Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Seeking Treatment

Most people experience adversity at some stage of their lives.

But for some people there are certain experiences that may be harder to recover from. Some never recover from a traumatic experience, and their lives never return to normal. These people can experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

These traumatic events may involve people being threatened or experiencing terrible harm, or horrible events that make people feel terrified and helpless. These events can be man-made, such as war, torture and other terrible traumas, or it may be after being exposed to the full force of a natural disaster where people are helpless and unable to fend for themselves.

How do I know if I, or someone I’m worried about, has PTSD?

Someone with PTSD will feel like their nerves are shot and they are forever marked by the unthinkable experience they endured. Their daily lives and relationships are affected.

Specific symptoms of PTSD can include:

  •  Re-experiencing the trauma, with no control over when or where.  These are strong flashbacks to the event, literally reliving it over and over, as if they were there all over again. These will often be accompanied by physical symptoms such as sweating, a racing heart, trembling, or nausea.  On top of this, they might suffer from nightmares of the event.  Many words, objects or situations can trigger a flashback, making day-to-day functioning difficult. This can also feedback to the person’s brain, making the damage worse. It is not surprising that a lot of effort is frequently allocated to avoiding these triggers.
  • Difficulty remembering parts of the traumatic event.  Along with this they may feel emotionally numb, guilty, depressed, or excessively worried.  In their attempts to avoid more flashbacks, or triggers, they may find that activities that they once found entertaining bring them no happiness anymore, or that they cannot do them at all.
  • Feeling too much emotion, rather than numbing.  Those with PTSD are often prone to mood swings, or have difficulty controlling their anger.  They may feel on edge, or become easily startled.
  • Insomnia, or lack of sleep. This is a very common symptom.  Insomnia often occurs continuously and so they create a very noticeable disruption, often affecting daily tasks, sleep patterns, eating habits and concentration.

What are the long terms effects of PTSD?

Family members can feel alienated, hurt, even discouraged when their loved one fails to overcome the trauma.  Their health can be at risk as they devote increasing amounts of time to helping their loved one, or start to tiptoe around on eggshells so their partner doesn’t get upset.  Continued social support is very important when dealing with PTSD. It can sometimes be preventative and often helps to provide comfort.  For this to stay strong, family and friends need to keep themselves healthy both for their own sake and to help the person suffering from PTSD.

What is the treatment for PTSD?

Rosalind is experienced in supporting with people with PTSD

Using evidence-based therapies with excellent outcomes, our team works with the client and ideally, the family and/or important relationship contacts to maximise function and increase feelings of control and help minimise the severity of symptoms.

A team approach is the best, and Southport Central Psychology has many years experience working very effectively with Psychiatrists and GPs to support traumatised people and their families.

If you feel you are experiencing any of these symptoms don’t hesitate to contact us via the contact page.