Q: I’m 23 years old and in the military. Recently I was raped while on duty, I haven’t been handling it well it brought up a lot of childhood stuff. I started seeing a psychologist, but I’m having a really difficult time opening up. She’s nice and I like her, but I don’t want to tell her too much, hurt my career and depend on her to keep my confidences when she can’t. I don’t know how to tell her about the purging or even if I should, she’s asked about the cutting but I don’t know what to say. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD but I don’t want to tell her that when I have a nightmare when I wake up I can still see and feel what was happening in the dream. How do you open up and not come off as crazy? Please help me I could really use the guidance.
A: I am so sorry to hear of your abuse. You are brave to write in and I’m so glad that you are seeing a therapist. Ask your psychologist questions about confidentiality and how much she is required to report to your superiors about your sessions. The symptoms you’re having make sense given the trauma that you’ve been through recently, and in your childhood, and are common responses to unresolved trauma. They don’t mean you’re crazy. They mean you’ve been hurt. Please watch this video for additional suggestions for dealing with this difficult situation.
Take good care of yourself!
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 May 2012
Hanks, J. (2012). [Video] Will PTSD Symptoms Jeopardize Military Career?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 20, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/05/17/will-ptsd-symptoms-jeopardize-military-career/