I Think I Have PTSD

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From a 16 year old in the U.S.: I got sexually abused by my step father for 14 years. When I was 13, I got raped twice. Now, I constantly have these flashbacks. I get shaky and nervous…as if it’s happening to me right then. I hear my screaming in my head and see it as if it were right in front of me. It terrifies me. I do self harm and having these flashbacks tend to make me “blackout” and I’ll wake up on the floor in a puddle of my own blood with cut arms or thighs. It scares me and I don’t know what to do. I’ve told my mom numerous times to get me a therapist and she says okay but doesn’t. Please, does it sound like I have PTSD?

A: You have been through an extraordinarily tough time. However much your mom may wish it didn’t affect you, it would be amazing if it didn’t. The symptoms and behaviors you describe are consistent with a diagnosis of PTSD. But getting a diagnosis isn’t going to help you unless you get treatment. Is your mother aware of your self-harming? Perhaps if you show her your scars, she’ll help you get to a therapist. You could also do the research yourself and find out which therapists in your area specialize in sexual trauma and who is taking new patients. Once you have that information, I encourage you to ask your mother to help you make the phone call for an appointment.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Jun 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). I Think I Have PTSD. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/06/24/i-think-i-have-ptsd/