Trauma is the fallout from experiencing or witnessing a frightening event, such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse; accidents; natural disasters or deaths. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) results from severe or multiple traumas that have never been resolved and continue to have an ongoing and devastating impact upon one’s life. Not all traumatic experiences cause PTSD, and what may cause trauma and/or PTSD for one person may have little noticable effect upon another.
A trauma victim may experience flashbacks and dreams of the event, hyper-vigilance, depression, sleeping difficulties, and problems with relationships. Alternately, the event may cause the victim to numb-out emotionally. Fear, anxiety, anger, depression, guilt, addictions, and self harm may also be reactions to trauma. These reactions may occur at the time of the trauma or even years later. These reactions can persist and affect a person for months, even years. Often people do not see a connection between the traumatic event and their current relational, professional, school, work, personal, or family problems
How Do I Know If I Have or Someone I Know Has PTSD
The experience of PTSD is different for everyone. Typical symptoms of PTSD may include feeling detached or emotionally numb, as well as, nightmares, severe anxiety, or flashbacks. Sometimes we notice the symptoms in ourselves and, sometimes, it’s the ones close to us who notice.
Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
• Experienced a life-threatening or traumatizing event
• Recurrent thoughts about the trauma
• Nightmares related to the trauma
• Being triggered by reminders of the trauma
• Being triggered by anything associated with the trauma
• Avoiding thoughts, feelings, places, related to the trauma
• Not remembering part of or all of the trauma
• Feeling number and/or having diminished interest in life
• Trouble sleeping
• Difficulty with concentration
• Getting startled easily
• Hypervigilance (anxiously aware of your surroundings)
• Irritability or outbursts of anger
• Children may act out the trauma in play
Trauma/Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Trauma is nothing anyone wants to go through. Whether its a car accident, mugging, physical assault, war, rape, sexual abuse, or other forms of trauma, it all can cause post traumatic stress disorder. PTSD leaves one feeling fearful, angry, defective, and sometimes hopeless about life. After trauma we often feel vulnerable and can lose trust in humanity and the world.
Therapy for PTSD starts with creating a safe place for you to talk about your struggle and eventually work on the trauma. Therapists understand that the last thing that most people who have been through a trauma want to do is talk about it, so most therapists wait until you feel comfortable and ready. Unfortunately, the way to recover from trauma is to work through it and process it. The avoidance of thinking of or talking about the trauma is what keeps the PTSD alive.
Fortunately there are effective treatments for PTSD. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), which are A rated treatments by the American Psychological Assocation for PTSD can all help you get life back and stop being tormented by your trauma.
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