What did you feel like when you got diagnosed?

I got diagnosed about five years after the event. It didn't mean anything to me except I had a diagnosis to tell the numerous therapists I had after that, none of whom helped me very much. I think I joined this site right after my diagnosis but I didn't do very much here. My PTSD manifested as depression, which my shrinks tried to treat with pills, all of which stopped working after a few months because it wasn't depression, it was untreated trauma.
 

Bubblegum

Learning
I got diagnosed about five years after the event. It didn't mean anything to me except I had a diagnosis to tell the numerous therapists I had after that, none of whom helped me very much. I think I joined this site right after my diagnosis but I didn't do very much here. My PTSD manifested as depression, which my shrinks tried to treat with pills, all of which stopped working after a few months because it wasn't depression, it was untreated trauma.
I tried to tell my old shrink that anti depressants had no effect on me, but they didn't want to give me treatment for my trauma, and prescribed me new medication that made everything worse. My depression got so bad it was like nothing I had ever experienced before, and I think that low point was the reason my new T were able to pick up on it.

I'm glad that you were able to find out what it was, carrying all that trauma on your own, so many just have to struggle through another day, not getting the help they need?

There's so much taboo surrounding the diagnosis, and It shouldn't be like that, trauma can fester if it doesn't get treated, it's devastating. But I'm happy we are here, and that we are aware, healing a little bit every day ❤ I hope you feel better now, than you were back then friend ^^

I spent years trying to figure out "what was wrong" with me. It wasn’t sufficiently wrong for not being able to do minimal function and even being a good achiever, but I was dragging myself in a fog and what I understand now, as a state of constant grief and hypervigilance, which cause a lot of resentment and social anxiety. I also had angry meltdowns and sort of disconnected most of the days, couldn’t understand what was going on with people except for a few moments where I’d be full of energy. Honestly thinking back of how I was without therapy and how I am now, there are many many things that have changed.

The diagnose didn’t really surprise me, in the sense I knew things I went through were traumatic. But what I didn’t know is that all the difficulties I was experiencing weren’t due to the fact I was weak, stupid, lazy or mean, it was because of PTSD. In my head, PTSD was much much worse than what I was experiencing, also because of the stereotype of combat PTSD (that is also very different). I have seen people that had it worse than me because for some reason I have been able to find less problematic methods of coping distress, such as writing or learning compulsively and hiding myself when I felt "the mood" was creeping.

I first got BPD diagnoses but honestly it didn’t entirely match. I do have BPD style manifestations, but not entirely. However, certain criteria in PTSD and CPTSD that I filled, I didn’t realize I was filling it. I was telling myself my experience wasn’t so hard, that it was hard for everyone.

Over months (I have been Dx’d officially in January but with strong suspicions since September), I realize the areas in which it’s frankly crippling and that aspect of the diagnose frightens me. Because I know I cannot work properly and am subject to spikes of dysregulation where I spin in circles or tuck my head in a hole. At least when that happens know I understand why.

Being diagnosed helps me also to be more tolerant to methods of healing. Previously I’d think all this healing shit is for fancy bourgeois spending times with crystals or diving deep into psychoanalysis. Then I read Sapolsky and Van der Kolk and understood there is a neurology behind and this reassured me in a way. There are paths to try to manage things and make life less of a constant suffering sandpaper.

Before being diagnosed, I had a lot of talking therapy and the woman completely failed at identifying my avoidance, constant fear and tendency to isolate. She thought I was depressed, but I wasn’t; I still was keeping doing a zillion things, but just not the ones I needed to. So I was very confused about what I had, at some point I thought I had Asperger, Antisocial Personality Disorder, ADHD or simply attachment problems.

Now I have a much clearer vision of what’s going on, day by day, by understanding my own mechanisms. It’s not a walk in the park but at least I know there is a way out. And even if it’s painful, there is no reason to brutalize ourselves thinking "we’re though" or whatsoever. I survived horrible things. I’m happy to be here.
Thinking back, my symptoms started 10 years ago this summer. The sudden anger, the hypervigilance, the social anxiety, the loud thoughts, the nightmares, the bad suicidal thoughts. I would suddenly burst out in anger and yell at my classmates, I had no idea who this person was.

I tried to figure out for a very long time where all this came from, I had already overcome these feelings after being institutionalized for a year (my parent's separated, and I had learnt that my dad had cancer).

Then it came back, right after the summer camp massacre. And now I am realizing that it was probably that event that "finally" broke me? And probably not my abusive relationship that was going to happen further ahead.

My friends and I were planning on going to a youth camp for politically active teens, and a month before, I got into a fight with my late childhood friend (and bf) I still beat myself up for telling him I hated him and never wanted to see his face again, I remember people dm'ing me and calling me because I had his phone number. I remember holding onto my phone for two weeks, not letting it out of my sight, hoping there would be good news from his dad, but no. I went to a lot of funerals the coming weeks. Then my best friend killed himself shortly after I moved out of town, not far from the house I grew up in.

For a long while I wished that I never had that argument, and died alongside them, and I still do to this day. It turned into a national tragedy, and most of my T's saw it as me trying to get attention. To this day I can't listen to Fix you by Coldplay, and I feel so dumb about that fact (Sorry for derailing, I really don't mean to steal anyone's thunder, I'm just trying to figure out anything really)

"I was telling myself my experience wasn’t so hard, that it was hard for everyone." - exactly this, I thought I was just being weak, so I've been telling myself to just suck it up for a decade.

"Over months (I have been Dx’d officially in January but with strong suspicions since September), I realize the areas in which it’s frankly crippling and that aspect of the diagnose frightens me. Because I know I cannot work properly and am subject to spikes of dysregulation where I spin in circles or tuck my head in a hole. At least when that happens know I understand why." this is a good thing, now that the 'monster' have a name it's easier to find the tools needed in order to tackle it more effectively, hopefully improving your life lots forward :)

"Now I have a much clearer vision of what’s going on, day by day, by understanding my own mechanisms. It’s not a walk in the park but at least I know there is a way out. And even if it’s painful, there is no reason to brutalize ourselves thinking "we’re though" or whatsoever. I survived horrible things. I’m happy to be here" I hope to be more in this mindset forward, but I got to say that you inspire me to give life another try, thanks Corax, I really mean it, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
 

katz

MyPTSD Pro
I spent years trying to figure out "what was wrong" with me. It wasn’t sufficiently wrong for not being able to do minimal function and even being a good achiever, but I was dragging myself in a fog and what I understand now, as a state of constant grief and hypervigilance, which cause a lot of resentment and social anxiety. I also had angry meltdowns and sort of disconnected most of the days, couldn’t understand what was going on with people except for a few moments where I’d be full of energy. Honestly thinking back of how I was without therapy and how I am now, there are many many things that have changed.

The diagnose didn’t really surprise me, in the sense I knew things I went through were traumatic. But what I didn’t know is that all the difficulties I was experiencing weren’t due to the fact I was weak, stupid, lazy or mean, it was because of PTSD. In my head, PTSD was much much worse than what I was experiencing, also because of the stereotype of combat PTSD (that is also very different). I have seen people that had it worse than me because for some reason I have been able to find less problematic methods of coping distress, such as writing or learning compulsively and hiding myself when I felt "the mood" was creeping.

I first got BPD diagnoses but honestly it didn’t entirely match. I do have BPD style manifestations, but not entirely. However, certain criteria in PTSD and CPTSD that I filled, I didn’t realize I was filling it. I was telling myself my experience wasn’t so hard, that it was hard for everyone.

Over months (I have been Dx’d officially in January but with strong suspicions since September), I realize the areas in which it’s frankly crippling and that aspect of the diagnose frightens me. Because I know I cannot work properly and am subject to spikes of dysregulation where I spin in circles or tuck my head in a hole. At least when that happens know I understand why.

Being diagnosed helps me also to be more tolerant to methods of healing. Previously I’d think all this healing shit is for fancy bourgeois spending times with crystals or diving deep into psychoanalysis. Then I read Sapolsky and Van der Kolk and understood there is a neurology behind and this reassured me in a way. There are paths to try to manage things and make life less of a constant suffering sandpaper.

Before being diagnosed, I had a lot of talking therapy and the woman completely failed at identifying my avoidance, constant fear and tendency to isolate. She thought I was depressed, but I wasn’t; I still was keeping doing a zillion things, but just not the ones I needed to. So I was very confused about what I had, at some point I thought I had Asperger, Antisocial Personality Disorder, ADHD or simply attachment problems.

Now I have a much clearer vision of what’s going on, day by day, by understanding my own mechanisms. It’s not a walk in the park but at least I know there is a way out. And even if it’s painful, there is no reason to brutalize ourselves thinking "we’re though" or whatsoever. I survived horrible things. I’m happy to be here.
Thank you sooo much for your words. You put into words for me what I have been thinking for quite a while and had not been able to put into words.

I'm just still digesting the fact that I got the diagnosis, and feeling a little lost, to be honest. So I'm curious.

How did you feel/react when you got yours? Did you deal with inner turmoil? Disbelief? Relief?
And how did you start your journey towards bettering your life? How did people in your life react?
Relief !! That it was not just "me" that had messed me up for all these years. "Not my fault" are words that I have to force myself to say - to others - and to myself. When I was diagnosed, it set me on a long - and different - route thru my life. I still don't know what is ahead, but I feel like I will be better prepared for it now that I have started to understand "me" a bit better.
 

Freddyt

Confident
It took until January of this year when I recovered some 45 year old memories of what actually happened when the diagnoses changed to PTSD. At that point I was a mess, in about every way you can be a mess. As that buried locked away memory came to conscious memory it was pure hell. The fact it happened in a hospital was bad. The fact everyone was worried about the physical me, not the mental me was worse. The realization that it triggered the event that led to losing sight in my eye was crushing in a way.
 

Friday

Moderator
How did you feel/react when you got yours? Did you deal with inner turmoil? Disbelief? Relief?

My threshold for feeling anything, was pretty damn high, back in those days.

IE I don’t remember feeling much of anything about it. Nothing that didn’t rise to Bliss & Fury levels counted for much, if felt at all.


And how did you start your journey towards bettering your life? How did people in your life react?
I didn’t. At least not in the traditional sense. But I was also diagnosed at least a full year before *I* thought anything was wrong.

As far as people in my life reacting? Shrug. Most of the people I worked with had been diagnosed with it at some point. So it wasn’t a thing. No one cared, or had any reason to care. As far as I know none of us really knew anything about it, beyond “nightmares & panic attacks & shit”... which was just NORMAL. Giving some kind of BS sciency name to the cost of doing business just seemed very touchy-feely-pointless. Yeah, whatever, this shit has a name. Who cares? Triskadecaphobia (fear of the number 13) has a name. Big whoop. Everyone had nightmares. Everyone had panic attacks. Everyone was a bit crazy (which was seen as a bonus, rather than a detraction). It wouldn’t be for another 15/20 years that I looked anything up about it.

I wasn’t close with my family, again, until after I’d unf*cked my head & my life, years later. So it wasn’t something that even occurred to me to talk to them about (unlike “trauma” which was a deliberate decision to not talk about with them). When it (PTSD schtuff) came back, a decade or so later? It then became a deliberate decision to keep to myself.
 
Since age 20, I’ve seen eight therapists, plus a few others psychologists for assessments. Still, I suspect they haven’t found an accurate diagnosis. Perhaps this might help explain why I’ve had so many terminations. Here’s a brief overview.

First T, psychiatrist, saw for 12 years, every 4 weeks, from 1967 to 1978. He said my CSA was resolved at age 24, yet depression persisted, advised me to tolerate my imagination. Took Valium for four years, anti-depressants off and on though didn't help. Termination due to his death.

Second T, saw for 14 years, every two weeks, from 1978 to 1992 for relaxation therapy. No drugs. No talk therapy nor history taken. He later suspected CSA and suggested another T, I declined. Termination -- due to his retirement.

Third T, one interview, in 2001. He suggested anti-psychotic drugs, I refused. He said I was suffering from traumatic abuse yet unaware. I never went back.

Fourth T, six sessions, one per month, in 2001. No drugs. Claimed I couldn’t recall CSA molestation (I wasn’t triggering), then suggested ‘false memory’ technique. I terminated.

Fifth T, three or four monthly sessions, in 2002. No drugs. I eventually stopped talking, she rarely spoke and was cold. Too much tension. I terminated.

Note — In 2018 after brain surgery I was advised to seek therapy. Someone apparently diagnosed me with PTSD and suspected sexual abuse yet I don’t know who. In 2019 I was assessed by a psychiatrist. She said she knew of no drug that would help me. As for therapy, she said, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

Sixth T, two sessions with trauma therapist, in early 2019. No drugs. She then said she lacked training to help me. She terminated.

Seventh T, PhD, six sessions, one per week, in mid 2019. No drugs. Too much dislike and tension. She said she couldn’t find trauma source. I terminated.

Eighth T, PhD, one interview, in late 2020. No drugs. He said phone therapy wouldn’t help me much. We discontinued.

I did contact another PhD, early in 2021. Yet she didn’t return my phone call the third time I messaged her. Perhaps, like my sixth T, she also thinks she hasn’t the training to help me.
 

Freida

Sponsor
Told my t she must have gotten her license out if a cracker Jack's box because that was the stupidest thing I'd ever heard --- I'd never hidden under a table in my life

Yep..thats what I thought ptsd was

Then I added that I had never had trauma so there was no reason for me to have it

yep. DeNile ain't just a river in Egypt! 😁

She told me she used the diagnosis to get my insurance to keep paying for my appointments and then kind of dropped it. Took her about 6 more months to get me to accept it because it came with such of sense of shame and failure
 
Told my t she must have gotten her license out if a cracker Jack's box
I think T sometimes make a quick assumption at the start of therapy then, look for the slightest symptom that fits their initial diagnosis. Some have even gone so far as to lead me by saying, 'Don't you feel this way or that way?'
--- I'd never hidden under a table in my life
Me neither, although there were times when I felt like it, especially after my parents and sister all died suddenly within a scan of four weeks.
Yep..thats what I thought ptsd was
Yeah, in the movie theater! :D
Then I added that I had never had trauma so there was no reason for me to have it

yep. DeNile ain't just a river in Egypt! 😁
Doesn't really matter what we say. I think my PCP thinks my traumas were imaginary. And I haven't experienced anything unusual in well over 20 years -- That must mean something! As for imaginary, mine weren't very imaginary at all!
She told me she used the diagnosis to get my insurance
For insurance coverage ...this happened to me once, too.
 
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