Medical PTSD Book
After the experiences I’ve had with being traumatized in various healthcare settings, I can see how PTSD from medical care is affecting me. When I talk to other people about the issue, the one comment I hear over and over is ‘no one talks about this.’ It’s time for that to change.

I would like to put together a book on medical PTSD, and illustrate how big of a problem it is through the telling of our stories. I am a US physician (D.O.), which I hope will lend some credibility to the project. The current thought is to open the book by talking about PTSD, especially complex PTSD, and then use our stories to illustrate this and show why it happens. My own story will be included, and I will help everyone edit their work so it fits together. Exactly how much of everyone’s story is used depends on the number of submissions and the stories themselves. You will have the final say on any editing or changes that need to be made to your specific story.

I would also like to include at least one other provider who has experienced PTSD from the medical care we provide. I know I have flashbacks to certain people and cases that went poorly. Medical PTSD can happen to anyone involved in or accessing medical care.

Other specific submissions I would like to include:
- LGBQA... persons, especially if your sexuality or identity has led to traumatic experiences
- transgender and gender non-conforming persons
- Intersex persons
- providers, especially if you’ve also been a patient and have PTSD from one or both
- People with rare, chronic illnesses that have been told “It’s Psychological.” Especially if it’s resulted in damage to your body that can’t be undone
- experiences with mental health treatment and PTSD from it

I will accept all submissions, though unfortunately I may not be able to include them all. You retain all rights to any submissions while the selection process is going on, but that could change if your story is included.

Ideally, I would like the proceeds from the book to mostly be donated. Depending on how well it does, there may be money left over to compensate everyone included in the book, but I can’t guarantee this. I will also get input from everyone involved about which organization(s) will receive donations.

Submissions are limited to 10,000 characters or approximately 1,500 words, but don’t have to be this long. It should be your own story, and can be one specific incidence or many. I’m interested more in your story, so don’t worry if you think what you wrote needs work. Submissions will be accepted until the book is finalized, however long that takes. My goal is to have the book published by the end of 2019, but I realize it could take longer than this.

Please use this form for submissions. If you have any questions about this project, please email me at

About Me:

Dr. Kimberley Jackson grew up in New Jersey and went to college at Rutgers University, where she graduated with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. She attended medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine, from which she graduated a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in 2008. After medical school, Dr. Jackson specialized in family medicine and practiced in Pueblo until 2012, when symptoms of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and other chronic illnesses forced her to leave practice.

She moved to Denver in 2013, where she is now using her experience as a physician and a person with disabilities to work on health policy issues in Colorado. Dr. Jackson helped to create a workshop about disability for medical providers, and has been to over a dozen clinics around the state to facilitate trainings. She serves on two committees for Colorado Medicaid: she is the vice chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee, and was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the State Medical Assistance and Services Advisory Council. Dr. Jackson is also a board member of the Phamaly theater company for people with disabilities, the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, and is president of the Atlantis ADAPT 501c3. She is also autistic, self advocates, and has presented on autism and activism.

Dr. Jackson currently lives in Windsor, CO. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, photography, and birding.

One of my many experiences:

Imagine this: you’re in so much pain you can barely move (with an extremely high pain tolerance) and call 911. The medics take you to the ER over bumpy roads with nothing for pain, each bump a knife in your side. You finally get to the ER, and despite having an alcohol allergy a nurse opens an alcohol swab right next to you. Suddenly, you’re in an allergic reaction and can’t talk or move for that matter, but are completely aware of what’s going on around you.
Aware of the ultrasound tech yelling at me to cooperate and why can’t I tell them where it hurts.
Aware of nurses getting louder and louder and yelling at me more about not cooperating the less I could respond. I wanted nothing more than to cooperate.
Aware of the ER doctor coming in and saying ’it’s gallstones and follow up with the surgeon,’ and then leaving without ever getting any sort of answer from me.
Aware of them shoving my discharge paperwork into my bag since I wouldn’t take it from them.
Aware of the smelling salts (ammonia) they put under my nose, twice, to ‘wake me up.’
Aware of the male nurse telling them they were being too nice, and putting smelling salts in an oxygen mask and on my face. I still couldn’t move, so it was there for a bit. I can smell the ammonia even now.
Aware of (presumedly the same) male nurse crushing my fingernail with a pen to try to wake me up. - still bruised the next day.
Aware of them finally picking me up and putting me in a wheelchair (not designed to push myself) and dumping me in the waiting room for a taxi. After all they had discharged me.
Aware of them getting pissy at me when I wanted to wait for my own ride instead of the taxi that I had no way of getting out of and to my door when I got home.
This was more traumatic than being sexually assaulted. And people wonder where PTSD from medical ‘care’ comes from. I have been mostly unable to talk since the alcohol swab too, and my voice has always come back overnight. It feels like I’ve been torn from the ‘real world’ and thrown into hell. Head down and back into it as always.
Unfortunately, I know more than a few people who have had similar or worse experiences.

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