You may picture a veteran from WW2 when you hear the term “post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” Although the dramatic experiences faced by veterans can result in PTSD, anyone can experience PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD may occur in any individual after experiencing a scary or dangerous event. Not every person with PTSD has experienced or gone through trauma.
When the body gets scared or feels it is in danger, it goes into fight or flight mode.
The fighting mode would trigger an individual to remain in the “dangerous situation” and fight back—for instance, an individual encountering an unleashed growling dog during your morning jog. An individual will examine the dangerous situation. Observe if the growling dog has an owner. Thus, informing the owner to leash their dog or hold their dog until they pass by.
The flight mode would trigger an individual to run away from the “dangerous situation.” In the same scenario, an individual encountering an unleashed growling dog during your morning jog. An individual will see an unleased angry animal and run away in the opposite direction of the animal.
Recent studies suggest there is a freeze response mode. In some dangerous events, the human body is not able to direct itself towards either flight or fight response. Thus the human body will respond by freezing in a dangerous situation.
In all responses, the body attempts to protect itself from harm. All reactions are normal. In most cases, the body jumps back into its normal state. But for some individuals, the fight or flight mode tends to stick around. At this point, individuals begin to feel scared and stressed out even when they are safe.
This is known as PTSD.
The effects of PTSD can be acute or chronic.
Who’s Likely to Get It?
Any individual who has been through a dangerous, unsafe, or traumatic event can experience PTSD. However, PTSD is usually triggered after an unexpected event, such as the death of a loved one. Individuals with addiction and substance abuse issues are likely to experience PTSD. Most individuals with PTSD may have anxiety or depression.
Do I have PTSD?
Psychiatrists or psychologists can determine if an individual is experiencing PTSD.
Signs of PTSD:
You may have PTSD if you are experiencing the following for at least one month:
- Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy.
- Staying away from the place of your traumatic event
- Reduced memory
- Sleep disturbance
- Negative thoughts and emotions
- Persistent flashbacks
- Always angry or stressed
How is it Treated?
At The Family Enhancement Centre, you are not alone. One of our PTSD certified, and experienced therapist can help you feel safe once again. Our therapists work closely with you to help you overcome your fear and regain control over your life.
- Talk about your experience in a non-judgemental environment
- Express yourself and how you feel
You will learn:
- How to address symptoms
- Feel safe in safe environments
- Feel more positive about yourself and your surroundings
- Methods of handling future symptoms
- How to make better judgements about safe/unsafe environment
Treatments are usually performed through psychotherapy.
Types of psychotherapy:
Cognitive Therapy: Allows an individual to recognize the healthy and unhealthy patterns of how they think. CBT works to reverse unhealthy thinking patterned.
Exposure therapy: Allows an individual to process traumatic experiences while learning to deal with everyday life.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a combination of exposure therapy and guided eye movements to help individuals process bad memories.
What if I do not treat PTSD?
Over time, the effects of PTSD can put a strain on your mental health and wellbeing. This can further escalate to issues in relationships with your family and friends.
Individuals who have experienced trauma can behave differently. Individuals can show possible signs of:
- Substance abuse
At The Family Enhancement Centre, you are not alone. One of our PTSD certified, and experienced therapist can help you feel safe once again.
Feel free to send us a message or call us at 905-799-2228