I believe that in certain cercumstances it can be extreamly benefical and therapeutic for a patient to hear about your experience and see that there is hope. While it is not appropriate in all cercumstances, not the majority in fact, I have done this as it was one of the most powerful things that helped me in my recovery. I too went into psych because I too have PTSD, anxiety, and depression (they all fall under PTSD). I was in a psych hospital myself, twice actually. I do not tell my patients this. But, the most powerful thing I ever experienced while in a psych facility was a Psych Nursing Assistant sitting down next to me at a time in my life that I was most vulnerable and scared and did not want to be here any more, and listening to her tell me that she too had once been sitting right where I sat. She too had been struggling with depression and she is better now, she is working at the very place that she once was completely broken in. She now sat one the same bench that she was at her lowest, looking at a woman and helping her become strong again. Giving her hope for a future. Letting her know that there is hope in recovery. There is now doubt in my mind that his was the most powerful thing I have ever gotten as a patient. I will forever carry this with me.
Again, as long as it is therapeutic for the patient, I believe it falls under therapeutic communication. She saved my life. You never know how much you can touch someone by showing them that you understand and how far you have come. I have gained more respect from my patients by doing this. They come to me now instead of hurting themselves. And even when I don't share my story, I know how to talk to them. I take pride in having a mental illness. I don't know how they feel but I know what it's like to be stigmatized, to be in the hell hole of a mental hospital, and to just want to be heard. It's such a powerful tool.