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My doctor is convinced I have trauma? - September 7th 2019, 12:11 AM

I know part of this relates to self harm, but I am putting this in mental health because of the overarching theme.

I saw a new person for medication management because I need an adjustment and my primary care provider doesn't feel comfortable doing it. She seems to think I have a trauma because I started self harming when I was in the 8th grade, and according to her people normally start self harming due to some sort of trauma that they're trying to gain control over and repress. She said eventually I should disclose that trauma to my therapist and try to work past it. But, I don't recall any trauma in the 8th grade, so unless I'm severely repressing it, that's not what's going on. I told her this though, so hopefully she won't bring it up again next week.

If she does though, what do I say? I honestly and truly can't think of any trauma I'd have had in the 8th grade. I mean I had a terrible math teacher, but I would assume that was an exacerbation, not a cause. My only trauma at that point was my dad having cancer in the 4th grade, but I didn't self harm until 3-4 years after that. So that can't be it. She said it would have happened in 8th grade.

I was talking with someone and they said there have been instances of mental health providers unintentionally creating false memories of trauma by implying or directly suggesting trauma happened (I used my friend's words, so shout out if they see this ) and I don't want that to happen to me, obviously.

If she brings it up again, what do I tell her? I don't know how I feel about her yet. Her insisting I had trauma kind of made me feel angry for some reason, but then she also started being concerned about my physical health and trying to advocate for me a little with a doctor, which I do appreciate. But I don't want to go through every meeting with her having her imply that there's some sort of trauma or something.

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Re: My doctor is convinced I have trauma? - September 8th 2019, 08:05 PM

Hey, sorry it has taken you so long to get a reply. I would let your doctor know that you appreciate her concerns but, as far as you know, there is no trauma you have experienced with the exception of your dad's cancer. I think in this day and age (speaking for myself, and hopefully others as well) trauma can be basically anything. I believe I suffered one specific type of trauma, but nobody's going to believe that because I had a choice to make. When it comes to bullies who hold such power over you like that with threats, it's hard to say no and that is my trauma. It's atypical, and I'm sure there are others with atypical trauma. I am not saying you have it, but maybe that is where she is coming from.

Getting back to it, just let her know you appreciate your concerns and let that be the end of it. She has no right to try to analyze why you do what you do/did, that's something you need to feel comfortable revealing to the appropriate physician - your therapist.

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Re: My doctor is convinced I have trauma? - September 8th 2019, 08:22 PM

I agree with the above. If she asks or mentions trauma again just be honest and say that you don't remember or believe that you've gone through trauma. You could mention that your dad had cancer when you were in 4th grade though I wonder if she would point out that could've been a trauma for you.

I do find it a bit concerning that she is focussed on finding a trauma. Self-harm can happen for many reasons and doesn't have to be explicitly linked to a trauma. It makes sense that if she insists that you have been through a trauma that it would make you feel angry as it seems like she isn't listening and believing you which would impact on your relationship with her. Though it's good she is helping you with physical health related things. I guess just stick to your ground- you know you better than anyone else

Edited to add: To compliment what Jen said above, trauma isn't always obvious. I know that in therapy you can have two different types of trauma big 'T' and little 't' where the big traumas are things like rape, abuse, war, disasters, violence etc and little traumas are things that might not seem big on the surface but can still have an effect, which are things like bullying, emotional neglect, invalidation, feeling left out or not fitting in etc.

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Last edited by Celyn; September 9th 2019 at 04:48 PM.
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