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How I am recovering from severely crippling CPTSD with Internal Family Systems and EMDR therapy


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I'm disabled with Autism and grew up during a time when they did not understand autism very well at all and definitely not in girls. Autism for me, means being incredibly sensitive.
emotionally and to outside stimulus, Lights and sounds are painful. This makes the world around me pretty traumatizing, even before you factor in the atrocious physical and mental abuse I endured throughout my entire childhood and much of my adulthood too.
I no longer go into details about what I have gone through because it is so unbelievably horrific, I end up feeling incredibly invalidated every time I speak about it because I can tell people don't really believe me.

A few years ago I became physically crippled. Doctors told me it was arthritis, but I have discovered that is not the case. I am actually in so much emotional distress and emotional pain that my body reacted by crippling me.
After recognizing this and working on healing my inner wounds rather than constantly meditating away from them the pain is finally leaving my body. I am able to move in ways I have not been able to in years.

I am far from "recovered" I can't go outside and I still experience flashbacks through the day but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel a little better each week than the week before and people in my life notice the changes I am making.
not since discovering mindfulness meditation, has a practice been so noticeably life changing for me. 
Mindfulness meditation is only a PART of the whole solution for PTSD.

The traumas must be looked at, and given attention and filled with love, not just cleared from the mind only to come back again and again.

I recommend investigating EMDR therapy, and IFS therapy. they get to the real root of the problem - which is a nervous system stuck in trauma.
that being said I also recommend learning some "vagal toning" exercises of the Vegas nerve.

I am having real incredible healing and I haven't spent a dime and never had to leave my home.


Long childhood history of being on and off meds followed by more than a decade clean
Started taking Cipralex (escitalopram) 20mg daily in the summer of 2015.


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It is great to hear that something is working for such complex problems that come with CPTSD. I am genuinely happy for you. Are you working with a therapist and how did you learn about EMDR and IFS?

I have PTSD and adhd. Would be nice to find a therapist who might help. I am a counsellor myself. But I am an art therapist and help people with trauma using artwork. 

  • 1992 Prozac 20 mg, 1994 Switched to Zoloft 100 mg, 2000 quit Zoloft “cold turkey”, crashed 2001-2004…2005-2008. St Johns Wort
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted taper started March 22 at 194.25
  • End of April dropped to 187 mg, End of May dropped to 175 mg, Mid May dropped to 170 mg End of June dropped to 165 mg, crashed, back to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Magnesium, Omega 3, Vit D prepared for tapering again
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
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I, too, have a form of mild high functioning autism, and also have had severe physical and psychological abuse in the earlier years of my life. I spent many years in therapy, and did have some EMDR therapy too.  I have found the books of Pete Walker to be very helpful in my healing from my CPTSD.  He wrote "The Tao of Fully Feeling", and "Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving".  I believe that I was misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety, when I really had CPTSD, and the drugs just numbed and suppressed the emotional pain that I was in.  Part of my healing is to fully face and feel and express this emotional pain in healthy and safe ways.  Getting off the psych drugs has allowed me to be fully in touch with my emotions again, and able to do this.  I'm very glad that you are healing from this as well.  


There is a website that is for survivors of abuse, and they will not invalidate or discount you.  



Edited by getofflex

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***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.


Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg


Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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On 1/2/2023 at 2:12 PM, MermaidsCantCry said:

A few years ago I became physically crippled. Doctors told me it was arthritis, but I have discovered that is not the case. I am actually in so much emotional distress and emotional pain that my body reacted by crippling me.

Do you think there’s a possibility of Fibromyalgia? I have cPTSD, and had Fibromyalgia for years before knowing what it was. I thought everyone had daily chronic pain and we were all just trying to get on with it. I’m so glad you’ve been able to find relief! I find a lot of people I meet who mention having Fibro at some point mention also having cPTSD, and vice versa.


How have you been finding EMDR is interacting with cPTSD? It helped me a lot, but definitely “woke up” some childhood stuff big time. I spent so much of the year I was doing EMDR disassociated! 

Started on Prozac as a teen in 2000 to treat cPTSD, been on a cocktail ever since, have tried too many meds to list over the years but I’ll try: Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil, Trazedone (reaction), Effexor, Olanzapine, Remeron, Valium, Xanax, Adderall, Vyvanse, Klonopin

2002-2004, 2017-2022: Buspar, tapered down to 0

2017: Remeron, made me act out nightmares (sleep talking and violently fighting nothing)

2016: Prazosin (for PTSD nightmares), blood pressure dangerously low, passed out behind wheel while driving

2016-present: 100mg Seroquel for sleep

2016-Present: 100mg Wellbutrin SR -> Jan 2023: 50mg Wellbutrin IR -> Feb 2023 taper: 22.5mg 2x a day (45mg total)

2018-present: 25mg Pristiq, tried to taper unsuccessfully

2015-present: 600mg Gabapentin (200mg 3x a day) -> December 2022: 300mg Gabapentin (150mg morning and evening) per GP's recommendation after side effects

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