No need to apologize. It seems like you have been very persistent in looking for ways to cope and manage these symptoms. I admire your strength in dealing with these challenges. In fact, I think the courage and bravery needed for this persistence is what is most likely to keep you from some of the conditions you are worried about.
You will learn in this link that Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) has different criteria than the diagnosis for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but this differential is subtle and not often fully recognized, even by therapists. Also, as you’ve noted, C-PTSD is not a formal diagnosis that appears in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) which is used by clinicians for identifying a collection of symptoms. It is classically seen as something that has emerged from an assortment of different sources such as:
- The client experienced prolonged and multiple traumas lasting for a period of months or even years.
- The traumas come from someone who the victim had a deep interpersonal relationship with and was part of his or her primary care network, the most common example being a parent.
- The victim experienced these traumas as permanent features of life, seeing no end in sight.
- The victim had no power over the person traumatizing him or her.
PTSD is seen as more generally coming from a chronic mental and emotional stress that happens as a result of a deep psychological shock that most often disturbs sleep, with a constant recollection, usually with vivid detail of the shock or injury that’s taken place. (To learn more about PTSD, please read here. )
You’ve also had to manage the diagnosis of a Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). https://psychcentral.com which can overlap with PTSD.
While I understand why you would be concerned about developing borderline personality disorder (BPD), avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, etc., your quest for tools and means for coping with these symptoms is the best antidote against developing them.
Since PTSD I at the core of what you’ve been dealing with I’d like to offer some suggestions for approaches that have been successful with PTSD. They fall into 3 general categories: Psychotherapy, medication, and self-help. The various forms of psychotherapy are:
- Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Cognitive processing therapy (CPT)
- Cognitive therapy (CT)
- Prolonged exposure (PE) Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Brief eclectic psychotherapy (BEP)
- Narrative exposure therapy (NET)
Often prescribed medications are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft), and the selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) venlafaxine (Effexor). Your physician or Nurse Practitioner is the right person to talk to about which of these might be best for you.
Self-help recommendations supported by research are: exercise. acupuncture. Yoga, workbooks and social support. For an excellent discussion on these and other treatment option please read Margarita Tartakovsky’s article here.