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Does anyone know what untreated PTSD does to a 3 year old?

L

LemonKissesAreSweet

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I am said 3 year old, now 19. I had a house fire when I was 3 and never got treatment, or even a diagnosis. I was only diagnosed when I was in highschool. Not to mention any of the symptoms I showed as a child were reprimanded.

I also have ADHD and had minimal support growing up as my mom didn’t have the emotional capacity to as she had her own trauma.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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I have read that people need to talk about a traumatic event straight after it happens. Did you talk to family do you think?
 
L

LemonKissesAreSweet

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I have read that people need to talk about a traumatic event straight after it happens. Did you talk to family do you think?
No. I don’t remember talking to anyone at all, I only remember really weird PTSD nightmares. I never even told anyone about what was in said nightmares until recently.

I tend to bottle everything up until I’m alone and only really use my cats to express how I’m feeling, like I’ll talk to them. I can’t get myself to tell anyone who I know personally how I feel, hence why I decided joining this forum would be smart.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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No. I don’t remember talking to anyone at all, I only remember really weird PTSD nightmares. I never even told anyone about what was in said nightmares until recently.

I tend to bottle everything up until I’m alone and only really use my cats to express how I’m feeling, like I’ll talk to them. I can’t get myself to tell anyone who I know personally how I feel, hence why I decided joining this forum would be smart.
I think many of us here like that we can talk anonymously about whatever we need to talk about. There is a journal part of the forum if you want to start one, or you can write here, it doesn't matter.

I talk to my cats too! they are great listeners ;)

I don't know anything much about the brain :) but i have read bits and pieces about how a major shock or continuous stress can affect it. It is not normal what you have been through and so understandable that you are struggling and having some problems. In time, we all process things, slowly, and then start to feel better.

It is important you are kind and gentle with yourself, rest, look after yourself, and not stay in bed too much! It makes me feel much worse if i don't get out every other day.
 
Bod

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I am said 3 year old, now 19. I had a house fire when I was 3 and never got treatment, or even a diagnosis. I was only diagnosed when I was in highschool. Not to mention any of the symptoms I showed as a child were reprimanded.

I also have ADHD and had minimal support growing up as my mom didn’t have the emotional capacity to as she had her own trauma.

I am so very sorry that you were in a house fire at such a young age and know only too well how terrifying they can be with me being born in Australia we had a few very nasty ones that we saw. Even though you were so young I do think it might be a good idea to try and see a counsellor/therapist to try and help you through it as they might help you a lot.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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I personally think any really traumatic events that occur from the time we are mentally capable of forming memories up until at least the age of 7-10, (and then after that our minds work slightly differently), can impact us hugely as our brains are like a sponge, absorbing everything, and then everything we experience after that kind of lands on top of that sponge, which then becomes the foundation for how we view our world.

Was anyone else in the fire? Your family? Was anyone hurt? Were you displaced / was your house ruined? (Did the disruption to normal life continue for a while?) Did no one else ever talk about this scary event after it happened?

The most important thing that ideally SHOULD have happened is right afterwards, you were reassured that you and your loved ones were safe, that some kind of normal routine was established ASAP, and that people talked about it and shared their feelings about it. To show that fear was normal, that it was a bad thing that happened, but that there was comfort and safety still around.

So NOW, 16 years later, what to do? As your 3 year old self, do you find it hard to feel safe? Are you scared of certain things? Do you feel like you're on edge a lot, distracted and can't focus? Do you find it hard to trust that things will be ok?

I also think there are 2 separate but connected parts to trauma. One is the trauma event itself and one is how the people around them deal with it afterwards. Sometimes the reactions of people can be more emotionally damaging than the actual trauma itself. If you're invalidated, ignored, feel like you can't or shouldn't talk about it, or that you should just "get over it", this then becomes an extension of the trauma, particularly because you're already in an emotionally vulnerable state.

Do you feel angry about not being supported and heard, as a kid, and the fact that the symptoms of your trauma (and ADHD) were reprimanded?
 
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Salster

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I cant endorse Councilling or therapy enough.
If your willing and open to deal with it now ,its not to late.
I've just had trauma therapy after 35 of keeping it all to myself.
Don't get me wrong it hasn't fixed me but I'm in a better place than I've ever been.
Try therapy honestly It can and does for many, change their lives.
It helps you understand your past in a safe place.
 
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