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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD

PTSD symptoms (re-experiencing the event, avoidance, emotional numbing, and hyper-arousal) are common after traumatic experiences, especially interpersonal events (such as being the victim of sexual or physical violence), car accidents and disabling injury.

For many people these symptoms decrease and disappear over time, but for some people the disorder develops as the symptoms persist and begin to interfere with their ability to cope with aspects of their daily lives.

WHAT IS PTSD?

PTSD Rehab

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop after exposure to frightening, overwhelming and traumatic event(s).

PTSD symptoms (re-experiencing the event, avoidance, emotional numbing, and hyper-arousal) are common after traumatic experiences, especially interpersonal events (such as being the victim of sexual or physical violence), car accidents and disabling injury. For many people these symptoms decrease and disappear over time, but for some people the disorder develops as the symptoms persist and begin to interfere with their ability to cope with aspects of their daily lives.

Many people experience traumatic events in life – car accidents, natural disasters, exposure to crime, the loss of a loved one, or the violence of war are just some of the challenges that people may face over the course of a lifetime.

These traumas affect people in different ways – strong and distressing feelings are a normal response in the days and weeks following a traumatic event, as the event is processed and contextualised, allowing us to accommodate the experience into our life story. As time passes these feelings become less acute, and many recover from the traumatic experience without needing professional support.

However, for some people, these feelings continue to be distressing for far longer, and their lives are impacted to the point that they are no longer able to cope at home or work. These are signs that they may be developing Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD and its symptoms frequently coexist with other conditions such as depression and alcohol/substance abuse, especially when PTSD is severe.

PTSD CHECKLIST AND SYMPTOMS

PTSD Help

The basic message from both international and Australian sources is the same: without early intervention, diagnosis and effective treatment, the personal and economic costs of PTSD and associated co-occurring disorders, can be devastating for people suffering with PTSD, their families, and for our society.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

Re-experiencing or re-living the event:

  • Intrusive memories, unwanted thoughts, sensations or images related to the trauma
  • Disturbing nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Intense emotional and physical reactions triggered by sights, sounds, smells or other sensations that are reminders of the traumatic event

Hyper-arousal:

  • Being overly alert
  • Having sleep difficulties or disturbances
  • Being unable to relax
  • Often feeling ‘wound up’, irritable and/or angry
  • Poor concentration and/or problems with memory
  • Feeling ‘on the look-out’, or ‘on guard’ for signs of danger (hyper-vigilance)
  • Being easily startled by sudden noises or unexpected things

Feeling Numb:

  • Finding it hard to experience and/or express your feelings
  • Feeling detached or a lack of positive /or loving feelings towards other people
  • Feeling numb and/or flat or ‘down’
  • Losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy

Avoidance behaviours:

  • Avoiding people and places associated with the traumatic event
  • Avoiding activities, thoughts and feelings which trigger distressing reminders of the event
  • Detaching or withdrawing from friends and family
  • Avoiding or withdrawing from emotional intimacy
  • Feeling vulnerable and avoiding situations that create anxiety
  • Avoid talking about the traumatic event

Recent research indicated that 86% of men and 76% of women with PTSD struggle with other mental health issues as time goes on – such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse issues- as they begin to use drugs and alcohol as a way of coping.

Trauma is cumulative when a person doesn’t have the opportunity to work through and contextualise the experience – which means that a history of developmental and/or repeated trauma increases the incidence, complexity and severity of PTSD. As coping and defence mechanisms become less effective, or the effects of trauma break through, people struggling with the signs and symptoms of PTSD can be at serious risk.

Am I suffering from PTSD? If any of these signs resonate – you can do this quick PTSD test to raise your awareness.

TREATMENT FOR PTSD

PTSD Treatment

Finding your road to recovery from PTSD is a very personal journey.

When you are in still in the middle of dealing with the issues and problems that have prompted you to seek this information, it can be very challenging to even glimpse what life may be like after the PTSD symptoms resolve.

Recovery from, or learning to manage, PTSD is likely to be more successful when underlying causes and environmental factors are addressed at the same time as the presenting symptoms and problems are treated.

Managing the experience of PTSD can be challenging, exhausting and risky when attempting it alone. For this reason professional support and treatment is strongly recommended.

PTSD is most effectively treated by qualified health professionals (Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists and Nurses).

South Pacific Private has a comprehensive and holistic approach to the treatment of trauma related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Many people with PTSD will also suffer with associated conditions such as addictions or mental illness, which require specialist assessment and treatment planning.

Treatment for PTSD focuses on these co-existing issues and the underlying core issues, trauma, and family dynamics, which may have fuelled the development, or exacerbated the severity of, the problematic symptoms of PTSD.

South Pacific Private has over 20 years of experience in treating trauma related conditions in our program.

Take the first step towards help today by phoning or emailing the Client Care Team on 1800 063 332 / info@southpacificprivate.com.au

South Pacific Private is here to help when you or someone you love experiences difficulties with addictions, trauma or with mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety.

CATH: I had a choice in my life, to die or to do something. I was depressed. I hated my guts. I thought I was worthless and everyone’s problem. I didn’t know what a normal life was. I had to do something about it.

MORE STORIES

Find out if you have a problem

The goal of our self-tests is not to provide you with a diagnosis for yourself or for someone you care about. Instead, they are an opportunity for you to better understand how a behaviour might be impacting upon your life or the life of your family. Use these tests to enhance your awareness of what the problem might be. These tests should be answered honestly in order to provide accurate insight and are a chance for you to reflect upon the current situation.

SELF-ASSESSMENTS

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