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Is This Enough for PTSD?

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From the U.S.: In the past, I have been described by therapists as having all of the hallmarks of a PTSD sufferer, except for the fact that I do not really recall events with specificity. Instead, I forget them for the most part. If flashbacks happen, they are triggered by very specific things. the time I was so anxious all of the time that I was non-functioning. My GAF was probably around 30.

Symptoms that are present are constant hypervigilance, extreme startle response, inability to relinquish control, anxiety/panic attacks, perfectionism, catastrophizing, fear of abandonment/codependency, avoidance (primarily interpersonal relationships), mood fluctuations (depression and anxiety), dissociation in certain stressful circumstances.

What I am wondering is if my experiences when summed together, could possibly be CPTSD.

-Emotionally absent mother. I know she loves me due to actions, but she is incapable of showing that emotion (or any emotion). Told me that she loved me maybe 3 times in my life. Beginning about age 10, mother went back to college and was also frequently physically absent.

-Father with addiction issues, alcohol primarily. He was never home when drinking, abusive, etc. He mostly drank outside the home, and thus was not home. From age 10, was left alone after school until approximately 10pm at least 4 nights per week. This was expounded by social isolation, living in a rural area with no neighbors. He is not abusive, but will yell when angry. Because of my own anxieties about disappointment, I am terrified of him yelling.

-own anxiety issues. For example, being terrified of getting less than an A in school because I would be a disappointment to my parents (my own feeling, this was never stated by parents. I don’t know how this started). Low self-esteem and imposter syndrome throughout life. Arguably exaggerated stress response to normal childhood events (moving). Outwardly manifested itself as chronic anorexia nervosa (recovered).

-Sexual assault by three men, twice within the context of relationships. One assault (non-relationship), one rape, and multiple instances of sexual coercion within a relationship. Has resulted in the inability to have penetrative sex without pain. None reported. Also emotionally/mentally abused in the relationship with sexual coercion (approx 3 year relationship).

Is This Enough for PTSD?

Answered by on -


No one should ever have to deal with such a cascade of difficult to horrific events. I’m so, so sorry you have suffered so much. It’s extraordinary that you have done as well as you have in spite of it all. I hope you give yourself tremendous credit for that.

Your therapist is in a better position to give you a diagnosis. He or she has heard your whole history and knows your current symptoms. The label is only relevant as it relates to treatment of your current symptoms. Diagnosis is supposed to be a major factor in driving treatment.

I hope treatment has helped you bring down your level of anxiety and helped you get to the point where you can enjoy an intimate sexual relationship, without pain, with a man you love.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Is This Enough for PTSD?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Is This Enough for PTSD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 2 Jun 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.