Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is likely present when past traumatic experiences will not remain in the past and they continue to interfere and intrude upon your present life. PTSD can occur at any age after the first year of life and can lead to great emotional, physical, and relational stress if it is left untreated. Not everyone that experiences a traumatic event goes on to experience PTSD, but many people do. About 8 million adults have PTSD in each year (US Department of Veteran Affairs). PTSD is not only experienced in war veterans, people that have experienced childhood abuse and domestic violence also experience these symptoms. It is important to be able to identify the symptoms and get help in treating them to heal the chronic emotional and mental pain that PTSD causes.
What does PTSD feel like?
Do any of these sound like what you have been experiencing?
- You have experienced or been exposed to serious injury, sexual violence, emotional/mental abuse?
- The past keeps creeping into the present?
- Perhaps you are having nightmares or times when you are awake, and you feel like memories and thoughts of the past won’t stop coming up?
- Feeling disconnected or detached from friends and family?
- Feeling like you can’t have deep meaningful relationships?
- Feeling keyed up or on edge most of the time?
- Trying to avoid anything that reminds you of past experiences?
- Afraid to fall asleep because you may dream of the past?
- Difficulty remembering important aspects of past traumatic events that you have experienced?
- Negative beliefs about yourself, others, and the world?
- Feeling everything is your fault?
- Feelings of shame that won’t go away?
- A constant feeling of “blah”?
- Irritability and angry outbursts?
- Self-destructive behaviors?
- Difficulty concentrating?
- Difficulty getting quality sleep?
Do you find that the experiences that you checked above are interfering with the life you desire to have? Have you felt lost and disconnected for so long that you aren’t sure you can get to the life you see others having, a life that you dream of?
If you have checked 2 or more of the experiences listed above, it may be beneficial for you to discuss with a health-care provider how you can get help in healing through these experiences. Time does not heal all wounds and for those that it doesn’t, there is help available. There are many treatment options that help people work through the past and develop a healthier and happier present life.
There are certain types of therapy that research has found to the be the most helpful in treating PTSD symptoms. Some of these include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy. When you are working through past traumatic experiences it is important that you not only work with a therapist that is able to apply a therapy approach that is effective, but it is also important that you work with a therapist that is trained and experienced in treating trauma related stress. Contact me today to further discuss how we might work together towards a healed future.