What is PTSD?
Reliving/Re-experiencing.- this includes having bad nightmares or flashbacks, thinking about the trauma when trying to do something else and becoming upset when confronted with a traumatic reminder.
Seeking Isolation - from places or people that remind you of the trauma, cutting yourself off from social support and feeling generally numb.
Increased Awareness - being very aware of potential threat, being on guard at all times, feeling irritable and startling easily.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, commonly just referred to as PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop following experiencing or witnessing a traumatic life-threatening event.
Symptoms of PTSD can be separated into three categories.
These symptoms are part of a normal reaction to trauma, only if they remain 4 weeks after the trauma should you consider seeking help as PTSD may have developed. PTSD can be a scary time with the combination of nightmares/flashbacks, irritability and high anxiety levels. It can also be very difficult for those around you to understand and this can damage relationships.
PTSD symptoms usually develop within the first three months after trauma, but may not appear until months or years have passed.
CBT for Ptsd
CBT initially offers a safe environment where you can confidentially discuss your symptoms and feelings and work on understanding them in the context of following a traumatic event. We will make sense of your symptoms, discovering why you seek isolation and tackle the difficult thoughts that create a constant sense of danger. Relaxation techniques will generally also be taught to help deal with the high levels of anxiety you are experiencing at this time.
In your own time and only when you feel ready, therapy will move towards discussing the traumatic experience in increasing levels of depth. This discussion helps the brain to process the thoughts and images of that day fully and commit them to memory; hopefully ending any difficult reliving/re-experiencing symptoms.