Complex post traumatic stress
What can cause post traumatic stress disorder?
Any of the below events and more:
· A trauma in which you think you might die
· See someone else die, or see someone have an traumatic event
· Serious injury
· Car crash
· Earthquake or any other natural disaster
· Exposure to a war zone-‘war is trauma’
· Rape or sexual assault
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Some post traumatic stress symptoms:
· Intrusive thoughts/ thinking about the trauma many times
· Re-experiencing the trauma, such as flashbacks
· Suicidal thoughts
· Feelings of intense fear
· Helplessness, or/and horror
· Depression: persistent sad, or empty mood
· Disturbed sleep or/and insomnia, nightmares
· Trying to avoid:
· The geographical location of the trauma, thoughts, feelings, situations, people that might remind you of the trauma.
· Always being on alert (fight or flight syndrome)
· Irritability/inappropriate anger
· Difficulty concentrating
· Exaggerated startle response
· Panic attacks: which can be accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, nausea, and a racing heart
· Development of phobia
· Feelings of guilt and shame; or hopelessness about the future
· Losing interest in activities
· Feelings of mistrust: losing trust in others and thinking the world is a dangerous place
Complex post traumatic stress physical symptoms:
· Chronic pain
· Stomach and bowel problems
· Tightness or burning in the chest
· Breathing problems
· Muscle cramps
· Back pain
For most people, the above symptoms cease within about four weeks, if symptoms persist, however, assistance is needed from professionals.
PTSD was known as Shell shock in the first world war.
Sometimes people with PTSD have problems in daily life:
· Substance abuse: using alcohol or drugs to cope with the emotional trauma
· Having problems functioning in your place of work, at school, or in social situations
· Relationship issues: having problems with intimacy or feeling detached from your family and friends
Complex post traumatic stress
I have treated clients with PTSD with success, see the example below:
One fifty year old client had a phobia which may have originated from an early trauma, this trauma developing into possible PTSD which manifested as a fear of going over or under bridges and of going up or down escalators or steps, as you can imagine this was extremely limiting for her and meant that the client had to make convoluted journeys when travelling with the train (amongst other various life situations) as she had to figure out how she was going to get on to various railway platforms without going over or under bridges and going up or down escalators or steps, this fear of heights we discovered was possibly caused by her father putting her on his shoulders and nearly dropping her, when she was three years of age. With the help of therapy she successfully overcame this disorder and can now live a normal life.
What help is available?
Use accreditated qualified Psychotherapists/Counsellors/Hypnotherapists all of whom use well proven techniques to help PTSD symptoms.
EMDR is a technique that is also used with PTSD, PTSD symptoms can be minimised with EMDR treatment, as well as other techniques.