Undiagnosed Undiagnosed CPTSD but feel I fit some of the criteria

equinox92101

New Here
29 year old male. Had a really happy, safe, and secure upbringing from a loving home. Then when I went into high school I quickly became known as the 'school clown', and not in a good way. The whole school of 700 students knew me, and it wasn't long until I couldn't go anywhere in my school or town without fear of being humiliated or laughed at by others, which created a high level of paranoia, social anxiety, and OCD behavior. I was also called ugly on a relative amount of occasions, which caused me to really dislike my physical appearance. There were 1 or 2 times when I was beginning to get confident, even had opportunities of relationships with the opposite sex, but it was never going to happen - simply because there was always a change of me being humiliated or abused in public.

Went to college when I was 18 which was a new environment, away from the people of my hometown. A fresh start from not living in fear the whole time, but instead I became absolutely obsessed with my physical appearance and spent hours thinking of ways to improve it.

What followed over the next 10 years was a bit of a fragmented self - I did create great memories such as studying abroad and have been in a good place/living in a really great city since 26, but there was also a continued battle with OCD, hatred of my physical appearance due to still being called ugly occasionally. I was also stuck in a group of friends for a few years who I really didn't feel I clicked with and wasn't able to explore my own personal passions and interests as I would have liked. There was also one woman who really hurt me/humiliated me a year and half ago, I have spent so much time ruminating over her. I have consistent Insomnia which impacts my quality of life.

Today, things are good overall, at least externally. I live in a great city, with good friends, and have a well paid job at a good company. But there is still so much underlying baggage that I need to resolve.

As my title states, I have never been diagnosed with CTPSD, but I do feel I maybe fit some of the criteria. On the surface, I feel that it was formed during my teenage years in high school where I was in a a situation of prolonged psychological abuse with little-to-no chance of escaping. How it has manifested in my life today is through anxiety, extreme rumination over hurts, OCD like behavior, consistent Insomnia, difficulty at establishing many close genuine connections and friends, and a fragmented and disconnected sense of self and identity.

Where I'm sceptical that it is not CTPSD is the fact that the paranoia and anxiety developed at the age of 12/13 onwards, as opposed to early childhood. Furthermore, it was not from a caregiver or family member. Also I feel that some of my feelings and reactions seem legitimate and justified due to the tough reality that is life - i.e. people will hurt you, you may get called ugly if you're average or below average looking etc. Finally, I have been able to build genuine connections with certain friends, so maybe I just got unlucky that I didn't meet many of these people in my life.

Any ways thanks for reading all this and good to be join this forum!
 

Friday

Moderator
Where I'm sceptical that it is not CTPSD is the fact that the paranoia and anxiety developed at the age of 12/13 onwards, as opposed to early childhood. Furthermore, it was not from a caregiver or family member.
CPTSD develops in prisoners of war, combat vets with multiple deployments, domestic violence victims with thousands -or tens of thousands- of rapes and assaults and threats to their lives and the lives of their kids, etc... it’s not a developmental trauma disorder (early childhood), but a disorder that maaaaaaay develop from complex/prolonged life threatening trauma. Or not. There are plenty of people with complex trauma who don’t develop CPTSD, but do develop PTSD -or- any of a double handful of other disorders (borderline, antisocial, paranoid, avoidant and other personality disorders, in addition to things like ASD, GAD, Specific Phobias, Eating Disorders, Dysmorphic disorders, etc.) or whose preexisting disorders are exacerbated. Because life threatening trauma and sexual assault? MAY go on to develop into PTSD... or may not. A single event is enough to cause PTSD, but even 10,000 events may not. Quirky, right?

There’s no symptom in PTSD or CPTSD that are unique to those disorders. They all exist in other disorders as well. (Sort of like a swollen belly and lactation? Are also caused by several kinds of cancer, and a couple of neurological conditions, a wacky liver condition, and a few other things (mostly hormonal, some not)... in addition to pregnancy. It does no good to try and “give birth” to cancer, you know? Nor does chemotherapy help babies be born. Knowing what you’re dealing with? Is pretty durn vital in finding the best treatment. Regardless of whether you’re talking medical from the neck down, or medical whole body (the brain is PART of the body! Aargh. GPs need more neurology consults!), or medical+psychological.

((Wacky thing, my sister just had a patient who was diagnosed schizophrenic. Was he? Nope. He was taking LDopa. Which is used to treat Parkinson’s. He didn’t have Parkinson’s. And LDopa given to people without Parkinson’s causes schizophrenic symptoms. As soon as the new doc she referred him to for a complete work up ran a test that was negative for Parkinson’s, & so he took him off the LDopa? His “schizophrenia” disappeared. Because he never had schizophrenia. Because he never had Parkinson’s. He was simply misdiagnosed, poor bastard. The body is a complex organism. LOTS of things look like other things. So one of the many things she insists on, with her new patients, is a complete work-up by a new doctor. She estimates about 1 patient in 10 that she sees has zeeeeeero psych issues, but medical issues that have been missed, or misdiagnosed. But that roughly half her patients have physical issues not being treated, because they’re blown off as psych issues. Particularly thyroid issues in women. Her female depression patients? If their thyroid is in the normal “range” that’s her first med of choice... to nudge it higher normal or lower normal... and most of those patients? Their “depression” vanishes. Because it wasn’t depression. It was their hormones being off. And almost countless other examples. A benefit of working with a physiological psychologist or neurologist? They know the brain -and therefore psych- is part of the body. So they rule out physiological causes FIRST. All therapists are “supposed” to... but many, if not most, don’t.))

Back on target!

If you’ve already been diagnosed with OCD? Or an anxiety disorder? Then you‘ll have roughly half to two thirds of the symptoms in PTSD. (Ditto if you’ve ever been diagnosed with bipolar, or ADHD, or about 2 dozen other disorders. Meanwhile about 100 other disorders share about 1/4-1/2j. Because PTSD & OCD & Anxiety disorders (and several dozen other disorders) ALL share symptoms. But the source of those symptoms? Dictates very different treatment.

Does something make you question the diagnoses you’ve had previously?
 

equinox92101

New Here
CPTSD develops in prisoners of war, combat vets with multiple deployments, domestic violence victims with thousands -or tens of thousands- of rapes and assaults and threats to their lives and the lives of their kids, etc... it’s not a developmental trauma disorder (early childhood), but a disorder that maaaaaaay develop from complex/prolonged life threatening trauma. Or not. There are plenty of people with complex trauma who don’t develop CPTSD, but do develop PTSD -or- any of a double handful of other disorders (borderline, antisocial, paranoid, avoidant and other personality disorders, in addition to things like ASD, GAD, Specific Phobias, Eating Disorders, Dysmorphic disorders, etc.) or whose preexisting disorders are exacerbated. Because life threatening trauma and sexual assault? MAY go on to develop into PTSD... or may not. A single event is enough to cause PTSD, but even 10,000 events may not. Quirky, right?

There’s no symptom in PTSD or CPTSD that are unique to those disorders. They all exist in other disorders as well. (Sort of like a swollen belly and lactation? Are also caused by several kinds of cancer, and a couple of neurological conditions, a wacky liver condition, and a few other things (mostly hormonal, some not)... in addition to pregnancy. It does no good to try and “give birth” to cancer, you know? Nor does chemotherapy help babies be born. Knowing what you’re dealing with? Is pretty durn vital in finding the best treatment. Regardless of whether you’re talking medical from the neck down, or medical whole body (the brain is PART of the body! Aargh. GPs need more neurology consults!), or medical+psychological.

((Wacky thing, my sister just had a patient who was diagnosed schizophrenic. Was he? Nope. He was taking LDopa. Which is used to treat Parkinson’s. He didn’t have Parkinson’s. And LDopa given to people without Parkinson’s causes schizophrenic symptoms. As soon as the new doc she referred him to for a complete work up ran a test that was negative for Parkinson’s, & so he took him off the LDopa? His “schizophrenia” disappeared. Because he never had schizophrenia. Because he never had Parkinson’s. He was simply misdiagnosed, poor bastard. The body is a complex organism. LOTS of things look like other things. So one of the many things she insists on, with her new patients, is a complete work-up by a new doctor. She estimates about 1 patient in 10 that she sees has zeeeeeero psych issues, but medical issues that have been missed, or misdiagnosed. But that roughly half her patients have physical issues not being treated, because they’re blown off as psych issues. Particularly thyroid issues in women. Her female depression patients? If their thyroid is in the normal “range” that’s her first med of choice... to nudge it higher normal or lower normal... and most of those patients? Their “depression” vanishes. Because it wasn’t depression. It was their hormones being off. And almost countless other examples. A benefit of working with a physiological psychologist or neurologist? They know the brain -and therefore psych- is part of the body. So they rule out physiological causes FIRST. All therapists are “supposed” to... but many, if not most, don’t.))

Back on target!

If you’ve already been diagnosed with OCD? Or an anxiety disorder? Then you‘ll have roughly half to two thirds of the symptoms in PTSD. (Ditto if you’ve ever been diagnosed with bipolar, or ADHD, or about 2 dozen other disorders. Meanwhile about 100 other disorders share about 1/4-1/2j. Because PTSD & OCD & Anxiety disorders (and several dozen other disorders) ALL share symptoms. But the source of those symptoms? Dictates very different treatment.

Does something make you question the diagnoses you’ve had previously?
I have never been diagnosed with anything, just went to counselling therapy for a 4/5 month period 10 years ago. But still battling with things.... and guess I found myself here.
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
Kind of extending on what Friday wrote and which is a major problem with self-diagnosis ... and this is in absolutely no way meant to diminish your struggles because I'm certain they are very very real and so is the pain.

You quite confidently and determinately talk about quite a number of severe mental disorders but with no formal diagnosis. The thing is, in everyday life - particularly in times of social media - people throw around names of severe disorders for certain specific behaviors and symptoms they randomly and intermittently experience. For example, what is commonly and generously called 'OCD' by many people has nothing to do with the actual mental disorder. Nor is some anxiety before an exam a full-blown anxiety disorder or being an introvert or uncomfortable in some social settings an actual social anxiety disorder. Just because someone has occasional nightmares or avoids certain situations because of past bad experiences doesn't mean they have PTSD and just because someone has experienced trauma does it automatically mean they now have PTSD. And no, we're not 'all a little ADHD' (to pick up one of Friday's examples). All those labels are inflationary thrown around to describe things that for most everyone are just the totally normal occasional part of totally normal life.

There's a difference between specific symptoms - traits - that are commonly referred to with specific names in everyday life and that most everyone temporarily experiences at one time or another.
And an actual mental disorder.

And yes, there is such an immense symptom overlap that one of the diagnostic criteria a professional has to apply is to make sure that your symptoms of disorder A 'are not explained better by a different disorder'. Comorbidities are a thing. But so is the immense symptom-overlap, and Occam's razor dictates that you're you're more likely to have fewer than more different disorders explaining all your symptoms.

I'm sorry for what you've been through. Welcome to the forum. Take some time to read around; when I started I was in a very similar place as you, but reading how specific Dx xyz actually played out in real life for various people was very eye-opening.
 

Friday

Moderator
I have never been diagnosed with anything, just went to counselling therapy for a 4/5 month period 10 years ago
Yep! That would definitely make me question everything.
Self diagnosis of major mental health conditions can be like biting one's own teeth... Consulting with a good therapist may help considerably in terms of getting on the right path to recovery and relief from symptoms.
@equinox92101 ^^^ This ^^^ Right here.
There's a difference between specific symptoms - traits - that are commonly referred to with specific names in everyday life and that most everyone temporarily experiences at one time or another.
And an actual mental disorder.
Also this. Because traits & temporary experiences? Matter. In big ways. As almost anyone with a diagnosed disorder will tell you, but people seeking diagnoses often want wrapped up in a bow as part of something else. For good reason. As @siniang says... Occam’s razor reeeeeally applies. But that doesn’t mean that other things don’t effect people profoundly. They do.

So I would caution you not to blow off / minimize anything that doesn’t rise to disorder level.

I have 2 diagnosed disorders... ADHD & PTSD. You know what’s been the single most destructive/crippling thing in my life? Grief. Which is a totally normal part of life, that can have monsterous effect.

When I’m talking to someone with (a) diagnosed disorder(s) experiencing grief... there’s usually a sense of impassioned relief. The whole clarity of shared experiences thing. Because, nope. It’s not “part” of their disorder (even if it affects their disorder). And WHOA. It is huuuuuuge in their life. But when I’m talking to people who are in the process of seeking diagnoses? It’s almost always the other way round... raging fury that their grief is being discounted. When the truth? Couldn’t be further from the fact. Not my intent whatsoever. Grief? Is a motherf*cker. Full stop.

I also chose it, because there have been other things in my life which might not rise to the level of worst, but which have still had profound effect... simply because that’s not something you talked about. And it’s usually easier to see examples outside of what we’re currently struggling with, ya know??? So, hopefully, I haven’t goofed and hit a nerve.

Point of all this being? What @Justmehere & @siniang said. Seeking proper Dx is undoubtedly going to be key / make shit a helluva lot easier for you. Because I’d totally mistrust any sort of vague Dx from 10 years ago, after only a few months, too. For real.
 
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