Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Are you suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD as it is commonly known, can affect anyone.  It is usually associated with veterans returning from war zones having experienced or witnessed traumatic events.  However, there are many situations where a person could experience a traumatic event in a way that is threatening and overwhelming for the conscious mind to process.

If a person is confronted by an event that inolved actual or threatened death, serious injury or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others they could suffer with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

When someone experiences a traumatic event the mind may not be able to process it properly.  Our brain has in-built survival mechanisms to keep us alive.  When these survival mechanisms come into play during extreme situations they can over-ride our conscious processing.  When the conscious mind has not been able to process events then the intense emotions associated with the event can seem to be free-floating!  They are constantly being triggered which causes extreme distress to the sufferer!  You could think of PTSD as being a bit like a phobia constantly sitting on your shoulder!  In many cases, as the mind attempts to block the feelings, it will cause a person to avoid certain things, develop a sense of detachment and lose interest in their normal activities.

You don’t have to be involved in the event itself – being a witness to something can also be overwhelming!  The events don’t have to be major events associated with PTSD either.  We commonly think of things like military combat, road accidents, rape, abuse and victims of crime.  Its worth bearing in mind that people can be traumatised in childhood by events that an adult may not recognise as being traumatic.  Children have limited understanding and their brains are not mature enough to process events in the same way as an adult.

Symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

• flashbacks and feeling like the event is being relived
• intrusive thoughts and images
• hyper-vigilance and exaggerated startle response
• intense distress at exposure to anything to do with the trauma
• avoiding situations that remind you of the trauma
• amnesia for certain aspects of the event
• feeling detached and/or emotionally numb
• unable to express affection or have loving feelings
• depression and/or anxiety
• sleep disturbances (falling or staying asleep) and/or nightmares
• outbursts of anger and irritability
• difficulty concentrating
• feeling or detachment from others
• inability to see a future

I have had additional training to help people suffering with post traumatic stress disorder and use a number of techniques including timeline reprocessing, working with imagery, eye movement integration and emotional freedom techniques (EFT).  However, its important to be aware that the unconscious may need some work to help it calm down initially.

If you think you are suffering with PTSD please give me a call on 07703 211449 or email adele@adelerichmond.com to discuss how I might be able to help.

*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.