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  • Shared Experiences

    Post traumatic stress disorder symptoms

    Hi,

    I'm wondering if anyone else has developed post-traumatic stress disorder from childhood abuse and if so, have you found anything that helps. I've been in therapy for many years and have tried most of the drug-options but I still have massive issues with trusting people, getting close to anyone, intrusive thoughts, anxiety, depression, etc. I'd really like to talk with someone who has had similar experiences or feelings. I'm pretty much at the end of my tether and feeling very alone.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Carolien Koreneff

    Counsellor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse

    Carolien Koreneff is a Somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist, Health Coach, Counsellor as well as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator with over 20 years experience. She currently sees ... View Profile

    Hi Beanz, It must be awful to have to live like that. I have not experienced child abuse to that degree, but through my work as a somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist I often work with people who experienced abuse of all kinds, including child (sexual, physical, and/or emotional) abuse, depression, anxiety and addictions, to name just a few. I certainly know from my own experience that trusting people is difficult at the best of times, but particularly when you have been hurt.I believe that this type of trauma can indeed lead to PTSD as the experiences you had as a child would have been very traumatic. I am also aware that some therapies get you to talk about your experiences in detail and this can, for some people, make symptoms worse.I was wondering: have you ever worked with a somatic psychotherapist?In my work with people I would use the body to give us clues as to what is happening in your life and I have experienced firsthand that our bodies are very resilient and can help us overcome difficult situations. When one experiences anxiety, stress, pain or discomfort it is helpful to breath with consciousness. It sounds easy, but often it requires the support and skill of a trained professional if the symptoms are severe.With the techniques I learned I have been able to help a number of people, without re-traumatising them. If you feel courageous enough (I know it takes a LOT of courage to take even just the first step to reach out - and you have clearly done this through your post!) maybe you might like to meet?I would be happy to meet with you sometime to discuss in more detail how I might be able to help you. Are you based in Sydney or somewhere else? I have rooms in Glebe and so I am centrally located. I would be happy for you to email me at carolien71@iprimus.com.au or to phone 0402 126 212 to talk to me personally if you like to find out more.  If you live in another state I might be able to recommend a somatic psychotherapist in your area. I hope you find this post helpful in some way. All the best,Carolien van Geloven

  • Carolien Koreneff

    Counsellor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse

    Carolien Koreneff is a Somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist, Health Coach, Counsellor as well as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator with over 20 years experience. She currently sees ... View Profile

    PS: You can find out more about the kind of services I provide by checking out my website: www.glebetotalhealth.com.au

  • Sally Brown

    Healthshare Member

    Thanks mace and Carolien, it's nice to know there is someone else out there. I think healing from child abuse takes a lifetime and there are no shortcuts. I'm willing to try just about anything though cos at the moment I'm not even close to being on the right path. Drugs, alcohol, self-harm are definitely only temporary fixes. They don't get to the source of the problem.

  • Peter Mount

    Healthshare Member

    Hi beanz.



    I too suffer from post traumatic stress,  from nearly dying when I was very young. I did suffer from emotional abuse when I was growing up.



    I'm seeing a counsellor and he's been helpful. I haven't gone down the drug route to cope with my problem. Psychiatric medication does have it's place but I think too many people go on them without trying other methods first.



    I guess one thing I grapple with is knowing I never will really be like other people. But I have the choice about whether or not I will let that beat me or if I can use the coping strategies I have to my advantage. My life does seem like hell at times but I'm also able to do things that society wouldn't consider “normal” for a person of my age.



    I too have problems with trusting people. I find social phobia is part of my experience. I especially find it difficult to open up to people in positions of authority. But I find the coping skills I developed when I was growing up do help me in some ways even now. I see things from my own perspective and I don't automatically follow the crowd so to speak. My sense of humour helps me get through the day sometimes.



    I wish you well.

  • Sally Brown

    Healthshare Member

    Thanks for replying thisman,



    Can you say more about which coping skills help you now? I was thinking the hypervigilance does help me in certain situations, like in dangerous places, but generally it causes me a lot of unnecessary anxiety. The dissociation helps in some situations too, but also gets in the way of fully experiencing things. I feel like I need to find some balance between all these out of control reactions.



    I don't mind being different from ‘normal’ people, and accept that I probably always will be. I just want to experience some peace some of the time, and be a bit less out of control. And maybe find some other ‘abnormal’ people to be abnormal with. A sense of humour definitely helps.



    Take care

  • Peter Mount

    Healthshare Member

    Hi beanz



    It might take me more than one reply to answer your question. I'm still experiencing a huge change in my life and I'm about experience another big event next month.



    I'll say this. Find a good counsellor. Don't rely on psychiatric drugs as a first resort. By all means use psychiatric drugs if you really have too but I'm of the opinion they are over used and you do sacrifice something by taking them. So I'm of the view such drugs are to be used only when warranted in extreme situations and where drug-free measures don't help. Even then only go to a medical professional who is suitably qualified in mental health as I've heard a lot of GPs give out prescriptions for such medication but they don't necessarily have qualifications in mental health.



    I find my “difference from normal people” has forced me to use what you could call survival skills. I hold to my own opinion on reality even if that gets me into arguments. I have managed to do things that some people would've thought I wasn't capable of.



    Hypervigilance leads me down the path of compulsive checking. I've managed to have some control over it but I don't know if people can really be cured of it.



    I think it's largely about quietly letting yourself take small risks. Be with friends when you can. Try to give yourself a sense of purpose. Try and have a sense of humour. Try new things and sharing your emotions and opinions to other people when appropriate.



    I must confess to be a bit wary of certain support groups. I've been in a few over the years and I've often come away thinking I've been treated as a child or just being forced to fit in to some politically correct frame of mind. I'm in my final year of uni and deep down there is nothing politically correct about me.



    I'll spend some more time thinking about this.



    Take care.

  • Damien Haines

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Damien Haines is a registered Clinical Psychologist who brings a warm and empathetic approach to therapy. He emphasises engagement in the world and encourages clients ... View Profile

    Hi Beanz

    I've listed at the bottem a link with a few resources you may find helpful.

    I am unsure what type of treatment you have received in the past, but from an evidence base drug treatment works best at relieving symptoms rather than the caue of your distress. ie it may alleviate the depression and anxiety, but it doesn't stop your thought patterns, your instincts, your reactions etc. Unfortunately, when a significant trauma occurs for people, as you have described, they become ever reliant on instincts and intuition and logic is left well behind. Normally logic is what you then use to hit yourself with repeatedly when you realise that at times your insticts/reactions were unhelpful.

    From a psychological perspective, evidence suggests that a DBT or Schema based treatment is most helpful for improving the functioning of those who have experienced childhood abuse. Standard CBT does not “scratch the surface” for the difficulties you experience. I would encourage you to search for a DBT program (probably in a private psychiatric hospital - which is fine if you have private health insurance) or a Schema Therapist from http://www.psychology.org.au/FindaPsychologist who can provide long term work.

    I wish you well
    http://asca.org.au/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=67

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