Trauma represents a profound loss of control following an event. Posttraumatic stress (PTSD) is a common reaction to traumatic or stressful events and takes many forms. It can come up immediately after the experience or even years later. People may or may not experience PTSD after a trauma, but they might also experience responses to trauma that are not diagnostically categorized as PTSD.
Here are some examples of traumatic events:
• Sexual or Physical Abuse
• Community violence (e.g., shooting, mugging, burglary, physical or sexual assault, bullying)
• Transportation accidents
• Military combat
• Verbal assault or altercations
• Personal life experiences like a breakup or job loss
• Racial trauma from racial harassment, witnessing racial violence, or experiencing institutional racism
• Secondhand trauma, such as learning of the death of a loved one, hearing about a mass shooting, or experiencing an event as a bystander
The common characteristics of PTSD include:
1. Re-experiencing: Through nightmares, flashbacks or disturbing thoughts.
2. Avoidance: Pretending it didn’t happen, going out of your way to avoid reminders including people, places or objects related to the event or even ignoring your thoughts and emotions.
3. Reactivity and increased arousal: Feeling “on edge”, easily startled, increased suspicion, difficulty sleeping or falling asleep, sensitivity to sounds or emotional outbursts or heightened sensitivity to being disrespected or persons in authority/power.
4. Change in cognition or mood issues: feelings of guilt, shame or blame, lack of motivation, memory problems, and change of beliefs like the world is dangerous or bad things only happen to me.
Unresolved traumas increase chronic stress, decreases the immune system raising the likelihood of physical illness, it increases risks for depression and anxiety disorders, as well as substance use and disrupts child development and quality of emotional attachment in family and social relationships.
Mental health professionals look for ways these issues affect an individual’s everyday routine and influence habits or behaviors in a lasting or harmful ways. Our goal is to process the underlying issue, while giving you concrete tools to manage present day challenges. Among the therapeutic modalities that have been used successfully to treat PTSD that we utilize include: Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy.
The majority of people with PTSD who receive treatment are able to recover. If necessary we can also refer you for medication treatment in conjunction with therapy to reduce the severity of symptoms or eliminate them completely.
For an initial consultation contact: 347-868-7813