Have you experienced a traumatic event? Are you suffering from lingering fear and anxiety? Do you feel like you no longer have any control over how you think, feel and behave?
Posttraumatic stress disorder – also known as PTSD – is a mental health challenge that may occur in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a terrorist act, an act of war, a serious accident, rape, or any other violent personal assault.
It is believed that PTSD affects nearly four percent of the U.S. adult population. While it is usually linked with veterans who’ve experienced combat, PTSD occurs in all people regardless of age, race, nationality or culture. In fact, women are twice as likely to experience PTSD than men.
What are the Symptoms of PTSD?
People with PTSD often experience intense thoughts and feelings related to their traumatic experiences. These can last for a long time after the initial event. Many people with PTSD also relive the event through flashbacks and nightmares.
People with PTSD often feel intense emotions such as fear, anger, sadness and a detachment from friends, family and community members. They often avoid people and situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Ordinary sounds or incidents such as a door banging or accidental touch in a crowd may cause a strong and uncontrollable reaction.
How Can Treatment Help?
There are a variety of treatments that can be used to treat PTSD. However, there are a few specific techniques that are consistently gaining research-based evidence of their effectiveness in successfully treating PTSD.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy – This modality focuses on how a person perceives a traumatic event and processes it. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a form of Cognitive Behavioral talk therapy that focuses on how thoughts, feelings and behaviors are related to one another. A therapist can help their client work through stuck points, which are certain thoughts related to the trauma that prevent the person from recovering. The goal of CPT is to help a client with PTSD return to a place of hope with a greater sense of being in control of their thoughts and behaviors.
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy – Prolonged Exposure (PE) is a specific type of trauma-focused, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that teaches you to gradually approach trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations that you have been avoiding since your trauma. By confronting these challenges, you can actually decrease your PTSD symptoms and reclaim your life.
If you or a loved one suffer with PTSD and would like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me. I have personally seen amazing transformation through therapy and want to offer the help you need to enjoy life again.