Trauma & PTSD

PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA CAN HAVE A LONG-LASTING AND DEBILITATING IMPACT ON A PERSONS QUALITY OF LIFE, DAILY FUNCTIONING AND RELATIONSHIPS, UNTIL PROFESSIONAL HELP IS RECEIVED.


Trauma can be experienced from any kind of negative experience. Most often, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occur as a result of an event or series of events that threaten our usual sense of safety, security and survival.

Trauma is experienced in the brain and body when an overwhelming amount of stress occurs. The source and cause of stress can come from traumatic events such as witnessing or being involved in war, terrorist attacks, abuse, violence, accidents, personal attacks and sexual abuse. Trauma also occurs from many other experiences that people may not necessarily understand or regard as ‘traumatic’. This includes experiences or incidences of embarrassment, harassment, bullying, discrimination, earlier experiences of abuse or neglect and divorce or separation. Longer term and earlier experiences of trauma can also lead to PTSD or delayed stress syndrome.

This very real and often sudden physiological response then interferes with the way our brains process information, including our emotions about the experience. When this happens, we are unable to process the events in ways we might otherwise do in more normal circumstances. As a result, the traumatic memories essentially become ‘blocked’ at a neuropsychological level and can cause a range of problematic symptoms such as: anxiety, phobias, stress, irritability, flashbacks, intrusive memories, difficulties sleeping, tearfulness, fears, nightmares, physiological responses when thinking or talking about the event (like sweating, shaking, heart racing, etc), avoidance, feelings of anger, tensions, feeling detached or numb, depression and more. In some cases, traumas of some kind lie at the root of substance abuse, addictions, obsessive, compulsive and co-dependent traits.

Unresolved trauma has devastating and long-term implications for a persons sense of safety, sense of responsibility and control, issues of trust, self-esteem, relationships and intimacy.

 

Post Traumatic Stress

& Complex PTSD

Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.

Complex PTSD may be diagnosed in adults or children who have repeatedly experienced traumatic events, such as violence, neglect or abuse.

As it may take years for the symptoms of complex PTSD to be recognised, a child's development, including their behaviour and self-confidence, can be altered as they get older.

Adults with complex PTSD may lose their trust in people and feel separated from others.