Post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder, that begins after a traumatic event, that event may involve a real or perceived threat or injury or death. An individual with PTSD may relive a traumatic experience through nightmares, memories or flashbacks, the keep them safe they may avoid reminders of their traumatic experience, to prevent emotional distress and unwanted thoughts or memories reoccurring.
What causes PTSD
PTSD ca occur after any type of physically, emotional and psychologically traumatic event, there are different types of events which could trigger this below are some common examples;
- Sexual abuse or assault.
- Domestic violence.
- Unexpected deaths/ serious injury of a loved one or someone close to you.
- Natural disasters.
- Near death experience.
- Terrorist attack.
Signs and Symptoms
Intrusive memories :
- Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event.
- Serve emotional distress or physical reactions to situations which may remind you of the traumatic event.
- Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event.
- Experiencing flashbacks which may feel like you are reliving the traumatic experience over again.
- Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event.
- Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event.
Changes in thinking and mood:
- Negative thoughts about the world around you or yourself.
- Feeling emotionally numb.
- Difficulty experiencing positive emotions.
- Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event.
- Feeling detached from the world around you or from loved ones.
- Hopelessness about the future.
Changes In physical and emotional reactions:
- Being easily startled or frightened.
- Overwhelming guilt or shame.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Irritability, angry outburst or aggressive behaviour.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Self destructive behaviour.
How Therapy can help
Therapy can be a safe space for you to talk about your traumatic experience, in a safe non judgmental environment. Your therapist will help you throughout the trajectory of your recovery, helping you to work through the event in an empathetic healthy way, supporting you in regaining control of your emotional and psychological wellbeing.