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Thread: Can you get PTSD from emotional abuse?

  1. #1
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    Can you get PTSD from emotional abuse?

    I don't know if I should bring it up to my family doctor or my therapist... I brought it up to my therapist in passing and we didn't expand on that, but I feel like I'm having physical effects from the memories of the past year in particular. I believe my husband is narcissistic and was emotionally abusive to me... I feel like I should feel relief during the divorce process, but I continue to have disturbed sleep, feeling like I'm back in the moments of being bullied, and extreme fear at even seeing his family members texting to check on me. Also, I lost about thirty pounds before leaving my husband. The last several days with him, and the first few days away from him, I couldn't keep food down. I have since put on some weight again, and I'm eating well again, but I lose my appetite at times when I get too deep into the thoughts.

    I also feel of two minds... one mind is thinking typical victim stuff, like guilt about my fear and confusion over how my husband could also have a good side. But the other side is on autopilot and is thankfully winning. It's strongly pushing me through the steps of getting a divorce and moving on, it's telling me that there are other people outside of him and a whole world to enjoy whenever I'm ready for it.

    My main concern is the possible PTSD. Is it even possible that I have it, and if so, should I be seeking any treatment? I speak to a therapist once a week, and my family doctor calls me once a week. I take an antidepressant which should start helping me soon, as it has helped me in the past. I also have a sleeping pill that I take as needed- I'm doing my best not to take it daily but I definitely struggle to sleep the nights I don't take it. What else can I be doing?

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    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    A therapist canít diagnose that but a psychologist or psychiatrist can. Can you get a referral?

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    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PinkMoonlite
    My main concern is the possible PTSD. Is it even possible that I have it, and if so, should I be seeking any treatment? I speak to a therapist once a week, and my family doctor calls me once a week. I take an antidepressant which should start helping me soon, as it has helped me in the past. I also have a sleeping pill that I take as needed- I'm doing my best not to take it daily but I definitely struggle to sleep the nights I don't take it. What else can I be doing?
    You are doing all the right things already so that's a good thing! Keep it up and don't give up! You're on the right track with helping yourself move on. Well done!

    As for the PTSD - there is no harm in asking your therapist and/or doctor. They have the experience and should be able to answer any queries you have. If any treatment is required, I imagine they would be able to incorporate into whatever they are currently doing.

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    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ~Seraphim ~
    A therapist canít diagnose that but a psychologist or psychiatrist can. Can you get a referral?
    True. I didn't think of that. ooops.

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    Gold Member ShySoul's Avatar
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    It certainly seems likely you could after going through such traumatic experiences. Please, consult a professional to be sure. There's no harm in checking,

    You should also feel good about yourself. You are doing all the right things. Keep it up, have faith, and things will get better.

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    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PinkMoonlite
    My main concern is the possible PTSD. Is it even possible that I have it, and if so, should I be seeking any treatment?
    You should definitely look into that with a professional.

    But whether it's PTSD or not, I can tell you from firsthand experience that being in abusive, stressful situations like that leaves its mark on you.

    Is it a permanent mark? I don't know. That's something for you to investigate for yourself.

    But personally, I've felt the stress melting away from me over time.

    So, I think that you will continue to get better as long as you stay out of situations that make you so unhappy.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I brought it up to my therapist in passing and we didn't expand on that, but...
    Your therapist works for you, not the other way around--so YOU drive the discussion where you want it to go.

    That said, if this therapist is too passive to help you, fire her or him, and seek the help you deserve from a more qualified professional.

    While it's been suggested that you seek a referral, which is an ideal option, if you don't feel comfortable asking for that, you can seek help elsewhere and then cancel your sessions with this therapist.

    Head high, and behave as your own advocate. You will thank yourself later.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    You need to cease contact with him and his family. You are googling PTSD? A licenced therapist can help you with the aftermath of an abusive relationship.

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    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    PTSD? well if certain things "trigger" those emotions like when someone corrects you at work, or gives some criticism, or certain sounds, smells, you hear some one yelling, then yes it could be. But if you find your self esteem is down, and you have bad thoughts, that sound more like depression. I work with someone that is getting out of an emotionally abusive marriage. The man is terrible. And when I'm discussing things about her work, or my supervisor requests something of her, she breaksdown on the spot. She's got some issues from it for sure.

    Ive read about abusive relationships, dealing with a narcissistic personality, and they recommend a trauma therapist. It's good that you are reading up on things, knowledge is power. You will have the right questions when you do find a therapist. it will help you both with the progress.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Don't contact him anymore and put a stop to any visitations or phonecalls. There's no reason for him to be trying to get a hold of you directly. You mentioned he's to contact you through your lawyer. The ruminations, racing thoughts, anger, resentment, fear, anxiety continues for awhile. I can't speak for anyone else. I woke up drenched in sweat and had problems sleeping as well. etc etc etc. Not easy but it's workable. What you keep telling yourself is that it will end. And it will. I didn't get a diagnosis or speak to a doctor about it and I didn't take any pills. I saw this as a transition period in my life where hiccups are bound to happen and cut myself some slack. What I was adamant about was not taking any time off and sticking to all my commitments. I didn't want any excuses for things slipping through the cracks and wanted absolutely nothing to be put on hold. It's what got me though and I wouldn't have changed anything about it.

    What I do remember doing was limiting my caffeine intake drastically and increasing more exercise. It helped a lot.

    Speak with your doctor if you need help with things but don't layer problem over problem on your own. I think things will ease up in a few months after you start to create a healthier routine for yourself. In the process do not self-destruct. You can do it.

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