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What Is PTSD?
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs after a traumatic event involving a threat to one’s life and safety. The event could be a brief episode, such as a natural disaster, accident, or assault. PTSD could also occur as a result of a prolonged situation, such as living through abuse or wartime.
What are the Symptoms of PTSD?
Many individuals suffering from PTSD relive the incident through nightmares and/or flashbacks. This involves a powerful memory of the incident that often triggers an intense, uncomfortable reaction, including shaking, racing heart, sweating, nausea and even vomiting.
Another symptom of PTSD is avoidance. An individual may avoid situations and people that could remind them of the event, in an attempt to avoid thinking of and reliving the incident.
The third major symptom of PTSD is a state of hyper-arousal, in which the individual’s sensory system is always on high alert. This results in an exaggerated startle response, agitation, an increased awareness of one’s surroundings (on the lookout for danger), difficulty with concentration and having trouble sleeping.
How is PTSD Treated?
Many counsellors have specialized training to help those who suffer from PTSD. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is quite helpful in targeting the irrational thoughts and behaviours of those with PTSD. Exposure therapy is a common and effective treatment, as it helps the client relive the experience in a controlled environment, with the support of a therapist.
Many of our associates are trained in trauma counselling, with a focus on helping individuals recover from PTSD. Contact 1.888.245.5516 to connect with a therapist today.
American Psychological Association (2012). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. http://www.apa.org/topics/ptsd/index.aspx
Canadian Mental Health Association (2012). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/#.UFx_Oa7pUrc