Trauma and PTSD
Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event and can be either acute (single), chronic (repeated and prolonged) or complex (multiple events). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on the other hand is an adaptive response to the trauma exposure that causes a disruption in day to day functioning. Perhaps you experienced a distressing event and for some reason, you do not feel equipped to move past it. You might forget about it for some time, only for flashbacks or intense emotions to return without warning.
Any experience that challenged your sense of safety and security can lead to symptoms of traumatic stress. You may feel on edge and find it hard to relax. Letting down your guard feels unsafe. Given the experience you had, these symptoms are normal. Therapy will provide a safe, trauma informed space to process the experience(s), learn about the common responses, explore triggers and learn effective coping techniques.
If you are suffering with traumatic stress symptoms or PTSD, you might:
- Avoid talking about the past – the memory of what happened is too painful to even mention. This is completely normal, however it is not a long term solution. Therapy can help the memories feel less overwhelming.
- Experience intrusive thoughts and flashbacks: they feel incredibly vivid and they are as unwelcome as they are unpredictable.
- Find it difficult to bond with others: people might say that you are distant or withdrawn, and you find it hard to maintain close relationships.
- Experience overwhelming emotions around day to day tasks.
- Experience recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
- Relive the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
- Experience negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world
- Struggle with memory, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
- Have difficulty maintaining close relationships
- Experience severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event
How Can Therapy Help With Trauma?
Therapy can help you make sense of the past and manage the difficult symptoms in the present moment. This process is gradual will not require you to do or say things that make you feel unsafe. The fact that you are here speaks volumes about your desire and motivation for change. It’s time to reclaim your life, gain control and evolve into the best version of yourself.