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post traumatic stress disorder after a burglary

(5 Posts)
theftb Tue 12-Nov-13 16:47:00

a relative had a burglary about 4 years ago, saw the burglar running out of the house past her on the drive, but was unharmed. Shortly after this, she moved away for work, so rented the house out.
Last year she returned to the house.
Over the years, the burglary has never really been mentioned, in fact, we all thought it had been long forgotten. About 2 months ago she started having severe anxiety attacks. Started on ADS, (even tho never felt depressed), had horrific side effects which resulted in her being admitted to hosp, as had suicidal thoughts. Throughout the counselling she has been having, the burglary keeps on being mentioned over and over again, and her therapist is wondering if the burglary had a greater impact than we all thought. Has anyone else had an extreme reaction to something relatively minor some years later? (i know burglary is not minor, but may be perceived to be compared to other reasons for PTSD)

PacificDogwood Tue 12-Nov-13 16:50:33

There is a very accurate set of symptoms/timings to be fulfilled for a formal diagnosis of 'PTSD'; of course anybody can be affected by post-traumatic stress without meeting the definition of 'PTDS'.

She may need to see a psychiatrist to get a formal diagnosis which can then lead to more targeted help beyond standard counselling.

But yes, relatively minor seeming events can have a long aftereffect.

PacificDogwood Tue 12-Nov-13 16:52:19

Diagnositc criteria

coffeeandcream Tue 12-Nov-13 17:05:18

Her home, her sanctuary if you like, the one place someone should have as their safe space ( I realise this isn't always the reality for everyone) has been invaded and violated in a way.

That is awful and she must be feeling very anxious and insecure. It's very common to have a delayed onset if PTSD, but people who get it like this often lack the support they need because others think they should 'be over' what happened.

Hope she'll be ok

HoopHopes Tue 12-Nov-13 22:11:34

She could ask her gp for a referral to a psychiatrist for a diagnosis and assessment. That may help the counsellor treat her appropriately. Counsellors cannot officially diagnose - I once had a private counsellor suggest a certain diagnosis, tried treating me a certain way that actually was quite damaging for me as it was incorrect. I agreed with the counsellor at the time as it is easily to be influenced and it has taken a long time for the damage to be sorted which is why I would suggest an official diagnosis by a psychiatrist or member of their team.

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