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Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question

Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5211
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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How can I tell if I have been abused? I had someone tell me

Resolved Question:

How can I tell if I have been abused? I had someone tell me I had been abused mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

Being mentally, emotionally, and physically/sexually abused is usually a traumatic event that impacts someone greatly. To tell if you have been abused in these ways there are usually symptoms and signs

Customer:

What are they? They tell me but I dont really see it..

Dr. Z :

Many individuals usually experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Here is a good link explaining these symptoms in more detail for you

Dr. Z :

Also other evidence of abuse is if your partner demeaned you, called you names, controlled your movements, hit you, pushed you, had serious anger outbursts towards you

Customer:

What mean demeaned? I am a bit slower than others. I have to depend on others to explain things to me alot.

Customer:

Would being hit on the head with books, foot run over for being to slow in getting into the car be some of it?

Dr. Z :

Demeaned means that someone was making fun of you or saying mean things about you

Dr. Z :

Yes those are examples of physical abuse, especially if you had to go to the hospital for some of these injuries as well

Dr. Z :

Here is a link describing the top 5 forms of abuse in your situation

Dr. Z :

This one too

Customer:

No hospitals for those. Never been to one except for a kidney stone. I have been having past memories coming in my dreams and making me wake up very scared. Is that bad?

Dr. Z :

Yes those are called flashbacks and nightmares, they provoke an anxious response like you are describing and can be a sign of anxiety or PTSD like I described

Dr. Z :

So other signs of abuse are if you feel like he is very controlling of you and wont let you go out without him, forces you to do things that you do not want to do or are uncomfortable doing. You mentioned that he may have been sexually abusing you, so if he ever forced to have sexual intercourse, even though you said no, then that is a form of sexual abuse

Customer:

He has done that. I dont know how he convinces me. I can't remember it at all. I broke up with him close to a month ago. I'm a bit scared to go to work since we both work on the same campus.

Dr. Z :

And what are you scared of exactly?

Customer:

being convinced of going with him somewhere. He usually takes us to somewhere isolated and after I feel icky. Normally it's just him putting his hands on me even after I tell him no. He says that I like it. I say no. And somehow something happens and I think I block it out.

Dr. Z :

Okay what you are describing is sexual abuse, and the "block it out" is called dissociation which is a symptom of PTSD. Dissociation is like your mind going somewhere else, so that you are not there mentally during this sexual assault. I think you have definitely been abused and I would like to recommend some good PTSD books and a therapist in your area that specializes in PTSD if you like.

Customer:

I welcome any and all help. I have been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar.

Dr. Z :

Okay, do you see a therapist for the ADHD and Bipolar Disorder?

Dr. Z :

Here are the books I would like to recommend too

Dr. Z :

Also I know you are scared of him and you even though you do tell this man no, he still assaults you so I want to teach you this technique on how to be assertive with your "No" You can practice with this worksheet all the time to help you become more assertive and tell him No in a more forceful tone and more dominating way

Customer:

I did, but last time he made it seem like it was my fault for seeing him after a few years of not seeing him. I hated it. I don't think I can see a male ever again because of the bad him I broke up with. I do still see my psychiatrist. No one for my ADHD.

Dr. Z :

Well I can recommend a female therapist for you that can help, what is your zip code?

Customer:

72928

Dr. Z :

Okay give me a few minutes to compile a good list for you

Dr. Z :

Also have you contacted your human resources about this man's behavior at work?

Customer:

No. I don't know who they are. I just know my supervisor and my co-workers. I don't want him in trouble, but I want to be safe.

Dr. Z :

Okay that is fine, I think being safe is good. Give me a couple more minutes to get you some good therapists in your area

Dr. Z :

Okay here are a good list of therapists that provide therapy for Trauma and Sexual Abuse in your area

Dr. Z :

You live in a rural area, so some of these therapists may be spread out from the zip code you gave me

Customer:

anything with a population of 359 is rural. I live 15 miles from the nearest town

Dr. Z :

Okay, well I hope these therapists are not too far from you and I only picked women too

Dr. Z :

Also I would like to provide this hotline for you as they have great resources for victims of abuse like yourself and they may be able to point to services and resources that I have not thought of

Dr. Z :

Also some individuals like to go to a local community center or women's shelter to learn self-defense classes as this can be very empowering and may help you feel safer

Customer:

Would that help with my anger issues? I've been working on not hitting anyone who surprises me. I'm way too skittish and my supervisor laughs at that.

Dr. Z :

This is called hypervigilance and it is due to anxiety, the workbooks I gave you can definitely help with that. But I can also recommend some prescription medication or natural supplements to help with this anxiety if you like

Customer:

I have enough prescription meds... trileptal and trazadone. They are trying to bring me down off the trileptal.

Customer:

I might be able to take the supplements.

Dr. Z :

Okay well the 2 natural supplements I would recommend for you would be Glutamate and Omega-3 (Fish oil). The other supplements I was going to recommend do not interact well with the Trazadone and I do not want that.

Dr. Z :

If you so decide to take a prescription medication later then a benzodiazepine (e.g Ativan, Xanax, and Klonopin) are effective in managing anxiety.

Dr. Z :

Is there anything else I can assist you with tonight?

Customer:

Not that I can think of... Would all this that happened to me make me revert to a child most of the time? No one can answer that and that therapist blew it off.

Dr. Z :

Yes PTSD and extreme trauma like you can definitely do this. This is officially called regression and it happens because the trauma affected you emotionally so much that your mind seeks to protect you by going back to a happier time, in this case when you are a child.

Customer:

depends on the definition of happy. It was less painful as now. Thank you for helping me. I am definately going to seek help. I'm desperate for it.

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. I hope that the treatment goes well and that you feel better soon. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Dr. Z :

Oh and also when you finish rating me, this chat will be sent as a link to your email, if it has not already, so you can always use it for future reference. So that means all the links I sent you will always be saved for you to come back to

Customer:

Thank you. Have a good day/night.

Dr. Z :

You are most welcome, have a great night as well :)

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5211
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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