PTSD, dissociation, sexual abuse trauma counselling in New Zealand



My name is Xanthe Wyse. Diagnosed bipolar 1 disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder.

I am moderately dissociating in this video – brain going off line. Got triggered by it’s not necessarily obvious as I have the freeze/shutdown presentation of PTSD.

The PTSD is mostly from childhood sexual abuse trauma and rape trauma. I expressed some anger about it in my last video, slicing up a sculpture I made from repurposed materials from the op shop. At the end of the video, the records were separated. The records represent PTSD. The yellow mainly represents my current name. Pink mainly represents my old name. It was subconsious and meaningful to me that they were separated. I have been processing my name change recently and yellow and pink are integrating. Left with a phoenix currently (on the wall now).

Song lyrics on the records. I read out some of the lyrics (reassembled) from Arlandria (Foo Fighters) which represents PTSD from childhood trauma for me.

The childhood presentation of PTSD has avoidance and freeze/shutdowns. Dissociating a lot is being stuck in a ‘freeze’ state which can be indicator of trauma. A lot of people are not familiar with childhood presentation of PTSD, including treatment providers.

In New Zealand, free counselling from ACC can be provided for PTSD from sexual violence including historical sexual abuse. Under ‘sensitive claims’ department. Can be difficult to get into this though but can go to GP and say sexual abuse and want ACC counselling (don’t need to tell GP the details). ACC tried to get out of it for me but a trauma psychologist advocated strongly to take me on as a vulnerable person.

Suicide risk is high with PTSD. The ‘quiet’ freeze/shutdown/dissociation type can be more severe than those going into fight/flight. Changing one’s name can be part of severe PTSD (I did this myself – trying to avoid plus survive). Not feeling safe in one’s own body and environment can be part of severe PTSD.

Mental health services in NZ diagnoses depression, bipolar, anxiety etc. But they often don’t think to look at trauma. It’s a pain how it’s split out. But this is how the system works here in NZ. Someone with severe PTSD will likely need help navigating the system as too traumatised to navigate it on their own. Hopefully this video helps.

ACC referred me to this site: findsupport.co.nz

ACC told me a site with a helpline and some info is findsupport.co.nz

Source: Youtube