Trauma & PTSD

Most people will experience at least one traumatic event in their lives.

Trauma can happen to anyone at any time. Whether a trauma occurs in infancy or late adulthood, the effects on our mental health tend to be similar.

 

Unlike most mental health issues, post-traumatic stress disorder is caused by something that happened “to” us.

 

Suffering from the effects of trauma does not mean we are weak. Rather, it means that we are human. As one of the most well-respected figures in psychology once said: 

 

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.”

-Viktor Frankl

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition that is defined by an indivdual having significant difficulties in their life due to a traumatic event. It is often under diagnosed, presumably because symptoms have significant overlap with other mental health issues—namely depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders.

   Common Symptoms of PTSD

 

  • Severe anxiety and panic at reminders of trauma

  • Need to check locks and scan parameter of house or room

  • Avoidance of people and places associated with the trauma

  • Hopelessness about the future

  • Volatile mood and quick temper

  • Withdrawal and isolation

  • Risky behavior such as substance abuse; engaging in physical altercations

  • Difficulties with relationships

  • Dissociation 

  • Nightmares related to the trauma 

  • Flashbacks 

Events associated with PTSD

For a diagnosis of PTSD someone has to directly have exposure to death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence in the following ways:

  • The traumatic event happened to you

  • Witnessing the trauma

  • Learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma

  • Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma

​Common traumatic events

 

  • Sexual, emotional, or physical abuse

  • Military combat

  • Natural Disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornados, or earthquakes 

  • Severe childhood neglect

  • Car accidents

  • Severe bullying or hazing

  • Violent altercations such as a shooting or being mugged 

Getting Help from a Trauma  

If you have experienced a trauma and are having a difficult time dealing with it, or if  you feel like you may be suffering from symptoms of PTSD, the first step reaching out to a knowledgeable and experienced professional. We have helped many people recover from brief and prolonged traumatic experiences and live satisfying, full, and meaningful lives.  

In addition to psychotherapy many people find it helpful to have a formal psychological assessment conducted by an experienced professional. This evaluation will not only assess for the presence of PTSD, but will also provide an in-depth conceptualization of your difficulties as well as thorough, detailed recommendations for treatment.

If you or anyone you know if having trouble coping with a traumatic event or a life time of traumatic events please contact us today.