Diagnosed with PTSD / after sexual assault/ doctor trauma

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I was sexually assaulted when I was 19 (I'm about to be 25) but I never report it because I was ashamed and guilty. I suppressed this incident as much as possible when I noticed it has affected me in many ways. I cannot have a physical exam or pap smear because as the doctor inserts the speculum I feel horrible pain and get anxiety attacks. Recently, I tried to get one with a female doctor only to increase my trauma. Days prior to the appointment I was crying, panicking, and could not sleep. On the day, I had brought my fiance to come in with me well the doctor thought it was funny and asked " Are there other people you want to see this show?" Very nervous I got into position when she quickly tried to insert the speculum. I screamed and cried, feeling extreme pain as if knives were coming inside my vagina. She tried once more and she irritated said" This is smaller than his dick(referring to my fiance) have you been raped?! I was so embarrased and humuliated and she also added, " If you cannot handle this simple procedure imagine child birth" I left crying and now my trauma increased because not only do i not trust doctors but now Im afraid of pregnancy because of the pain that I will not be able to tolerate. I am currently seeking help from a therapist to face these fears and hopefully one day be able to get a papsmear/ physical. I share this because I hope to find someone who is on the same boat or surpassed this obstacle.

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  • Posted

    Hi Stephanie

    I have just read your case and I have enormous empathy for what you are going through.

    I actually have two trauma, one to do with an horrendous murder scene and the other for an attempted rape as a teenager.

    It is clear that you are suffering PTSD but you do not state if you are seeing a psychiatrist or mental health team. Also I do not know if you are taking medication for your awful trauma.

    I am prescribed a very large amount of drugs. Without them I would not be able to cope. My CPN told me that I'm on so many tablets that it would knock  an elephant out..

    A lot of patients are anti-drug and this tends to make the condition much worse. You need RELIEF for your anxiety, panic attacks ans so on.

    I do not know if you are on any medication but it is obvious that you require urgent attention for your terrible suffering. I really feel for you stephanie as I know the pain that you are going through.. 

    You clearly need to see another doctor as your treatment has been highly unacceptable. Personally, i would have reported the doctor that you state  about  in your post. It's a very serious matter!

    Do you have frequent flashbacks and night terrors? My doctor told me about the importance of a good sleep, particularly for PTSD. I would recommend Trimipramine (Surmontil) as it is very good for sedation, depression, anxiety and other things. I'm on a dose of 200mg which is high, but it has helped me considerably. I take a lot of other medications too.

    Have you considered EMDR? I tried it but I would not have it again. However many other people say it has worked for them. Like medications, it is largely a matter of trial and error.

    Please excuse spelling and grammer mistakes as I had ECT many years ago and my memory and consentration are poor.

    I hope that my post helps somewhat and that you see a new doctor soon. Do not delay.

    PTSD in my case is a life long condition but it is different for each individual.

    May the Lord Bless you and give you much wisdom.



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    • Posted

      Hi John 

      And I am so sorry for what you are going through... I just started seeking for help. Yesterday, I had my first evaluation with the therapist and she definitely seemed understanding with my situation. It felt a sense of relieve talking about it with professionals since only two close ones know about it. And I am not taking any medications however, I am considering it because I think about more the doctor experience than my assault. When I think about the doctor experience I start then thinking about my assault. I avoid to be alone and not do anything because then I start thinking about it. I often times just worry so much that I have trouble sleeping. Also what is an EMDR? ABout reporting the doctor, I have been such a coward that I dont feel I have the courage to report it to the medical board. I hope your doing well...

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    • Posted

      Hil Stephanie

      Good morning to you from a very sunny Wales.

      I have read your reply and I am so glad that you are seeking medical help. You call yourself a coward but this is not the case at all. Stop running yourself down. You cannot help being unwell.

      I have suffered mental ill health for decades and I am well acquainted with the system in the UK but i cannot comment about the US.

      Have you actually been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

      You mention about EMDR. It's a therapy founded by an American lady around 1980. It is completely painless and basically it relates to eye movement. Patients may need just one or two sessions and others a few more. It has been successful in a lot of patients diagnosed with PTSD.

      However it has not helped in my case, especially as I have suffered two traumas in my life. The murder being the worse.

      You need to discuss it with a sound professional therapist or doctor. Do not have it with anyone who is not properly qualified. As for medications, I can only advise you with what i have encountered over years and years of treatment.

      Most doctors today prescribe SSRI's which came into being in the 1990's. I take these as well as Surmontil (tricyclic) and other psychiatric tablets. Each individual has a different case and diagnosis. You need to seek a doctor. If you are unhappy about any doctor then you need to change as soon as possible.

      i have done this myself a number of times, and I have written letters of complaints as well. Don't feel guilty concerning this as you require a

      compentent physician.

      Take matters step by step. I rarely plan ahead as i take things one day at a time.

      I note your comment about sleep and your doctor/therapist needs to know this. Are you able to work ? If not, your doctor could supply some sedation at night. I have a good sleep with Surmontil. Whatever the doctor prescribes the drug will be a low dose to begin with, (Most likely an SSRI).

      You need to relate with trusted people about what you are going through. Don't keep it to youself as i believe you need relief on a regular basis.

      Hope I've been of some help.

      May the Lord Jesus bring peace to your life.



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  • Posted

    Hi Stephanie

    Just wondered if you are in the U.K.? Or Us? I suspect you are in the US as I don't think a doctor in the U.K. Would ever talk to a patient like that!

    Have you been diagnosed with PTSD?

    The best advice I can give you, is to try another doctor, even a male doctor. It is about the trust that you build up, that makes you feel safe.

    Is there a female clinic that you could try? Or maybe a nurse who is qualified?

    I know it is difficult, but having a smear is so important, that's why you need to be honest with doctor and then work towards a goal and a date to try again.

    Hugs - Shaz

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    • Posted

      Hi Shaz,

      I am in the U.S and yes my experience was traumatic and what gets me more upset is knowing the importance of these exams but being unable to because of these past experiences. I am going to do my research before I let myself get examined but also seek therapy. I had my first evaluation yesterday and I was diagnosed with PTSD.

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    • Posted

      Baby steps Hun! That's what you need. But honestly, once you a medical professional that you can trust and feel safe with, that will make all the difference.

      My hard question today was whether or not I want a male or female psychologist. Part of coming to terms with things, for me, is about addressing my issues with men, so it may be beneficial to have a male counsellor (might not work). But either way, I know that I will be seen in a safe and secure environment, by a professional person. I am under no illusion that it is going to be hard, but with the right help and support in place, hopefully I will get better.

      Please don't let that awful doctor ruin everything for you. As part of your research, may be you could visit a couple of clinics to see what they are like? Have a chat with the clinic manager, ask questions etc. Hopefully you will then find somewhere that you feel comfortable in.

      Good luck with everything x

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  • Posted

    Oh my god, in this day and age you have to still endure disgusting comments and reactions after being subjected to such a heinous crime as rape.  I feel so awful, angry and disgusted at what I have just read.  Find a sympathetic doctor, like I did having being raped myself at 19 and then separately at 25, tell them and get hold of Rape Crisis, who I have just had 24 long, sometimes frightening, but essential sessions of support.  Rape shouldn't be allowed to inflict your life like this, please ask for help, as I know exactly how it feels and am still suffering now.  i'm 44 and the low-life who hurt me at 19 still rules my head, even after all this support.  Good luck let us know how you get on and ask for help.  You are no less of a woman for doing so, you are reclaiming you back.

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