Trauma / PTSD

Trauma refers to any event that a person feels disturbed or upset by, especially when those feelings linger. Everyone does not see events in the same way. Whether an event was traumatic for you, or whether you develop lingering PTSD symptoms will depend on how you perceive the event and your past experiences. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), occurs when a person is exposed to an event involving, actual or threatened serious injury, or death by either being directly exposed or witnessing the trauma. PTSD can also develop if a person is indirectly exposed to aversive details of the trauma, in the course of professional duties (e.g., first responders, medics)

The following are typical symptoms of PTSD. In reviewing these, see if you have experienced any of these as this should be discussed with your therapist.

     • Unwanted upsetting memories

     • Nightmares

     • Flashbacks

     • Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders

     • Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders

Avoidance of trauma-related thoughts or feelings or external reminders.

Negative thoughts or feelings that began or worsened after the trauma like:

     • Inability to recall key features of the trauma

     • Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world

     • Exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma

     • Negative affect

     • Decreased interest in activities

     • Feeling isolated

     • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions

Symptoms can worsened after the trauma:

     • Irritability or aggression

     • Risky or destructive behavior

     • Hypervigilance

     • Heightened startle reaction

     • Difficulty concentrating

     • Difficulty sleeping

If you think you have any of these symptoms, it can be difficult to face them alone. Help is here and counseling does work to improve and eliminate symptoms.

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