— Maria Robinson
PTSD & Trauma Recovery
- Are you avoiding people, places and things because they may cause recurrent traumatic memories?
- Do you struggle with being able to heal your past so that you can fully engage and enjoy your present?
- Have you experienced a traumatic event that has caused you anxiety and fear?
Trauma is the experience of severe psychological distress that occurs following a traumatic event or circumstance, and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a condition that results when individuals experience trauma and demonstrate a variety of ongoing and long lasting symptoms that interfere with the ability to function in one’s life. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, PTSD affects approximately 3.5% of the general population every year. In fact, 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.
While initially identified in combat veterans, PTSD can also result from traumatic experiences such as childhood abuse, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, sexual harassment or assault, traumatic or unexpected death of a loved one, accident or injury, terrorism or even natural disasters.
Symptoms of PTSD can be categorized in the following 4 areas:
- Reliving (ie intrusive memories, flashbacks/nightmares, ruminations on details such as date, time, person and place)
- Avoidance (ie intense effort to avoid places, people or things that reactivate traumatic memories)
- Behavioral Responses (ie hypervigilance, startle responses, self-destructive or reckless, self- sabotaging behavior)
- Changes in Thoughts/Mood (ie mood swings, overwhelming repetitive thoughts of guilt or shame, feeling detached)
For many people, PTSD is the “invisible condition” that often goes undetected, or may be diagnosed and treated for the manifesting symptoms of anxiety or depression, without ever fully understanding and exploring the impact of past trauma. As a result, those with PTSD often struggle to understand why they are unable to fully heal from their traumatic experiences. However, by utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions, there is hope and healing is possible.