Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating mental disorder that sometimes follows when a person has directly experienced or witnessed an extremely traumatic, tragic, or terrifying event. People with PTSD usually have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to.
Ordinary events can serve as reminders of the trauma and trigger flashbacks or intrusive images. A flashback may make the person lose touch with reality and reenact the event for a period of seconds or hours, or very rarely, days. A person having a flashback, which can come in the form of images, sounds, smells, or feelings, usually believes that the traumatic event is happening all over again.
Symptoms associated with reliving the traumatic event:
Symptoms related to avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event:
Symptoms related to negative changes in thought or mood:
Arousal and reactivity symptoms:
Other symptoms related to depersonalization (feeling like an observer to one’s body and thoughts/feelings) or derealization (experiencing unreality of surroundings) may also exist for some individuals.
Meeting with a clinician one-on-one for a first visit is the first step in addressing your symptoms. Based on this assessment, your therapist can help you decide on the best approach to begin to work on your symptoms. Starting treatment is a big step, and we’re here to help. Our clinicians are here to answer any questions you may have, and to help you through the process of getting started. To request information or to get started with a counselor, fill out our contact us form and we will be in touch.