Trauma & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Have you experienced a trauma?

There are many traumatic experiences that people may encounter in their lives.  A sudden illness, an accident, an assault or a natural disaster are all examples, but the common experience with all, is a situation which may be upsetting and distressing.  

An experience is deemed traumatic when there is a risk of harm or danger to the person involved or others around them.  These experiences are usually frightening, they can cause a lot of stress and people may feel helpless.  Whilst some people are able to cope with the after effects of the traumatic experience, for others the recovery is not as straightforward.

Often a person’s ability to function normally after a traumatic experience is significantly affected because of emotions tied to the event itself or in recalling the experience.  People sometimes do not have anyone they feel comfortable talking to or confiding in about the experience and the effect it has had on them.  Sometimes the feelings experienced can simply feel too much to bear and continue to impact a person’s life long after the event itself.

What is post-traumatic stress disorder?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a traumatic life event. After a traumatic event, 1 in 3 people will experience continued symptoms which may include:

• re-experiencing the trauma through vivid and distressing memories or dreams

• avoiding situations that remind them of the traumatic event

• feeling numb, as though they don't have the same range of feelings as normal

• being in a state of 'alertness' or hyper vigilance - watching out for danger. They cannot relax and may find if very difficult to sleep. They may notice feeling jumpy and irritable.

If you are experiencing symptoms that suggest an instance of PTSD, you should seek professional help.

Other symptoms can include; depression, anxiety, phobias, substance and alcohol misuse and physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, sweating, shaking, chest pain and stomach problems. 


My Therapist Online Can Help You

My Therapist Online has many experienced therapists who specialise in the treatment of traumas and PTSD. Cognitive behavioural Therapy is a well evidence based treatment for overcoming traumas and PTSD. CBT teaches you the skills to change your thoughts, feelings and negative thought processes you may develop after a traumatic event. Trauma-focused CBT uses mental images of a traumatic event to help you gain control of your distress. You will be helped to find coping strategies. 


Recommended reading

Overcoming Traumatic Stress by Claudia Herbert and Ann Westmore

Overcoming Childhood Trauma: A self Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques’ (2000) by Dr Helen Kennerley