Trauma & PTSD
While experiencing some degree of trauma is an inevitable part of life, some traumatic experiences can have long-lasting and negative psychological effects.
This is because the frightening memories become ‘frozen’ in our psyche and we develop an ongoing sense of not feeling safe. A traumatic experience may be brief but intense, such as in a life-threatening event (acute trauma) which can result in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Or the trauma experiences may be of lower intensity but of longer duration such as being in an abusive relationship (complex trauma). Post-traumatic stress can also result from being a witness to an incident in which someone else’s safety is threatened.
Signs and Symptoms Of Post-traumatic Stress
The symptoms of post-traumatic stress vary depending on the individual and the severity of the trauma. Some of these include:
- feeling frequently irritable, angry, ‘on edge’ or easily startled
- feeling overwhelmed and unsupported
- avoiding situations and activities that you previously participated in
- nightmares and flashbacks, which feel like you are reliving the event
- an inability to concentrate, having trouble with your memory or ‘zoning out’
- frequently unwell, experiencing nausea, headaches, muscle pains or fatigue
- relying on sedatives and alcohol to mask the pain or to make you numb
- experiencing tremors or diarrhoea
- rapid heart rate or breathing without exercise
- sleep disturbance
- change in appetite that results in either significant weight loss or gain
How we support you
If you have experienced acute or complex trauma and are displaying some of the symptoms listed above, you may be irrationally avoiding certain situations that trigger stress or anxiety. This irrational avoidant behaviour can severely inhibit your lifestyle and be detrimental to your relationships. Post-traumatic stress can be very effectively treated with a variety of counselling and psychotherapy approaches. We work with you to identify which treatment option will be the most effective, so that you are able let go of the trauma from the past and live more fully in the present.