Advice needed

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Can you have PTSD from childhood trauma e.g. growing up in a home with domestic violence? With A parent who is an alcoholic? The reason I ask this I have started to feel depressed again but A lot of it is from my childhood and also the loss of my mum, I've gone for years being fine until recently, in have always been very frighten of situations getting out of hand and I am on guard all the time, I need to know my exit plan. I am unsure of the symptoms and how long can PTSD last??

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  • Posted

    Hi law, I am trying to work through rape counselling which I have had on and off for 3 years. I still don't feel any relief at all. The counselling is so frightening I am thinking of pulling out. There are 2 levels of PTSD, just on its own or complex which deals with childhood trauma. Please get someone who knows what they're doing though. I didn't to my peril. Good luck it's a long hard road.

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  • Posted

    Absolutely Law78.  I have done a ton of research on clinical PTSD since I was diagnosed seven years ago.  I to had a very violent, abusive and alcoholic childhood.  It still haunts me although my Father passed at fifty years old from alcoholism.  I have read from various medical sites that you can develop PTSD., I also have Dissacotiative identity disorder in combination with PTSD.  I hear audio hallucinations 24 hours a day due to a very abusive and horrible divorce sparking the PTSD from my childhood.  What I've learned is you develop PTSD in an unstable, abusive childhood. Then you "neutralize in your 20's until something so incredibly traumatic happens which then sparks your PTSD and DID which you may have as well.  If you have DID you will actually have repressed so much abuse and trauma that you eventually get to a point where it all starts to flood out in flashbacks, nightmares, voices, etc....that is exactly what happened to me.  Once I experienced the extreme trauma of my divorce, the voices started and one happens to be my Father telling me old stories about what he is going to do to me, like "kick my skinny little ass" which I heard constantly.  He was so physically abusive as well that I can't be near anyone who spanks their child or if I see someone ripping a child by the arm in a store, I will say something.  It's been seven horrible years for me with a huge ulcer removed, 19 blood transfusions because of the stress sirtures I had just gushing blood in my stomach from stress and this was after I had the stress trigger from my divorce.  Before that, I never had voices, flashbacks, nightmares etc.... I had memories that would make me bawl my eyes out but I was successful in my career, had a lot of great friends and family.  Now, since I was diagnosed with this very frustrating disability, I cannot work due to the amount of voices I hear in my ears and flashbacks throughput the day.  I don't know when this gets fixed.  I've been through every mental institution, suicidal tendencies, psyciatrist, therapy, and neurologists.  I feel your pain, trust me.  The best reccomendation I have is therapy.  It at least gets out thos memories and feelings that would hopefully help you get through this.  Anti-depressant's have also helped me a lot.  

    If you want to chat further please reach out.  I feel horrible you are suffering...I can definitely relate and would be happy to be part of your support system anytime.

    i hope my share of my personal experience was of some help to you.  I'm here for you!  Best of luck to you in your recovery.

    sincerely, Christina 

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  • Posted

    Hi.  Yeah, you totally can.  I really recommend you start trauma therapy.  It helps.

    Also, read these books:

    1. 30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics: How Manipulators Take Control in Personal Relationships - Adelyn Birch

    2. Narcissists: Break Free From The Narcissist and Psychopath: Escape Toxic Relationships and Emotional Manipulation - Pamela Kole

    3. Boundaries After a Pathological Relationship - Adelyn Birch

    When you lived through childhood abuse, like Sam said, you can end up being more prone to abuse as an adult - be it sexual, physical, or any other type of abuse.  These books helped me to see what rights I have now, and to set realistic boundaries for my romanctic and friendship relationships now.  They also really help because they tell you what kind of things were not ok - you know, those nagging questions that drive you crazy at night. 


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  • Posted

    Hi Law78,

    Firstly, thank you for sharing - and thank you to everyone else for sharing your experiences also - it's never easy but it's always appreciated. 

    I feel like I have spent my whole life asking those same questions, Law78. On top, the "but was it bad enough to give me this?", "could I just be looking at this wrong?" and "suchabody else had it way worse and they seem ok, why aren't I?" were all big ones for me because the environment that I grew up in wasn't physically violent. It was chaotic, messy, enmeshed and emotionally warped but not violent.

    However, like you, I grew up with an alcoholic parent. The other had undiagnosed PTSD from before I was born and was only diagnosed after I left four years ago. I also suffered the loss of a close family member in the few months before I left. In those four years since, I have struggled and plodded and in many ways my mood, my depression and my anxiety improved but there was always something in the background, like a computer program running silently behind the scenes that I couldn't shake. However much I improved in the "day to day" my overriding patterns and mood cycles never changed. I also understand your need for an escape route, I feel the same way. The times when I would be in any situation, stressful or not, and felt like I didn't have an out were the times when I went emotionally off the deep end. Then I'd think to myself "what's wrong with me?" and bash myself for not being able to handle a simple situation better. As a result I have some frighteningly detailed and adaptive plans to combat most situations that I can conceive of finding myself in.

    Five months ago, I was diagnosed with PTSD (the complex part is yet to be determined). However, in hindsight it's been a diagnosis a long time in the making. 

    Now, I'm not mentioning all this to vent, what I really want to say is that I relate to some of the circumstances that you have shared and even without having lived in a physically abusive environment, I have childhood trauma, I have PTSD. So, it is absolutely possible for the experiences you have had to cause PTSD. Trauma covers a very broad spectrum of experiences: 

    Physical abuse is trauma.

    Emotional/psychological abuse is trauma.

    Loss, especially the loss of a parent, is trauma. 

    Having symptoms present themselves unexpectedly or after a long time can also be traumatising.

    And I'm sorry that you have had to experience any of it. 

    I can't speak for how long PTSD lasts but I know that the important thing is getting treatment, whichever treatment you find works for you best. Symptoms can cover a wide range of things and it can be different for everybody. For me it's hypervigilance (I'm always waiting for the bomb to drop), flash backs (visual and emotional) and not even necessarily flashing back to the trauma itself just that time in general, nightmares, panic at minor events that would have caused world war three at home even though I'm not there anymore, dissociation (in a few ways, sometimes I feel like a zombie, others I go into placatory/people pleasing mode where I'm like Fixit Felix on speed!), my ability to handle a genuine crisis amazes me but my ability to handle dropping a spoon, or not getting a perfect score on a quiz or someone seeming distant even in a minor way sends me into a tail spin. I also find new symptoms from time to time and new evolutions of old ones.

    There are a lot of great resources out there about symptoms and coping strategies but just know that if your syptoms don't exactly match the text book definition, they are no less valid.  

    If this is a diagnosis that you want to explore then I hope you find nothing but the help and lovely, supportive people that you need. For me, mental health professionals have come in two categories, the ones who take one look at me and think that I don't "look/sound/behave traumatised" (I could have a complete melt down on the inside and even my OH of nearly 12 years might not know - we learned to be good at pretending!) and then, the ones who listened to my story and ticked the PTSD box in a heart beat. All I will say is, that if you get a doctor or mental health professional from category A, if you don't feel heard or acknowledged or taken seriously, whatever the diagnosis, see someone else. Find another practitioner, a specialist in trauma if you can. Many mental health charities will usually have an idea of what resources are available in your area at low or no cost. Some offer free counselling and support groups, the waiting list can be long but these are the places where I have found the most understanding. And the first time I went to the support group I could have cried just from the overwhelming vibe of care and that I didn't need to explain or justify my existence or my right to be there. 

    Wherever you go from here, I send a big hug and lots of luck on your journey x


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