Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental health condition that can be caused when someone is exposed to a traumatic event. Many people who go through a traumatic event will experience negative emotions, thoughts and memories.When these negative reactions don’t go away, and interfere with someone’s daily life, then they might be suffering from PTSD.

The symptoms of PTSD can cause issues at work or home or stop us from doing things that we care about. PTSD symptoms fall into four categories: re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, negative changes in mood and cognition, and arousal symptoms. We usually have some of each.

Re-experiencing PTSD symptoms include having upsetting memories or dreams about the trauma. Some people feel like they are going through the trauma all over again when they experience these symptoms. Other things that can make someone feel like they are re-experiencing the trauma include avoiding situations that remind them of the event, being very alert or watchful, and feeling emotionally numb.

Avoidance symptoms are when a person tries to avoid anything that could remind them of the traumatic event. This can include people, places, thoughts, or feelings related to the event. People with PTSD may also feel like they are unable to remember important details about the event.

Negative changes in mood and cognition PTSD symptoms can be things like feeling hopeless or ashamed after the trauma, difficulty concentrating or thinking straight, and feeling jumpy or easily startled.

Arousal symptoms are when a person feels overly alert or tense, has trouble sleeping, and experiences angry outbursts.

PTSD can make it hard for you to go about your daily life. You may find yourself constantly thinking about the event that triggered this condition, or feeling upset or avoiding things and people that you care about. It's hard to get through your day, and you don't know how to cope with the negative thoughts and memories that keep coming back.

The good news is that there is help available right now - PTSD does not have to be a lifelong condition - you can get better with the right treatment. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and EMDR are both effective for PTSD.

So please seek out help if you feel like you might be suffering from PTSD. Send me a message if you would like to discuss this in confidence.