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any point to a formal assessment of cptsd?

teaparty2teaparty2 Posts: 18Member Courageous
Hello everyone, well in a nutshell ( after hours of research) I think i have complex PTSD. This stems from abuse/ neglect as a child so I have reoccurring flashbacks there. i left home asap straight into an abusive relationship for 18 years. I only discovered its abusive a few years ago. I was sexually abused for all of that time as well as mental abuse, one flashbac/ experience is so hideous i couldnt ever tell anyone, financial abuse etc etc. Then i left that relationship with flashbacks there. finally I went into another 14 month relationship where I suffered extreme mental abuse, One physical encounter where I was assaulted and I was told Im going to die. SO you guessed it, more flashbacks...and now ive had triggers one at work which lead to a panic attack and the second panic attack was huge, i thought i was going to collapse, I couldnt get out of the shower as I was frozen to the spot. That was about a month ago and since then Ive had flashbacks many times every day ( approx 20-30), I think my parents are going to die every day and I am positive I wont live much longer, not by my hand, I mean out of my control. I have other smptoms but dont want to waffle. Thing is I havent told anyone, it seems theres no point as NHS services are not good unless you have 6 sessions with a trainee therapist who has no idea of CPTSD. Writing this I have no emotion which is typical, I have no memory of my children from birth to now really. My minds blocked out most of my memories which is sad really, all those lovely moments with the children. SO after all that waffle my question is- is there any point in starting the ball rolling to get help as theres no help out there?  sorry for the long waffle but its hard to write my  history in a paragraph! 

Replies

  • chockieschockies Posts: 61Member Courageous
    edited January 10
    Hello @teaparty2 I am sorry to hear about the things you have experienced.

    It must have been hard to make your post, thank you for sharing.

    I have cptsd too, and can relate to what you have written.

    It is tough to manage, and for me I got to a point where I had to begin seeking help because it was destroying all of my acheivements.

    I didn’t know what it was and just kept on going without help or understanding while things got worse.

    Not many people in day to day life are understanding of symptoms, and you should not have to agree to seeing a trainee therapist in order to get help.

    There are many therapists who do understand it and that can help, although they are specialists in their field. 

    I think it is very important that you seek a specialist, it is not worth the risk with what you are experiencing.

    I appreciate that some therapists are training, I just feel that sometimes you have to make a preference for what is best for you, and you alone.

    If an assessment might help you to receive support, do it. You are worth it.

    It will may be upsetting to go through, from a cptsd perspective, but is worth trying.

    I can relate that you might not want to do any of the processes involved with getting help because it does make us worse, but you are always worth getting help for.

    You could plan some rest time afterwards, or another way that you know will help you afterwards.

    Wishing you all of the very best.

    Chockies.
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 197Member Pioneering
    Dear @teaparty2
    First of all well done for deciding to try and find an explanation for what you are experiencing and deciding to reach out for some help, that's a really positive first step.
     Of course it's impossible to diagnose someone without meeting them and knowing the full story but even given the snippets you've said above it wouldn't be surprising if you had cPTSD.
    As you very rightly point out the NNS isn't particularly geared up for helping people with cPTSD, I counselled someone recently who had very cPTSD who was basically given a book to read and told that was all they could offer... 
    However there is help out there - your first port of call could be to try your GP and briefly explain your background [just print out what you have written here if you are willing to share that] and ask them to refer you for specialist trauma counselling - it does exist and the wait will be long but it would definitely be worth it, it could be the thing that keeps you in work which is good for your self esteem in itself.  
    You need to be firm with your GP in that It must be specialist counselling, CBT might help [with the panic attacks for example] but you also need something that is more trauma focussed as well.
    Like I say though the wait for specialist support is ridiculous.  In the meanwhile you could try and source specialist counselling through finding a local voluntary organisation that focuses on sexual abuse in your area or try and find a private counsellor who has experience of counselling someone with cPTSD.
    You might find the following organisation helpful to find a private counsellor:
    https://www.pods-online.org.uk
    You might find Peter Levine's books relevant e.g. Healing Trauma; the more I read about trauma/abuse the more I'm convinced that therapy needs to include a focus on the body as trauma/abuse is often 'stored/trapped' in the body and emerges as physical symptoms there is also an excellent book about this - The Body Keeps the Score [by Bessell van der Kolk].
    I hope that is useful and I wish you all the very best in finding some good quality help and getting your life on the positive track you deserve it to be on.
    Best wishes.
    Emma
  • charlie79charlie79 Posts: 120Member Pioneering
    Hi well done for your post your brave. I suffered child abuse from my uncle, only to learn later the family knew. I was brought up by my Grandparents, but was not told my Uncle had gone to prison for raping my birth mother and her sister and other children. The thing I could not handle was how my family hid it as though it was normality. I have no contact with them now. I was also in an abusive relationship and nearly lost my life and suffered gang rapes by his hand. The PTSD never goes and time does not remove the scars but help you cope. The key is to take what happened and know you are a survivor. Sometimes we spend so long on Why what for seeking the answers not realising we will never know. Just know your brave and it took a strong woman to make it this far. You are no longer noone but someone. You are no longer to feel like nothing but something to be proud of. 
  • charlie79charlie79 Posts: 120Member Pioneering
    I get the memory blocks too unfortunately not the ones i want thanks to PTSD. 
  • chockieschockies Posts: 61Member Courageous
    edited January 10
  • teaparty2teaparty2 Posts: 18Member Courageous
    wow, I didnt expect that response. How wonderful!. I need a cuppa and process what ive read as its so ... I dont know what the word is! but thank you. Its so odd that messages from strangers can have such an amazing impact :-). im scared to go to the GP as ive seen him alot as i have a couple of long term health conditions and until recently a child with additional health/ care needs ( shes fine now more or less) so it feels im always at the flipping GPs and i imagine he thinks " oh no not her again"...... 

  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 197Member Pioneering
    Hi @teaparty2
    Please try not to worry about what your GP might think, in fact your long term health problems might make more sense to him in the context of your background as trauma definitely impacts on the body big time!
    It's good to hear your child is better now, I know having a child with additional needs is very stressful...
    You'll have to stick to your guns and be persistent but keep your eye on the idea that things can improve.
    Best wishes.
    Emma
  • teaparty2teaparty2 Posts: 18Member Courageous
    Thanks Emma, im feeling torn between just burying it and carrying on as best i can or opening that huge can of worms... anyway im feeling hopeful after your message thankyou

  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 197Member Pioneering
    Hi @teaparty2
    I totally get the burying the head in the sand idea but in a way the worms are already out of the can - in the form of flashbacks so any help you could get to at least manage them should help you to function better in day to day life.  Trauma therapy doesn't have to be about recalling every dark detail of what happened to you - the idea of recall being cathartic isn't how modern day people working in trauma do things nowadays so that might be an issue/fear you can talk about when you finally get the help.
    Good luck!
    Emma
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,856Member Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @teaparty2, I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear of all that you've been through. You've had some brilliant guidance from our community members, and you're among friends here. It's great to hear that you're feeling hopeful.

    Whatever happens, we're here to listen and support you where we can. Keep moving forwards, and I hope today is as kind as possible to you.
  • chockieschockies Posts: 61Member Courageous
    edited January 11
    Hi @teaparty2 I used to think that my GP would get fed up with me too.

    I’m so glad that the forum has helped you, it is great that it is here.

    Same for me, I think I signed up about a week ago and it has been extremely helpful.

    I went to trauma therapy and for me, it was the best decision I had made.

    The therapist was always very supportive to me, listened and I never had any pressure to talk about things that would set me off.

    I went in feeling like I was being a nuisance or something, and the therapist was really helpful in my overcoming that feeling.

    People in the forum are really understanding, and therapists are too.

    Whatever you do I hope that things work out and you can lessen your symptoms as you go along.

    Chockies.

    Ps: I won’t say that trauma therapy was easy for me, because it wasn’t, but don’t let that put you off because it really is worth it + we’re all different.
  • teaparty2teaparty2 Posts: 18Member Courageous
    Thanks @chockies , it’s really strange that now everything bubbling to the surface after years of being away from bad people and I’ve been safe... maybe now it’s safe for things to come to the surface.... fascinating stuff 
  • chockieschockies Posts: 61Member Courageous
    edited January 14
    Hi @teaparty2 You are very welcome.
    Yes it is fascinating!
    I hope that you will be able to process everything you are able to process and know that you are not alone, and that things are OK.
    What you say about being away from bad people and being safe sounds very familiar to me, though I then had some people turn up around me who's behaviors were very similar and triggered things off.
    I was gutted.
    I could not away from them, couldn't move away or anything!
    I fully believe that it was meant to happen that way though. It was like you, when all of the bad people were gone that I began to settle and memories began to surface.
    I knew it was because I had created a new, peaceful life for myself.
    I had to read a lot because I really didn't get what had happened to me was other people being bad news, it was all normal to me and I had to teach myself a bit about the sort of darker side of human psychology.
    If anything, for me cptsd is a huge education.
    I was always interested in the mind, and how we are as humans, etc, so I guess my life is working out just perfectly 😄.
    Take good care of you,
    Chockies.

  • teaparty2teaparty2 Posts: 18Member Courageous
    Evening @chockies, I’ve always been interested in the mind too and studied that sort of thing for a few years. I had a new and hideous flashback the other night. I was in bed with my chap and my chap sort of changed to one of my abusers. It was so real and I had to keep telling myself it’s not him , it’s my lovely chap... ruined the moment to say the least. My poor chap has no idea... poor thing 
  • chockieschockies Posts: 61Member Courageous
    edited January 14
    Good evening @teaparty2 oh no that must have been such a difficult situation for you both, I do hope the symptoms will lessen for you soon.

    Does your chap know that you have the cptsd? 

    It’s frustrating when you kind of don’t want to freak anyone out with what is happening to you, but want to say something.

    Same with the study, I really enjoyed it and decided that I would like to become an art therapist, but my finances wouldn’t allow so I just stuck with some books.

    Chockies.
  • teaparty2teaparty2 Posts: 18Member Courageous
    Ohhh I love art therapy, so interesting and a great way to work.... I wonder what our art would look like! Oh and no my chap has no idea ... he doesn’t know what he’s let himself in for. It’s a strange thing, I feel like I’m almost pretending to live this normal life but it’s hard work and not real. I’m managing this continuous sense of doom, like something bads going to happen. On a cheery note I’m really good at this mindfulness stuff and it does help in a really good way. . Right my book awaits so let’s hope we both have a peaceful day or two :-) 

  • chockieschockies Posts: 61Member Courageous
    edited January 15
    Hi @teaparty2 same. I went on a one day introductory seminar out of interest and loved it.

    It was not funded back then, so meant a good few thousand a year for fees alone.

    Yes I wonder what our art would be like combined, I think it’s powerful tool though to do combined pieces with others is even more interesting.

    Do you make any art yourself now? It may be helpful.

    I do from time to time, when the feeling is there.

    I see what you mean about the living in two ways, can imagine it would be difficult for you to manage but you have got the right to make the best choices for you.

    It’s just not that easy to deal with is it!

    Hope that you are enjoying your book chill time!

    Chockies.
  • teaparty2teaparty2 Posts: 18Member Courageous
    hey @chockies. What an interesting thought... combined art.... never thought about that. I used to paint but moved onto creative stuff at home now.Like you say , its good to do... ;-) 
  • chockieschockies Posts: 61Member Courageous
    edited January 16
    Hey @teaparty2 hope that you have had a reasonable day.

    Yes it’s quite powerful as it is, to combine would be so interesting and probably make a really awesome peice of art work.

    Yeah it’s good to do, I’m glad that you’re still creating 😀.

    Chockies.
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