Welcome to my community education page where you’ll find a number of downloadable information resources on Post-Traumatic Stress. This material is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the assessment and treatment of an appropriately licensed mental health professional.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can happen to ordinary people who experience, witness or even simply hear second hand about overwhelming or life-threatening situations.
After car accidents, airplane incidents, natural disasters or other potentially life-threatening events, clients will often experience simple stress reactions. Human beings are highly adaptable; however people possess a wide range of emotional resiliency, and the amount of emotional resilience a person possesses can vary at different times in their life. Post Traumatic Stress results when traumatic events overwhelm a person’s ability to cope.
The symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can include:
- Flashbacks of reliving the memories of the event.
- Avoidance of situations that remind the client of the event. This can generalize to avoidance of places, situations or people.
- Emotional disturbances including a sense of detachment, numbing, hopelessness, a flattening of feelings, irritability, survivor’s guilt or depression.
- Problems with attention like difficulty concentrating, exaggerated startle responses and hyper-vigilance.
- Disturbances in sleep, nightmares, night terrors, insomnia and over-sleeping.
- Recurrent symptoms of stress.
For instance, after a car accident, someone who experiences PTSD might find they live with intrusive thoughts about the accident or their part in the accident. They might be bothered by feelings of depression, guilt, shame or hopelessness. They might find that they go to great lengths to avoid the accident site or events that remind them of the accident. Fear or anxiety might extend to other driving situations. For instance, driving on bridges or in tunnels might become anxiety producing because of the closer proximity to other vehicles. These intrusive thoughts and feelings can debilitate a person to the point of affecting their personal relationships and their ability to work.
The good news is that PTSD is amenable to treatment. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has repeatedly been proven effective in treating PTSD. The best results occur when treatment is offered to the client soon after the incident so that the amount of time the individual suffers from these symptoms are cut short. However, even years later CBT can lead to dramatic improvements in PTSD symptoms.
- Bradley D. Grinage, MD. University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, Kansas American Academy of Family Physicians American Family Physician. Click Here.
Post Traumatic Stress Internet Resources
- Mayo Clinic
- National Center for PTSD
- American Psychological Association Help Center
- Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
- National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America