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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Trauma: emotional disturbance following a physical injury, stressful event or shock.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: a severe anxiety disorder brought on by exposure to a very stressful, frightening or distressing event or repeating events.

Trauma can occur when someone experiences a single event or series of events which are outside of our control and normal human experiences. The ability to integrate emotional experience with the event is overwhelmed. Often the individuals' ideas about their world are breached, which can lead to confusion, insecurity, distress and neurosis.

Trauma can be psychological or physical. The word 'trauma' originates from the Greek word meaning 'wound'.

The trauma may not be experienced immediately following the event but can be delayed for weeks, months, sometimes even years whilst the individual is battling to come to terms with it.

How someone reacts to a traumatic event varies and can depend on the type of trauma, the individual and the emotional support they receive.

Anything that might remind the individual of the trauma can cause the person to re-experience the feelings, mentally and physically. These are known as 'triggers'.

There are several symptoms someone may suffer from following trauma. These include; fear, horror, anxiety, anger, panic attacks, insomnia and nightmares. The sometimes unrelenting trauma can often make people feel as though they'll never get over it and this can then lead to depression.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD is an anxiety state that onsets following a particularly horrifying and traumatic experience such as military combat, natural disaster, road accidents, hostage situations and witnessing violent deaths or terrorist attacks. It is not usually something that occurs following simply an upsetting experience such as divorce or loss of a loved one.

PTSD manifests itself both physically and psychologically and affects around 30% of those who have experienced a traumatic event. It can occur at any age and may affect 5% of men and 10% of women at some point during their life.

Those suffering from PTSD may experience vivid flashbacks and nightmares at any time and for no apparent reason. Sometimes these are triggered by sound or visual images. There may also be sweating and shaking, upset stomachs, headaches, dizzy spells and chest pains in addition to the mental symptoms of anxiety, depression and fears and phobias.

The term 'disorder' is the medical terminology, however, in reality it is not so much a disorder but more a natural and understandable response to something incredibly distressing. Sometimes therefore it is referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

PTSD is something that often has a huge impact on someone's life and those close to them. Please call me if you would like some help. The use of EMDR is highly beneficial and can help the unconscious process the details and flashbacks so that you are able to come to terms with the past and move on.

This can be combined with hypnotherapy and other psychotherapy techniques to allow you to deal with any anxieties, phobias and depression that resulted. The event can never be forgotten but the way in which you deal with that memory and it's associations can be changed.