Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Traumatic events are a fact of life. People experience at least one in their life.
After a traumatic event, there are often strong feelings of fear, sadness, guilt, anger, or grief. As people begin to make sense of what has happened to them, these feelings usually begin to disperse. Most will recover quite quickly with the support of family and friends. For some people though, a traumatic event can lead to mental health issues such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug use, as well as impacting on their relationships with family, friends, and at work.
- Re-living the traumatic event through distressing, unwanted memories, vivid nightmares and/or flashbacks. This can also include feeling very upset or having intense physical reactions such as heart palpitations or being unable to breathe when reminded of the traumatic event.
- Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, including activities, places, people, thoughts or feelings that bring back memories of the trauma.
- Negative thoughts and feelings such as fear, anger, guilt, or feeling flat or numb a lot of the time. A person might blame themselves or others for what happened during or after the traumatic event, feel cut-off from friends and family, or lose interest in day-to-day activities.
- Feeling wound-up. This might mean having trouble sleeping or concentrating, feeling angry or irritable, taking risks, being easily startled, and/or being constantly on the lookout for danger.
It is not unusual for people with PTSD to experience other mental health problems as well, like depression or anxiety. Some people may develop a habit of using alcohol or drugs as a way of coping.
If you, or a friend/family member are experiencing PTSD, we can help.