You can be Freed from the Tyranny of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Have you experienced something terrible, frightening, or threatening? It’s normal to feel fear and a bit shaken after any dangerous experience or close call.
You probably felt some changes in your body to prepare you to survive, like breaking out in a sweat, reaching out to catch yourself or hold on to somethinig. These are normal reactions, and are called the “fight or fight response.”
But, for some people, that experience wasn’t a near miss. It was painful, damaging, horrifying. They, or someone they loved, suffered physical harm or the threat of it. And the result is that the fight or flight response is changed or damaged, and can initiate over routine noises, or motions, dreams, or thoughts, or sounds.
If you’ve experienced this, you may have been in combat, or a car or plane wreck, or you or someone you love may have been raped or mugged or assaulted.
Researchers studying parts of the brain where this reaction takes place are identifying genes and proteins that seem to play a role in fear and memories. Brain structures are another piece of the puzzle to understand what causes PTSD in an individual, and to better learn how to treat it, and even prevent it.
What’s most important is to recognize what the signs and symptoms are, and if you are seeing these things in yourself or a loved one, reach out for treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
1. Re-experiencing symptoms like flashbacks where you relive the trauma over and over and find you’re feeling the fear again. Sweating or a racing heart or other physical symptoms may accompany these experiences. You have bad dreams and or frightening thoughts that bring the terror back to the present for you.
2. Avoidance symptoms – You may want to stay away from certain places, events or objects that remind you of that terrible experience. You may feel nothing, a numbness emotionally. You may also feel guilt or worry, and may experience depression. You may have trouble remembering the event that happened.
3. Hyperarousal symptoms can emerge like you might find you’re easily startled, that you’re tense and on edge, that you’re prone to angry outburts and have difficult sleeping. These symptoms are typically constant, not just occasionally triggered by objects or locations. They tend to make you feel stressed and angry and interfere with you’re ability to do your daily routine such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
People with PTSD often show no signs of the disorder for weeks or months after the event. But eventually, some of the symptoms begin to emerge.
Children and teens have extreme reactions to traum many times but because their reactions are so different than adults, it’s sometimes missed. For example, watch for bedwetting in a child who’s had toilet control, forgetting how or being unable to talk, acting out the event during playtime, or being unusually clingy with their parent or other adult.
Teens may become disruptive, disrespectful, and destructive in their behaviors. They may feel guilty for not preventing the event or protecting loved ones from it, and may also feel the desire for revenge.
Multiple therapies have been found to be effective with PTSD.
Contact me, so we can discuss treatment options. You can have your life back again. I’m here to help.
If you’ve been involved in military combat, take this self test to see if PTSD might be a problem for you: https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/anonymous.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=mentalHealth&contentPage=mh_screening_tools/PTSD_SCREENING.HTML
If you’ve had non-combat traumatic or threatening experience, take this test: http://www.healthyplace.com/psychological-tests/ptsd-test/
Then contact me here and let’s talk about the results. I can help.
My office is in convenient proximity to serve Tsawwassen – Ladner – Delta – Whiterock – Surrey, BC