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Old 10-30-2014, 02:34 PM #1
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Default Is this Complex PTSD?

I read the very interesting article posted by DocJohn. The woman in the example experienced years of extreme trauma. I wonder if I have complex ptsd and what treatment works. And how long it takes.

I was neglected and emotionally abused as a child (repeatedly mocked and shamed and blamed for my mother's problems but rarely physically abused, generally felt unsafe). Then I was in an emotionally damaging marriage for 20 years where I lied to, blamed, ignored, cheated on. But I felt guilty that I was a bad wife and that was why I was treated so poorly. And I kept giving this guy the benefit of the doubt one past when any sensible person would have. I was divorced at age 50 and felt like I was finally going to have a life. Then, a few years ago, shortly after the divorce, I went through several traumas related to physical pain from a chronic health condition and mistreatment by healthcare workers. Some was unintentional by clueless people who did things to worsen my health condition/pain and one just a nasty nurse in a hospital, a big guy who was very intimidating and threatening and made my pain worse and made me feel unsafe. Nothing like this compares to that poor woman's story, and yet, it is the same in that it was repeated over many years. So is this also complex ptsd?

If so, any advice about how to go about treating it? I was not aware I had ptsd until it kept waking me over and over starting about 6 months ago. As my sleep got worse, my symptoms got worse, including flashbacks to the hospital and panic attacks.

My therapist who was treating my generalized anxiety and depression (from loss of job and chronic pain) diagnosed me with ptsd. She would like to try something called brain spotting, which I guess is like EMDR. I take xanax at night to sleep or I do not sleep at all. Well, I sleep for a few seconds or minutes and then wake up with a feeling of being startled by something (not a physical jerk, an emotional startle). But that sleep was not refreshing and I was a wreck. Tried many things and only the xanax worked. It dampens down the startle feeling that wakes me so I can fall asleep and stay asleep longer. But I cannot stay on xanax forever, in fact I think I am already having adverse reactions to it. But I need to sleep and I don't know where to start.

Has anyone experienced anything like this sort of sleep problem? Has anyone successfully treated complex ptsd?

Thank you to all who respond. I will be reading but sometimes my fingers hurt when I type, so then I don't post.
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Old 10-30-2014, 02:50 PM #2
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Default Re: Is this Complex PTSD?

Hi Juniper. Although I remember having one flashback 20 years ago, my ptsd seemed to come out of the blue while being counseled for anxiety and depression from job loss, last year, just like you. The whole experience has been painful and emotionally draining. My anxiety seems to have become even worse than before since the ptsd started. If your ptsd is from child abuse and/or neglect it is called complex ptsd. It is the most serious form of ptsd and not really the easiest to treat either. My care givers told me it's more about managing it than curing it. There's no cure or magic pill for it.

I'm taking Seroquel 75 mg @ night to calm my emotions and help me sleep. It gives me a real nice sleep with no grogginess in the morning. Maybe you can ask to go on that.
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:39 AM #3
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Default Re: Is this Complex PTSD?

Odd that this forum isn't packed. I'm really shocked. Is it new? I'm not in a good enough head space to read or comment much, but I wanted to acknowledge the thread.
C-PTSD is a lot more common than people think.
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:20 AM #4
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Default Re: Is this Complex PTSD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiya View Post
Odd that this forum isn't packed. I'm really shocked. Is it new? I'm not in a good enough head space to read or comment much, but I wanted to acknowledge the thread.
C-PTSD is a lot more common than people think.
I was thinking the same thing Kiya. As things come up for me I'm going to keep posting here.
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:57 PM #5
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Default Re: Is this Complex PTSD?

I'll keep checking it, too
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:44 PM #6
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Default Re: Is this Complex PTSD?

Well, this forum "is" new and if you review the PTSD forum now, most of the people that have been interacting there are struggling with complex PTSD. I think that they are just so used to posting there and don't really think about posting in this subforum.

When ptsd is complex and goes back to a childhood, then a bad marriage, it takes more time to sort through it all. Many people seem to think what they experienced isn't bad enough or as bad as others, it doesn't matter, ptsd is ptsd.

Having a challenge sleeping is normal and it's better to find something that helps you sleep, the brain doesn't process to where a true restorative sleep takes place, however,
that "can" come with time and trauma work. Your brain needs more infomation in order to be able to figure out where to put all these unresolved experiences and emotions.

I personally have not had brain spotting, I have heard it can be helpful, does it help all the way? Not so sure about that, but I have heard positive things about it.

The hurts you have happened for years, so it doesn't get fixed overnight, however, you deserve to find your own personal resolve with your history however long that takes.

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Old 11-07-2014, 03:47 PM #7
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Default Re: Is this Complex PTSD?

Only just noticed this forum, my T seems to be suggesting I might have something in the C-PSTD line, so I do hope others post to give me some insight.
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:40 PM #8
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Default Re: Is this Complex PTSD?

Thanks, Open. I've been off the boards for a bit because of a bad flare up of other health problems. Decided to give brain spotting a try. I did one session so far. It was pretty awful, actually. I don't remember most of it, but what I do remember was similar to a flash back. My therapist wants me to do more. I am waiting until this neuropathy flare settles down. I can't do it when I am in physical pain, for sure.
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:11 PM #9
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Default Re: Is this Complex PTSD?

Really, the difference between PTST and the other two (combat PTSD and Complex PTSD) is length of endurance of trauma.
Anyon can get PTSD from a trauma; car crash, medical treatment - anything that frightened them terribly - and caused ptsd symptoms (nightmares, scared of event or place, panic of thoughts about event, avoiance) for 6 months or more. That's the definition.
The other two are ongoing fear, terror, threat of death or presumed death (seeing horrible images, ongoing war, ongoing abuse, etc). The brain becomes like constantly living in a war zone; it expects danger from every corner, nothing feels safe, have to be constantly on guard, shy away from things that normally wouldn't be a problem.... for years.
THen it becomes a neurological thing when the cortosol levels in our brains (for adrenaline) remain high all the time. It affects our health, sleep, appetite... on and on....
short synopsis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManOfConstantSorrow View Post
Only just noticed this forum, my T seems to be suggesting I might have something in the C-PSTD line, so I do hope others post to give me some insight.
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:35 PM #10
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Default Re: Is this Complex PTSD?

Here is a good link to read through, I post it every once in a while.

Complex post traumatic stress disorder (complex ptsd, pdsd, shell shock, nervous shock, combat fatigue), symptoms and the difference between mental illness and psychiatric injury explained
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