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Ask Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH Your Ow...
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 251
Experience:  Over 15 years of experience as a substance abuse therapist. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH is online now
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I am a 46 yr old woman who has been diagnosed the a

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I am a 46 yr old woman who has been diagnosed the a dissociative disorder. 18 years ago I was raped, beaten severely and held captive. I have never talked about this event but lately I am having trouble sleeping and am reliving the event. Is this normal and what do I do to get through this?
Thank you for using I am so sorry to hear you are experiencing these symptoms. Unfortunately, this can be a normal reaction for someone to have after they experience a traumatic event even many many years later. For some reason the subconscious mind can suddenly release memories that were previously blocked out. Particularly if you have been diagnosed with a dissociative disorder.
The next step would be to see a therapist that specializes in treating traumatic issues such as rape and dissociative disorder and/or post traumatic stress disorder. A therapist that specializes in this will be able to use the proper therapeutic tools to help you overcome the sleep problems and the reliving of the event.

I hope this answer helps. Please let me know if you have further questions or if you need more clarification of this answer.

Take care,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for answering. I am not sure that I blocked out the memories - I just refused to talk about the rape to anyone until about 12 years ago when I told my primary care physician after a medical procedure triggered it. Then I stopped talking about it completely but this month it seems to be all I can see and it's affecting everything. I am not sure why I could ignore it and not discuss it for close to 20 years but now can't get past it. It feels like it is happening to me over and over again. Would a psychiatrist be able to work with me on this without medication and do it in such a way as to not make this worse than it already is?

Hi again,
Thank you for this question as well. I am so sorry to hear it has surfaced like this. I imagine it must be really scary for you. A psychiatrist can help with this as well. I recommended the therapist because these days it is very difficult to find a psychiatrist that does a lot of "talk therapy". Most are more focused on medication management and refer to the therapist to do the therapeutic work. You may be able to find one though if you call around and ask details about their practice and if they are willing to see someone for talk therapy. Oftentimes, you can find a therapist/psychiatrist team to work with. Also, I don't know if you have the financial means but there are places such as The Ranch in depth residential treatment (pretty expensive though) that offer very comprehensive treatment.

I wish you all the best with this situation and please feel free to ask any other questions.

Take care,
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thanks again for answering - It is terrifying to live like this and I need it to stop. I did work 20 years ago with a psychiatrist at McLean's Hospital and did recently emailed him to see if he could help me. I am not really interested in in-patient treatment as I think that life needs to remain as normal as possible for me. I also asked about the psychiatrist because my experience working with therapists or social workers is that they do not know what to do with dissociative disorders. I hope I get lucky finding one soon. Please keep me in your thoughts - I need some good karma.
I will keep you in my thoughts and I hope you find help soon.
All my best,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Kym - Just wanted to let you know how I am doing. I contacted my old psychiatrist at Mcleans Hospital who basically sent me a "you're out of luck - there are no resources email" so I broke down and asked my primary physician to refer me to someone at the hospital where he works. I have a referral and will be calling tomorrow to set up an appointment.

I just wanted to say thank you so much for being so kind and when I get paid I will come back and give you a bonus.

Hi Meg,
thank you for the update! Sorry you got that response from your old psychiatrist. I really hope this new referral can give you the help your looking for.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and I wish you the best!