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C-PTSD (Complex PTSD), Being ignored, wanting to give up

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To preface:

While I'm well aware that complex PTSD isn't technically an official thing, it may as well be.....they're supposedly adding it as a subtype of PTSD to the DSM-V.  And I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that I am a poster child for the dx.  It's the only thing that totally and completely fits everything that's happened to me and how I've felt and currently do feel.  (or don't feel, depending on the day...)  They diagnosed me as bipolar II six years ago and I have never felt that it was an accurate dx.  I take Wellbutrin and nothing else.  I've taken mood stabilizers a couple times and didn't have much improvement.  Unless my feeling-like-a-normal-person is akin to hypomania in a person not severely depressed, I don't see how I have it.  (that...sentence probably didn't make sense.  I can clarify if need be.)  There is nothing cyclical about it at all.  I DO have a mood disorder.  Whatever it may be.  And I think the root of it is my trauma and a few crappy genes.  I don't have a brain disorder.  I have brain damage.


And lately, I've not been doing very well.  It started with stress about some stuff in life and it all compounded to put me in a crappy place.  And then I started hearing/seeing commercials and advertisements everywhere for "father's" day.  And I've been seeing them for weeks.  And last week I started to completely lose it.  [next part may be triggery for some] 


:Trigger:  :Trigger:  :Trigger:  :Trigger:  :Trigger:  :Trigger:  :Trigger:


I don't have a father.  I don't know what it's like to have a father.  And I don't want to fucking constantly be reminded that other people DO have fathers that they somehow feel love toward.  I do know what it's like to have a male that married and impregnated my mother in order to produce an offspring that would serve as nothing but a punching bag for his CONSTANT emotional and physical outbursts.  (They're still married, btw.  Because divorce is a greater sin than beating the shit out of your kids/wife).  I don't want to think about him.  I don't want to remember him.  I can't even drive through the city in which I used to live when I was still a minor and living with my parents without wanting to go 190 mph down the road to get the hell out of there as fast as possible (but I don't!).  Just thinking about being in the city is making my heart pound as I write this.  The other day I couldn't help but think about how much I want to take a baseball bat and cave in his skull.  The thought of it brought me a sick sort of joy.  I would NEVER actually do that though.  I can't stand the site of gore, I don't want to go to jail, and besides....that'd make me just as bad as him.  He deserves to suffer through whatever life he has left.  His disease will eventually kill him; no one else has to.


And EVERY counselor/therapist/psychologist I've ever seen has known my history and the horrible things I barely lived through.  And all I ever get in sessions is typical 'how was your day?' & '...and how does that make you feel?' bullshit.  I have DIRECTLY brought up that I need more than that.  With at least half of the ones I've seen.  And NO ONE DOES ANYTHING FOR ME.  It's like they see someone with their arm hacked off and think a band-aid will be just fine and dandy to make them better.  I don't know what to do.  I am an irrevocably broken person that will never be better.  I will always be brain damaged.  No one cares to help me.  I don't know what I'm supposed to do.  Scream?  Cry?  Beg?   DBT has been brought up with one, maybe two, of them and that's it.  It never goes anywhere.  I brought up C-PTSD to one of them and she FLIPPED OUT at me asking me who told me I had that (I never said I had it; I said the description sounds exactly like me) and whoever told me that needs to have their license revoked because C-PTSD is not a real thing.  (This is the same woman that had the gall to ask me why I never called CPS as a kid if things were really that bad.  I hope her shitty dog mauls her to a slow, agonizing death.  ...I....might have some issues with holding grudges, heh.)


The current place I'm going?  Totally disorganized, HIPAA violations EVERYWHERE.   I told the counselor about it and that it was thoroughly unacceptable.  She said she would talk to the front desk about it.  Rest assured, if I see the same shit the next time I have an appointment, I am absolutely reporting them to the board. 


I am trying to find a new place to go.  HIPAA violations aside, the current counselor is completely useless.  She's nice and all, but I may as well be talking to the Cleverbot AI.  I am doing nothing but wasting my time and money by being there.  I think she's new to the profession.  I found a good one when I first started going....  I remember thinking to myself "she's really good at this.  She'll be gone soon.  Every single good one leaves.", and then at the very next appointment, she told me she was leaving.  Just like I knew she would.  Just like they all do.  (The exact same thing unfailingly happens to my best friend as well!!)


So I need to find a new place.  And all I can think is that it's not worth it.  I barely have the energy to live my life and now I have to basically throw a dart and land on a name of a Dr/MSW/etc in the area for whom I have no references and cross my fingers that they won't further damage me.  I am NEVER going to get better with this bullshit.  I will never find someone to help me.  I finally get the courage to bring things up and I am always dismissed.  Just like my entire youth.  Nothing I say means anything because I'm not screaming when I say it. 


What do I have to do to get help?  I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to do to get people to take me seriously.  Maybe if I had scars all over my body from being beaten they'd have some sympathy for me.  But I only have one that's not instantly apparent.  And all the other scars are in my head, binding up any chance for a happy life in a web of inflexible tangled frustration.  So I guess they don't actually exist because no one can see them.  If they were on the outside, I'd look like a burn victim that had their face ripped off.


I want to be better.  I don't want to have to keep shoving pills in my mouth so that I can wake up in the morning to only sort of feel like killing myself instead of wanting nothing more than death.  And I CANNOT do it on my own!!!  WTF am I supposed to do?  No one helps me.  I don't know how to ask for help aside from directly and explicitly asking for it!!   I'm terrified of being labeled as histrionic or something.  That me thinking I'm as broken as I am is just a symptom of me being crazy.  So I don't press the issue.  I state what I need and they think I'm trying to play doctor or that I think I believe I know more than they do.  I have had VERY bad experiences with both MDs and Psychs. 


I just want to stop living a nightmare. 


I'm writing down names of doctors in the area in hoping I can find info about them online.  I got as far as writing down the first four names and I can't do anymore.  I want to throw up.  I know it will just be the same thing.  In eight years I have had ONE competent therapist.  ONE.  I may hate myself, but I don't hate myself enough to keep putting myself through the torture of baring my soul to one person after another with absolutely nothing in return.  I want to flush the wellbutrin, fire every incompetent moron that thinks they're helping by having conversations with me I could just as easily have had with a five year old and letting the fate I deserve take me away.


But I have someone that loves me.  And I will not do that to him.  I just want so very badly to give up.  Nothing I do helps.  Nothing anyone does helps.  I am terminally broken.  All I want to do is find someone that gives a shit enough to help me glue the pieces together.  I know I'm permanently damaged and will never be a "normal" person, but I sure as hell could stand to do better than I am now!  I have hope that it's possible to get better.  I don't have hope that I'll find the person with the skills to get me there.


I'm in the US and am lucky enough to have health insurance.  If anyone can offer any wisdom on how to get my life moving, I'd appreciate it.  I just feel like there is nothing I can do anymore.  Because nothing I've ever done in the past 5-6 years has gotten me anywhere.  I have run out of hope.


Sorry for the wall of text.  If I could say it succinctly I would.

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It sounds like you have had a terrible time trying to get appropriate care - and I think you have every right to be angry and frustrated and exhausted and overwhelmed.


C PTSD is not in the DSM (nor will it appear in the DSM5, though they claim that they have tried to include elements of it) but I have honestly never met a practitioner (psychologist or psychiatrist) who did not believe that it was a legitimate construct.  My official medical records currently say PTSD (complex type).


It sounds like you could really benefit from finding someone who is experienced in treating trauma.  I don't know if you live in a big city or not, but sometimes there will be a traumatic stress service or PTSD clinic at the local university/hospital that specializes in providing this type of care, who can either give you care or refer you to someone who can.  Because from the severity you're describing, you probably could benefit from specialized treatment from someone experienced in working with trauma.


At the very least, I would recommend screening new potential therapists by asking them up front how much experience they have treating trauma, what approaches they use, and what their treatment plan is.  And if they can't give you a coherent answer, leave.


When you are internet searching for therapists, you can also try adding things like "trauma" and "PTSD" to your search to find people who say they specialize in that area - though that is obviously no guarantee of success.


DBT could also be a decent and viable plan, which would be more along the lines of teaching you coping skills and helping you get your emotional intensity down a bit, which is a really necessary precursor to doing direct trauma work, in one way or another.


I am sorry you are feeling so desperate right now.  You are not completely, irrevocably broken.  You have damage, but there is also the potential for things to get better, if you can find a way over this hump and get some appropriate treatment.

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I found a local lady.

People have left wonderful reviews for her online.

I called the phone number listed for her on my provider's website.....and it went to HER PHONE.  Not the receptionist, but her actual phone on which she personally checks messages.


God I hope she calls back.  She sounded so kind in her voice mail.  And she's only like 4 or 5 miles from work. 



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I join tryp in wishes that you get a phone call back from this tdoc...


I was "diagnosed" with this C-PTSD and my factors included an extremely verbally abusive, self-entitled mother paired with a cheap and controlling father.  29 years after I was born, they still act this way, albeit a bit more mildly.  I still have to deal with them as a source of money, although fortunately I'll be stipended for doing a PhD now.  To be honest, my parents were just regular people acting in an irregular fashion.  My mother has multiple MI dxes and if my father went for evaluation, I'm sure they would brand him with OCD in 10 seconds.


Basically I feel for your situation and hope that you have found a proper tdoc.  I hope the phone rings soon for you.

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Thanks, LM.  I appreciate the well-wishes.


She called back.


She doesn't think she's the one to help me.  But she did give me the names of 2 people she thought could.


And my insurance won't pay for them.


I had hopes for her.  I assumed my insurance wouldn't pay for the recommended ones.  Any time anyone recommends someone they turn out to be complete shit or my insurance won't cover them.  This shit happens all the time.


I don't have confirmation bias.  Outsiders have even pointed out how nothing ever goes right for me.   Sometimes it does.  Just not nearly often enough.


Sometimes I wish there was a god so I could tell him to go fuck himself.

Edited by Anodyne Oblivion
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You can ask your insurance for something called a "single case agreement" to cover someone who isn't normally in their network. It sounds like you have a pretty good case for doing so, because you are getting referrals from people inside the network to people who are more qualified to help you.

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Wow, I'm really sorry to hear she can't handle your case.  Fortunately, she was honest about it and gave you referrals, albeit ones that are going to be a bit difficult to get. :-


I think I have the same problem with "luck"... though it's not that I have bad luck, it's just that my luck gets me into weird situations.  If we were to calculate how often everything went right for us, chances are, there would be rankings, with some having it mostly going right, others it going mostly wrong (then again, it depends on both the observer's and individual's definitions of 'right' and 'wrong' in the situations).


In any event, back to the situation at hand.  You could try the single case idea, or find out exactly what your insurance's out of network coverage is (some insurance companies will actually cover out of network care at decent copay rates).  Of course, I suggest also finding out how much the cash price is and considering if paying cash price is worth it.  I don't know how much the stuff costs where you live, but tdocs where I am charge $100-200 per session and if all you need is a few weekly sessions to bring out the memories and cope with them, then it could be worth the cash investment... this of course depends on your own financial situation and how long you expect to be in therapy... in any event, even if you are screwed (hopefully not), the best choice is still to make the best cost-benefit ratio decision...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello :)



I actually signed up just to say this,because I suffer rom C-ptsd, and in Canada its much more an accepted diagnosis based on your history,My psych appointments range anywhere from an hour to 45 mins.I also meet wwith a mental health worker ,and have been doing so since my teens. I have a very long informative mental health file,that has followed me since I was young,so it was easy for my psych to build a profile and diagnose.I can tell you that I SINCERELY Relate to you 100% I feel the exact same way, and I have no doubt you ARE C-PTSD,My advice to you is actually print out your original forum post and take it in with you to your apppointments and MAKE them read it.



Chin UP :)


 If You get the feelin' that it's never gonna change, doesn't mean a thing
Your life's not gonna end, it'll be OK
Don't say goodbye my friend cause it doesn't mean a thing,
the simple twist of fate, no, it doesn't mean a thing,
you start to get the feelin' that it's never gonna end,
doesn't mean a thing

Edited by 1 Celld Creature
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm so sorry your going through this. Do not stop finding a therapist to help you. Many times it takes interviewing a therapist to find the right one, keep up the good work and you will find someone. I wish I could help but don't know where you live.


I was referred to a therapist via my psychiatrist (who said I have PTSD and BiPolar 2) after I was sexually assaulted.


I'm glad I went, she diagnosed me with C-PTSD and gave me her insight as to her conclusion of her diagnosis. I too find it very harmfull that it is not recognized in the DSM. I even sent them an email a few weeks ago stating why it should be included.


Finding this therapist and having  diagnosis (which my psychiatrist now agrees with) has been helpful. For so long I used drugs, was anorexic (still deal with that) and acted out in harmful ways. I had been to rehab but nothing stuck since the root of my problem was never addressed. I'm now in Harm Reduction which has helped with drug use and it also addresses C-PTSD.


C-PTSD is different than PTSD. I've personally been through one trauma after another and survival mode was my only outlet. To go from surviving to living and thriving has helped and it's only because of the right diagnosis and therapy.


I'm rooting for you, your not alone and keep seeking the right therapist.

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  • 1 year later...

Oblivion, I just saw your post and hopefully you solved your problems with finding a therapist. I want to tell you that there are good people out there in the United States. They are not covered by insurance. I am financially broke by seeing an extremely good therapist who understands C PTSD. I chose to see her after seeing another therapist, covered by insurance, who did not understand anything and who did more damage than help. I don't know if I continue to afford this but is the first time in 25 years that I have had therapy that works for me. I worry about going into debt, but I am more worried about living the next 40 years of my life feeling the same way I have for the last 40. all I can tell you is if there's anyway that you can afford Pay a therapist privately, that is the one of the few ways to guarantee good therapy experiences. Most good therapist are not covered under insurance, the matter how good your insurance is, in the United States. It sucks, but it's reality. I hope you have found somebody insured are not insured who can help you. I finally feel slightly hopeful after all of these years that this might end and I might get better. I hope you have been able to find the right experience.

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Most good therapist are not covered under insurance, the matter how good your insurance is, in the United States. It sucks, but it's reality


I would like to vehemently disagree with this statement.


I have had three really good therapists, all covered by my insurance when I had it, and willing to work with me when I lost it or it changed.


It's important to ask questions and screen tdocs to see if they have the expertise you need.

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