Trauma and PTSD

Trauma & PTSD Treatment in Oakland Park, FL

Stress is part of daily life. Most people experience periods of stress throughout the day. In most cases, using coping skills can help people manage periods of regular stress. 

However, traumatic events can cause lasting effects. Trauma occurs when an experience is so frightening or distressing that it overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. 

Sometimes, the effects of trauma can last long after the event is over. Experiencing lingering effects of trauma may be a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

This article will explore trauma and PTSD. You will learn:

  • How trauma occurs
  • The symptoms of PTSD
  • How to treat trauma and PTSD
  • Where to find treatment for trauma and PTSD

If you or someone in your life struggles with trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder, you are not alone. Contact the compassionate specialists at Agape Behavioral Healthcare now to explore our PTSD treatment programs. You may also contact us with questions or to schedule an intake appointment. 

What is Trauma?

Trauma is an emotional response to a frightening or highly stressful event. Some examples of experiences that may be traumatic include:

  • Experiencing childhood neglect or abuse
  • Being the victim of a crime
  • Surviving a natural disaster
  • Accidents
  • Severe injuries
  • Exposure to war
  • Experiencing or witnessing violence
  • The death of a loved one

These and other events may cause intense stress or fear that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. Traumatic events include single events or prolonged exposure to intensely stressful situations.

Trauma can cause physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. People may have physical pain or nausea. They may have relationship problems or unpredictable emotions. The effects of trauma can be disruptive to a person’s life.[1]

The symptoms of trauma may not happen for days, weeks, or months after the traumatic event. People may experience changing symptoms that come and go. Many people need mental health treatment and support to gain control over their well-being. 

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition. People may develop PTSD after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.[2,3] 

There are four types of PTSD symptoms. They are:

  • Intrusive memories
  • Avoidance
  • Negative changes in thinking and mood
  • Changes in emotional and physical reaction

Here is an overview of the symptoms of PTSD by type. 

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories  include:

  • Having frequent, distressing traumatic memories
  • Experiencing flashbacks of the traumatic event
  • Having nightmares about the traumatic experience
  • Experiencing severe distress in response to things that remind you of the traumatic event

Avoidance

Symptoms of avoidance include:

  • Not wanting to talk or think about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, people, or activities that remind you of the event

Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms may include:

  • Having negative thoughts about others, yourself, or the world in general
  • Feeling hopeless about the future
  • Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships with others
  • Feelings of detachment from loved ones
  • Feeling numb
  • Having trouble feeling positive emotions
  • Experiencing memory trouble, including forgetting critical details about the traumatic event

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Symptoms may include:

  • Feeling “on guard” or overly alert for danger
  • Having angry outbursts or aggression
  • Experiencing sleep problems
  • Engaging in self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse or dangerous driving
  • Being easily startled
  • Experiencing feelings of shame or guilt

PTSD symptoms can vary over time. People may experience more symptoms when facing triggers or being overwhelmed by other stress.

People with PTSD require trauma-focused therapy and other types of mental health treatment. Comprehensive, personalized treatment can help people process their trauma and move forward.

How to Treat Trauma and PTSD

PTSD symptoms can disrupt your life, but treatment can help. Here is an overview of the treatments for trauma and PTSD.[4,5] 

Cognitive processing therapy

This type of therapy focuses on processing trauma through talk therapy, writing, and other exercises. Studies show this process can be very effective for people with PTSD. 

Prolonged exposure therapy

During exposure therapy, people talk about trauma while using breathing techniques to manage anxiety. They work through a specific series of exercises that can help them process their trauma differently. 

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

During EMDR sessions, people think or talk about their traumatic experiences while following a series of specific eye movements. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

In CBT, people learn how to identify and change harmful thoughts and behaviors. People learn new skills to reduce stress and cope with challenges. 

In addition to therapy, people may participate in support groups or take medication for PTSD symptoms. Working with a licensed mental health practitioner who can help you find the right treatment for your unique needs is essential. 

Find Treatment for Trauma and PTSD

The symptoms of trauma and PTSD can keep you from living the healthy, fulfilling life you deserve. Contact the Agape Behavioral Healthcare specialists to learn about our holistic treatment and support programs. 

References:

  1. American Psychological Association (APA): Trauma
  2. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  3. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: PTSD: National Center for PTSD
  4. American Psychological Association (APA): PTSD Treatments
  5. National Institute of Health: A Review of PTSD and Current Treatment Strategies
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