Trauma: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Trauma: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when a traumatic event causes feelings of anxiety, fear and/or helplessness. It is not uncommon to associate PTSD with soldiers who have returned from war, but in reality it can occur to anyone who has experienced a trauma –from living it to observing it. This health condition can even occur in those who pick up the pieces after the event, such as family members, co-workers, friends, police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and/or hospital staff.

PTSD symptoms normally arise immediately following the traumatic event, but in some cases it can take weeks, months and/or years before they appear. Minds For The Future psychologists can help reduce your anxiety and manage your health condition so that you can live a productive life.

 

Symptoms:

  • Constantly reliving the traumatic event
  • Staying away from reminders of the trauma
  • Dread, anxiety and/or emotional sensitivity
  • Frequent flashbacks of the traumatic event
  • Nightmares and/or night terrors
  • Severe physical reactions  (rapid breathing, accelerated heartbeat, nausea, sweating and muscle tension)

 

Causes:

  • War
  • Natural disasters
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Car accidents
  • Plane crashes
  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual and/or physical assault

 

Treatments:

  • Expose Yourself: It is common to want to avoid any reminders of traumatic experience. Minds For The Future psychologists can help you carefully and gradually expose yourself to the thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind you of the trauma. During sessions, your psychologist will help you identify upsetting, disturbing and/or irrational thoughts stemming from the traumatic event. Your psychologist will then teach you how to replace those thoughts with healthier and more positive ones.
  • Seek Support: Experiencing and/or witnessing a traumatic event can create feelings of isolation and hopelessness, especially when you feel like no one understands or cares. Minds For The Future psychologists can help you reach out to those who care about you. During sessions, your psychologist will suggest that you reconnect with loved ones and friends. Your psychologist may also suggest that you join a support group for PTSD survivors so that you do not feel alone.
  • Recognise Your PTSD Triggers: It is not uncommon to experience PTSD flashbacks when you come in contact with triggers and/or reminders of the traumatic event. Minds For The Future psychologists can help you recognise your PTSD triggers (birth dates and anniversary dates, places, people and/or objects and/or smells, sights and/or sounds). During sessions, your psychologist will help you recognise your PTSD triggers so that you can accurately process your feelings and effectively control your emotions and behaviours.
  • Change Your Perception: When you have experience a trauma it can change the way you see yourself, the world and others. In fact, it can leave you feeling helpless, hostile and powerless. Minds For The Future psychologists can restore your sense of power by helping you change the way you view yourself, in regards to the trauma. During sessions, your psychologist will teach you how to see yourself not as a “victim” but rather as a “survivor.”

 

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