Services for trauma and PTSD

Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by experiencing traumatic events, such as combat, disasters, terrorism, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault. PTSD includes four types of symptoms. These are shown in this diagram.

Re-experiencing or reliving the trauma, such as having flashbacks, nightmares, or becoming very upset when reminded of the trauma.

Avoiding or staying away from places or people because they remind you of the trauma, isolating from others, and/or feeling numb.

Increased arousal, being irritable, trouble sleeping or startling easily.

Hypervigilance - conscious of possible danger to extent where this interferes with normal functioning, damages well-being, and leads the person to be over-careful in scanning their environment for signs of danger or taking other precautions to avoid it, e.g. not travelling in the wet.

Symptoms may lead to problems in normal functioning in social or family life, work, and school. We don’t know why some people go on to develop PTSD after trauma and others don’t.

Imagine ten people eat a big meal. Some will have stomach ache afterwards, others won’t. We don’t know why, but some people have difficulty digesting or processing traumatic events and memories at some point in their life after a trauma. I say ‘at some point’ because often they have coped with trauma in the past before with no problems. There is expertise required in understanding one person’s individual symptoms and the important factor is that symptoms of severe nature or those which have not improved significantly after a few months should be dealt with by treatment. While medication can be helpful, it can make more sense to learn how to manage symptoms, to lower the risk of future problems.

Not everyone suffers from ‘full-blown’ PTSD, but the symptoms may fit other criteria such as adjustment disorder. If they are severe enough to interfere with everyday life they should be assessed.

Queries regarding the possibility of PTSD are common after Road Traffic Accidents in medico legal assessments. Clients may not tell people they are suffering because they do not know the meaning of the symptoms and may cover them up.

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Brain Injury
BrainCurve Psychology
Drayton Old Lodge
146 Drayton High Road
tel. 01603 861644
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