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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5087
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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Hi I was wondering if you would be able to tell me if I am

Resolved Question:

Hi I was wondering if you would be able to tell me if I am suffering from PTSD once I've explained my symptoms. I am also bipolar 1 if that would have any.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 9 months ago.

Dr. Mark :

Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.

Dr. Mark :

We can't diagnose in an online forum. But I can try to help you clarify some things. Would that help?

Customer: Yes.
Dr. Mark :

What would change in your treatment plan if you are diagnosed with PTSD?

Customer: I have been wanting to go back to counseling an made an appointment today. I have felt pretty emotionally numb for about two am a half years so I would go back to couseling
Dr. Mark :

That is indeed a good step, even if your post traumatic stress doesn't meet all the criteria for PTSD. But, let me ask:

Dr. Mark :

Is the counselor experienced working with trauma?

Customer: I'm not sure. I have to do an intake first
Dr. Mark :

Interviewing the counselor is a good thing to do before you commit. Can I paste in for you what I write to people who have PTSD so you can also begin to find out about what's available?

Customer: Yes
Dr. Mark :

Give me a minute and I'll locate it and paste it in. I think it will be helpful to you in interviewing therapists so that you get the most out of therapy, okay?

Customer: Ok sounds good
Dr. Mark :

Here it is. Feel free to keep chatting. Or if this information is helpful on its own, then I'm very glad to have helped and wish you the very best. There are no medications for the direct treatment of PTSD, only the anxiety that comes with it.


Psychotherapy that is helpful for PTSD is some form of Exposure Therapy. I have found EMDR can be very useful especially for one time traumas. It is a type of therapy specifically for PTSD originally. Here is the International Society's website:


http://www.emdria.org/


 


On the web you will find many opinions on EMDR both for and against. I am trained in it and have found it useful. Exposure therapy is also very helpful. I have found that you need to combine these types of therapy with a more introspective, humanistic or psychodynamic approach. If we actually look inside, we can find great relief and meaning. And we can feel whole in ourselves in ways that we haven't for decades. But many EMDR practitioners and therapist working with Exposure Therapy do not take the time to insure the emotional safety of the patient and so that's why you need someone who is more humanistic or psychodynamic in approach.


If you don't have a good referral source, 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 PTSD and EMDR and also some form of psychodynamic or humanistic therapy in their orientations. You will need this for the work on the self worth problems as well that you need to address. And make sure you are confident in them as a therapist and they share your values.

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


 


I wish you the very best!


Finally, I am going to put here a protocol that is used for anxiety. It's often that there's an underlying anxiety we have to address. So I want to give you this technique to help you!


Here are instructions on a therapeutic protocol called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). It's really quite easy to do almost anywhere. My patients suffering from anxiety, when I teach them PMR at first are amazed how simple it is and that it is a psychological protocol. It was first used in the 1920s! Since then, of course, it has been refined and many studies have been done showing its effectiveness. You will practice PMR at first when you don't wake up with an attack so that you will be familiar with it. I want you to practice the PMR at least 5-6 times before an attack or feeling acute anxiety. Why? Because when you're in the throes of anxiety, you will only remember to do something you are very familiar with it. So practicing 5-6 times is really a minimum. And this is good also for just general anxiety without panic attacks as well.



I want to stress the importance of breathing as well. Part of the physiology of what is happening to you in anxiety and negative thinking is that your breathing is getting shallower. This reduces the oxygen in your blood to your brain. That increases the anxiety reaction, which strengthens the attack and you are in a vicious cycle! Not good. So breathing is the primary tool. I have found in my practice that learning breathing techniques can be helpful. But some of my patients are not interested in learning more than one thing at the beginning, so I have found that just reminding you to BREATHE deeply at the same time you are doing PMR is almost as good. If you are willing to take a yoga class and learn breathing techniques, that's the best. But, breathing deeply with your PMR will help.

So, we're ready for learning PMR. I want you to print my instructions below my signature and have a copy in each of the rooms of your home where you may be when you have an attack. And again, you need to practice this easy technique at least 5-6 times as soon as you can. It needs to become as natural to you as breathing. Ah, remember breathing?


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



INSTRUCTIONS:



  1. After finding a quiet place and several free minutes to practice progressive muscle relaxation, sit or lie down and make yourself comfortable.

  2. Begin by tensing all the muscles in your face. Make a tight grimace, close your eyes as tightly as possible, clench your teeth, even move your ears up if you can. Hold this for the count of eight as you inhale.

  3. Now exhale and relax completely. Let your face go completely lax, as though you were sleeping. Feel the tension seep from your facial muscles, and enjoy the feeling.

  4. Next, completely tense your neck and shoulders, again inhaling and counting to eight. Then exhale and relax.

  5. Continue down your body, repeating the procedure with the following muscle groups:


    • chest

    • abdomen

    • entire right arm

    • right forearm and hand (making a fist)

    • right hand

    • entire left arm

    • left forearm and hand (again, making a fist)

    • left hand

    • buttocks

    • entire right leg

    • lower right leg and foot

    • right foot

    • entire left leg

    • lower left leg and foot

    • left foot


  6. for the shortened version, which includes just four main muscle groups:


    • face

    • neck, shoulders and arms

    • abdomen and chest

    • buttocks, legs and feet



Quickly focusing on each group one after the other, with practice you can relax your body like ‘liquid relaxation’ poured on your head and it flowed down and completely covered you. You can use progressive muscle relaxation to quickly de-stress any time.


What You Need:



  • A comfortable place.

  • Some privacy.

  • A few minutes.


Again:


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: I do have one question. Is it possible to suffer PTSD from only emotional and verbal abuse from extremely bad relationships?
Dr. Mark :

Hi, was this information helpful?

Dr. Mark :

Yes, this can indeed be very traumatic

Dr. Mark :

Is this what happened to you? If so, then having an experienced therapist is a must.

Customer: Yes it was. I am going to continue to read the website
Customer: Yes several times
Dr. Mark :

You need to know that this is the kind of post traumatic stress or Acute Traumatic Stress (you can also research this online: ATSD)

Dr. Mark :

that responds very much to a good therapeutic alliance with an experienced therapist, okay?

Customer: Ok . And I will look that up. Thanks again!!
Dr. Mark :

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: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5087
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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