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Complex PTSD

Old 01-24-2012, 11:43 PM
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Complex PTSD

Back when I was still going to therapy, but really not ready to detach from XABF, my therapist suggested I have complex PTSD and referred me to a psychiatrist for medication. Too bad I never went back to her, never went to the shrink, and went right back into the cycle of abuse with XABF.

I'm going to the shrink this week, and since I know this is what I have (and guess it doesn't just go away on its own because here I am so many months later after separating from him physically still exhibiting every symptom), I was wondering if any of you had been treated for this and what the treatment entailed. From what I understand antidepressants are used to treat the condition, as well as benzos for acute anxiety.

I found this quote, which hit home because I feel so weak and stupid for letting him do this to me, and so many people think I am just as crazy or at fault as he is:

"The current PTSD diagnosis often does not capture the severe psychological harm that occurs with prolonged, repeated trauma. For example, long-term trauma may affect a healthy person's self-concept and adaptation. The symptoms of such prolonged trauma have been mistaken for character weakness, but this is an unfair characterization."
-http://anxiety.emedtv.com

Here are the symptoms:
  • Changes in the ability to control emotions, which may include symptoms such as persistent sadness, suicidal thoughts, explosive anger, or inhibited anger
  • Changes in consciousness, such as forgetting traumatic events, reliving traumatic events, or having episodes in which one feels detached from one's mental processes or body
  • Changes in how the person views himself or herself, which may include a sense of helplessness, shame, guilt, stigma, and a sense of being completely different from other human beings
  • Changes in how the person views the perpetrator, such as attributing total power to the perpetrator or becoming preoccupied with the relationship to the perpetrator, including a preoccupation with revenge
  • Changes in relationships with others, including isolation, distrust, or a repeated search for a rescuer
  • Changes in one's system of meanings, which may include a loss of sustaining faith or a sense of hopelessness and despair.

Maybe some of you haven't been diagnosed but recognize the symptoms in yourself. I also have flashbacks, mostly of the strangulation and car accident that was a result of an abusive attack. I also read on the interwebs that this condition is often misdiagnosed as depression and/or general anxiety disorder.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:27 AM
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I found this recently....and it helped. I participate in some of the therapies listed at the bottom, which has helped me with my trauma/PTSD.

Psychological / Emotional Trauma: an overview
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:41 AM
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Have you ever went to ACA.....Its your way out.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:22 AM
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Nicam,

I`m glad to read that you are going to see your `shrink`this week. No one should feel the anguish you have been experiencing. You deserve peace and to be able to move through what is obviously very difficult for you. Good for you for taking care of you.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:28 AM
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Wow, thanks for that LR. I love the way it explains how the limbic and cortex regions of the brain converge in traumatized individuals. Everything was spot on and there's so much information. Seriously...

I actually went to my first ACA meeting last week and had a great experience. I really need to go regularly, alanon too. With the depression it's hard to handle the most basic life functions, so haven't been doing much of anything outside of those things.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:04 AM
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I'm so glad you've made an appointment, Nicam.

It's been so hard getting a handle on all the symptoms of my PTSD; I'm certain I couldn't have handled it on my own. I've been seeing a psychiatrist and a counselor. The Psy and I had been trying to fight with insurance about the dosage of my Rx, but had to finally give up and are moving on to start trying another combinations and hope to find something that works as well as, and with as few side effects as, the Rx and dosage that insurance is denying... My counselor is suggesting EMDR, but she'd have to refer me to some one else. I'm not quite ready to talk with some one else about what XAH did.

My counselor has been helping me work through the book "I Can't Get Over It - A Handbook for Survivors" by Aphrodite Matasakis.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by theuncertainty View Post
I'm so glad you've made an appointment, Nicam.

It's been so hard getting a handle on all the symptoms of my PTSD; I'm certain I couldn't have handled it on my own. I've been seeing a psychiatrist and a counselor. The Psy and I had been trying to fight with insurance about the dosage of my Rx, but had to finally give up and are moving on to start trying another combinations and hope to find something that works as well as, and with as few side effects as, the Rx and dosage that insurance is denying... My counselor is suggesting EMDR, but she'd have to refer me to some one else. I'm not quite ready to talk with some one else about what XAH did.

My counselor has been helping me work through the book "I Can't Get Over It - A Handbook for Survivors" by Aphrodite Matasakis.
My best friend swears by EMDR. I want to try it too!

Thanks for this, it's always helpful to know you're not the only one. Yes, the repressed memories are brutal. I feel like I have no control over my body sometimes, and don't even recognize myself anymore. There's some disassociation that goes along with this, and that's scary.

I've also had a lot of people, including family members who are friends with my abuser, shun me for this. These are people who saw the black eyes, bruises, witnessed the abuse first-hand. Even in the aftermath they still hate and judge me, maybe they are ashamed someone in their family had this happen to them. I think people blame and judge victims because they want to feel as if they are better than them, therefore something like this could never happen to them. It only happens to weak and/or stupid people. They don't understand the control tactics, the cycle, and how it doesn't discriminate.

I hope you find the right combination/dosage of medication soon! It's good you have insurance. When i lost my job I stopped going to therapy because between the therapist, shrink, and Rxs it's like $800 a month! But, like you said it's not something that can be handled alone.

I am going to get that book today!

Hope you feel better and I'm always here if you need to talk. [[[Hugs]]]
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by nicam View Post
I think people blame and judge victims because they want to feel as if they are better than them, therefore something like this could never happen to them. It only happens to weak and/or stupid people. They don't understand the control tactics, the cycle, and how it doesn't discriminate.
I know. XAH's off-again/on-again GF is one of those people. She said XAH would NEVER do that to her (even though she says I was lying) because her parents raised her to be smart and strong. Ppppffft. She's been sucked in big-time by him... IMO, that belief of hers just means she's in for a longer and/or harsher ride than I was.

Sending hugs and ditto - feel free to PM if you need to talk.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:56 PM
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(((Nicam))) - I have what I call "mild" PTSD. It came up when I was involved in a violent armed robbery at work, but I realize I have some left over from when I was involved with XABF's (3 of them) and my own addiction that I'm convinced I turned to as a means to deal with the dysfunction.

I don't have insurance, but at one time I did and I thought it covered therapy. It didn't. However, as soon as I get a job with insurance, I'm going to check into the EMDR as I've heard really good things about it.

My PTSD manifests in a sleep disorder...I simply can't sleep. I have a doctor who knows my history and is willing to prescribe me medicines to deal with this, but I'd much rather get at the root of all the "stuff" and deal with it. I am, by no means, downing anti-d's or other meds that may help, but I really think that therapy would help me to sleep (my only issue) without them.

PTSD is no joke, but I'm glad you're looking in ways to move on from it.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by theuncertainty View Post
I know. XAH's off-again/on-again GF is one of those people. She said XAH would NEVER do that to her (even though she says I was lying) because her parents raised her to be smart and strong. Ppppffft. She's been sucked in big-time by him... IMO, that belief of hers just means she's in for a longer and/or harsher ride than I was.

Sending hugs and ditto - feel free to PM if you need to talk.
LoL, I tried to warn XABF's new girlfriend too and she told me to stop harassing her. I could tell by her language that he had already planted all of the lies in her head and she fell for them head over heels.

I'd call her an idiot but I was in the same boat. If his ex had come to me and warned me a month or 2 in I probably would have believed his lies about her too and thought she was the crazy one. He is SUCH a good idealizer and manipulator, very handsome and attentive in the beginning. So much so you become addicted to that idealization and he knows it and uses it to keep you hooked.

Maybe, had I been warned by an ex of his prior, when the physical abuse started several months to a year down the road a bell would have gone off in my head and I wouldn't have thought it was just me. Or that this was uncharacteristic of him, or just the drugs/booze. Maybe, but who knows...

I'll PM you!
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