Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Unfortunately, there are many people living with untreated PSTD in the workplace or even within our families. This can be a result of being a victim of violent crime, sexual assault, abuse, road traffic accidents to name just a few.
Those with PTSD may experience the following:
- Reliving the event through flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and imagery, nightmares.
- Physical symptoms such as sweating, pain, nausea.
- Extreme alertness, feeling on edge.
- Sleep disturbances.
- Irritability or aggressive behaviour.
- Avoidance of situations that remind them of the trauma, by keeping busy, being detached from others, repressing memories and substance misuse.
Other mental health problems may develop alongside PTSD, such as severe anxiety, a panic disorder, a dissociative disorder, depression or suicidal thoughts.
How can PTSD be treated and what is the hope?
Many people with PTSD find it incredibly reassuring to know that trauma, and any resulting survivor guilt, can be resolved. It is not something that we have to live with.
Sometimes, simply having an understanding of the fight or flight response can be enough to make a difference in some cases, and equally important is to understand that 'freeze' is not a choice but a natural bodily mechanism. It can be easy after the event to look back and wonder what you might have done differently, however unless you are trained to deal with such mortal situations, it is unlikely you will have the ability to override the body's natural response.
How we can help with PTSD
Support from a counsellor or psychotherapist who is specifically trained to help individuals who have experienced deeply traumatic events to process the memory so that they are not triggered by situations that they have come to associate with the event.
The list of possible triggers is numerous and will depend on what the individual saw and heard at that specific time.
If the information covered within this article has triggered any feelings for you and you would like to talk to us about how we might be able to support you coming to terms with a traumatic event in your life, then please do get in touch. You can call us on 01270 764003.