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How do I find out if I have PTSD?

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Commanded2bwell
Commanded2bwell Community member Posts: 79 Courageous
Hello,
I was diagnosed late in life with autism. Recently, my sister has been seeing a therapist to deal with suspected PTSD and, based on her discussions and experiences, she has told me that she has observed signs of it in me, as well. The likely causes in my case would be the lifelong stress of dealing with social situations prior to knowing about my autism (and therefore having access to coping strategies), the depression and suicidal thoughts this ultimately caused (and which led to my diagnosis) and dealing with certain "unhelpful" family members in the years since, whose presence I struggle to tolerate. She observed certain physical signs and said she'd had, or heard of, similar and that I was reacting the same way she had.

This has been quite sobering. Now I'm left wondering what to do with this information. How do I get assessed to see if this is the case? Who do I talk to?

Any advice welcome. Thanks.

Comments

  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi there @Commanded2bwell and thanks for reaching out :)

    The NHS offer talking therapies services which you can refer yourself to without speaking to a GP, but I would encourage you to check in with your GP to talk about mental health and wellbeing support. Bear in mind that there might be a wait to access these services as they are quite over subscribed at the moment. 

    You can read more about assessment and treatment for PTSD through the NHS on their website as well.

    You might also find it helpful to visit PTSD UK who can offer support and advice, or the mental health charity Mind, which has guidance on self care for PTSD.

    I'm glad that you and your sister can talk openly about your mental health and wellbeing, it makes such a positive difference having someone we're close to, to listen, understand, and support us.

    If there's anything more we can do to help, please let us know, and keep us updated with how you get on!
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  • Commanded2bwell
    Commanded2bwell Community member Posts: 79 Courageous
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    Thanks for your advice.

    I got a response to an econsult (the only kind my GP accepts, in the first instance). Talked to a mental health practitioner. He seemed to think my symptoms were more likely the result of anxiety rather than PTSD. I've been referred to an NHS service, but he couldn't tell me whether they'd accept the referral.

    PTSD is considered a disability, but what is anxiety? If this is what I've got, I've had it for years and it isn't improving, so the term chronic would seem to apply. I've heard some people refer to some types of anxiety as a disability, as well. What are the terms of reference, here?

    Cheers
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Well, under the Equality Act (2010), a disability is defined as follows: 
    You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.
    If you feel like your anxiety fits in with this, there's no reason why you can't say it's a disability. Whether or not you choose to identify as disabled is really down to your own preference, there's no set list per se. 

    @Commanded2bwell, but do ask if there's anything we've missed :) 
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  • Commanded2bwell
    Commanded2bwell Community member Posts: 79 Courageous
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    Hi, thanks for your reply.

    I just wondered if there was a list of conditions that are officially recognised as a "disability" either medically or legally. I've heard people discussing anxiety in those terms, you see, but wasn't sure if it was a way of contextualising it, as you describe in your reply, or if they meant it in terms of a diagnosis that doctors and people like the DWP recognise as a condition.
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm not sure there's a list of conditions like that for the UK @Commanded2bwell, the only register I can think of is the one for being sight impaired, with people's local authorities. 

    You can describe your anxiety in social terms as a disability and identify as disabled, and you can also have a diagnosis of a mental health condition that doctor's or the DWP recognise as a disability. I suppose sometimes these overlap when people think or talk about disability.

    As I don't know the context around the people you heard, I can't know what they meant for certain, but does this all make sense? :) 
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