I've been diagnosed with PTSD, but I feel like I'm faking it. How do I get past that feeling?
Last Updated: 09/17/2018 at 11:46am
Lisa Meighan, BSc Psychology (Honours)
Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.
Top Rated Answers
This sounds like imposter syndrome. You may be feeling like your diagnosis is extreme because you haven't experienced something absolutely extreme, like a story you may have heard, or whatnot, but what's important to remember is that different people react to different things and whatever caused your trauma should not be invalidated because it's not the same as another person's experience. You are not an imposter in the diagnosis, and whatever happened to you severely impacted you to assure this diagnosis. Please also remember that everyone experiences mental illness differently and that while you may not be having every listed symptom, it can still entirely be the disorder.
You may have this media-induced image of what PTSD is in your head; Hollywood tends to produce this very loud and obvious image of PTSD, such as rocking back and forth in public or waking up every night like a spring-loaded catapult from a nightmare. In truth PTSD is much more subtle and harder to spot and it may feel so "normal" to you that you don't actually recognise it as a sign of trauma, especially if your PTSD comes from something that went on from childhood, like abuse. We are shaped as children to what is "normal" at a young age, so if you were abused for e.g. even if you realised it wasn't right, how you feel seems normal to you. Learning to differentiate the moments that are normal human behaviour and PTSD behaviour will help this feeling go away.
Accepting a diagnosis is always difficult. There is a lot of stigma and media portrayal of PTSD which you might not feel you fit. PTSD is not always categorised by debilitating flashbacks as seen on tv and the media. Seeing how the trauma has affected your life and the way you feel and process this is an important way of not feeling like a fake. Although this can be difficult. You must remind yourself that although you feel like a fraud, your feelings are valid and because you feel them they are very much real but with the right support these feelings can be managed.
It sounds like you're feeling like you don't deserve the diagnosis? Or are you feeling like perhaps your interpretation of the traumatic event wasn't as significant as the diagnosing doctor did? I would have to have more information, but I would guess that you either need a second opinion or you need to accept that what happened to you was traumatic and you are suffering more than you'd like to acknowledge. I'm not sure how this particular feature of 7cups works, but if you can send me a message and would like to chat, I would be happy to listen.
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