Friday, May 20, 2016

Official, Knowledgable and Final Diagnosis

(I am talking about myself in this post because I want friends afar to have this answer that explains so much of the past several years.)

I went to Dr. Shoja, my psychiatrist, today and she had a surprise for me — a diagnosis. After twelve hours of consultation, she has sent a report to my GP diagnosing me with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD).

PTSD occurs in response to a single short-term or longer-term experience. Here's the opening sentence of Wiki's complex PTSD: page:
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), also known as developmental trauma disorder (DTD) or complex trauma,] is a proposed diagnostic term for a set of symptoms resulting from prolonged stress of a social and/or interpersonal nature, especially in the context of interpersonal dependence. Subjects displaying traits associated with C-PTSD include victims of chronic maltreatment by caregivers, as well as hostages, prisoners of war, concentration camp survivors, and survivors of some religious cults.
Walking home, it felt good to finally have an answer that I makes sense to me — especially one that comes from a trained professional. It's a huge relief to have an answer that people can grasp for those who ask what's wrong.

I am terribly pleased that the name for my disease places cause (blame) externally; I felt guilty about having what I thought was a breakdown. I felt weak and ashamed. But not with a C-PTSD diagnosis.  And I need an answer for people because my symptoms are overwhelming me. I am not exaggerating. Last night my symptoms were so severe I had to stop the clerks from calling 911.

Dr. Shoja also said, "It can get worse before it gets better." That, too, was a gift. I hear, first and foremost, "It gets better." It makes it easier to accept these paralyzing seizures that fill my day all the time I'm outside my home.

This is truly brutal my friends. But the fact that my condition has a name means that I am part of a community; there are enough people with my experience to cause psychiatry to name us and define us.

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