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Old 10-02-2010, 07:32 PM   #1
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Doctors and PTSD

I ‘ve been diagnosed with PTSD for some time now as noted in my medical records. The thing I have been running into is physicians who want to “file draw” me and my physical symptoms. After I forgave my attackers and made the vow that my rapes would not make cause me to self-destruct or get the better of me (thank you Lord), I would be the best person I could be. I have a hard time convincing my doctors that my physical pain is not caused by my PTSD. It is really frustrating having to defend myself in order to prove that my PTSD is not the cause. It has caused me to re-fight the issue again, but instead of getting the authorities to listen, it is the opposite, I am trying to get the professionals to understand it is not the PTSD.
Another issue I am running into is the permanent physical injuries I obtained during my attacks. I’ve sustained eye injuries, twisted shoulders, and head trauma in which the current doctors also want to “file drawer” the issue and not address them. There are times when I talk to the doctor’s office for pain meds, but right away they want to “handle me” by asking “what medicine do you want”, if you do not know, this is a way for doctors to tell if you’re a drug addict and shopping for doctors, if you answer them with a specific drug type, they will tag you as a possible addict.
With the mistrust from doctors, questioning my mental status, and under treating my pain, it feels as though I am defending myself again from being attacked. It is too bad doctors are pulling from the opposite end of the rope, and I truly hope they understand we are our own best judge of our bodies. It is very frustrating and, it re-hashes all the old feelings of having to fight prove the rape is not the issue. I look forward to reading more replies.

 
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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Re: Doctors and PTSD

Drema, I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like you are very courageous but dealing with a frustrating situation with your doctors. I just wanted to take a moment to suggest checking out the pain management board. You might find others willing to listen who have dealt with similar issues from doctors, not necessarily the sexual assault issues, but with doctors chalking up real honest physical pain to some previous mental health issue. Many of them have had situation where doctors have been suspicious that they were drug addicts just seeking narcotics. I had a spinal surgeon assume that I was having mental health issues due to a history of depression when in reality I had a very major structural issue in my cervical spine. He didn't even bother to do any imaging studies, just told me I needed cognitive behavioral therapy and to "figure out a way to deal with it." Ultimately, I went to another doc who confirmed that I needed surgery. It's hard to escape the assumption that every physical ailment is tied to your trauma.

Also, I wanted to comment on your suggestion that this was somewhat similar to dealing with the "authorities" after your assaults. I am also a SA survivor, and I have been telling my husband that the emotional trauma of having doctors repeatedly not believing me that I was having real physical pain was somewhat similar to my having to deal with having to convince the police (and all the other people involved) when I had been assaulted. While the situation was different, the emotional toll was similar. It made me feel like people didn't believe me and didn't trust what I was telling them. While no one would come out and say it, you can tell by the look in people's eyes (doctors, police, etc) when someone is skeptical of what you are telling them has happened or is happening to you. I know it's devastating and my heart goes out to you.

Anyway, check out the board. I wish you the best. Please let me know if I can be of any further support.

Last edited by Toonces1; 10-13-2010 at 07:46 PM. Reason: typos

 
Old 10-21-2010, 11:52 AM   #3
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Re: Doctors and PTSD

There was a time in my life when I was having anxiety attacks due to a temporary situation I was in and my PCP put me on antidepressants/anxiety medications.. Overkill for that temporary situation and not knowing, I took the medication.. That wrongly prescribed medication will haunt me for the rest of my life so I don't even mention it to ANY doctor I see anymore. The way it haunts me is that the ones I have told, immediately wanted me back on it for (like you) every physical problem I had. I have learned not to even include that in my history anymore because I feel like it was extreme overkill of the problem I was having, they gave me a medication I could not just stop taking 6 months later when i had resolved my problem..

When they know, they want to label you "mental" and ignore REAL physical problems that need treating. If I were you, I would find me another whole new set of doctors and not include that in my history. If you got past the mental part that was done to you by what happen, I'd just say I was in a accident and leave it at that..

 
Old 10-21-2010, 01:20 PM   #4
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Re: Doctors and PTSD

I have suffered from severe CPTSD all of my life and have been in treatment for 44 years and I know just what you are going through. As a teen I got appendicitis and couldn't find anyone who would believe me until it was almost too late. And as recently as 4 years ago, I had major spine surgery and less than 3 months later something in my neck "snapped" and causing severe pain. 2 ER's wouldn't even do an x-ray to see what was wrong....just pumped me full of muscle relaxers. 19 days later I found out I had dislocated 5 vertebrae and broken 3 of them. That snap was the ligaments giving away. It's still happening and I turn 60 next year.

But I do have a couple of really good docs who do believe me and after the neck problems, believe me more than ever. I "shopped" for them, making sure they understood that trauma victims tend to feel less pain than most people, not more as the literature tends to teach(the old "hysteria" that women get is still very ingrained in the medical community).

And not being believed is the worst thing for anyone with a trauma past.

"Shop" now. Find yourself docs who understand the ramifications of trauma...that trauma survivors feel less pain than they should. It almost killed me to not have shopped for the right docs but now I am building a medical support group that can care for me as the illnesses and injuries take their toll.

Jenny

 
Old 11-06-2010, 01:53 PM   #5
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Re: Doctors and PTSD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drema View Post
I have a hard time convincing my doctors that my physical pain is not caused by my PTSD. It is really frustrating having to defend myself in order to prove that my PTSD is not the cause.
Been there, done that--and it's beyond frustrating. So I definitely feel for you.

My approach now, when dealing with non-psychiatric-related physicians, is to start out omitting anything about my past that might make them automatically jump to the conclusion that my PHYSICAL problems are emotionally based. Once they've gotten to know me--and think of me as the intelligent, educated, thoughtful, NON-HYSTERICAL person that I am--THEN I'll let it out.

 
Old 12-12-2010, 02:13 PM   #6
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Re: Doctors and PTSD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drema View Post
I ‘ve been diagnosed with PTSD for some time now as noted in my medical records. The thing I have been running into is physicians who want to “file draw” me and my physical symptoms. After I forgave my attackers and made the vow that my rapes would not make cause me to self-destruct or get the better of me (thank you Lord), I would be the best person I could be. I have a hard time convincing my doctors that my physical pain is not caused by my PTSD. It is really frustrating having to defend myself in order to prove that my PTSD is not the cause. It has caused me to re-fight the issue again, but instead of getting the authorities to listen, it is the opposite, I am trying to get the professionals to understand it is not the PTSD.
Another issue I am running into is the permanent physical injuries I obtained during my attacks. I’ve sustained eye injuries, twisted shoulders, and head trauma in which the current doctors also want to “file drawer” the issue and not address them. There are times when I talk to the doctor’s office for pain meds, but right away they want to “handle me” by asking “what medicine do you want”, if you do not know, this is a way for doctors to tell if you’re a drug addict and shopping for doctors, if you answer them with a specific drug type, they will tag you as a possible addict.
With the mistrust from doctors, questioning my mental status, and under treating my pain, it feels as though I am defending myself again from being attacked. It is too bad doctors are pulling from the opposite end of the rope, and I truly hope they understand we are our own best judge of our bodies. It is very frustrating and, it re-hashes all the old feelings of having to fight prove the rape is not the issue. I look forward to reading more replies.
I have had this problem with doctors as well. I had a lot of muscle and bone pain that remained undiagnosed by my doctor. I went to another doctor to get my diagnosis. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis in my hips. The doctor who diagnosed me seemingly disregarded my mental health diagnosis, which is PTSD.

When I was first diagnosed with PTSD almost 20 years ago, my psychiatrist referred me to a physician. Maybe you should ask your mental health professionals that you see for a referral. Usually the doctors a psychiatrist refers is aware that pain is real and if they are good doctors they will not treat you like a kook. I had two psychiatric emergencies this year and wound up in the emergency room before they transferred me to psych. I was treated abominably and refuse to go there again. I have legal documents now, on file at my mental health clinic, that states my wishes as far as what hospital I can be taken to.

Not sure why people with mental illness are treated so badly. Seems to me the people who have never seen a psychiatrist are the ones who are more "crazy!"

 
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