What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a phrase you more than likely will have heard in conversation, on film or TV, and perhaps even in lessons and lectures during your education. But just because we hear a phrase repeatedly, and think we understand what it means, doesn’t mean we truly comprehend what PTSD is.
PTSD is a complex mental health disorder that can’t be assumed to be one thing or another. Through ignorance comes a lack of support for the people who need and deserve it. Make sure that you know what PTSD is, the signs of this disorder, and how it can be treated in case you, or someone close to you, needs support.
Please keep reading to learn more about this mental health illness which 3% of the UK population suffer from. The statistic might seem small, but in fact, 1 in 100 people you encounter could be hiding this mental health issue from the world – so make sure you know exactly what it is!
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced scary, dangerous or shocking events. It’s a natural result of a traumatic event, yet people still feel ashamed for facing this mental health illness.
There are many causes of PTSD as any situation can suddenly become traumatic for a person – and trauma and our responses to it are very personal.
Some of the most common traumatic situations which cause PTSD include:
- Serious road accidents
- Violent personal assaults, e.g. mugging, robbing or sexual assault
- Violent experiences, e.g. active combat in the armed forces
- Serious health problems.
PTSD can develop straight after a traumatic event, or even weeks, months or years later. This is all dependent on the person, as sometimes we may not feel significantly affected by an event during or straight after it, but the feelings and trauma catch up with us later on.
Life With PTSD
It is estimated that for every three people who suffer a traumatic experience, one of them develops PTSD. However, it is still unclear why some people develop the condition, and others do not.
Those who live with PTSD suffer from several symptoms which can affect their happiness and mental and physical health. They can relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, experiencing feelings such as guilt, annoyances, isolation, and anger.
Those who have PTSD can also face sleeping problems such as insomnia, leading to difficulty concentrating.
These symptoms can be severe and consistent enough to impact the person’s everyday life significantly. As a result, their physical and mental health can progressively, or suddenly, get worse.
People who experience numerous traumatic events – such as neglect, abuse or violence – may be diagnosed with complex PTSD. Complex PTSD has similar symptoms to PTSD, but they may not develop until years after the event. Complex PTSD is often seen in people who’ve had lots of trauma early in life as it affects their development.
EMDR Therapy for PTSD
People facing PTSD may think there is no way out of the life trauma has forced upon them. However, EMDR therapy is an innovative and focused approach approved by both the NHS and WHO (World Health Organisation) and is taking the scene by storm. Doctors, therapists, and organisations worldwide are seeing the benefit this treatment has for helping people who have PTSD overcome their trauma.
EMDR therapy is scientifically proven to desensitise the brain’s axis and cortexes, which cause stress, through an interactive psychotherapy technique. This treatment enables the client to relive traumatic events with their therapist without feeling overwhelmed with anxiety and emotion. It is easier for the client to relive disturbing events because they simultaneously focus on an external stimulus. As a result, emotional stability is levelled, and the client’s mind is taught not to respond to recalling trauma with strong psychological reactions.
Please take a look at my website to learn more about PTSD and the best forms of therapy to support your mental health journey. If you, or someone close to you, suffers from PTSD, please get in contact with me to learn more about EMDR therapy and its fantastic benefits. I am dedicated to helping people understand their mental health and overcome any issues they may face like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. If you would like to know more about my experience and how I can support you, don’t hesitate to get in contact today.