Post Traumatic Stress

Most people who directly experience or have witnessed trauma will experience what is called a normal stress response. This response includes physical and emotional changes that are sometimes helpful, but often unpleasant. The physical and emotional response is directly related to the traumatic experience and is typically short-lived. This is what is usually referred to as the “fight or flight” response.

When the body’s stress response is debilitating and long lasting, professional help may be required for managing the intrusive and highly disruptive symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Common symptoms include:

» Flashbacks where you feel the event is reoccurring

» Intrusive thoughts and memories of the event

» Jumpiness and hyper-reactivity to ordinary sights and sounds

» Avoidance of persons, places and things that trigger memories

» Distressing dreams, nightmares and sleep disturbance

» Emotional numbing and withdrawal from loved ones

» Reduced expectations from life and foreshortened sense of the future

» Anger and irritability

» Poor attention, concentration, and memory

Treatment for this sometimes debilitating neuro-psychiatric disorder focuses on improving the understanding of the physical and mental response the body and brain have had to the traumatic event. Positive emotional health is also critical and treatment works to regain an internal sense of control, self-confidence, and to restore a sense of life’s meaning. While the road to healing may be long and difficult, but healing can and does happen.

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