Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Most people experience adversity at some stage of their lives. Such events often invoke strong emotional reactions such as anxiety, fear, sadness, grief and depression. These processes are normal responses to difficult situations. People are usually able to process these events and ultimately move on and regain full function.
There are other experiences that may be harder to recover from. These may involve people being threatened or experiencing terrible harm, horrible events that make people feel terrified and helpless. The 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 event that rendered people helpless to fend for themselves. Even after experiencing some of these types of events, many make a full recovery over time.
Symptoms of PTSD
For some, their lives never return to normal. Their nerves are shot and they are forever marked by the unthinkable experience they endured. Their daily lives and relationships are affected. These people are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
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. Those suffering from PTSD will often have 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.
Lastly are the symptoms that involve 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 is also a common symptom. These symptoms often occur continuously and so they create a very noticeable disruption, often affecting daily tasks, sleep patterns, eating habits and concentration.
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.
Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Using evidence-based therapies with excellent outcomes, Rosalind 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 Rosalind has many years experience working very effectively with Psychiatrists and GP’s to support traumatised people and their families.
Speak to Rosalind today by referring to our Contact page or by Phoning her on 07 55 911 411.