What is trauma and PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that occurs after a person experiences a traumatic event. Everyone copes in their own way, so a traumatic event such as violence, war or a natural disaster can cause PTSD in one person and not another. PTSD symptoms may also vary from one person to the next depending on the impact of the trauma.
PTSD is a lasting, lingering consequence of a traumatic event. Symptoms often imitate other anxiety disorders, leaving a person unable to live a healthy life. It is caused by intense fear, helplessness or horror. People commonly experience PTSD after violence, assault, abuse, an accident, a natural disaster or even after a loved one is harmed or in danger.
Normal emotional reactions to a traumatic event, such as shock, anger, nervousness and fear go away over time. For an individual suffering from PTSD, symptoms do not dissipate and can even increase over time. Eventually they can become debilitating and prevent a person from succeeding at work or school.
PTSD symptoms are most likely to begin within 3-6 months of the event; however there are cases where individuals do not develop PTSD for years after the event. Like all mental illnesses, the severity and frequency of the symptoms varies from person to person. Generally speaking, the following are common PTSD symptoms:
- Flashbacks, hallucinations, nightmares or reliving the ordeal through thoughts with distress
- Avoidance of places, people and situations that remind them of the trauma
- Detachment and isolation from others
- Problems socializing in groups, difficulty showing affection or emotion, or exhibiting excessive emotional responses
- Changes in sleeping patterns, irritability, outbursts of anger or violence
- Feeling tense, stressed or constantly on edge
PTSD treatment is mainly accomplished through psychotherapy (counseling). Our experienced team of mental health professionals understands that each client is different and that their PTSD treatment program should be tailored around their specific needs. PTSD treatment at our facility may include a combination of individual treatment, group therapy and family treatment to address the various aspects of an individual’s recovery and provide them with optimal support for long-term recovery.