Hi. Thanks for your response. I am so sorry to hear what you’ve gone through in childhood. It sounds like you were physically and emotionally abused by your grandfather.
I think you may have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress
disorder (PTSD) and/or Anxiety. Your nightmare
may indicate that you still have PTSD symptoms and anxiety. PTSD is one of Anxiety disorder and its symptoms include anxiety, panic
attacks, flashbulb memory of traumatic events, nightmares etc. Symptoms of PTSD are similar to Anxiety and Depression. In order to treat PTSD, you may need individual therapy, a support group for adults with PTSD and/or Pharmacotherapy like antidepressants (if depression or anxiety is severe). Do you feel anxious and/or depressed sometimes? If so, you might need to see a psychiatrist (M.D.) for medication evaluation and prescription. In my opinion, I would like you to try psychological counseling first.
You may need to see a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in PTSD. Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) and EMDR(Eye Movement desensitization and reprocessing) will work for both PTSD. EMDR and CBT (including RELAXATION TECHNIQUES, IMAGINAL FLOODING, GRADUATED & PROLONGED EXPOSURE, IMPLOSIVE THERAPY, STRESS INOCULATION TRAINING) are most effective for PTSD. You may find a licensed psychologist or psychotherapist who SPECIALIZES IN EMDR and/or CBT and PTSD & Depression in a community clinic, a local hospital or a private office setting.
You can search a licensed psychologist/psychotherapist on internet- such as the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY website. Go to (http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/ppc/prof_search.php?iorb=4764) and enter your zip code and optional category of specialty such as PTSD. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in Cognitive-behavior therapy and PTSD. You may also want to create your mental image of psychotherapist that you want to work with – Male or female? Old or young? To note, many therapists offer initial consultation for free. So you can see it as an informational meeting. You can ask any question and negotiate psychotherapy fee.
Another way to find a psychotherapist, you may call your insurance company and can ask for a list of providers who you may work with. If you have no health insurance, you can also call The United Way toll free # XXXXX to find the community mental health centers in your area where you can get treatment described above even without health insurance. You can get counseling for free or low fee. To find a specialist/therapist for PTSD, contact ANXIETY DISORDERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA(http://www.adaa.org) and go to the link - (http://www.adaa.org/findatherapist). To find a therapist who specialize in EMDR, please go to the website (www.emdr.com) and go to the section FIND AN EMDR CLINICIAN (www.emdr.com/clinic).If you want to heal your traumatic reaction on your own first, the book "PTSD Workbook by Williams and Poijula" may be helpful.
I hope you get help and support from your doctor, a counselor/therapist, family and friends.
Please let me know if I have overlooked any or you have more questions. Warm regards,
Edited by Dr. Olsen on 1/1/2011 at 1:35 AM EST