Many of us have heard of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD. Some may have even been diagnosed with PTSD or feel as if a diagnosis is warranted. Studies have shown that between 6-9% of the adult population are diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lives.
PTSD can be diagnosed in individuals 6 years old and over. In order to be diagnosed, an individual must have had exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence by means of direct exposure, witnessing the event, learning that the event occurred to a family member or close friend, or repeated exposure to details of the event.
After a traumatic experience, it’s normal to feel frightened, sad, anxious, or disconnected. But if these symptoms don’t fade, you may be suffering from PTSD.
Individuals with PTSD will experience at least one of the following intrusive or unwanted symptoms: recurrent memories of the traumatic event, flashbacks, and physical/emotional distress in response to triggers. As a result, the person can often feel a strong sense of futility and helplessness… But there is hope and effective treatments are available!
Individuals who have experienced a traumatic event often attempt to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings related to the event. They may also avoid external reminders (e.g., people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that trigger memories, thoughts, or feelings about the event/s.
Those with PTSD often experience exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world; negative emotional states (e.g., fear, anger, guilt, shame); diminished interest in activities; detachment from others; or difficulties experiencing positive emotions.
Though you or a loved one may be relating to many of the symptoms mentioned, it’s important to get a proper assessment from a skilled healthcare professional. Psychologists can help teach you grounding techniques and work towards reducing the intense (and valid!) fears associated with your previous traumatic experiences.
Even though you or a loved one may not have had control over previous traumatic events in the past, PTSD is treatable, and you are now able to take back control of your life and work towards recovery with the help of a skilled professional.
Please consider reaching out for help if you or a loved one have experienced one or more traumatic events. Our psychologists offer gold-standard therapy for PTSD, contact us:
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