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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5095
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Hello Dr. Mark, I need your help. I cant understand something

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Hello Dr. Mark, I need your help. I can't understand something about this disorder that I have. It's PTSD, but it's a type of PTSD that no one really has. I got traumatized from this girl copying me for 3 years...I don't know how to help myself.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
Hi. I'm glad to hear from you again, but I'm so sorry you're still feeling as you did when we last talked, I think it was a few months ago.


I don't know how long I'll be online tonight. But I at least wanted us to get started. So please reply and I'll try to reply back as soon as I log back on, okay? It might be tomorrow but I may be in therapy sessions in my office most of the day and unable till Saturday evening to get back online.


We've been discussing for quite a while these feelings you've had since you were a girl in school, if I recall, when you were bullied. You clearly are very sensitive and you still feel insecure.


Have you started therapy with a psychotherapist like we discussed before?


If not, what is keeping you from working on these problems in therapy?


Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I was in middle school I met a girl at my 8th grade year. We became friends up to 10th grade. But then she started to change. For some reason I felt she was jealous or something because she would tell me she is popular, that a lot of guys like her, that she is smart, etc, etc for about 1 month. She started imitating me and I thought, "Oh she just admires me, that's all." She started wearing clothes like me and hairstyle. After a couple months later, it got insane! She was imitating this:
-my hairstyle
-my type of clothing/color
-my makeup
-my shoes
-the way I talk
-the way I express myself
-the way I smile
-the way I walk
-the way I eat and what I eat
-my favorite things to do
-she started hanging out with my friends that she never talks to
....basically EVERYTHING! I felt she was stealing my identity or something. I told her to stop, but she never admit it. I could tell she knew what I was talking about. For example, one day I would put my hair down and wear a purple shirt...then the next day she would also put her hair down and wear a purple shirt :( I got so paranoid I started hanging out with my sister. But even that, she would see me around campus and wear what I would wear the next day. She started stalking me and I became depressed, angry, and I dropped classes that I liked and classes that I had with her. Every morning, I didn't want to wake up...it was like that for about 3 years! I was always hiding from her. I was scared and I felt I just couldn't be myself anymore. I felt as if she was bullying me, I don't evem know if it's bullying. My thinking got distorted because of her and I am in college now, but I am always afraid to see her at the stores, restaurants...etc,etc. What is going on with me? :( and yes I seen the therapist and no matter what I do these memories won't go away.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
Yes, this is closer to a form of PTSD than probably anything else. So I understand what you meant when you wrote about PTSD at the beginning of the thread.


You really sound like a good candidate for EMDR. Here is the International Society's website:


http://www.emdria.org/


Start with that website and learn more about EMDR. Discuss it with your therapist and see if he/she can refer you to someone who can help you with this. Valeria, I really think that you need to have treatment like EMDR offers to help with this. Because you were traumatized by someone who was stalking you and you're still feeling the residual anxiety and phobic fears from that experience. Treatment like EMDR was developed for similar types of experiences.


If your therapist can't help with this, here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (you can see a photo of the therapist!) look at the listing and see if they list working with EMDR. And make sure you are confident in them as a therapist and they share your values.

http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Dr. Mark, I am actually already seeing a PTSD therapist. That's one of her specialties. she did EMDR already...but it didn't work. I feel the same way, nothing has changed.

When that girl was copying me or trying to be me, my thinking got distorted and my teacher was talking about how suffering/hardships make people stronger and I thought, "I need to suffer to get mentally strong and then it won't get to me" so I wanted a hardship/suffering and I felt that when I think negative I feel like I am suffering...so I believe thinking negative is good. I feel someday I will get mentally strong.

Here is an example: When I want to write the letter "D" sometimes I can't because it reminds me of the girls first letter of her name, however when I am "struggling" like deciding should I write it or not? (that's what I call suffering or thinking negative to get mentally strong) so once I feel like I suffered or struggled...I feel okay because I feel I suffered and it will make me strong someday :( I don't know if it makes sense, but I hope it does. If it dosen't please let me know and I can explain because I need help.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
How many times did you have EMDR?

Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just once so far, on my next appointment she is doing it again. I got a feeling it's just not going to work. I feel worned out and depressed afterwards.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
I thought that was the case. EMDR is a process. It's not a pill that works immediately. You need to tell the therapist both that you're worn out afterwards (common) and that you're having negative thoughts about EMDR.


These negative thoughts are a problem. It's hard to get help if you already decide it's not going to help. So you and the therapist may need to spend some time before continuing on the EMDR in preparing you for the treatment. You will need to be able to trust the process and be hopeful for it to have the best chance of success.


I recommend that you take my answer here to your next session and work on this with the therapist. I am certified in EMDR and I know that when a patient has too much distress, we need to slow down and work more on the support system for after treatments.


Also, this issue of negative thoughts is very important to work on first in therapy.


Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay I will take your word. I been researching for books that can help me or people that gone thought the same thing. I googled PTSD from copy-cats, but seems like no one has that type of issue and I feel like the only one. I just want to know to prevent someone from copying me or trying to be me...
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
Yes, this is not classic PTSD. But the symptoms are similar at this time and so having this type of treatment would be the first effort you would make. Therefore, I'm glad you're willing to give it a try. But again, please work with your therapist to make sure you are prepared for EMDR before going into it, okay?


I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I will. My therapist is focusing on the trauma, but I want to focus on my thoughts or distorted thinking. I just don't know which way to fix first. If I fix my distorted thinking my trauma would disappear, but if I fix my trauma I don't know if my distorted thinking will still be there. My thinking is so twisted from that girl.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
This is also something you should be discussion openly with your therapist. You need to make sure that your therapist is helping you clarify your therapy goals and strategies, okay?


So again, take my answers with you to session and discuss your questions and my proposed answers in therapy. That's the proper procedure.


I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dr. Mark I will do what you told me. I will talk to my therapist before doing the EMDR too. Thank you...however right now I am feeling really depressed. There is this guy I like, but I always feel that I am putting how much I am worth in his hands and it makes me feel like if I have a boyfriend I am no longer going to be myself and I won't be able to make my own decisions I feel as if he would control me. I feel more free when I don't like anyone. For example, when I am in class I talk to a friend as if he was there listening to what I am saying...I feel like his presence and I feel I have to be excellent and perfect. Like I am thinking about him and trying to be good enough and pleasing. I like this guy, but I hate feeling like this.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
This is very important information you need to share with your therapist. I assume your therapist also does psychotherapy along with EMDR. Because you need both. This is part of the psychotherapy you need to work on with your therapist. Because it is a deep rooted problem that also needs to be addressed. The EMDR is intended to ease up the anxiety underneath this problem, but psychotherapy is also needed to work on it directly, okay? So don't be shy or hesitant to speak about it with the therapist. It's vital and important you do so.


I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5095
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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