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can it still be ptsd if there wasn't any


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physical or sexual abuse? there's a theory of cumulative trauma- no one particular event but a lifetime of little ones that create the same anxious depressed hypervigilant symptpms.  its hard to get ptsd support if there hasn't been specific physical or sexual assault.

Does anyone one else experience this? where do you find support?

Thanks i really appreciate any help.

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i have PSTD from many severe traumatic medical events (i was in and out of hospitals my teen years, and now i'm severly afraid of hospitals, have flashbacks, etc).

yes, it is VERY hard to get treatment.  i haven't gotten any yet.  most places deal with abuse and i ahve yet to find a place that deals with my kind of PSTD.

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mrsloony,

you don't mention if you have a pdoc or a tdoc. I suggest looking in the yellow pages to see if you can find a tdoc or pdoc who lists that they deal with trauma/PTSD. If the doc is not a complete twit, and understands trauma, the doc should know that PTSD can arise any number of ways, and that cumulative traumas, regardless of the type, leds to complicated/complex PTSD and needs to be treated.

If your yellow pages don't offer any help, there are ways to search on-line for docs who specialize in treatements and disorders. I don't mean to imply that you have searched and searched to find a doc already, but complex PTSD can be treated and a decent doc will not say that the trauma has to come from A or B or C.

I'm not writing clearly right now, sorry. If you don't mind sharing why you have had a hard time finding a decent doc, please do. I'd like to know why, and to see if I can help you in some way.

Erika, frazzled but trying

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yes, it is very possible to have PTSD if there was no physical or sexual abuse. Emotional abuse, neglect, etc, are very definitely traumas, and usually occur cumulatively. Your history sounds similar to mine in many ways....and I feel pretty much for sure that I have PTSD. Although I am not diagnosed with it, my pdoc does identify that my depression and anxiety stem from my childhood bad experiences....and explained panic attacks and flight-fight in sort of flashback terms (which I already knew, but I appreciated the validation.) I have been in therapy from before I saw my pdoc, and my therapist works analytically (object relations)and with body process, very much with my PTSD symptoms, although we don't label it as PTSD, its the right treatment that counts. I also suffer from hyper-vigilance etc. And I know how debiltating it can be, how much it takes time to heal....

Therapists who work along the lines of Babette Rothschild, who wrote "The Body Remembers" about trauma therapy, or any one who works along psychodynamic lines/object relations would be good. Some people swear by CBT (I'm not one of them, tho parts of it do have its place...)

It might also be worth checking out Complex PTSD....I got a list of traits and I had practically all of them, 27 or so.

If you were in the UK I'd be able to help more....

Good luck, and let us know how you get on.

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Thanks everyone for you responses- i really appreciate it.

My tdoc and pdoc do think i have ptsd- i guess i feel the problem arise more with ptsd peers and if i wanted to find a group. i'v always felt like ( this sounds strange- but next to those with physical and sexual abuse- its like i don't "deserve" to have th dx or to be in a group with them. Anyone else feel this way?

i'll have to look up complex/complicated trauma. any other reading suggestions would be very welcome. thanks mrsl

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i'v always felt like ( this sounds strange- but next to those with physical and sexual abuse- its like i don't "deserve" to have th dx or to be in a group with them. Anyone else feel this way?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

PTSD is not a question of 'deserving.' Trauma takes many forms, some are cumulative and some are big and sudden. I know that some of mine is the result of a long pattern of small things, while some of it results from a couple of big events within a longer set of nastiness. So you're not alone with this situation.

Fiona

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Complex PTSD

A definition of complex PTSD which includes a list of types of trauma that contribute to PTSD, although the the list of traumas are severe, complex PTSD can and does result from chronic interpersonal trauma (see abstract below).

Link to full abstract

Disorders of extreme stress: the empirical foundation of a complex adaptation to trauma., Journal of Traumatic Stress, 18(5): pp. 389-399, October 2005 

"Children and adults exposed to chronic interpersonal trauma consistently demonstrate psychological disturbances that are not captured in the PTSD diagnosis. ... found that victims of prolonged interpersonal trauma, particularly trauma early in the life cycle, This raises important issues about the categorical versus the dimensional nature of posttraumatic stress, as well as the issue of comorbidity in PTSD. These data invite further exploration of what constitutes effective treatment of the full spectrum of posttraumatic psychopathology."

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You don't have to have suffered physical or sexual abuse to have PTSD. My tdoc keeps impressing on me that my PTSD is more the result of neglect than anything else.

this sounds strange- but next to those with physical and sexual abuse- its like i don't "deserve" to have th dx

It doesn't sound strange at all - it sounds similar to my own thinking. Part of PTSD is denial - it wasn't that bad, other people have had it worse, etc. Feeling like I don't "deserve" to be dx'ed with PTSD is almost a sure indication that I have PTSD.

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nestling- thanks so much for that link. I could really identify- its like the feeling trapped and bullied were familiar:  a child is basically jailed by the parents, and can be bullied by them as well. When you are a little kid there is no escape! and people have always looked at me funny when i tell them my lips and hands are tingling. ( one tdoc- thankfully explained this is caused by hyperventilating with anxiety when we don't even know we are doing it.

its too bad that all that bullyiing and entrapment as a kid can lead to MI so even as grownups we still feel trapped and bullied. it sucks- so does jumping 10 feet in the air every time you hear a loud noise!!

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What if say, it was finding a parent who had commited suicide? It's not a threat to one's own life, but it's still very traumatic.

If you don't have flashbacks related to the event, but have a LOT of anxiety - could that still be PTSD?

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Isobel, imo, yes. Traumas include witnessing threats to life, natural disasters, etc.

My premature birth and its aftermath was traumatic, both for myself and my parents, and a catalyst/trigger/part of all my later traumas.

I'm glad folks find the article useful. ;)

There's also a good one on Complex PTSD on Bullyonline....I don't have the link to hand right now...and am on dial-up at home. But its good, I read it when I need validation.

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Isobel, yes.

DSM-IV diagnostic criteria

The diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are defined in DSM-IV as follows:

    A. The person experiences a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:

        1. the person experienced or witnessed or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others;  text in bold my edit

        2. the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.

Erika

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Thank you Erika and nestling.

I have often wondered if I might be suffering from PTSD. Pdoc and Tdoc both know about what happened (that wasn't exactly a hypothetical question I asked earlier). But neither have brought up the possibility of PTSD.  I was Dxed with OCD/Panic.

If it is PTSD, that would surely require a different treatment plan, no?

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not sure on the treatment plan thing, Isobel, its something I've often wondered myself. Medically diagnosis speaking, as my therapist is very inclusive and non-labelling, more interested in *me* and what makes me tick and what makes me crumble....meds work on symptoms, and help us manage and cope while working through the impact of the traumas and developing different, new, healthy perspective, and 'coming back to life'.

I'm sure someone else will have a clearer idea....

As I work with an NHS medical team and a private therapist, things aren't treatment plan oriented as such with me.

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(that wasn't exactly a hypothetical question I asked earlier).

Erika takes things too literally ... some people do not have flashbacks with PTSD.

If it is PTSD, that would surely require a different treatment plan, no?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Technically, PTSD is an anxiety Dx in the DSM-IV-R. I imagine you already know this as well.

A Dx of anxiety/OCD would cover many of the symptoms of PTSD -- I used to say "OCD type behaviors" in people with a PTSD Dx because such behavior could be viewed as a way to keep threatening/frightening thoughts at bay --. Have you asked your pdoc or tdoc why PTSD was not "the" Dx or why it has not been added? I don't know your situation but is it possible that Panic and OCD Dx may be a better Dx for insurance purposes?

As far as different treatment, what type of therapy does you tdoc use? Psychodynamic therapy or depth work can be one way to work on PTSD. EMDR is a specialized therapy for PTSD (there is a pinned topic about EMDR at the top of the board, if you have not already read it). Does your tdoc have any experience working with PTSD?

Glad you are here. If I can answer any more questions that you already know the answers to ;) , let me know.

Erika *edit beccause I spelled my name wrong

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Have you asked your pdoc or tdoc why PTSD was not "the" Dx or why it has not been added? I don't know your situation but is it possible that Panic and OCD Dx may be a better Dx for insurance purposes?

No, I haven't asked yet - I think I'm still trying to get comfortable with the whole therapy and medication thing - it's all very new to me.

As far as different treatment, what type of therapy does you tdoc use? Psychodynamic therapy or depth work can be one way to work on PTSD. EMDR is a specialized therapy for PTSD (there is a pinned topic about EMDR at the top of the board, if you have not already read it). Does your tdoc have any experience working with PTSD?

So far tdoc has been using CBT. I'm not sure if she has any experience with PTSD at all, but she seems to have a lot of experience with anxiety disorders in general.

I can't believe what a supportive forum this is - thank you very much.

Isobel - who is still a little paranoid about actually registering ;)

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