What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that can develop in response to experiencing a traumatic event. Some examples of traumatic events that might cause PTSD include natural disasters, terror attacks, violence, abuse, severe neglect, or traffic accidents, but a traumatic event can be any experience where you are in danger, or you witness someone else in danger. People suffering from PTSD often relive the triggering event through vivid nightmares and/or flashbacks that can occur at any time. The unpleasantness and severity of their symptoms can make it very difficult for sufferers to go about their everyday activities. Although symptoms usually develop immediately after the event, individuals who have experienced abuse, neglect, or violence, may experience complex PTSD, where trauma occurred during childhood but there are no symptoms until years later.
Some common symptoms of PTSD include:
- Re-experiencing such as flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive images or sensations and physical sensations (including nausea, pain, sweating, or trembling)
- Avoidance and emotional numbing
- Hyper-arousal including irritability, angry outbursts, sleeping problems, difficulty concentrating
Sometimes individuals suffering from PTSD can suffer from other emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression, self-harm or engage in substance misuse.
If you feel that the above applies to you, therapy can help you to overcome your condition and greatly improve your day to day functioning and quality of life.
Which therapies might help?
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Schema informed therapy (ST)
- Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)