Complex PTSD

Hi IV been forced to accept I have got chronic anxiety I asked my councillor does she diagnose me but she just keeps saying she doesn't know .I do feel IV developed complex PTSD tho as IV acknowledge the extreme stress IV had over two years ,from bullying at work ,partner cheating,work have put me on four different care units in twelve months ,but not accepting wats happened.I have had two meltdowns at work with no support,rymors r still going on now but I'm in the sik again after not being able to remember anything and feeling spaced out IV tried to convince people at work about my b12 ,but now think it's through trauma as it's triggers wen I'm at work .I feel worse now than ever but still being told it's not my b12 ,and IV no energy to fight .

13 Replies

  • As a fellow sufferer of cPTSD and PA you have my profound sympathy for your current situation. I hope that others on the forum will advise you on the best course of action vis-a-vis your employment situation. Foggyme and Gambit62 have recently advised other members of the forum who are in a similar situation with their employers. You might want to click on their names and look at their replies to get some information.

    You say that your employment situation is in itself triggering your cPTSD. Do you have any specific help with this condition? I've found that I've coped much better with triggers and also everyday stress since I started self-treating for my PA, hypothyroidism and very low cortisol.

    Edited to say that your B12 and cortisol are negatively affected by chronic stress, so you can end up in a vicious circle.

  • Thanks he won't listen about me b12 and my sister has took my injections I got online she's a manager of a ward at Warrington general she sounds like me doctor .when I feel stronger as at minute i can't speak on phone as I keep saying wrong words IV this is cptsd I will b suing them as IV had no support .last time I went back work after a breakdown episode with my manager,i had to msg him on Facebook to ask can I cum back .then I was put on a unit I loved staff were lovely and I was good at it .after about 3months for no reason well I know it's cause they can't handle my anxiety,and spread rumours from unit to unit and this is a Buba home too that they moved me again with a new job role right back at the side of the two units who triggered it all since this I had another episode of fear and feeling out of my body since this is bin on sick and only through reading think it is cptsd as IV had chronic anxiety since a child my doctor says but I no this is more than anxiety I feel jumpy have flashbacks and can't believe work has changed me into the person I am now but nothing as changed to them management say I should forget about it an move on but my head that foggy I don't know wat I can do as I lie in my room all day why does my councillor say she can't diagnose me or changes the subject on things I ask thanks x

  • Leigh6873, can your sister give you B12 injections as often as you need them? I think this is vital in your current circumstances. I know what it's like not to be able to hold a telephone or face-to-face conversation because you can't find the right words. This is one of many problems resulting from PA.

    Because you're getting flashbacks, I think you may need to approach your GP specifically for help with managing these. He shouldn't brush flashbacks off as generalised anxiety.

    I think you need advice on the work situation, but I don't feel qualified to give it. If Foggyme or Gambit don't reply to your post, do have a look at the replies they have left for other members on this subject.

  • My sister won't let me have them more than doctor said .she said IV bin OK with them every three months all me life but she won't listen or thinks I'm obsessed with it x

  • Hello Leigh6873.

    Oh dear, oh dear. There are so many terrible things going on for you and I'm so sorry that you can't get anybody to listen to you or help you.

    The fact that it's been going on for so long must be a really hard thing to deal with.

    It's not surprising that you have anxiety - which you'll probably have anyway because of the B12 deficiency. So that makes a double dose!

    It's late now and I can't even begin to start thinking of ways to try and help you (I don't have much brain left by this time of the night!).

    If I may, I'd like to take the time to read through your previous posts so that I can better understand what's been happening to you, but I can't do is tonight.

    I know it's not much consultation to you, but many of us here struggle to get treatment for B12 deficiency...I'm learning the hard way that very few GP's or consultants have any knowledge about the condition. I'm saying this so that you will at least know that you're not alone in not being believed or listened to.

    I'll try to think of something useful (and practical) to say tomorrow but if I don't post, it will be because my second grandson has arrived a bit early and I'm having to do 'helping'. If this happens, I'll post another reply as soon as I can.

    Take care xx

  • Thank you x good luck with the baby

  • Leigh, I've just thought of something - have you looked at PTSD communities here on HealthUnlocked? They may be able to advise you how to manage your anxiety and flashbacks. When I did a search, I found three. If you click on My Communities at the top of this page, a drop-down menu appears which will list the names of the forums you've joined. At the bottom you will see + Browse Communities. Click on that to go to the search page.

    I'm afraid I have to go now, but take care, and don't lose heart - we'll help you if we can.

  • To me it sounds as if you really need more B12 and the cofactors needed to metabolise it so that you get all the benefits of it - a broad spectrum multivitamin and mineral supplement plus extra folate, potassium and magnesium.

    Everyone needs more as they get older because our systems don't work as well at getting it from our diets and we need more for damage repair.

    Please try to find someone who can and will help you get your extra jabs and tablets.

    You could plead with them to just let you try more - as it is safe it won't do any harm - and say surely they want to see you more well so it's worth trying. Say that if they allow you more and it doesn't work then you will know it isn't that and then you will need a lot more help instead but at least trying more is easy for everyone to start with.

    Good luck and ask again if you need more help. Let us know how you get on.


  • Just a thought Leigh6873.

    Low/deficient Vitamin B12 can often go hand in hand with Low thyroid, (Hypothyroidism) Also anxiety, depression, baby blues bi polar, autism, etc., etc., is linked to low thyroid.

    Have you had any thyroid bloods done ? If so do you know your exact blood levels ?

    With thyroid testing, don't accept 'Normal' you need your actual results and pop them up on either here PAS forum or on Thyroid Uk forum.

  • Hello Leigh6873 I've had a look at your previous posts and my's all a bit of a pickle isn't it 😀. And that must be the understatement of the year!

    Can I start by saying I'm not a medic or mental health professional so am not in a position to offer medical advice. What I would like to try and do is suggest some practical things you might like to think about, which may help you to start finding your way forward with your problems. But believe me, I know how hard this is.

    I'm not sure it's possible to talk about your work issues without also mentioning other things, 'cause they're all mixed up together and inextricably linked! So, in no particular goes...

    First, Your problems are very long standing! One problem with this is that people see what they have always seen (oh you've always been anxious etc). I think what's needed here is 'fresh eyes' all around. People stop seeing the elephant in the room (your health issues) and simply walk around it or pretend it's not there.

    Here's some ways to try and eat that elephant in chunks:

    You need somebody (or a lot of somebody's) on your side, fighting your corner, supporting you and speaking up for you, right now. Ideally, this,person should be prepared to learn about B12 deficiency and PA so they can be a knowledgable friend who will support your aim to get treatment and get well. Somebody who will believe you and believe in you.

    Goddaughter friend (who you mention), a mental health nurse, has rightly recognised that it is your health causing your anxiety rather than your anxiety causing bad health. Could she be one of these people? Perhaps she would help with some of the things I'm going to suggest?

    Your sister / ward manager. I'm sure that your sister is well meaning and tries to look after you but I think that removing your self-injection equipment is not the best way to help you. As a health professional, she will be aware that medics are not always right, do not always keep up-to-date with current guidelines/research, and that they often need a kick in the right direction (I say this as an ex-nursing professional).

    Here's some things it might be useful for you to tell her (if you haven't already done so):

    Treatment that started when you were eight has obviously not worked, or has stopped working for you. Thinking and research move on, and so does treatment.

    B12 is non-toxic, you cannot overdose, self-injecting is not illegal, if you lived in Europe you could buy B12 over the counter and inject as often as you needed to to keep well. Dogs with B12 deficiency have B12 injections every day. Hydroxocobalamin is given IV in massive doses as treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning. Many people have to inject every day to keep their symptoms at bay.

    B12 levels in the blood need to be high (1000 - 1500) for proper repair to take place. Some people have to maintain exceedingly high levels to keep well (5000 -6000). They are not damaged by this. Your GP obviously does not know this.

    Your GP should ALWAYS treat the symptoms, not blood results. He may not know this.

    As you have B12 deficiency with neurological symptoms, the BNF states that after loading doses and initial intensive treatment (which you will have had long ago), you should be having B12 injections every two months.

    This is not sufficient for many people: this is why many choose (or rather, are forced) to self-inject. It is the only way to keep the symptoms at bay and recover as much as possible.

    GP's and medics are all very ill-informed about B12 deficiency - most people with PA / vitamin B12 deficiency have to educate their own medics!!

    Would your sister be prepared to read the books that @sleepybunny suggested in an earlier post (by Martyn Hooper and Sally Pacholok). This would bring her up-to-date with current thinking and research and, more importantly, give her the tools to help you deal with your GP and other medics?

    B12 OBSESSION: We all have it: we also obsess about vitamins, minerals, gut health, blood tests, blood results, ill informed medics, auto-immune disease, loss of who we were, etc. etc. the list could be endless. So...the obsession is not just about B12...the obsession is with getting well. And staying well. Having as much of a normal life as possible. A healthy obsession then!

    Most people here try to become as knowledgable as they can about PA and B12 deficiency. Exactly what you are doing - and all credit to you for that. Most people who are not B12 deficient do not understand why we do this. They mistakenly think that doctors 'will sort us out'. Nor do they understand the anger and frustration we feel when doctors refuse to listen to us or treat us properly (and according to current guidelines). Your 'new' knowledge may have increased your anxiety over this and it would be good if people around you could recognise this.

    Doing lots of research and reading is a good thing. But an even better thing is how you use it. Many people print off guidelines, highlight the bits relevant to them and hand to GP's at appointments. I see, in previous replies to posts, that you have been given links to guidelines etc. It might be useful to print these and take them to appointments. Or put them in a folder and get family etc. to read them. AOr save them to flick through yourself. I also re-visit replies to my posts 'cause I ALWAYS forget something, or misread it, or fail to understand! It also reminds me that people are here, caring and sharing in what is a very lonely business.

    But I have made a 'deal' with myself that I have two 'B12 free' days a weeks. I simply refuse to think about it. I walk, read, watch trash TV, sleep...or simply stare into space, do anything other than think about B12! Gives my mind a break and reminds me that there's a life outside I am trying to get back to. And it helps.

    Sometimes it's useful to have an advocate not connected to family / friends. provide advocacy services - look on their website for Community Advocacy and put in your region / postcode to see what services your local council provide (if they do it, you may qualify under the Mental Health Illness 'section'). This would provide you wi someone to help you and support you. The website also has a section about self-advocacy, where you could see how to do this or join a group for support.

    See also for information, fact sheets, relaxation/audiotapes, CD's, books and telephone and self help groups.

    Sorry....this post is getting very long...hope you're still with me...all will become clear 😀

    Potential PTSD: look at the NHS Choices website - good section on PTSD. Go back to your GP. He/she should make an initial assessment and, if it has been going on for longer than 4 weeks (sounds like it has), they should refer you to a Mental Health Specialist. I think that given your long history of (understandable) anxiety, the failure of ever increasing doses of medication and the PTSD, you should push for a psychiatric referral. I do not say this because I think you are mad 😖. I think it would be an opportunity to get your medications sorted out properly, find something that will work for you, and get proper long-term support for your PTSD and anxiety. A psychiatrist may not be well up on B12 issues (but surprisingly, some are), but they will be able to help you with other things.

    Counselling: your counsellor should have a plan outlining agreed goals and timescales. For instance, this could aim to identify triggers, reduce symptoms, explore the best way to,live with symptoms and improve relations and communications at work and with family. Your counsellor should also be able to answer questions about your treatment. Has your counsellor done this? But please be aware, your counsellor may not have a remit (or the specific skill set) to provide you with a diagnosis, especially if new things are arising in the course of your sessions. This is why it is important for you to go back to,your GP and get a referral to a psychiatrist.

    Work place issues: you say that you have been off sick with stress and anxiety, that you believe being in the workplace triggers this and that you feel that you are being bullied at work.

    This is quite difficult to respond to,without knowing more about your employer (size of company, number of employees) and the specific things that have happened to you.

    But here are some general thoughts: bullying and harassment in the workplace can be outright (making derogatory comments to your face, shouting at you, showing you up in front of other people etc.) or more insidious or 'hidden' (making jokes at your expense and expecting you to laugh when really you are upset, talking about you behind you back, giving you a derogatory nickname etc).

    It's worth saying here that some employers and colleagues may not even know that the way they are acting or behaving constitutes bullying and/ or harassment. People can be remarkable stupid where these things are concerned. I say this because it might help you to realise that some of the things that upset you may not be being done intentionally. Often, when people are confronted with their behaviour, they become quite ashamed when they realise the impact they have on other people. But this does not mean that it should not be dealt with. Bullying should always be exposed and dealt with.

    It would help you if you could make a very simple list of the specific things that upset you at work. Think of e erything you can and get it down on paper. Perhaps this is something you could work on with your counsellor. They could perhaps help,you to clarify your thinking and make the list for you. Or perhaps your sister or goddaughter friend could help?

    Once you know what is really bothering you, you can then start to think about how you want to deal with it. It would be reasonable to arrange a meeting with your manager to talk about these things and try and agree an action plan to address the problems.

    Your employer: your employer knew that you had what you call a 'melt-down' at work, also that you have anxiety etc. It is reasonable to expect that when you returned to work they should have conducted a return to work interview. This should have entailed finding out what triggered your stress in workplace, putting in place an action plan to reduce/get rid of the triggers, making adjustments to make your working life less stressful and arranging to check in with you regularly to ensure that any actions had been completed and ensure the effectiveness of the plan (which may need tweaking along the way). Don't know if this happened but if you are off sick again, it would not be unreasonable for you to ask for this to happen.

    And finally (well nearly...and at long last), I'd like to say that I think you're right about how long you've been suffering from B12 deficiency. You mention in one post, eating your coat selves as a child! This is called Pica and is a recognised symptom of B12 deficiency.

    It's entirely possible to have just enough B12 to keep you alive, but not enough to make you heal. This may be what's happened to you. The only way you will know this is by increasing your B12 and seeing if it makes a difference. Some people inject as often as every day. As others have said, vitamins and minerals are also important.

    It's also important to recognise that some of your health issues may have causes other than it's best to always keep an open mind and look at all possible causes of poor health (i.e a reply here suggests getting tested for thyroid problems - good idea).

    Julie...I know I've written far too much and I know that it will be difficult to digest when you are having trouble with concentration and are feeling so ill. I also know that it may be very difficult for you to act on any of the suggestions while you feel so very poorly.

    But here's the thing...I've purposely made the reply very 'broad-brush' general so that you can print it and use it (if you wish) to try and 'convert' others (sister, family, goddaughter friend) to your cause and see you and your health issues with 'new-eyes'!

    Often people want to help but really don't know what to do. There are practical things here that people could help you to do. There's also information here from a 'non-involved' party which may encourage them to change their thinking about B12 deficiency and the medics' role in all this. Again, more 'new-eyes'.

    You may not be able to eat a whole elephant, even in chunks. But you can start to nibble it's tail!

    I can see from what you say that you are a very warm and caring person (by the very work you do) and I really hope that you find your way back to health and to the very sociable and outgoing person that is the real you 😀😀.

    Take very good care and please post again and let us know how you are xx

  • Very sound and comprehensive advice.

  • Hi, firstly try to remember that your not alone there is lots of support here even when you are struggling to get it from family or friends at the moment. Foggyme has made some excellent suggestions regarding this.

    As a clinician who works with PTSD although I would never diagnose anyone without seeing them, from what you have outlined here you do not have PTSD unless you have experienced or witnessed a serious life threatening situation which you have not mentioned. However you have you suffered some truly stressful and distressing situations. I would therefore speak to your counsellor about Stress Response Syndrome to see whether this applies to you. Also check whether they are qualified to make a clinical diagnosis as counsellors generally aren't in the UK unless they are a Counselling Psychologist which may be why they are not providing a diagnosis.

    The most important thing is not the diagnosis it's getting good support from an empathetic non-judgemental therapist who you are able to build a good rapport with and feel heard and listened to. If you are in the UK are you seeing the NHS IAPT Wellbeing Service? The NHS primarily uses CBT as a quick fix but there are different approaches which you may benefit more from. If you would like more advice on this please ask.

    Hillwoman makes a very valid point that your high stress levels could be impacting your cortisol and therefore B12 and your GP should take this into account, but many seem uneducated. Someone on here may have knowledge of research showing how stress effects B12 that you could show your GP.

    Hold on in there, I know you must be feeling completely overwhelmed. Separate your problems into different areas, print off all the good advice you have received on this thread and write down helpful bits against each area and tackle one bit at a time. This will help you to get your thinking organised and allow you to prioritise the most important aspects to try and sort. Feeling like you have some control back over your life will help reduce your stress and make you feel more able to cope.

    Stay positive with support you will get through this x

  • I created a website and community about C-PTSD recovery. For this, I am looking for experienced trauma therapists or counselors. I am creating a (free) list so members of the community have easier access to the right help.

    You find the website here and please leave your e-mail so I can contact you in the near future.

    Kind regards,