What Trauma do I have?


  • Creating categories for PTSD
  • Why PTSD as a sepctrum is a big problem (Episode 81)
  • What shapes a trauma (core)? (Episode 94)

Creating categories for PTSD

While researching therapeutic abuse and forms of therapy I began to get a clearer picture about how dire the situation is regarding resources for people suffering from (C-)PTSD. Be it simple information up to therapy. I wrote about this in Episode 81 (see below).

After that I began to take in account every case of (C-)PTSD I knew about and began sorting them for similarities, build and several other factors to create categories. Those categories have different needs, wants and treatments.
This took months to do. It is still being optimized.

Why PTSD as a spectrum is a big problem

From Episode 81:


I have touched on this before and tried to categorize things - especially with my shapes of trauma episodes 51 and 52. I also protested against putting the post torture syndrome under it - and still refuse to do so.
This is sadly not something that only affects therapist and those who follow the DSM, but also the patients. Be it how they are viewed by the public, how effective their treatment is and/or how many resources they have access to.
From witnessing an accident to spending decades in a prison of a dictator - and more and everything in between - all of it falls into the same umbrella term. And no - this is not about who has has it worse.
That is a competition were everyone looses. You don’t have to justify your trauma - if you have PTSD, then you have PTSD. This is not about that. It is how this muddies the waters for everyone.
And this makes people tune out and ignore a topic - because it is just too much to handle. I want to first get into the different traumas and how it affects their needs and then the big problem of the limited resources this causes.

Different traumas - different needs
As I said before, this is not to shame or talk down on those who don’t have such an extreme or complex trauma, but they DO have different needs. Treating those less complex PTSD s is far more easy and doable.
Which is why many either only accept those (as they don’t ruin any statistics) and it is known how to be done. Though even there I see the issue of them just cutting the weed instead of routing it out.
I will go properly into categorizing the traumas and so, but this would go beyond this episode. But it safe to say, that those different types of category of trauma and/or PTSD need different forms of therapy.
There is just such a huge difference on how you need to approach the topic, how much it will consume, how intense the sessions are, what kind of tools the patient needs and so on and so forth.
The simpler ones can easily be treated by most therapist who are familiar with the topic, while the most severe ones only a few can treat at all. And patients can’t filter and look specific, because they all have PTSD.
Some more severe cases might even block some spots that would help less severe cases, but makes their state worse.

Limited resources
Which leads us to the problem of limited resources. You most likely have ran into this issue - as getting help with PTSD can be incredible difficult. I was barred from most as my trauma was an old one.
Untreatable and no spot for that. The last time I looked - the soldiers had the best supply and network for PTSD. And given the state of them nonetheless just underlines how limited resources are.
This is even made worse by those faking to have PTSD - that does NOT mean those who are unsure and don’t know if they have it, but those who LIE about it. Another topic of its own.
When resources are scarce it is of utmost importance to use them efficiently. Some therapist might be able to treat PTSD, but since they might feel overwhelmed with the severe cases they won’t offer it.
Also a lot patients this way might end up with the wrong therapist and waste time and resources to find the right one - this applies to BOTH sides. We have to few to waste resources like that.
I hope I can soon upload and talk about the better categorizing of PTSD - which should also help communicate with your surrounding and therapist what you need and what you have.

What shapes a trauma (core)?

From Episode 94:


Of course the shape we are talking about is a metaphor to help you visualize that hidden illness - similar to a drawing of something. I find that often people have trouble finding words and explaining what is wrong with them when they have PTSD.
Nothing seems accurate and most don’t even think for a moment they have PTSD, because the typical or known things are usually significantly different from what they have. For example what is a trauma. Another nebulous term.
Which I tried to explain better in the third episode of this podcast, but I realized by now, that this might have all been a bit much and too overwhelming for people to be certain. So this time I keep it very simple.
This is mainly so you can identify if what you experienced counts towards trauma and/or for what shape and therefor category it belongs to. Short reminder of course, that this is always in general terms and very broad.
This is meant as a tool of orientation. As each trauma is very individual. So it is important to be honest with ourselves. Maybe write things down. First we talk about the shape it takes, then a small insert about PTS and then how it keeps growing afterwards

What shape does the trauma take? (as long as the trauma lasts)
First thing you need to understand about trauma is, that the trauma only ends if the whole ordeal is over. If we stay with the famous car accident example, then the trauma only ends as soon as you are safe. If you are stuck in the car, it is still the same trauma.
So you could call a trauma a very extreme stress situation. And this stress situation is something our brain can’t overcome as anything before and therefor we get PTSD. That is why there is such a huge shape difference between the suit and the ball trauma.
The suit trauma consists of many, many small things happening over long period of time. But those don’t go deep, therefor this trauma is very thin. Constant belittling and insulting is the perfect example of a suit trauma.
If you have multiple things happening, like the insults AND regularly beating, then those are 2 different traumas. Each way of abuse or event or whatever has its own category. Something I plan to get into more detail in another time.
For now it is important to remember that a trauma lasts until the situation is over - there can be no recovery as long an issue is still ongoing. If the things isn’t regularly or semi regularly at least, then it becomes different traumas. For example occasional beatings.
The more painful and/or extreme the experience, the deeper the cut into your soul goes and therefor the wider your trauma gets. The car example is short and extreme - almost the perfect ball example.
The more strong elements affect the situation - the more likely it is going to be a ring trauma. If it lasts over a long time then it will be most likely a cluster trauma. That was a short overview, but as usual, if you have questions, please ask.

Small insert of PTS - how it is so significantly different
Which leads to our short insert about PTS, the post torture syndrome, and its significantly different nature. As mentioned before the more severe a experience is, the deeper it cuts into your soul and the wider your trauma is.
Now torture takes this to a whole new level. While the damage to your soul is not the goal of the abuse you suffer, it is either a nice side effect or irrelevant or the like to the abuser. With torture that is the aim and the main goal.
While during abuse the goal is to hurt you and risk you taken psychological damage it is the exact other way around for torture. It is to maximize the damage on the soul to break the person or leave them as much crippled as possible.
Which is why I keep it separate and why PTS is a whole league on its own.

How it keeps growing after it happen
With that out of the way that leaves us to the final point: The growth that happens afterwards. It is similar to a regular wound - if you ignore it and don’t treat it, it will most likely get more and more worse.
With each time it getting triggered, activated, relived in a similar situation and so on -the pile gets bigger and the trauma grows. And there is no limit how far it will grow and it might even turn into a higher category.
It additionally keeps blocking more and more of who you are. Also often having PTSD - even hidden - leads to unwise decisions that make a new trauma more likely. It is an absolute viscous circle that keeps escalating hard.
That is why it is so important to treat the trauma as soon as you can and not only after PTSD brought you to the brink of your existence. Which I know is hard and the fewest will do - which included me in the past.