Avatar universal

complex ptsd

i have just been diagnosed with complex ptsd after years of trying to get someone to listen to me.  My main problem is memory - and dissociative disorders, all related to the trauma.  The events have lost their hold on me after all this time, although I still think about them, but I havent been able to take in new information, since the trauma.  The last forty years are a grey blur and I have problems just coping with everything I have to do, although I still work.  I also feel emoitonally cut off and numb.  I dont even have the physical sensation I used to have.  I have been prescribed the anti=depressant Sertraline, but I live in the UK and there doesnt seem to be much therapy available thats specifically geared to complex PTSD.  I can get good CBT, but the practioner is not specifically trained in PTSD.  

Can someone tell me the kind of therapy thats most effective, how to deal with the trauma and whats the most effective anti depressant  thanks
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4190741 tn?1370177832
I went to the NHS and found an article for you.  I am including a part of it, but I am not a doctor and cannot recommend medication, but the part included is on the NHS site....

The main treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are psychotherapy and medication.

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD.

It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help.

If you have PTSD that requires treatment, psychotherapy is usually recommended first. A combination of psychotherapy and medication may be recommended If you have severe or persistent PTSD.

Psychotherapy is a type of therapy often used to treat emotional problems and mental health conditions such as PTSD, depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.

The treatment is carried out by trained mental health professionals who will listen to you and help you come up with effective strategies to resolve your problems.

The two main types of psychotherapy used to treat people with PTSD are described below.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aims to help you manage your problems by changing how you think and act.

Trauma-focused CBT uses a range of psychological treatment techniques to help you come to terms with the traumatic event.

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new treatment that has been found to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.

EMDR involves making side-to-side eye movements, usually by following the movement of your therapist's finger, while recalling the traumatic incident.

Antidepressants such as paroxetine, mirtazapine, amitriptyline or phenelzine are sometimes used to treat PTSD in adults.

Of these medications, paroxetine is the only one licensed specifically for the treatment of PTSD. However, mirtazapine, amitriptyline and phenelzine have also been found to be effective and are often recommended as well.

However, these medications will only be used if:

•you choose not to have trauma-focused psychological treatment

•psychological treatment would not be effective because there is an ongoing threat of further trauma (such as domestic violence)

•you have gained little or no benefit from a course of trauma-focused psychological treatment

•you have an underlying medical condition, such as severe depression, that significantly affects your ability to benefit from psychological treatment

Amitriptyline or phenelzine will only be used under the supervision of a mental health specialist.


I am wondering if you actually have a counselor or if you are actively looking for a counselor.  It may be difficult, but you may have to visit 2 or 3 counselors before one fits your needs.  It may also be difficult at the beginning to talk about your feelings, trauma and or flashbacks, but any good qualified counselor understands that this is normal for a new person coming in to counseling...

You say that the events no longer have a hold on you, but then you describe how they do still affect you and your life.  PTSD never goes away, but with counseling, and medication hand in hand with the counseling,
we can learn how to deal with the flashbacks and trauma that haunts us.
There are wonderful things to find out about ourselves beneath that invisible cloak of PTSD, and it is scary to start the journey, but after some time using tools your counselor will give you, we can hold our heads up high, and unafraid of the future.  

I was held hostage as a child with a group of other children and there was no support for me until I was nearly in my 30s.  Back then it was called shell shock and only veterans were thought to be affected by PTSD.  Today we know so much more about this, it is a very exciting time to be in recovery with all the new advances in Mental Health.  I have a few articles in my journals on my main page here if you would like to read them...They are posted in the current news and when I find something that might benefit another person I post it to my journal.

I do wish you the very best in your journey forward


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675718 tn?1530033033
I have ptsd since '94 and yes its true that it will be with you it doesn't go away I attend group therapy I take Zoloft Geodon prazosin and Cogentin I was traumatized in the service and it really changed my life forever its good to see someone like a counselor who will listen I have nightmares flashbacks of what happened to me I don't really like emdr's ill just take the rest in stride lol :)
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Avatar universal
Hello.  I have Dissociative Identity Disorder. I'm in the USA but have a dear British friend who might be able to help you find a therapist who treats dissociative disorders.
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Avatar universal
Read as many books about PTSD as you can and try as many things as you can.  I highly recommend less medication and active self care.  Dr. Peter Levine is the expert whose books spoke to me.  In his most recent books, he is even more knowledgeable because he was hit by a car and developed PTSD.  Exercise and listening to various CDs that are relaxing and self affirming can help you.  Seek those out if you can.  New neural pathways of the brain can be created which can possibly help you fight the symptoms.  But, this disease is incurable.  I am finding that I can not even be around people any more.  But, I keep working on doing what I can in my home.
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