Not All Wounds Are Visible Part Two: How I Cope with Unworthiness and a Diagnosis

Now that I have shared that I have a diagnosis of PTSD from two traumatic events that you can read about here, I would like to share with you how I have learned to cope with not only the diagnosis and symptoms, but also the feelings of unworthiness.

According to the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) there are certain criterion or specifications that must be met in order to have a diagnosis.

“Diagnostic criteria for PTSD include a history of exposure to a traumatic event that meets specific stipulations and symptoms from each of four symptom clusters: intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. The sixth criterion concerns duration of symptoms; the seventh assesses functioning; and, the eighth criterion clarifies symptoms as not attributable to a substance or co-occurring medical condition.”

Check. Check. and Double Check.

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I have worked with counselors writing out the experiences, pretending they were movies, and much more in-depth therapies. I find they help for a while, make me become comfortable until there is a trigger such as a sight, sound, smell, or even a flashback that can be paralyzing.  Here are a few ways I combat my symptoms.

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Not All Wounds Are Visible Part One: Unworthy of a Diagnosis

Have you ever been diagnosed with an illness? You wake up feeling puny, make an appointment to see your doctor and  $35 and a few prescriptions later, you know what you have and if you don’t feel better in 7-10 days, come back for a recheck.

Have you ever been diagnosed with a mental illness? You probably have many more hoops to jump through and a much higher deductible for your out of network psychiatrist (are there any in-network ones??). Medication may or may not be able to help you deal and it takes much longer than 7-10 days to see how your medication might help you or months of counseling before you even start to pick away at the issues your face daily.

I have a diagnosis I feel unworthy of, I do not even like to claim it for fear of the stigma attached.

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