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can PTSD be related to child sexual abuse
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can PTSD be related to child sexual abuse

PTSD
by narla, Sep 14, 2009 07:05PM
I have just been reading some of the discussions on these pages and I've never thought the things I suffer due to child sexual abuse could be PTSD.I'm a 47 year old female who was sexually abused from the age of 7 to 10 by my brother who was 10 years older than me,at the time I didn"t understand what was happening I assumed it was normal,I can't say it was horrible at the time as he was very loving and gave me money and candy he used books with pictures to show me want he wanted because I assume I wouldn't of understood the words.Any way by the time I was 14 I was a heavy drinker I think by this time I realized how disgusting it was.I became promiscuous as I had already lost my virginity so what did it matter,by 16 I met the guy I married we married when I was 18 had my first child at 20 had my second at 22,but there was always a heaviness in my brain which never shut down,Sex has never been good as an adult as too many memories are always there,sleep without alcohol was impossible and eventually even the alcohol wasn't enough,at about 26 I was given codeine by my doctor for a migraine that was the start of my self medicating to sleep,up until 18 days ago I was drinking 3 to 4 750ml bottles of Bacardi Rum per week and 18 to 24 codeine 10mg which also contained 500mg paracetamol and 5.1mg of a calmative called doxylamine succinate.On top of all this my doctor has me on 200mg per day of zoloft due to a chemical imbalance with my seratonin and dopamine of course she didn't know about the other medication.I now have liver problems and have stopped the alcohol & codeine cold turkey with low doses of valium to help with the withdrawals prescribed and monitored by my doctor this time,long story,short question can my addictions be related to PTSD. If anyone has the answer please tell me,or if any would just like to reply.  
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19 Comments Post a Comment
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535822_tn?1389452880
I have been digesting your thread for a couple of days to answer you the best way I can,I am uncertain that all the issues can be put down solely to PTSD  it may be aswell to google to get any up to date answers if there could be any connection, that it would cause the addictions, they say there is an hereditary factor , and we know that if we are stressed it is easy to take a drink or swallow a pill to make ourselves feel better.M<aybe some others here would have some more input, for you . What happened to you when you were a child was very traumatic , I think it is something that would be hard to get over. , they also know that abused children can become promiscuous.  Did you ever get any cognitive Therapy for what happened to you.?  
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883942_tn?1246566924
Hello Narla,  I hope you are feeling better.  I am so proud of you for dealing with your issues.  I would say Yes, child hood sexual abuse can cause PTSD.  This is my opinion based on personal experience.  I would strongly suggest that you 1. get a therapist, 2. educate yourself by reading books about childhood sexual abuse and ptsd, 3. know that you are not alone and you will get better.
I was sexually abused by my mother's boyfriend at the age of five.  When I was 42 I was diagnosed with ptsd because of extreme anger.  I would just snap at the smallest thing.  I could not understand why I was so angry.  I repressed the memory of the abuse until my mid twenties when I started having flashbacks and nightmares. PTSD wrecked havoc on my life until I educated myself on how it was manifesting in my behavior.
When I was first diagnosed I did not believe I had ptsd because I thought this was something only military vets could have.  Through intensive therapy and reading some good books on ptsd I realized that is exactly what I have.  With ptsd some us snap because a situation my remind us what happened when we were being abused.  We may not be consciously aware that this is happening but our subconscious and our bodies remember.  These events can trigger emotions that can cause unwanted behavior.  At times we may feel like we can not control our emotions or behavior.  But remember it does get better.  Knowledge is power.  With therapy you can figure what your triggers are.  You may not be able to control all your triggers but when you become aware of what is going on and why you can start to get better.

I can not say if drug abuse is caused by ptsd, but I can say from experience that when triggered the emotions are sometimes unbearable and we will do any thing to not have to feel.  In the beginning of my therapy I had  fear of  these emotions because I thought I would lose my mind.  Unfortunately the only way out is to go through it.  As a child I was unable to process these feelings so I repressed them.   These feelings have to be processed before we can get better.  I wont lie to you it is extremely difficult, but with support you can do it.  You will be surprised how much better you will feel on the other side of the pain.  My heart goes out to you and I will keep you in my prayers.
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1307894_tn?1273379863
Dear Narla, my heart goes out to you. I am 41 and also just discovered I have PTSD just 3 months ago. Mine was similarly due to childhood sexual abuse by a cousin 10 years older that started when I was 6 but I've no idea how long it lasted. I recall I had lots of nightmares and convulsions throughout childhood and my teenage years.
My migraines started when I was 15 years old and I've been through Biogesic, Codeine, Ponstan, Naproxen Sodium, Sodium Diclofenac, Propranolol, Tramadol, Naramig, Amitriptyline, Lexapro. Now I've been prescribed Mirtazapine & Alprazolam which I have put off taking as my hand tremors have gotten so bad I can't hold a dish in 1 hand without it wobbling.
After I discovered my symptoms were those of PTSD, I searched for a EMDR-proficient psychotherapist who uses trauma-focused CBT and EMDR to aid me in processing the emotional trauma that as a child, I was not able to understand. (This is what Mozayik is saying, too.)
For the migraines, I have also sought the assistance of an osteopath to ease the muscle tensions that inevitably arose from the emotional anxiety that's part of PSTD.
As for substance abuse and prosmicuity, these are also symptoms of PTSD. A friend of mine who was abused by her uncle when she was 7 had been drinking 3 bottles of 750 ml red wine + half a bottle of vodka every morning. She currently has alcohol withdrawal and the docs say it is very brave to quit.
I have suicide thoughts every 3 to 4 days of a week. My psychotherapist has helped me make good progress but it is a long road still. I celebrate every day that I manage to get through.
Your situation sounds a very tough struggle, too. It's incredible how you have made it to now. You've much courage and strength. Keep going!
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1032715_tn?1315987834
It is now 255 days since I quit,I went through 8 months of intensive counselling,I have now dealt with all my issues from my childhood.My life at the moment is better than it has ever been,I'm looking forward to the rest of my life alcohol and codeine free.

Denise  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am really glad that therapy has helped you. I too have PTSD but its hard to know what caused mine i was abused as a child and as a teenager i drank alot and slept with every boy or man i met, then i got pregnant at 16 and had my second child at 20. I developed panic attacks at the age of 18 and became argraphobic and developed OCD at 19. I recieved CBT for panic attacks and it did help but after a while the panic always came back, then i was sent for analytical therapy there i discovered i was abused as a child, that was six years ago and i reacted badly to finding it out and i left therapy. I ended up back in CBT therapy and it didn't help much. Last year i was sexually assaulted and now things are out of control i have become depressed and suicidal, i know my past abuse has made what happened last year alot worse. I really need to deal with it all and its good to hear that therapy really helped you, i hope it works as well for me as it did for you.
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1032715_tn?1315987834
You have to go into therapy with an open mind and a clear head,no alcohol or mind altering drugs before a session,you need to be honest about your feelings and about what happened to you,I told my therapist everything that I did growing up,my promiscuity,my wild child behaviour,even things I didn't want to admit to myself that I'd done,It was hard and I had to be strong to deal with each aspect of my life until I could love the 7 year old,love and forgive the 12 year old ,and love the 14 year old then eventually I've worked on loving me the 48 year old and we have all come together as one happy whole person,my life is not fragmented anymore.So Good Luck in your therapy and remember no matter how hard therapy gets be honest about your whole life not just the bits you want,it has to involve every aspect of your life to date.

Denise
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Avatar_f_tn
I will try, the therapy i am going in for is for a sexual assault that happened last year but the other stuff has always been there but it only became a problem now because of what happened. Its intensive trauma therapy and i go to a residental place as at times i am very suicidal and they know that the therapy will make me worse and i have made two attempts already. Its not a hospital because i can leave when i want but i will be supervised after therapy. I am very anxious about it, and hopefully it will help i am going for a week to hopefully get over the worst of it and then therapy can take place in the normal place again. I really need to deal with the child abuse stuff and my therapist wants me to back to analytical therapy after he deals with the trauma stuff because it was there all the stuff came up. Then i went to CBT therapy because the panic was so bad i couldn't cope anymore and i've been there ever since. Thanks for replying and i am really glad you have learned to love yourself.
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1032715_tn?1315987834
Good Luck with your therapy,I'll be thinking of you as I know how hard it will be,I first attempted suicide at 12,they didn't even ask why and I was given no counselling.Please stay strong and think about how you'll feel when you get through it.Best Wishes

Denise



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675718_tn?1321008971
i agree about the substance abuse being part of PTSD i self-medicated for many years only until recently did i stop using alcohol & cocaine my life spiraled out of control i suffer from nightmares and flashbacks; i also have schizophrenia and with all the pills i take i stop using drugs& alcohol :)
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1320013_tn?1274360182
I really wish everyone well here. I was diagnosed with PTSD, a few months ago, whilst discussing my OCD. the therapist who sat in on my first assessment for therapy believed that what was also a concern was the abuse I suffererd from a child.  I didn't really think about PTSD, until that point. I have since learnt that any form of abuse that leaves a person feeling violated or threatened in extreme ways, not only through war experiences, but from violence in childhood, sexual ect can have a long lasting emotional affect on someone. I am now 48 and was abused from the age of 3.  I have come a long way in recovery and made some past connections to some patterns of behaviour. I have a complete memory loss of about 7 years in my childhood so hope to learn more about this in next coming months.


Good luck to everyone and I truly wish you all well in your healing.
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Avatar_m_tn
Childhood sexual abuse can indeed cause PTSD and it in turn can also cause self medicating behavior.
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true
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Avatar_f_tn
i am embrass to tell people that i was molested by my brother when i was 5 til i was 10, now i am 42 yrs old and i can remember things i wish i didn;t,, i been rape by so call boyfriend, also been beaten thn rape which has made things crazy for me,, i feel so alone, a shame and lonely, i drink beer and do cocaine now and then but it not working anyway hiding my pain,, i think i have a std and it make me feel like i want to die,,, i am always cutting myself i am so sick of it,, the cuts are getting deeper and painful,, people notice the scars, sometime i lie most of the time i tell them iam a cutter,,,
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Avatar_m_tn
When I was a kid I was put in a foster home for 3 yrs where I was locked in an unfinished basement with 5 other kids. We all slept on the same bed. We had no bathroom, No water, 2 small 12x20 windows that were too high off the ground to see out of. We had no place to use the bathroom and at times I would defecate in my pants or urinate on myself. Mrs Fisher would make me stand nude in the kitchen with my soiled underwear on my head as she scolded me and pushed my own feces in my face, up my nose and in my mouth. she would tell me what a filthy person I was and then she would put me in the tub. The water would be scolding hot and would reek of Ammonia. I could see a bottle of Mr Clean on the Counter. she would get really angry with me and grab my hair above my forehead and push my head under the water and hold me there while I would struggle for my life..passed a couple of times and once the chemicals in the water burned my eye lid leaving a big blister..When I got out my mother got in trouble with the law and I begged her not to send me to a foster home. She ended up running from the law. When I was 11 I got a job helping a janitor sweep and mop a store over night. He started molesting me. He made nap times for us and I started noticing when I would wake up he would be standing over me and had masturbated on me, he would watch me as I used the bathroom and sometimes he would grab me and force his hand down my pants...I never told my mother what happened to me. I knew she needed the money so I kept working there for over a year...I hate myself for not defending myself..I should have told my mother what mrs fisher was doing to me but I thought I was a bad person and deserved my punishment and later in life I didn't want to hurt my mother by telling her what I had been through...Now I have trouble with everything. I can't even hold down a job..  
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4190741_tn?1370181432
many many situations are now known to cause PTSD.  With PTSD the sufferer keeps reliving the past either through flashbacks or intrusive thoughts.  I am wondering if you are seeing a therapist or group for you symptoms.  There are now many many articles in the news where recovery from PTSD is being brought out forefront for not only returning or active servicemen or servicewomen, but for the everyday man or woman who has lived many years with this mental condition...

Wishing you the very best of luck

M
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