Have you experienced a traumatic event? Are you suffering from lingering fear and anxiety? Do you feel like you no longer have any control over how you think, feel, and behave?
Posttraumatic stress disorder - also known as PTSD - is a mental health challenge that may occur in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a terrorist act, an act of war, a severe accident, rape, or any other violent personal assault.
It is believed that PTSD affects nearly four percent of the U.S. adult population. While it is usually linked with veterans who’ve experienced combat, PTSD occurs in all people regardless of age, race, nationality, or culture. Women are twice as likely to experience PTSD than men.
What are the Symptoms of PTSD?
People with PTSD often experience intense thoughts and feelings related to their traumatic experiences. These can last for a long time after the initial event. Many people with PTSD also relive the event through flashbacks and nightmares.
People with PTSD often feel intense emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, and detachment from friends, family, and community members. They usually avoid people and situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Ordinary sounds or incidents, such as a door banging or accidental touch in a crowd, may cause a substantial and uncontrollable reaction.
How Can Treatment Help?
There are a variety of treatments that can be used to treat PTSD. However, three specific techniques are consistently gaining research-based evidence of their effectiveness in successfully treating PTSD.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy – This modality focuses on how a person perceives and processes a traumatic event. A therapist can help their client work through stuck points, which are specific thoughts related to the trauma that prevents the person from recovering.
- EMDR – EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. This technique uses bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements, to stimulate the brain to process complex thoughts, memories, and emotions.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a talk therapy focusing on how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are related. The goal of a CBT therapist is to help a client with PTSD return to a place of hope with a greater sense of being in control of their thoughts and behaviors.
If you or a loved one have PTSD and would like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me. I have seen fantastic transformation through therapy and want to offer the help you need to enjoy life again.