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ITP Support Association
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Could past emotional trauma have a part to play?

I've only been on here a short time, but I have been suffering with ITP for 10 months - a tiny amount of time compared to some of you! So far, my experience and judging from what I'm reading on this site, tells me that this condition is extremely difficult to treat since everyone seems to react differently and have different levels of being able to cope.

It has recently come to my attention, that there could very well be a correlation between past emotional trauma and physical ailments later on. Apparently, when we experience a trauma of some kind, we often internalise it's emotional effects and find ways of "coping" with "normal" living - often hiding the cause and effects of the trauma and in order to do this, our bodies produce an increase of adrenaline to keep us going. The long term effects of heightened adrenaline, which if you're living like this, feels "normal", is physically destructive in the long term.

I am very eager to do everything I can to alleviate myself of this horrible ITP and am therefore going to explore an area of my life that happened decades ago, but caused me real fear and trauma. Who knows, it could be that the emotional coping mechanisms that have worked for so long, are now causing my body to turn on me!

For me, it's worth a shot!

Please hear me, I am not suggesting everyone who has this condition may be harbouring some undealt with emotional "stuff" - I'm simply sharing what's come to light for me, and hoping that it may encourage others to consider it.

Would be interested to hear what others think.


12 Replies

Hi I think mine is linked to continuous servere stress due to family problems over the last 3.5 years and then I had a very bad fall and hurt my arm badly. Just after that I found out that I had ITP. I think my body did exactly as you stated and started to shut down. I had the same thing and symptoms of stress and fatigue due to servere stress years ago but at that time thought I had ME. I am a very strong person so when I get stressed I just carrying on when others would probably fall apart. I am hoping that once these problems go my ITP may go again but this may all be coincidence. Good luck in your quest please keep us updated


I also experienced extreme stress and truly believe my body shut down as well


Sarah I am very happy you were brave enough to post this. I hope that this wonderful piece of writing Sparks something because I too very much feel the same way. Western medical care doesn't really delve into the realm of mental health for ITP. I've had two bone marrow transplant and my body still keeps killing off my cells. I was suicidal since 9 and many more mental health issues pursued continued until I moved out. Since quitting the pills the doctors tried prescribing I've been feeling alot better and able to do alot more. I feel my best chance is to face what I've been running from my whole life. Be a more complete person emotionally physically and spiritually


Perhaps, I have always said that I have a very strong immunesystem I have almost never been ill With sikcnes of the body from virus and bacteria..I have always had a strong body, The one that rarly got sick, and cant remebemer if I EVER had the flu. No Vommiting rarly headace almost never fever and on and on.BUT in the last 2,5 years two immune system illneses And yes I have had my share of past emotional trauma have had to find ways of "coping" with "normal" living , so, I think it might play a rolexxxx


Very interesting question. I think it’s possible. In some cases, probably; in others, probably not.

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Hi Sarah

I agree that you pose a very interesting question. I can't say that I have experienced significant trauma, but I have wondered whether emotional stress could have a bearing. I had suffered from ITP since 2008 but as my levels remained well above 50 I was on a regime of 'watchful waiting'. Then about 3 years ago I entered a period of significant stress relating to family illness and bereavement. At that point my platelets plummeted to single figures and I instinctively felt the 2 things were related, although my haematologist dismissed the idea. Please would you keep us updated with how things are going ?


I totally think past trauma has a lot to do with this situation. It is a cycle, the more you worry what "could" happen to you with ITP, the more upset you get then that triggers, the past, and round and round we go.

I have had ITP since July 2017. My life has changed!!!

I got divorced from an abusive man after 20 years, had two boys. 8 years apart. My oldest went bat s--- crazy, ended up going to live with Dad at 16. My youngest is now 13. I lost both parents suddenly in 2016. I am an only child.

Then had two operations on my left foot, in a cast for almost a year.

Now ITP!, and just had all these blood tests done after a person on this site asked if ITP was a "secondary" infection????? Now they are sending me to a Rheumatologist, who knows what that is going to find.

I had my two week appointment with my Hematologist, I found myself rambling on and on, she thinks I am nuts, Probably, they gave me a script for xanax, like I need another problem.

I am on Promacta 25 mg. count is 81. However she will not tell me to stop taking the pills, says my count will drop. The lowest is 16.

Don't have any good answers..... aches and pains, skin stuff, every time I get another pain, I panic.


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Oh one other thing, years ago I was bitten by a tick and got lymes. I was put on major antibiotics for one month, however I think that stuff stays in your system. I also had Pita ryis rosia. It is a rare skin thing, again, they did not know what was wrong with me, tests, finally came up with the name. They put me on major knock out drugs, i couldn't think. it finally went away. They say you never get it again, and it is not contagious, however I have had flare ups similar if I come in contact with any type of lotion, self tanner, and have terrible allergies.

My mom had breast cancer before she was 50, (she is past now) however I remember her swearing it was caused because my Dad was so controlling? lol so who knows.


Dont know what could be the trigger but whenever i am emotionally down, bruises shoots up and it takes few days to recover. So ITP just want to keep us happy all the time. The less you cry/crib, better the counts!! Such a sweet disease/condition. :-D


I believe stress, whether from the past or the present, is supposed to have an adverse effect on almost all auto-immune diseases. I applaud your courage and hope you find your way back to health very soon.

I second Prudence's request that you keep us updated.



My hematologist says your body needs time to heal I had a bereavement which was a big shock first shingles then itp 16 months later I now have been diagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome led to believe linked ????


All of my working career I have managed Transportation departments. School buses, para-transit vehicles and mass transit. back in 2012 my blood count went down to 5.2 and I had to have 3 units of blood. Every since then I have been diagnosed with ITP, Iron deficiency. And today My platlets will go up and down with my stress level, one of my doctors said it was also my work enviroment I worked in an office inside a hugh warehouse. So.... since then I don't manage 200 buses and I have somewhat gotten better but I am now 61 years young and I still battle with fatigue.


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