What is PTSD?
You hear about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the news, in movies and on TV. But what is it really? And could you be suffering from it?
PTSD affects both young and old people. It affects men and women. And it’s fairly common. In fact 24.4 Million Americans suffer from the signs and symptoms of PTSD. That is 8% of our population. So if you think you might have PTSD, you wouldn’t be alone.
PTSD occurs in some people after they have lived through a frightening event. Some examples from my psychotherapy practice include:
- Natural Disasters
- Violent Crimes
- Abuse- Childhood and Adult
- Car Accidents
- Medical Procedures
What Signs and Symptoms of PTSD Should You Look For?
The top signs of PTSD include:
- intrusive thoughts
- Increased reactivity
- sleep problems
- anger, irritability
Generally, symptoms fall into two categories. The first category is the intrusive symptoms. Those are symptoms that burst in and disrupt our peace of mind.
The second category is the avoidance symptoms. Over the years, many clients have confided in me about the steps they take to avoid specific activities, locations, and topics. They do this because they are so afraid that they will be reminded of the trauma they survived.
Changes in thinking, mood and body reactions are common too. You may find that your thinking becomes soured and that you start to see people through a dark lens. Hopelessness and lack of interest can occur too.
Trauma Damages Relationships
Frightening and potentially life threatening events can leave their mark on us. And the mark they leave behind can be one that doesn’t fade easily. They can negatively impact our brains, our nervous systems for years afterwards.
Relationship trouble can also rear its head if, in an effort to find relief, you misuse drugs or alcohol. But that is not the only way trauma damages relationship. Trauma can breed fear and mistrust of other, ourselves and even shake our faith in the basic goodness of life. Many clients have confided in me the pain of spiritual damage done by trauma.
Many of the clients I’ve worked with have suffered problems in their relationships as a result of PTSD. Some have found themselves always revved up. They never feel calm and their friends and partners complain. Others, talk about feeling on guard, anxious and having difficulty trusting. Still others have found themselves moody, depressed or angry.
But those are not the only ways that PTSD damages relationships. Some of my clients have described to me feeling numb. Others talk about isolating themselves from others or becoming “workaholics”. They work inordinately long hours so that they can avoid thinking or feeling too much.
Help For Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – There Is Hope
It’s important for you to know that there is hope. We are fortunate to live in an age when we know what trauma is, and we have a variety of trauma therapies available. It’s just a matter of finding a good, caring experienced trauma therapist. That person can guide you through the trauma recovery process
For my entire career, I’ve been helping clients to recover from the effects of trauma. I’ve been fortunate to have helped many people reclaim the sense of calm confidence that is our birthright.
It can be scary, or embarrassing to consider even touching on traumatic experiences, a skilled and trauma informed therapist will be able to guide and support you through this process of resolving your trauma. If you would like to know more about my approach to Trauma and PTSD Therapy, please contact me or click on the link.