I'm not sure if I have this but let me explain myself..
I was molested when I was 4 till 8 by several different people (it was a guy and his brother and cousin). I remember growing up as a child thinking someone was out to get me for example: I thought my mom was trying to kill me with the food she served. I was constantly afraid to sleep at night thinking someone was going to break in and torture me. I've always had self esteem issues, bascially it was destroyed at the age where you build it. I'm 32 now my self esteem is still bad, back in September I had a break down and was admitted to a Hosp and then to in patient treatment center where they diagnosed me with having Bipolar Disorder. I told my parents about being molested at 17 but it was never "discussed". Anyways, I'm trying to rebuild my life.. I know that I have a lot of work to do but it's worth for not only me but for my 9 year old.
Now... I do agree that I have BiPolar Disorder but I'm wondering if I might have PTSD as well.. I take my disorder very seriously, I'm up on my meds and I see my Tdoc and Pdoc on a daily basis.
I think you could easily have PTSD - especially given the severity of your abuse, and then receiving no help or support after the fact. There are some great people on this board, who know more about it than I do, though (I was recently officially diagnosed and am still learning myself). If it is PTSD, this will give you another angle in which to tackle your struggles - as it seems there is quite a bit out there to help.
It is very possible that you have PTSD, along with Bi-Polar. It's not unheard of to have duel diagnosis. The thing that you should probably do is bring up the issues of the molestations with your therapist. Discuss it in depth and then let your therapist decide. If your therapist agrees that it is PTSD I would also suggest that you find a therapist trained in PTSD recovery. This is important.
The people of the board will help in anyway that we can, but you will have to do tons of work to get your life back. It can be done, so don't lose faith.
We have talked about this in therapy but not seriously... I've had so much to deal with lately (dealing with being BiPolar) that it's been pushed to the side. I know they seem to think that the molestation was the beginning of me establishing BiPolar but nothing was ever mentioned about PTSD and the more I read some of the post on this site the more I relate to it.
This is going to sound strange but I never did anything for myself my whole life and to souly work on myself is a huge struggle for me. I know this is something I definitely have to do but it's exhausting! I guess I just need to work harder and focus! I just recently ended a draining relationship which me being BiPolar played a BIG part. UGH, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, RIGHT????
Working to get healthy can be exhausting, very exhausting. Take time for yourself to do something just for you. I really recommend this. We get caught up with everyday life, others come first, we have obligations to finish, and we have to work on getting healthy. But it is so important to set time just for you. A reward for the hard work that we have to do everyday for our mental health.
So talk to your therapist about possible PTSD, and then find some down time just for you.....
PTSD......Well I will tell you what I know and what I have gone through. Flashbacks....These are just small images of the abuse, or short film like images of the abuse. Could be something that you remember, or sometihng that you don't understand at all.
There is depression, mood swings, anger, all sorts of emotions. Disassociation where you actually have time frames that you either don't remember, or you actually see yourself doing these things, but really aren't in the moment. Hard to explain.
Triggers, are an event, a memory, a smell, a taste, a thought, a surrounding just something that can bring you emotionally, and mentally right back to the abuse, or event that caused you to have PTSD.
I agree with what Sid said. One of the biggest things for me, personally, is GUILT and SHAME - especially because no one was willing to talk about the abuse that had happened. Also, big gaps in my memory - some of which have begun to fill in a bit as I go through EMDR. Poor self image is also a big one, probably a by-product of all of he guilt, shame, etc.... Even though I've dealt with PTSD for 28 years, I've only just been diagnosed, so I'm still learning. Dreams/nightmares are a big one for me also. Not necessarily flashback dreams of the abusive events, but really stressful, scary dreams where I'm helpless and being hunted by something, or dreams where my kids are kidnapped, etc.... Needless to say, I'm really into teaching them about stranger safety!!
I too have a lot of guilt and shame but my main problem is anger, I get myself so angry.. I've never physically hurt anyone, I seriously don't have that in me but I can be mean with my words especially when It's someone who I feel abandoned me or who I felt secure with. I'm thinking that maybe the BiPolar in me???
I really struggle with anger, too. SSRI medication has helped me so much control my rages (zoloft and prozac have been the best so far - but I know that some SSRIs can make Bipolar worse), but I used to just get so angry!! I still do sometimes, but I'm trying to implement some anger management techniques as well, and that helps. But, yes, I can sure give someone an earful, especially if it's someone I am secure with too, or some of my family members - who I have deep seeded issues with anyway over various abuse and not protecting me, etc.... If I feel like someone is verbally or emotionally attacking me, I absolutely lose it. I have discussed Bipolar with my psychiatrist and he doesn't think that I have it, but I still do have a big anger problem. I'm not really sure about Bipolar, but I know it is definiitely part of PTSD.
My psychiatrist told me that the depression and anxiety that I have struggled with over the past 28 years is all rooted in the PTSD. I wonder if PTSD can contribute to Bipolar also? Whatever the diagnosis is, I hope you are getting some good help to work through your traumatic experience of being abused AND the trauma of no one protecting, listening to, or validating you. When it happens as a child, it can really mess with your mind.
I forgot to mention the anger issue. If you do a search of all of my post.... I too had a NASTY ANGER problem. I was molested also. There are so many facets to PTSD it's hard to explain all of them. No 2 people are alike with the way they exhibit their PTSD either. Some have flashbacks others don't. Not everyone has the same symptoms or problems is what I am trying to say...
I am on medication (canít take SSRIís) I take Lithium, Tegretol, Xanax and Trazadone. It seems PTSD and BiPolar are a lot a like especially with the anger issues, I just havenít read a discussion on the BP board regarding trauma, being molested or anything to that extent. I just donít want to live this way anymore, itís not fair.
It may not be fair, but it's what you have been given.. You have choices to make right now.... You can choose to stay a victim, or you can choose to become healthy. If you choose to stay a victim, you choose for them to WIN, and for you to LOSE!!!! If you choose to get healthy, then you choose LIFE!!!! With that choice comes hard work, dedication to YOURSELF, and a new way of life. OUT with the old, and IN with the new.
Your decision. What you decide will alter you forever...
Hi Dee-nah, nice to see you over here! I think anger is anger, who cares about the diagnosis. You have a lot of reasons to be angry with what happened to you but now you have the power and ability to work through all of that and put it behind you - take control so it doesn't control you.