not all of them are going to abuse their power. This is what I am doing. But the important point was I told him about all of the professionals before who were shitbags, so he knew from the start if he wanted to work with me, he'd have to be careful not to make any mistakes they made. He knows he's got to earn my trust and has said so in those words. He knows not to push me in the wrong way, or I'll walk. The biggest difference I found is the respect... if you don't feel respected by a therapist then it's a bad situation. It is a slow process because on top of the original trauma, you are having to deal with additional secondary trauma to even get to the first one. So pick a therapist who is willing to work with you for a while... pressure and rush is going to freak you out.

    Baby steps with it... little by little trust with a little more. As time goes on you will find yourself testing a therapist with more important things that you need to deal with and that's where the work on the original stuff starts.

    It's really not easy, when you are having to put some trust back into those who caused you so much pain and heartache. But I have found it so much easier just saying "There is something in there I shoudl tell you about, but I'm not going to yet". It's a safe form of honesty which sets me up for when I feel ready to tell and trust. In terms of dissociation and flashbacks... it sounds like you suffer with these badly, and it would probably help you miles if you could learn to get a little control over those when they happen for if you decide to go into therapy again... there are things you can learn on your own like grounding techniques and stuff... have a look about on here and on the internet there is loads of advice you could use to flex your muscles in learning to manage it.

    Okay... I have to go or I would have spent more time on this post with more detail and thinking around some ideas for you, but I have to go now... if I think of anything else I will come back and post again...

    Take care
  8. ptsd_cracker

    ptsd_cracker Member

    I am trying to move on with therapy with a psychologist who was not picked by me and actually was referred by the psychiatrist I was seeing. The problem like you said is "trust" I don't trust myself or any health care professional. The new therapist is very respectful but so was the one that hurt me. The new therapist has allowed me to draw solid boundaries and he allows me to have as much control as I need. But I'm still 4 months in scared spit-less. He takes 2 hours usually per appointment and it's at least 45 minutes in before I can even settle down enough to discuss the what we need to. He wants to try hypnosis but is doubtful that I will be able to relax enough to have any effect.

    I just can't seem to trust anyone in the profession until what was done to me was deemed wrong by the profession and until I can trust someone, I will probably never heal. This just seems so hopeless.
  9. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    You have to know you will heal. You are still trying. You came here, right? Shows you are trying. May not be any time soon but you will improve. (sorry late but been delayed)

    Hypnosis sounds like a very big waste of time IMHO right now. If it takes 45 minutes to just settle enough to talk, how are you going to settle enough do this? You have to really trust to do it. And most who do not even have issues with doctors cannot trust anyone enough to do this. Heck I would not even be able to do this myself.

    So how is it progressing addressing the treatment you received before? Is he counseling you on that issue? Or do y'all bounce around to different topics?
  10. ptsd_cracker

    ptsd_cracker Member

    New psychologist tries to be as transparent as possible and respectful of boundaries. We have put in about 200 hours worth of therapy so far. He was brought in by my psychiatrist when he found out I was getting ready to make a complaint. The plan was that I was going to get some info from the previous T so he could decide if I had enough basis for a complaint. When I got to the previous T's office I was informed that my file disappeared. I then filed a general complaint.

    Slowly thru therapy it was disclosed what had happened. He couldn't hide the emotions. He would stop me in the story and explain how each action was a direct violation. He counted about 20 violations in total. He told me to inform my psychiatrist who then drilled me on questions about my integrity and morality. My previous T then attempted to hospitalize me again probably to silence me but my psychiatrist had already determined that I had high morals and integrity and refused. I was then taken off all medication. My psychiatrist discharged me when he realized I wouldn't be able to trust him because he had listened to the previous T the first time.

    We have also discussed what types of things I remember about my childhood. Which isn't too much. Huge holes in my memory. He is aware of most of the other traumas but we didn't get into much detail because he said it wasn't necessary. He has also gotten me thru the worse of the agoraphobia which I'm extremely happy about. Now he's addressing the flashbacks, dissociation and intrusive thoughts because he didn't realize the severity.

    He's now also saying that my nervous system has completely had it. I don't know what that means but I don't want to be permanently disabled, I want to be fixed. But I also can't afford the $500 min. per month bill on my extremely small disability payments. It also looks like it might take a year or more to resolve my complaint which means no funding for treatment until then, if I even get any. What the heck do I do?
  11. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    OK, you are going to have to bear with me here. You seem to changing out doctors and therapists like I did husbands. Can you do a quick chronological order of doctors and therapists, who referred who and why? To try and clear it up for me. I am sure it is clear as a bell for you, but from an outsider learning about you it is very confusing who is who and what is where. I have had to do this as some of my past gets very tangled when I try to repeat it.

    Thanks, it will just help me get a better grasp so I can understand to respond well.
  12. ptsd_cracker

    ptsd_cracker Member

    I'm very sorry.

    Family Doctor of 7 yrs refers me to 1st Psychologist who I refer to as previous T. He is the one that caused the trauma by abusing me, sexually harassing me and hospitalizing me.

    Psychiatrist is the 2nd psychiatrist that admits me to hospital on 1st Psychologist judgment. He then takes me on as a patient but directs me back to 1st Psychologist for further treatment. After several more months of treatment with the 1st psychologist my condition getting worse. I refuse treatment with 1st psychologist again. Psychiatrist then directs me to new 2nd Psychologist who uncovers the abuse.
    The psychiatrist drops out of the picture and new 2nd psychologist takes over.
  13. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Thanks that helps a lot... Now back to reread!
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