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PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Do you believe you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – have you ever been given a PTSD diagnosis?

Certain basic assumptions guide our lives e.g. a belief that the world is kind, your life has meaning and things make sense. When a trauma strikes you suddenly feel no longer in control of what has happened around you, you feel vulnerable and your world is no longer safe and secure.

A traumatic event can have impacts on your feelings, thoughts, relationships, behaviours attitudes, dreams, and hopes

It is accepted that human beings have five fundamental psychological needs and that the occurence of a traumatic event(s) can change how that person would relate to and believe in those needs for: safety, trust, power, esteem and intimacy.  In the therapeutic relationship I spend some time taking information about your changes, beliefs and challenges, this can help with the identification of trauma impact and possible PTSD.

PTSD symptoms are described in the following way:

1. You have been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:

  • You experienced, witnessed, or were confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of yourself or others.
  • Your response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror, or your perception of the event led to these emotions.

2. You re-experience the event in one or more of the following ways:

  • You have recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event including images, thoughts, or perceptions
  • You have recurrent distressing dreams of the event.
  • You act or feel as if the traumatic event was recurring, and you may have a sense of reliving the experience through illusions, hallucinations, and active flashbacks.
  • You experience intense psychological distress or bodily reactions when exposed to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event (e.g. sights, smells, sounds, dates); these are called triggers.

3. You persistently avoid things or events (triggers) associated with the trauma and numb your response using three or more of the following:

  • You make a great effort to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma, or to avoid activities, places, or people that would cause you to remember the trauma.
  • You can’t recall an important aspect of the trauma.
  • Your interest or participation in activities is much less.
  • You feel detached or estranged from others.
  • Your ability to feel emotion is restricted, as is your range of emotions (e.g. you are unable to have loving feelings).
  • You have a sense of a foreshortened future – you can’t see ahead into a far-off future (e.g you do not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span).

4. You also have persistent symptoms of increased physical arousal that were not present before the trauma, as indicated by two or more of the following. You experience:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hypervigilance (being overly watchful)
  • Exaggerated startle response (you’re jumpy).

5. All of these symptoms have lasted more than one month.

6. Because of these symptoms, you are significantly distressed or impaired in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”

“If your reaction to traumatic events persists for a period of time, or if it occurs at least six months after the event occured, you may have developed PTSD.”

Accredited Practitioner