Most of us won’t get through life without stress and also heartache. But, some of us will experience actual trauma. As a matter of fact, the majority of adults have experienced some form of trauma. Many of us recover emotionally from accidents, assaults, and abuse, though some will have more long-term symptoms caused by trauma. This is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition where the mind is unable to process an event as it ordinarily does.
As a result of this condition, the brain misfires information. In that case, the person lives much of their life in distress, as if the event were undeniably still happening to them.
Many people mistakenly think that post-traumatic stress disorder explicitly happens to combat veterans and police officers. In truth, more than 1 in 10 who have survived trauma will experience post-traumatic symptoms.
Overall, like a wound that hasn’t healed properly, these issues cause lots of pain to those affected by them.
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
There are many symptoms associated with PTSD, significantly:
- Physical and emotional distress at reminders
- Avoidance of internal and external reminders
- Dissociative amnesia
- Negative beliefs about oneself and the world
- Distorted blame of oneself
- Negative persistent emotional states
- Loss of interests
- Detachment from loved ones
- Exaggerated startle response
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
- Self-destructive or reckless behavior
Causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Researchers are not completely clear on why some experience PTSD and others don’t. Firstly, what makes one soldier come home from war with PTSD, and secondly, why not another?
In reality, the development of PTSD comes from a combination of complex factors. Neurological factors, stress, life experience, personality, and genetics all play a role.
In addition, pre-traumatic psychological factors, like low self-esteem, may increase the risk factor for developing PTSD.
How Can Trauma be Treated?
Presently, the most common form of treatment for PTSD is called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT involves meeting regularly with a specially-trained therapist to learn strategies to reduce and eliminate symptoms of PTSD. These symptoms may include recurring thoughts, emotional numbness, sleep issues, and concentration problems.
Beyond finding a trained therapist, it’s important to find one you and your family feel comfortable with. Make sure to interview a few to see who might help you on your journey to wellness.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.