Therapy For PTSD – Post-traumatic stress disorder is a debilitating anxiety disorder that many people associate with members of the military who have been deployed into battle. However, anyone who has experienced a traumatic event of any kind can suffer from PTSD, and its symptoms can be extremely debilitating to an individual’s life. The effects of trauma enact physical and mental changes on your body and overcoming the symptoms of PTSD in order to regain control over your life often requires the help of an experienced counsellor. The therapists at Horizon Plymouth encourage anyone who is dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder to reach out to a counsellor in order to better understand their diagnosis and triggers and begin making positive changes towards managing the disorder.
What can trigger PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be triggered by any traumatic event that an individual experiences throughout their lifetime. Sometimes, symptoms of the condition may not develop until months or years after the incident occurs. Although every individual has different ideas of what is considered traumatic, some of the events that might trigger the onset of PTSD include:
- Abuse, whether sexual or physical
- Sexual assault
- Assault, robbery, or home invasion
- Motor vehicle accident
- War or traumatic experiences sustained while in military service
- Health conditions, especially those requiring intensive hospitalization
Common symptoms of PTSD
Although not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, it is a good idea to be aware of the signs and symptoms so that you and/or your loved ones can understand what is happening and know when to seek outside intervention. While PTSD manifests differently and in varying levels of severity in every individual, there are certain hallmarks that indicate someone might be suffering from the disorder and may benefit from professional counselling.
- Flashbacks: Certain triggers may cause the individual to “flash back” to the traumatic incident, making them feel as though they are reliving the experience. These flashbacks may be accompanied by hallucinations, sweating, or violent outbursts and are largely uncontrollable.
- Emotional numbing: In an attempt to distance their mind and bodies from the event as much as possible, an individual may go out of their way to avoid things that remind them of the traumatic event. This can lead to social isolation and the development of maladaptive habits such as drug use.
- Perseveration: Individuals may appear stuck upon the facts and circumstances of the event, constantly asking themselves what they did to cause the event, if there was anything they could have done to change the outcome, or if they are to blame for it. These questions are all-consuming and negative, preventing individuals from coming to terms with the trauma and preventing healing.
- Mood changes: Trauma can change the way that a body processes experiences, and individuals suffering from PTSD are often irritable, angry, and unfocused as a result of their hyper-aroused state. These behaviours are uncontrollable and impact social and professional life.
Individuals with PTSD may also suffer from depression or anxiety, self-harming behaviours, alcoholism, gastrointestinal distress, insomnia, and various other complaints in addition to their primary. Managing this complex array can be a challenging task, making it doubly important to seek the help of professionals, especially if your daily life and routines are being impacted by symptoms of the disorder.
How can therapy for PTSD help?
Many individuals struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder can feel as though nobody will understand what they are going through, leading to unintentional self-inflicted isolation that can intensify the effects of their struggles. One of the most effective ways to manage these symptoms is to seek out a qualified therapist trained in dealing with the effects and causes or PTSD who can help you to understand the root of your maladaptive thoughts and behaviours as you begin to enact intentional mental change allowing you to move forward in a healthier manner.
The expert team at Horizon Plymouth is experienced in helping individuals deal with the effects of PTSD in a manner that is trauma-informed and caring. Because the severity of the disorder can vary greatly depending on the individual and circumstance, the Horizon counsellors recognize the importance of fostering trust within the therapist-client relationship and approach therapeutic interventions as a partnership to encourage healing. If you or someone you know is suffering from the effects of PTSD, contact Horizon Plymouth today to schedule your initial consultation.