Cptsd or not Cptsd?

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thetruth

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Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« on: December 14, 2018, 12:20:25 AM »
Hi All,

I have sunk into familiar anxiety, depression and exhaustion with surprising speed. Ive been triggered and I know how but I wont go into that now.

The purpose of this post is to ask a simple question. Im really worn out so I am in that 'not sure of anything anymore state'.


This might seem silly but I need to ask it. How do I know for sure that the difficulty I am having in life  is Cptsd?

I am meeting unwillingness from others to view my claims of traumatic experience in the workplace as valid. Moreover I have had my claims of traumatic experience redefined as sensitivity and delusion on my part. Sorry, I am trying to keep this to the point.

A psychiatrist has refused my first attempt to communicate to him that I am living Cptsd every day.

How do I know for sure my symptoms are Cptsd?

If they are not Cptsd, then what are they? Can you be experiencing constant anxiety, depression, triggering, relentless rumination, compulsive thinking about revenge, inability to think about anything else but the injustice you experienced as soon as you are not being engaged in conversation by someone, even though it is 5 years since that happened, and not be experiencing Cptsd?

If this isnt Cptsd when it has the hallmarks of it, then what is it? There was trauma and emotional dysregulation for years. I didnt imagine that and I certainly didnt make it up to piss off doctors and psychiatrists to force them into a diagnosis they dont want to make.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 05:12:19 PM by thetruth »

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Blueberry

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2018, 09:10:44 AM »
You're not the first on here to ask themselves that question because I've done that too. For me it's the sign of an EF when I'm doing that.

Idk if it could be symptoms of anything else that you are experiencing. otoh it's pretty common for docs to deny what we are experiencing, at least ime. I went through years of that. Docs trying to explain that my symptoms were 'normal'.

Standing with you. I hope some other mbrs with adult onset cptsd respond too.

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thetruth

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2018, 09:24:57 AM »
Thanks Blueberry,

A League of Gentlemen sketch comes to mind where after reducing his patient to tears with cruel indifference, the doctor eventually says, "I am now satisfied that your pain is real!"

Its very dark humour but compelling viewing.

Thank you.

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Libby183

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2018, 09:49:43 AM »
Hi, the truth.

I'm sorry to hear that you have hit a bad patch, so to speak. It seems to be a strong feature of CPTSD, this up and down pattern. You mentioned a trigger, so Blueberry makes a very good point that you may be in an EF. Do you have approaches to help with these? Just remind yourself that they do end, things will get better again.

With regards to your specific question about CPTSD, my answer /opinion is that you do. In a way, all diagnoses that we talk about on OOTS are just social constructs, a sort of framework for communication and understanding.  The fact that we come here and feel understood is what matters.

It has become something of a hobby horse to me, and still feels risky to say it, but I honestly don't believe that doctors and the NHS are there to help us. They serve a purpose for society (and get handsomely rewarded financially and with high regard and status) in return. I don't believe that society wants to face up to the existence of CPTSD. After all, society sanctioned my abuse by my parents and I grew into a person who was terrified of stepping out of line, who went into nursing, to repay my debt to society, for educating me and giving me healthcare etc. Eventually, society would expect me to care for my ageing parents. Sadly for society, my parents went too far and I cracked.

Consequently, I am no use any more. I don't work and don't care for my parents! It sounds quite crackpot, but I am actually finding it quite freeing. I've been where you are, desparate for help and answers. I have found my truth, for now, and am doing much better than before.  Some degree of relief is what I am hoping for, for you. It takes a lot of time, but I believe you will get there.

Happy, as ever, to talk about things.

Take care.

Libby


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Rainagain

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2018, 10:34:19 AM »
The truth, your pain is yours, naming it 'scientifically' won't make any difference, its a trauma reaction whatever its called, that is my experience.

Libby, 'I am no use any more' - that is exactly how I feel, unemployable, troubled, broken.

The treatments for any anxiety/trauma/depression based illness seem the same, talk therapy and meds.

Try not to worry about diagnosis the truth, the workplace can cause mental injury, different psychiatrists diagnose differently, what doesn't change is how we feel after workplace trauma.

I'm not sure cptsd is even recognised as a thing in the UK yet, but I was diagnosed with cptsd by one uk psych. But I'm not always sure I have it, and I have other stuff too.

People are complex and our personal * is our own, call it anything, its still *.

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Rainagain

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 12:45:57 PM »
For validation Google workplace PTSD.

Loads of examples of exactly the bullying you suffered.

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Kizzie

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2018, 07:27:15 PM »
Many of us here self-diagnose thetruth, mainly because physicians and mental health professionals do not yet know about Complex PTSD/Trauma, in particular in situations such as workplace abuse. 

However, many do and this is reflected in the fact that the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies has a Complex Trauma Special Interest Group - https://www.istss.org/about-istss/special-interest-groups/complex-trauma-sig.aspx.  Also, while Complex PTSD/Trauma is not yet in the APA's DSM as an official diagnosis, it has just been included in the WHO's ICD and much of that is due to the push by mental health professionals to have it recognized so that people like us around the world can get the treatment, services & support we so need whether it's because of abuse in childhood or adulthood. 

I guess my point is don't let ignorance stop you from what you know to be true. Keep trying to find a GP and/or T who is knowledgeable and will help you, not tell you you are just too sensitive.  Abuse in the workplace is a very real issue which can definitely lead to developing CPTSD; as Rainagain points out just Google that to confirm what you already know in your heart.   


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LilyITV

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2018, 08:37:20 PM »
It seems diagnosis of mental illness is more art than science and sooo many people complain of being diagnosed.  Although it really sucks not to get that validation, that psychiatrist's opinion really shouldn't hold more weight than what you know to be true. 

What's most important is that when you come here, you feel like you are among people who understand what you are going through.  I know I felt like I found my tribe when I discovered this website. 

I self-diagnosed myself essentially because my therapist has not shared her diagnoses and I am too afraid too ask her what she thinks.  It was a huge relief when I discovered C-PTSD and I am so afraid of it being taken away.  I'm not sure I will ever ask her for her diagnosis of me because even if she completely disagrees, I will keep coming to this site.

Interestingly, my therapist shared with me that she really doesn't get hung up on diagnoses because the treatment for anxiety will be the same no matter what the cause.  I don't know enough about therapy to know if that makes sense, but it does give me a sense of comfort.   

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thetruth

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2018, 08:55:09 PM »
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the responses. For me it seems to be a symptom of mine to need validation. I think it is because the of the amount of denial of truth and misrepresentation of truth that was involved in the stress process that I went through.

Thank you all for contributing to this thread. I am less troubled tonight that I was last night. It is good to feel some semblance of relaxation.

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Blueberry

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2018, 11:25:37 PM »
 :applause: :applause: on your feeling better. Less troubled, more relaxed :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: I hope you sleep well.

Thanks Blueberry,

A League of Gentlemen sketch comes to mind where after reducing his patient to tears with cruel indifference, the doctor eventually says, "I am now satisfied that your pain is real!"

This has happened to me twice irl by docs, one a psychiatrist and one an eye doc so I don't need to watch. I told the eye doc I had 'dry eye' from gazing at computer screen, could I have a prescription for some drops? He pushed things that felt like emery board into my eyes and then agreed that it was dry-eye. Thaannnks. I knew that.

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thetruth

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2018, 11:57:27 PM »
Ive come to a bit of a realisation. Being awake is a trigger. When I am awake I can remember the actual, real, true events that took place in my life to shape my current reality.

My reality, my day to day reality, which is a product of the abuse, injustice and betrayal that I experienced, is a permanent inescapable reminder of those things.  As long as I am awake, I do not get to think about the factors that have shaped my current day to day reality.

I can avoid the external triggers of bumping into certain people, being in certain places, doing certain activities. It doesnt matter. The present moment in my reality, even when I am lying in bed, is shaped by what was done to me unfairly. 

For me, to be awake is triggering. I do not get to not think about what was done to me.

I could have never anticipated life turning out this way. It's such a waste of life.

so what to do? Meditate maybe. Despite the crap, I want to find a way to live that doesnt suck.

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thetruth

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2018, 12:11:00 AM »
You're not the first on here to ask themselves that question because I've done that too. For me it's the sign of an EF when I'm doing that.

Idk if it could be symptoms of anything else that you are experiencing. otoh it's pretty common for docs to deny what we are experiencing, at least ime. I went through years of that. Docs trying to explain that my symptoms were 'normal'.

Standing with you. I hope some other mbrs with adult onset cptsd respond too.

Hi Blueberry,

Thanks a lot for your message. I think I am seldom not in an EF. It is just the intensity of it that varies. At best I am thinking about what took place with mild anger and frustration. The only time I am free of this low level difficulty is when I am sleeping. Becoming awake again really sucks.

I can be distracted by activity, I get relief there sometimes but I can also be very troubled even when really busy with chores.

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Blueberry

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2018, 12:31:03 AM »
I think I am seldom not in an EF. It is just the intensity of it that varies.

Since being here on the forum i've decided that I used to spend the majority of my time in EFs. Just, as you say, the intensity varied. I'm sure sometimes it was layer upon layer of EF, due to different triggers coming one after another before I'd got out of the first one.

It has got better, the EFs less deep and I come out of them again faster. So there is hope, but I agree it feels terrible before you get that hope back in your life. I think also for me that sleep was often an escape. Who wouldn't want that kind of escape? I didn't often have nightmares back then and I slept well.

Once again standing with you.

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thetruth

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2018, 12:56:45 AM »
Hi Blueberry,

The single greatest trigger that I have experienced, producing the most prolonged and intense EF that I have been through, occurred in the spring when I came back home after being away from here for 5 weeks. I did not expect what happened on returning home to this place.

I have been through a number of deep and sometimes prolonged depressions in my life. What happened in my mind in the spring was in the same ball park of painfulness but it was of a different nature. It was a different thing. It would be hard for me to say which was more difficult, the depression or the EF I had in the spring, which lasted many weeks by the way. (They are not really comparable- full on depression cant be topped for painfulness)

The EF I went through in the spring was kicked off by coming back here to my familiar surroundings where all of the bullying, defamation, unfair redundancy and betrayal by GP took place. It is where the lies about my character and my credibilty have been cultivated, even by my doctor. It is where my old place of work is and where my old colleagues walk the streets.

Being away was an experience of relief. I had distance between me and the triggers for the first time in 5 years. That was fantastic but I didnt see the price of that experience of liberation coming, as a result of returning home. As soon as I drove back into this area things were starting to go wrong in my mind. The dreamy relief was over and the drop was violent.

The next few weeks were among the most problematic of my life. It was April and May. I was fighting an internal battle that others couldnt see but it was massive. The thinking was sheer pain. Unrelentless, sheer pain.

How that particular EF ended is another story, there were 3 factors which helped end that EF. I did not think that EF was going to end or reduce in intensity. If it hadnt ended I would have needed tranquilising medication, more intense than the diazepam that I did resort to several times during that 2 month nightmare.

It was actually 4 factors that conspired to finally get me out of that emotional flashback.

1. I felt huge validation and relief on buying and reading Pete Walker's 'Surviving to Thriving'.

2. I first encountered the explanation for my pain in the message that the human mind can cope with tragedy but not it cannot cope with evil.

3. A psychiatrist fervently denied that I could have Cptsd and I realised the scale of the task in getting even a private pych. to acknowledge the true nature of the injury I had suffered, when an NHS doctor was complicit in the injury. (In an unexpected way, the futility of aspiring to be understood by an indifferent health care professional helped to finally reduce my symptoms. There was no point in asking to be heard with impartiality).

4. Rainagain assured me that diagnosis would give momentary relief at best and that I would still have a battle on my hands even if diagnosed.

At this stage, which was in June, it appeared to me that I had 2 options. I could die then and be done with it or I could try to live. That emotional flashback ended and I returned to low level simmering angst, anger and relentless thinking about what had happened.

I hope I do not have another flashback like that one as long as I live. Im trying to take precautions against it in the ways that I know how to, like not drinking.... Ive had some shorter duration flashbacks in the days after drinking alcohol.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 04:47:03 PM by thetruth »

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thetruth

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Re: Cptsd or not Cptsd?
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2018, 06:51:30 PM »
Hi, the truth.

I'm sorry to hear that you have hit a bad patch, so to speak. It seems to be a strong feature of CPTSD, this up and down pattern. You mentioned a trigger, so Blueberry makes a very good point that you may be in an EF. Do you have approaches to help with these? Just remind yourself that they do end, things will get better again.

With regards to your specific question about CPTSD, my answer /opinion is that you do. In a way, all diagnoses that we talk about on OOTS are just social constructs, a sort of framework for communication and understanding.  The fact that we come here and feel understood is what matters.

It has become something of a hobby horse to me, and still feels risky to say it, but I honestly don't believe that doctors and the NHS are there to help us. They serve a purpose for society (and get handsomely rewarded financially and with high regard and status) in return. I don't believe that society wants to face up to the existence of CPTSD. After all, society sanctioned my abuse by my parents and I grew into a person who was terrified of stepping out of line, who went into nursing, to repay my debt to society, for educating me and giving me healthcare etc. Eventually, society would expect me to care for my ageing parents. Sadly for society, my parents went too far and I cracked.

Consequently, I am no use any more. I don't work and don't care for my parents! It sounds quite crackpot, but I am actually finding it quite freeing. I've been where you are, desparate for help and answers. I have found my truth, for now, and am doing much better than before.  Some degree of relief is what I am hoping for, for you. It takes a lot of time, but I believe you will get there.

Happy, as ever, to talk about things.

Take care.

Libby

Hi Libby,

I agree fully with your statement that society doesnt want to face up to the existence of Cptsd. My employer, my doctor and my family have all reacted with a similarly discompassionate disinterest. All they need to know is that I had a history of depressive episodes. Thats good enough for them. It allows my employer to misrespresent the stress they caused me as personal frailty, it allows my doctor the freedom to invalidate my suggestion that the stress was a result of human rights abuses in the workplace and it allows my family to content themselves with the analysis that a history peppered with mental health issues explains the difficulty I had in that job, and that means they dont have to go to the trouble of feeling concern for me over very contentious issues with an employer and a GP. Lets not go challenging our pre-held ideas that this employer and this GP are reputable and professional people!

I am noticing that I am prefering to be on my own quite a lot now. I am also noticing how readily I ease into a state of anxiety when in conversation with other people. For me there is always a feeling of fraudulence about my presence and my dialogue. They, whomever they are, the people with which I am conversing, are unaware of the permanent battle I am fighting in my life, but that doesnt mean it is something they want to hear about, nor is it something that they will readily understand. So I guess you could say that I feel isolated as a person. I am isolated by a psychological condition for which there is no easy cure and I am isolated by the fact that I have to carry it around while pretending it doesnt exist.

Anxiety comes easy when you are basically living the lie that you are ok, every time you are in conversation with other people. So yes Libby, this forum is good for me. as it is for you. It's a place where I can say the things that I have to hide in real life because there are no answers to the questions the subject raises. No solutions.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 06:58:28 PM by thetruth »