Have you experienced a traumatic event? Are you suffering from lingering fear and anxiety? Do you feel like you no longer have any control over how you think, feel and behave?
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, series of events or set of circumstances. An individual may experience this as emotionally or physically harmful or life-threatening and may affect mental, physical, social, and/or spiritual well-being. Individuals that have endured traumatic events suffers from psychological harm.
After experiencing a traumatic event, the human system of self-preservation seems to go into permanent alert as if the danger might return. If your brain perceives something as life threatening, it activates an immediate emergency response throughout your body. This response, called fight or flight, puts your body on high alert and releases hormones like adrenaline and norepinephrine. Fight or flight increases your chance of survival by shifting your body’s focus and effort to managing the stressful situation.
Following a traumatic event, traumatized individuals tend to relive the event as though it were continuing to occur in the present. Individuals may sometimes report that they cannot resume the normal course of their lives-sometimes individuals are unaware that they are struggling to resume the normal course of their live. In this case, some individuals may report the following issues.
· Difficulty with trusting others when there is not a threat
· Difficulty communicating thoughts and emotions
· Difficulty with identifying emotions and thoughts (dissociation)
· Flash backs
· Panic attacks
· Anger issues
· Emotional regulation issues
· Suicidal ideation
· Difficulty with maintaining healthy relationships with significant others/loved ones
· Issues with memory
· Issues with feeling “safe” whether a real or imagined threat is being presented
· Mood swings
· OCD tendencies
Are you someone that has experienced any of the following during your lifetime?
· Sexual abuse/molestation?
· Abandonment from a parent/or caregiver as a child or even an adult?
· Infidelity from a partner
· Parentification-from a parent or caregiver
· Generational trauma/abuse
· Workplace trauma
· Relationship trauma/Intimate partner violence and bullying
· Spiritual/religious trauma
If so, all the following can be considered traumatic events, whether it occurred in childhood or adulthood. Experiencing traumatic events play a role in the way we see ourselves, the way we see others, and the way we experience the world. Trauma can affect several areas of our life. There is no doubt that trauma shapes our world view in terms of the way we see the world as far as what “feels” safe, whether there is a real or imagined threat (triggers).
Trauma tends to rob us of “feeling safe” -feeling that we are not n control of ourselves. Recovery looks like reestablishing ownership of our mind, and body. This sometimes entails finding a way to feel safe and calm, learning to maintain the feeling of feeling “safe” when we are feeling triggered, and finding a way to live in the present, despite what has happened to you.
Unfortunately, what has happened to us cannot be undone. However, the imprints that trauma has left on our mind, body, etc. can be dealt with by engaging in trauma therapy. We are a symptom focused practice that focuses on assessing for symptoms and determining the appropriate approach to take with each client. We utilize a variety of modalities to treat individuals that may be experiencing PTSD symptoms. Psychological treatment for PTSD such as trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, Eye movement desensitization Reprocessing therapy, Cognitive processing therapy, as well as other evidence-based modalities.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing any of the above symptoms, maybe its time to give therapy a try.