Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Ask Dr. Schwartz
Ask Dr. Schwartz
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

PTSD since childhood, with no memory of trauma?

Hello Dr. Schwartz, I am a 21 year old female, and I have recently been tentatively diagnosed with PTSD by my therapist. I was surprised when he brought up PTSD, but I have all the symptoms, lasting as long as I can remember since childhood— terrifying nightmares, obsessive flashback thoughts that are vivid and consuming (not to the trauma itself but to real and imaginary events that have common themes and may symbolize it), social anxiety and a history of airplane phobia, history of disturbing childhood play, vigilance and over-alertness to attack, trouble falling and staying asleep, dysthimia, trouble concentrating and bad memory, feeling emotionally detached from loved ones, headaches and sharp stomach pains, etc. The problem is, I have thought and thought about what the trauma might be, and I just don't know. I have had sad and scary things happen to me, but none of them seem like they would be a traumatic trigger. I've had the above symptoms for as long as I can remember. Is it possible for childhood traumas to have been lost from memory but still have an affect? Or is this probably just a misdiagnosis?

THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.

Disclaimer

  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

Share This

Resources