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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The author reflects on her bout of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) as well as her encounters with psychiatrists/psychotherapists and other mental health professionals. She recalls first being admitted to a psychiatric ward in 1996, to be followed by many more admissions for crisis intervention, self-harm, and suicide attempts. She says the therapy she received was sometimes traumatic and exacerbated the distress of her symptoms, while also significantly delaying her recovery. She thinks that the mental health care professionals, including psychiatrists, did not seem to understand what she was telling them about her thyroid illness. Had this been diagnosed and treated properly, its impact on her life would not have been as great as it was. Finally, she stresses the importance of a holistic approach in helping patients recover, recognizing when it is time to stop therapy, and the ethics of listening and “being heard” as part of psychotherapy.

Keywords: complex post-traumatic stress disorder, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, mental health professionals, thyroid illness, holistic approach, mental illness, ethics, psychotherapy, listening

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