Trying to understand diagnosis | Childhood trauma

few_time

New Here
Hi,

So my doctor recently said that my symptoms line up with ptsd. I had never considered it because the events were over 10 years ago and i barely remember anything. I also dont have negative memories of it but that might be because i was a child with no set boundaries. So now im trying to understand the diagnosis. It doesnt quite make sense. There's no memory, no flashbacks im aware of, i just dissociate quite heavily in stressful situations and ny general anxiety levels are quite high. I also have ocd so the overlap has been very confusing. Im not consciously reliving the event, and i dont understand my triggers except for general stress. I experienced childhood sexual abuse so i dont see why minorly bumping into a random persons car would trigger such a heavy dissociative response. It just all doesnt line up.

Would love to hear from people who dont remember the event, and how they experience flashbacks/how that shows itself. Maybe im misunderstanding what a flashback is.

Thank you
 

Wilma

Learning
People can be traumatized but not fit criteria for a PTSD diagnosis. PTSD is one very specific diagnosis and sometimes even professionals that are not specialized/well trained get confused. However, even if it's not the official full PTSD diagnosis, it would still be helpful to work with a therapist.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hi,

So my doctor recently said that my symptoms line up with ptsd. I had never considered it because the events were over 10 years ago and i barely remember anything. I also dont have negative memories of it but that might be because i was a child with no set boundaries. So now im trying to understand the diagnosis. It doesnt quite make sense. There's no memory, no flashbacks im aware of, i just dissociate quite heavily in stressful situations and ny general anxiety levels are quite high. I also have ocd so the overlap has been very confusing. Im not consciously reliving the event, and i dont understand my triggers except for general stress. I experienced childhood sexual abuse so i dont see why minorly bumping into a random persons car would trigger such a heavy dissociative response. It just all doesnt line up.

Would love to hear from people who dont remember the event, and how they experience flashbacks/how that shows itself. Maybe im misunderstanding what a flashback is.

Thank you
A flashback is like, your in a restaurant with a friend and you smell the same perfume/aftershave on someone sitting next to you and it's the same smell that your abuser wore and in your mind your then reliving that experience as if it were happening now. Another example is your a combat vet taking a walk and a helicopter passes over, your then reliving being in the theatre of War as if it were happening now.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Flashbacks come in all sorts. Have you heard of emotional flashbacks? That's where the emotions from back then are triggered because of something. The annoying and confusing thing, is that the trigger may seem totally unrelated, or it may seem more related to the events from back then.
.
So triggered from a random car bump? The issue is not the car bump, but the trigger could be: possible danger. And our brains go from 0-100 in a nanosecond. If the feeling is disproportionate to the present day situation: I've learnt, it's likely an emotional flashback.

It will get easier.
 

few_time

New Here
Flashbacks come in all sorts. Have you heard of emotional flashbacks? That's where the emotions from back then are triggered because of something. The annoying and confusing thing, is that the trigger may seem totally unrelated, or it may seem more related to the events from back then.
.
So triggered from a random car bump? The issue is not the car bump, but the trigger could be: possible danger. And our brains go from 0-100 in a nanosecond. If the feeling is disproportionate to the present day situation: I've learnt, it's likely an emotional flashback.

It will get easier.

The emotional flashback makes sense. That is something I experience, though its mostly in response to an event that makes me think I could be abandoned. So I might have a difficult conversation with my partner, and they might need some time to process and my reaction will be to spiral into "What if they left me? What if they hate me now? Did I just do/say something terrible thats actually all my fault?". So I can see some relation to the actual event.

Do you have a therapist? If you do, definitely talk to them about the diagnosis. If not, it might be worth pursuing

As far as the car bump goes, have you heard of the PTSD cup theory. You might take a look at this article. Basically any stress can add up and when there's enough you can be triggered.

This also makes sense! Stress levels building on top of each other to create that reaction.

Also, thinking about it, at least one of my OCD themes could very well originate from a PTSD trigger. I have had major issues with unevenness of clothing, especially on my stomach area in the past. The memories I do have of the event involve loosely folded bed sheets. So there's a likely connection there. I guess the two conditions arent as neatly seperated as I would wish. Though that woulf make it so much easier.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
hello few_time. welcome to the forum. i'm glad to hear you find this an improvement over what you have tried so far. emotional support makes a huge diff in the healing journey.

in my own healing journey, repressing memories and symptoms was a full-time-plus job which left no room for awareness of what is actually happening. the first step in building my awareness of the actuals required losing my denial habits before i could even see the bigger picture.
 

BIgLittle

Confident
Hi,

So my doctor recently said that my symptoms line up with ptsd. I had never considered it because the events were over 10 years ago and i barely remember anything. I also dont have negative memories of it but that might be because i was a child with no set boundaries. So now im trying to understand the diagnosis. It doesnt quite make sense. There's no memory, no flashbacks im aware of, i just dissociate quite heavily in stressful situations and ny general anxiety levels are quite high. I also have ocd so the overlap has been very confusing. Im not consciously reliving the event, and i dont understand my triggers except for general stress. I experienced childhood sexual abuse so i dont see why minorly bumping into a random persons car would trigger such a heavy dissociative response. It just all doesnt line up.

Would love to hear from people who dont remember the event, and how they experience flashbacks/how that shows itself. Maybe im misunderstanding what a flashback is.

Thank you
Hi Few Time,

Welcome here and thank you for sharing.

The body keeps score of traumatic events even if you don't remeber them.

Since I started Trauma therapy image of sexual abuse when I was little came up when I started finally talking about the past.

Sometimes, more than I like to admin :), my body goes in 4F mode ( Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn ) by something as simple as a sound, touch, smell, etcetera.

Being high anxious can be hyperarousal a clear sign that you're body is trying to tell you something that needs caring.

Totally agree with seeing a psychologist who specializes in Trauma ( PTSD/CPTSD) and also EMDR later on.

Your mind might Block what happened to you, and I am very sorry that you had to go through such horror as a child, but your body has stored it even to cell leven, if not deeper.

That's the reason why you are feeling what you feel today.

I hope this helps you. I wish all the best in your healing Journey. You deserve it.

Thank you.
 
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