All about PTSD & Trauma
What is PTSD / Trauma?
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety condition resulting from exposure to a traumatic event. When someone experiences trauma the after effects can be just as disturbing as the event itself. Trauma can come in a number of forms such experiencing a natural disaster, being in a car accident, witnessing a crime or being diagnosed with a serious illness. People who experience war, torture, rape, childhood abuse, neglect or physical assaults experience PTSD due to the level of danger they have been exposed to. This level of danger often leaves people feeling vulnerable and helpless and with an unstable sense of security and safety.
PTSD doesn’t just affect those who are exposed to the trauma it can also affect others around them who are trying to help or support or are witnesses to the trauma like close family, friends or emergency workers such as police, ambulance officers or SES workers.
At some point in their life around 2.6% of Australians will experience PTSD. You may find it useful to read the stories of other people who have had PTSD and what they did to overcome it.
The Difference between PTSD & Trauma
It’s normal to have a reaction to a traumatic event. Feeling unsafe, frightened, anxious and angry are all normal reactions to trauma. For many people these feelings fade over time and become less intense. However for those people who have been exposed to prolonged trauma or to a particularly dangerous and terrifying situation their feelings may not fade easily and they may feel stuck and unable to resume or get on with their life. In this instance it is likely that they have developed PTSD. It’s important to know that PTSD is treatable and there are ways you can get help and feel normal and ready to live your life again.
Recovery from PTSD / Trauma
Some people with trauma or PTSD feel they would rather avoid the situation than deal with it directly. This is a normal reaction however in the longer term it doesn’t really work. PTSD actually gets worse with time rather than better unless it’s treated. PTSD is not a sign of weakness it’s a reaction to a traumatic event and it responds well to treatment.
There are many types of treatment for PTSD and Trauma. Some of the more common ones include trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), medication, polyvagal and somatic (mind/body interactions) therapy amongst many others.
The latest research indicates that the quality of the alliance between the client and their therapist is the most important factor in treating trauma. A strong therapeutic relationship makes it possible for the dysregulated emotional system of an individual with PTSD or trauma to learn to emotionally regulate itself.
If you or someone you know is experiencing trauma or PTSD Select Counsellors can help you find a counsellor who specialises in trauma and is the best fit for you.
Select Counsellors provides a unique client counsellor matching service to ensure you see the right counsellor for you, first time. We have a pool of highly trained Sydney based counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists and will match you with the right therapist based on important information collected in a personalised assessment about you and your needs. To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.