If you have suffered a traumatic or stressful event recently or as far back as childhood and are:
- Having trouble functioning at home or work
- Experiencing terrifying memories or flashbacks of the event(s)
- Avoiding things and places that remind you of the trauma
- Emotionally numb and disconnected from others
- Suffering from severe fear, anxiety or depression
- Using drugs or alcohol to feel better
- Burdened with guilt or self-blame about the trauma
Then it is imperative that you seek help as you may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or having trauma reactions.
Examples of traumatic experiences include:
- Sudden or violent death of a loved one
- Verbal, physical or sexual abuse
- Car accident
- A natural disaster
- Discovery of a life threatening illness
When treating people who have been traumatized I guide them through a process of healing and education. A person who is suffering from Trauma/PTSD may feel as if they “are going crazy”. That is why it is important that they receive education about PTSD and understand its effect but most importantly realize that they will get better.
An important part of healing is addressing the symptoms and processing the feelings related to the trauma. Traumatic events and can get stuck in the limbic “fight or flight” part of the brain. When the memories are “triggered” it can feel as if you are “reliving” the traumatic event. Processing the memories and feelings in a safe environment unlocks them from the fight or flight part of the brain.
Trauma can also shatter a person’s sense of safety and trust in others so building or rebuilding the ability to trust other people is a key part of treatment.
For more information see my article on : Understanding Emotional and Psychological Trauma
Complex PTSD from Childhood
If you experienced repeated exposure to physical, sexual or emotional abuse and neglect You may have Complex PTSD. It is a more severe form of PTSD and some of the additional features include:
- Emotional flashbacks
- Toxic shame,
- A vicious inner critic
- Social anxiety
Fortunately complex PTSD can be addressed through therapy. It is possible to release oneself from the toxic legacy of the past, to heal and have a rich and fulfilling life.