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Topics - DV

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General Discussion / Cities vs. Nature
« on: August 31, 2019, 03:58:53 PM »
Wasn't sure whether to put this here or elsewhere (e.g. the recovery section). It's a pretty general topic, and deals with symptoms but also I think is relevant for recovery.

Anyone else here find themselves really negatively affected by living in big cities vs. living in more rural, or even suburban, areas?

For me, I spent a lot of my life in a major city. And for most of my time there, I didn't really notice any signficantly negative affects.

But as my health worsened (increasing CPTSD, burnout, etc.) and as I've moved back and forth between living in more urban and rural areas, I've come to the point where I can feel the negative impact very quickly and strongly moving from more rural areas back to a big urban area.

The negative effects are numerous, but I guess a lot of it just falls into a general category of negative sensory overload from things like too much noise, too many crowds, too much hectic and rushed activity, unpleasant smells, lack of personal space, etc. etc. Basically, I explained it to someone else as if, the second I stepped back into a busy city street, it was like my brain was just telling me that it was overwhelmed and wanted to get out of there asap. Public transportation, especially when it's overly crowded, is a total nightmare and honestly one of the most exhausting and unpleasant things I can think of experiencing on a day-to-day basis.

For me, at least, I feel like I need to get out of the city again as soon as I can, that it's very hard for me to try to keep up any sort of generally good health (mental/physical/etc.) while I'm living in that sort of environment.

Being out in nature, on the other hand, I find to be healing in so many ways... the air is cleaner, the environment is quieter and whatever sounds you do find are generally relaxing (a river, the wind blowing, birds chirping, etc.), the scenery is actually pleasant, there often isn't a single person anywhere around you (and certainly not the crowds you find in cities), and so on.

Anyway, I'm curious about what other people's thoughts and experiences have been in this area. I'm not suggesting that living out in nature is enough to "cure" CPTSD or anything, but I find it generally helps me to feel a lot better and eases a lot of the symptoms. There are potential dangers too, I realize, like if you live somewhere too rural, ending up feeling overly isolated, not having the same opportunities to make friends or interact socially, etc. Overall though, at least for myself, I find it to be a much more positive environment for me to be in compared to cities.

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Therapy / Saw new therapist today... lots of thoughts
« on: March 16, 2019, 10:44:23 PM »
So I saw a new therapist today, and have a lot of thoughts going through my head after the first appointment...

He has some sort of experience with treating trauma (including training in EMDR). I specifically asked him what his knowledge was around Complex Trauma and I honestly wish I remembered more of what he said... it's somewhat of a blur to me now. Something about multiple incidents, I think... sigh... I may just have to ask him again next time to repeat himself. It seems pretty obvious to me though that his background is much more in "classical" PTSD, e.g. treating war veterans, etc.

Anyway, the biggest issue I had at the end of it all was that he said he didn't think I had any sort of trauma-related condition (classic PTSD or Complex, etc.) because out of everything I told him, there wasn't one single "especially traumatic" incident, something that I have nightmares over and can't move on from, etc... this is after telling him of my background of verbal/emotional abuse from my dad when I was growing up (including extreme rage blowups over the most insignificant things), having gone through all sorts of other difficulties in just the last several years of my life, etc. And there's a whole truckload of stuff I didn't even have a chance to mention to him.

He admitted I had a lot of difficult things happen to me over time that all added up, but apparently this doesn't qualify as "traumatic" in his mind.

I even told him about how I tend to dissociate whenever I get in certain stressful situations with other people, essentially flashback to feeling like a powerless little child, how the negative emotions that come to me afterwards can last a day or even more, keep me from sleeping, etc. But not trauma. Nope. Despite the fact that most "normal" people would hardly be phased by these things that affect me so negatively.

To be blunt and vent a bit... I really hate the overly narrow definition of trauma that many so-called "experts" still use... as in, if your life wasn't literally in jeopardy at one point, or you didn't see someone get killed right in front of you, what you experienced wasn't really traumatic, just stressful and sort of sucky... it feels so invalidating, even if the people who believe that definition of trauma don't mean to be invalidating.

It's even more frustrating because so much of what I've been through can't even be described in words. It's not something as straightforward as physical/sexual abuse (don't get me wrong, I don't mean to belittle the seriousness of that at all), but that doesn't necessarily make it any less traumatic. Just because someone can't understand what I've been through and fit it in some neat little category of commonly accepted forms of trauma, that doesn't mean I haven't been traumatized by it.

Ultimately, I guess I'm just really frustrated and fed up with the ignorance of trauma among even many professionals... it feels like the general and common knowledge of trauma is still in the stone ages and we all have a long way to go...

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Frustrated? Set Backs? / Boundaries and border crossings...
« on: January 25, 2019, 12:47:52 PM »
So I haven't posted on these forums in a long time, but I had a terrible experience yesterday that I wanted to share with you all, since I felt like most people here could understand this a lot better than the average person.

Just some advanced warning, there may be "triggers" in this post for people who fear authority figures or have had bad experiences dealing with border guards.

Anyway, I was crossing the border from the U.S. back into Canada yesterday when I was questioned by the Canadian border guards. I had nothing to hide, and I'm a Canadian citizen, so I didn't expect anything much... just maybe a couple simple questions and then they'd let me go.

Apparently not. I won't go over all the details of what happened, but basically there were a couple misunderstandings and I ended up driving into an area I wasn't supposed to go, and so I was sort of anxious from the get-go. The border guard took this nervousness as being "suspicious" and then found some old cell phones in my trunk, which he also found to be "suspicious"... etc.

So basically, the net result was that I ended up being detained for very dubious reasons. They went through all my stuff, and even confiscated my phone and computer and essentially told me that I'd be arrested if I didn't unlock it for them and allow them to go through all my private data... Talk about a major intrusion of privacy, and crossing all sorts of boundaries (excuse the unintentional pun...).

The whole thing made me feel so violated that it just sent me spinning and spinning... I couldn't believe what was happening to me or what I had done to deserve such a thing. And in a country like Canada, of all places, and me being a citizen!

It's hard to really put into words how the whole thing left me feeling... violated, angry, incredulous... I couldn't believe that the government of my own country would condone such practices, but it seems they're basically legal.

Anyway, I partially posted this just to sort of vent/share my frustrations, but also partially as a warning to everyone else who might not be aware of this stuff (as I really wasn't before today)... if anyone else is concerned about this sort of thing, I'd suggest traveling with as few electronic devices as you can (especially ones that have private/sensitive info), and perhaps just getting a cheap laptop/phone for travel purposes, if you can afford it and it's worth the safeguarding of your privacy.

Also, if it isn't already obvious from my story, I'd suggest avoiding traveling with more than one phone if you can...

It seems like this sort of intrusive searching at borders is becoming more common from some statistics I saw... in the U.S. and Canada and probably other countries as well. So just a heads up to any of you who weren't already aware of this sort of thing... don't want to unintentionally "trigger" people or make them even more nervous when crossing borders, but I think this is just some stuff we should all be aware of. This is apparently the sad reality of the world we're living in today.

I think part of what made the experience so especially negative for me was I was totally unaware that this was a "normal" thing, or even something that was legal for border guards to do, so I was caught very off guard... hopefully my experience and sharing about it can help at least a few more people to be more prepared than I was.

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Other / OCD?
« on: August 08, 2018, 02:40:11 AM »
Hope this is the right place to put this. I was curious if anyone else developed severe OCD along with C-PTSD, and if so how they've dealt with it. I think I remember reading about it in Pete Walker's book, and so was wondering if this is a fairly common thing among people with C-PTSD.

I only really started to have obvious OCD symptoms when I went through a really stressful/difficult period of my life a few years ago, and all the C-PTSD stuff got a lot worse. For me, the OCD was the order/symmetry kind, and it's been hard to deal with since practically anything and everything can set it off (e.g. two things that aren't arranged "just right", etc.).

I know there's specific therapy and treatment for both OCD and C-PTSD, but I've heard different things about how that should be tackled. I even heard cases of where the OCD therapy/treatment actually made the C-PTSD symptoms *worse*, so perhaps tackling it the other way would be better? I don't know.

One of the reasons I haven't gone in for full-blown CBT/ERT therapy for OCD is that I feel like the C-PTSD stuff is really underneath all of it and that OCD therapy on its own is either not going to be successful without dealing with the C-PTSD stuff first, or else it'll even make the C-PTSD symptoms worse.

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Introductory Post / Hello
« on: August 06, 2018, 04:37:37 AM »
Hi everyone,

I just recently discovered this forum, and just reading the posts here has been so validating and encouraging. Itís amazing to read about other people going through so many things Iíve struggled with and felt so alone in. Iíve seen the word ďalienĒ used here by different people and thatís exactly how Iíve felt for so long, like Iím from a different planet compared to most people, and thereís no way to explain to ďnormalĒ people what it is I go through on a day-to-day basis.

As for how I found out about C-PTSD, well, itís a long story, but basically... I was going through severe burnout (job-related and personal-life related) and reading up on it, and watched a TED talk linking burnout and PTSD, and it was like a million lightbulbs went off in my head. I eventually discovered C-PTSD and believe itís the most accurate description of what Iíve been going through for a long time.

I think the roots for me were in childhood, with neglect and verbal/emotional abuse from my parents, but I only really experienced most of the really severe C-PTSD symptoms a couple years ago when my personal and work life just got to be too much (a lot of stress at work, increasingly feeling isolated, ďfriendsĒ abandoning and turning against me, and a bunch of other things I wonít go into here, and all of that happening within the span of less than a year).

Itís sad and disappointing to me how little is known about C-PTSD, not just by the average person, but even professionals (doctors, mental health professionals, etc.). I hope understanding and awareness of this condition increases dramatically. Who knows how many other people out there are silently suffering with this and being misdiagnosed and mistreated by health professionals.

Itís nice to see some progress being made, like the inclusion of C-PTSD as a real condition in the ICD as of 2018, but thereís so much more that needs to be done. Most people donít even seem to know anything about PTSD other than itís what ďsoliders getĒ and most havenít even heard of C-PTSD. And itís obviously hard to tell people about it when itís still not even something you can be diagnosed with in many places.

Thereís a lot more I could say about myself and other things, but was planning to save specific things for other posts.

This looks like a good community with a lot of good people, and Iím thankful to have found it.

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