Psychiatry & Psychology--General/PTSD, maybe, maybe not?

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Question
I'm an 18 year old female. Just graduated high school last week. I have been working with our EMS service for 10 months now. I have a pretty stoic personality and can get through a heck of a lot without it negatively affecting me. However I am terrified of horror movie stuff, not the blood and guts kind of stuff...I'm just afraid of the situations and scene. Well I was on call last night and we got a call like that. It was an apparent suicide where the guy had hung himself. It was the middle of the night out in a run down shed with boards missing, paint completely gone... you got it? My first thought was who would be out in the middle of night looking for this!? Its only been 24 hours since the call and all I can think about when I am in the dark or alone is that scene in my head and I get just absolutely terrified and my heart pounds. Am I already suffering from PTSD. I love my job and would not trade it for anything. The other EMTs on with me last night, some in 30 years of experience said it was scary for them. I'm freaking myself out.

Answer
Hi, Brooke, thanks for your question. The answer is, it's pretty much impossible for someone to diagnose you over the internet. In addition, it seems that it might be possible for your mind to be 'playing tricks on you', in the sense that the situation seemed straight out of a horror movie. IOW, it wasn't so much the experience that traumatized you, as it was the thought that this was a 'real life' horror movie. IOW, it would have been worse if some dramatic music was playing, and if there was someone making ghost sounds ("oooooooooo").

In addition, you may have experienced events that were potentially more traumatic. So, it may not have been the scene itself, but more your thoughts about it.

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.

Expertise

any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology

Experience

15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

Organizations
American Psychological Association

Education/Credentials
B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

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