What Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) describes a trauma and stress related disorder experienced after a trauamtic experience or incident. Whether something is traumatic is defined by a person's subjective experience of it as opposed to the event itself. After a trauma most people will experience some trauma type symptoms. Experiencing trauma symptoms is a normal part of the healing process. This is our attempt to integrate the trauma, process it and heal from it.
Most people recover from trauma and are able to re-enter their normal lives after a few weeks. Sometimes this is not possible as they struggle to integrate and process a trauma. When this happens they might be experiencing PTSD symptoms.
Traumatic Situations Which Can Cause PTSD.
Traumatic situations which might cause PTSD could include anything an individual finds traumatic. PTSD occurs on civvy street as well as in the armed forces. Eaxmples of things which could cause PTSD include: car accident, physical attack, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, traumatic operation or physical procedure, witnessing a violent assault, being involved in a natural disaster, first hand experience of a terrorist incident or sudden loss of a close loved one
Risk of Developing PTSD.
Anyone can develop PTSD symtoms at any time of their lives following something that they have experienced as traumatic. There are factors which can increase the liklihood of developing PTSD. These include: how traumatic the incident was. If there was a serous threat to life involved it is more likely to cause PTSD. If you have experienced multiple traumas, if you have experienced trauma as part of a close attachment relationship, the level of professional and personal support you have in your life, your upbringing and how long a period of time the trauma or multiple traumas went on for.
PTSD symptoms vary from person to person. There are groups of symtoms which you might experience as part of a PTSD experience. These can include: intrusion symptoms, persistant avoidence, negative alterations in cognitions and moods and alterations in arousal and reactivity. There are also groups of negative beliefs which charaterise PTSD symtoms. These often relate to issues around: safety, self defectiveness, responsibility, control and choices made at the time of the trauma.
PTSD Frequently Asked Questions
When we experience trauma and are left with trauma or PTSD symptoms we might not know we are suffering from trauma which might have long since passed. You might suspect you are having issues with PTSD but have a number of questions which you would like the answer to. Examples might include: what is PTSD, who develps PTSD, what are the symtoms, what treatment is available, how you can help yourself or how common it is. Please click the below link if you would like some answers to these questions.
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