PTSD : Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Events from the past, big or small, can have a long-lasting impact. But they don't have to continue to have an effect today or in the future.

Do any of these apply to you (or someone you know)?  :-

  • You repeatedly re-experience the traumatic event

  • Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event

    • Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)

    • Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)

    • Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma

    • Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)

  • You avoid reminders of the trauma

    • Avoiding activities, places, thoughts or feelings that remind you of the trauma

    • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma

    • Loss of interest in activities and life in general

    • Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb

    • Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)

  • Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

    • Difficulty falling or staying asleep

    • Irritability or outbursts of anger

    • Difficulty concentrating

    • Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)

    • Feeling jumpy and easily startled

Other common symptoms of PTSD may be:

  • Anger and irritability

  • Guilt, shame or self-blame

  • Substance abuse

  • Feelings of mistrust or betrayal

  • Depression and hopelessness

  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings

  • Feeling alienated and alone

  • Physical aches and pains.

In children, especially the very young, the symptoms of PTSD can be different than those of adults. They may include:

  • Fear of being separated from parent

  • Losing previously-acquired skills (such as toilet training)

  • Sleep problems and nightmares without recognizable content

  • Somber, compulsive play in which themes or aspects of the trauma are repeated

  • New phobias and anxieties that seem unrelated to the trauma (such as a fear of monsters)

  • Acting out the trauma through play, stories, or drawings

  • Aches and pains with no apparent cause

  • Irritability and aggression

 

The sooner PTSD is confronted, the easier it is to overcome. If you’re reluctant to seek help, keep in mind that PTSD is not a sign of weakness, and the only way to overcome it is to confront what happened to you and learn to accept it as a part of your past. This process is much easier with the guidance and support of an experienced therapist.

It’s only natural to want to avoid painful memories and feelings. But if you try to numb yourself and push your memories away, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will only get worse. You can’t escape your emotions completely—they emerge under stress or whenever you let down your guard—and trying to do so is exhausting. The avoidance will ultimately harm your relationships, your ability to function, and the quality of your life.

Annie uses a technique which helps lower arousal from memories of the trauma. It does not require the client to go into details about the event. It is gentle, and works using the latest neuropsychological understandings.  

PTSD isn’t about whats wrong with you, its about what happened to you.