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Im wondering if it is depression or if its PTSD?



Well-known member
Oct 5, 2014
So as folks on here know, I have had a long history with depression, but there's something Ive noticed even when Ive been on and off meds for extended periods of time. One particular aspect of my life continues to come back to haunt me, and it's how my family where when I was younger.

There were episodes of extreme outbursts, threats of violence and even one particularly harrowing incident that still bothers me even now, nearly a decade after it happened. It terrified me of getting into relationships (to put it in simple terms, I had a sibling whose partner kept giving them stupid ideas to act out and they bought into it. They tried to strangle me one night because their partner made a claim that I hit them when I wasnt even near where it supposedly happened) and since then I felt relationships would not only make me vulnerable, but hurt everyone around me. In that incident, I had to fight them off and call the police to help me because i was scared for my life. My family defended my sibling and tried to make it out to be no big deal. He went away with the police for the night and my family all broke down crying and left me on my own locked in the bathroom with no attempts to comfort me. I felt betrayed by them. Im still angry to this day about it. I see them as wanting to protect their image and fantasy of an ideal family over wanting to protect me. It's been over 10 years. They havent changed much sadly. Everything is about image, and looking like a perfect family.

My mother complains about everyone being 'defective' in the house in some way or another (brother has money issues, Im stuck in the closet so as not to 'reflect' on my mother, Dad is a stoic who thinks I need to bottle everything up and look after my mum like Im some kind of born-and-bred counselling service for when hes working). They all think they can give me money towards stuff as a sign of love, but they seem to think stuff is whats important over how they treat me and each other.

Thing is, everything that happened back then, all the yelling, all the abusive language, the threats, the squaring up, loud banging noises or just lots of noise in general its all the stuff that triggers my anxiety attacks. I dont think its just a generalized anxiety disorder. I think it might be PTSD because all my avoidant behaviour is about relationships, sex, aggression and emotional closeness. Meds dont stop it because the triggers, though varied, all are tied back to certain things.

Ive tried to talk things out with my family but its the usual shit of 'weve moved on why havent you?' but i feel they robbed me of years of my life by expecting me from th ages of 15 through to my mid 20's to look after them and put my emotional and physical wellbeing at risk or compromise it while they act out. I really hate them for it. No matter what has happened since, there's a level of anger in me that I just cant let go of, like its part of me physically.

I dont think CBT or meds will help me. I dont think my family will ever apologize or try to make things right with me because they wont even admit theyve hurt me. Its always excuses or weak justifications like 'it was hard on us too' yeah but youre still my parents and should be looking out for me too, I wasnt born to be a punching bag and stress pillow. There's been too many things this has affected in my life now, from my GCSE's and every qualification I ever had, where I went to school, who I made friends with, my love life (which is a fucking mess btw because I cant get emotionally close to anyone).

I think it might be worth talking to my doctor, because i notice specific things and Im scared that this will carry on into my 30's now (I just turned 27). My patience for even slightly antagonistic behaviour is at an all time low, and I have been so angry sometimes I near lash out at family members.

The worst part is my brother actually uses verbal threats at me to tell me to shut up. We can be talking about stuff and if I say 'too much' he will say somehting along the lines of 'shut the fuck up before I fucking smash your head in' and my family try to pass it off as a joke and that it doesnt mean anything... but it's not right for me to shove him and tell him to take that back or **** off.


Nov 28, 2018
I'm no professional, but this certainly sounds like PTSD. The symptoms you are going through point towards that. From what you said, we had similar issues in our childhoods. My childhood is why I was diagnosed with ptsd.

Your family asking why you haven't moved on is ridiculous. People can't just 'move on' from these sorts of things. Brain scans show that. Therapy helped me to an extent, maybe it can help you. I think the most important thing, though, is not to bottle it up. I understand that it can be hard to talk about your problems, but finding someone you can trust, at least enough to talk to, can help.

The situation with your brother is shitty. I am not going to tell you to cut him out of your life, as family is incredibly important. I will however tell you, that I think you should distance yourself for a while. Nobody should be subjected to threats, much less from one's own family. If it's possible, try having a conversation with him about it.

I hope this helps a little.
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