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Do I have PTSD?

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Do I have PTSD?

Postby DorianSeverin » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:57 pm

Hello.
I've been thinking alot about this matter for quite some time.
I do not know much about PTSD and it's variations, so please forgive me if this is completely irrational.

I've always felt uncomfortable around people who raise their voices, but it's gotten worse with the years. Most people are uncomfortable around yelling people.
However, the last two-three years it's gotten to the point of me getting panic-attacks because of it. I feel like a small child whenever it happens. It doesn't even have to be directed at me, it's enough just hearing someone raise their voice in another room, or somewhere else entirely, as long as I hear it.
Is this something that could be related to PTSD or am I just super sensitive to this/super emotional? I don't see myself as emotional, which is why I haven't accepted that as the answer without further information.
If it is I have no idea what could've caused it. I have no memory of anything traumatic happening that relates to people raising their voices.

If not, please tell me, because these thoughts have been bugging me, and whatever the answer may be, I want to know it.

Thank you for your time.
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Re: Do I have PTSD?

Postby salted lipstick » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:13 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum.

Hypervigilence can be as a result of trauma. You sound particularly sensitive to the raised voices even if they are not directed at you. If you did have some kind of trauma where someone raised their voice, then it might account for your experience of panic at these times. It does however seem that if your reactions have gotten worse over the years, you may have become more sensitised and anxious around the trigger, which in turn may have led to your symptoms getting worse. But equally, becoming more sensitised to triggers can be a PTSD symptom also.

Really, it's impossible to tell from what you've written if your experience has anything to do with PTSD or is more related to some other kind of mental health condition. Do you have any other symptoms of PTSD? Or any reason to suspect you might have experienced trauma or abuse? Sometimes memories of trauma and abuse can be dissociated and so you might not necessarily remember them normally to know that this relates to how you react to a particular trigger... Is there some reason you think that the panic you are getting about people raising their voices is due to PTSD rather than anxiety or something else?

It does seem like a pretty specific symptom. I'm sorry to hear you are troubled by this. Have you thought of seeing a professional to help you work through this issue?
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Re: Do I have PTSD?

Postby DorianSeverin » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:45 pm

salted lipstick wrote:Hello and welcome to the forum.

Hypervigilence can be as a result of trauma.
Do you have any other symptoms of PTSD? Or any reason to suspect you might have experienced trauma or abuse?
Have you thought of seeing a professional to help you work through this issue?


Hello and thank you!

I do have social anxiety to a certain level, but more in the way of that I get nervous around people.

I have no memory of ever being physically or verbally abused (other than being bullied in primary school, but nobody ever raised their voices).
I seem to immediately connect raised voices with violence. As if someone is going to hurt me or someone I love whenever it happens. Several times when I'm at my parents house and they start discussing something, as they like calling it, (I would call it nagging or fighting, only verbally), I end up having to leave the room in a hurry because I can feel a panic attack coming. At moments like those I feel like a little kid again, going to my room to cry. I feel really vulnerable and small. Which is weird, because I was never physically hurt as a kid. Ever, actually. Not intentionally at least. And I'm certainly not afraid of my parents. I would never even imagine them hurting me physically.
Raised voices just makes me feel as if I'm in danger, for whatever the reason may be. I have no clue.

It may be anxiety, but something tells me it's not only that at least. Whether it's something else or PTSD, I have no clue. I just don't know about anything else that could describe these experiences and feelings.

I have thought about mentioning it to my therapist. I guess the only thing that as kept me from doing it would be the fact that I have no idea why it happens.
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Re: Do I have PTSD?

Postby Terry E. » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:45 pm

Do you have common theme recurring nightmares that revolve around a single person or persons/or an event ??
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Re: Do I have PTSD?

Postby Quoth » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:14 am

The short answer to this is probably not

Contrary to popular belief PTSD isn't just a what you automatically get after something bad happens to you. PTSD is what happens after an individual is subjected to a threat to life or bodily integrity and their ability to process and integrate the emotional experience is completely overwhelmed.

For PTSD the DSM 5 specifies the following criteria for the stressor:
" The person has experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others."
The inability to process trauma lies at the core of all forms PTSD. Approximately 15% of people subjected to this kind of trauma will developed PTSD. The nature of the trauma is highly deterministic to the actual psychological effects on the individual but ignoring these nuances there are two primarily phenotypes.

The first is what we generally think of as standard PTSD. This is typically the result of singular or limited trauma. This would be car accidents, physical assaults, brief captivity, armed robbery, combat trauma etc. The Individual is subjected to a period of extreme stress but is then returned to a non threatening environment. The brain then uses a hypernesiac method by which to attempt to process the experience. The individual is invasively bombarded by complete or fragmentary memories over and over causing what is essentially a neurotic response involving flashbacks, panic attacks, anxiety and all the other traditional symptoms of PTSD. From a neurophysiological perspective the brain is literally locked in the experience of trauma. Within the first month following the stressor this is considered a natural part of processing the event, if the process occurs for more than 1 month it is labelled acute PTSD, if it extends beyond 3 months it is chronic PTSD.

The second phenotype is commonly termed complex PTSD, although the term is not medically recognised in many countries and is typically labelled as DESNOS within the United States and EPCACE outside of it. It is far rarer (0.5%) and caused by chronic traumas where the individual is harmed while in prolonged captivity without the possibility of resistance or escape. So we are talking about concentration camp survivors, survivors or prolonged torture or sexual slavery, children subjected to prolonged physical and/or sexual abuse and other things of that nature. Under these conditions the brain cannot safely utilise hypernesia in order to process and integrate the trauma and therefore is forced to resort to dissociation, denial, repression, self anaesthesia and self hypnosis in order to disavow and block trauma. The price paid for this defence mechanism is extensive damage to the individuals personality including a loss of empathy, delusions, indifference to pain, failure to define or acknowledge ones own emotions, extreme emotional dysregulation or suppression and the list goes on....

This is a massive oversimplification but it should give an idea of what PTSD is. To be clear this is not to say that there are not other disorders that result from abuse and trauma. Traumatic events which do not meet the stressor criteria (marital breakdown, grief at the loss of a loved one etc) but nonetheless negatively affect the individual are typically labelled as adjustment disorders. Personality disorders such as BPD result from emotional abuse and neglect in childhood. Bullying typically results in anxiety and depressive disorders many of which continue from childhood until death. PTSD is simply one specific reaction amongst many possible reactions, it's name and specific stressor type are due to its development from research into "war neurosis".

I could be wrong of course but this doesn't sound like what you are describing. My money would be on an anxiety disorder of some kind, which would be a good thing as therapy is both extremely affective and readily available for them.
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Re: Do I have PTSD?

Postby Terry E. » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:22 am

Thanks for taking the time to put that up. It is good to get it out there from time to time.

Appreciate the effort.
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Re: Do I have PTSD?

Postby DorianSeverin » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:34 pm

Do you have common theme recurring nightmares that revolve around a single person or persons/or an event ??

I don't really, no.

Quoth wrote:


Thank you, Quoth, for this info.
I do believe it may have something to do with my anxiety rather than PTSD. It's just something that crossed my mind, and I haven't been able to shake the feeling since then, but after reading this I feel I understand the real definition of PTSD more. I did find it weird that I have no memory of something traumatic that could cause this behaviour.
So yes, it's probably more of an anxiety-thing rather than PTSD.

Thanks for helping me sort this out, guys.
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Re: Do I have PTSD?

Postby Quoth » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:57 am

No problem bud, just glad it helped.
as if in a broken jug for one backwards moment
water might keep its shape

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