After a traumatic experience, it’s normal to feel frightened, sad, anxious, and disconnected. But if the upset doesn’t fade and you feel stuck with a constant sense of danger and painful memories, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When you suffer from PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. Talking with a therapist will help you sort through your feelings and lead you on your path to recovery.
Traumatic events that can lead to PTSD include:
The symptoms of PTSD can arise unexpectedly, gradually, or come and go over time. Sometimes symptoms are triggered by something that reminds you of the original traumatic event, such as a noise, an image, certain words, or a smell. While everyone experiences PTSD differently, there are three main types of symptoms:
If you suspect that you or a loved one has PTSD, it’s important to seek help right away. If you’re reluctant to seek help, keep in mind that PTSD is not a sign of weakness, and the only way to overcome it is to confront what happened to you and learn to accept it as a part of your past. This process is much easier with the guidance and support of an experienced therapist.
It’s only natural to want to avoid painful memories and feelings. But if you try to numb yourself and push your memories away, PTSD will only get worse. You can’t escape your emotions completely—they emerge under stress or whenever you let down your guard—and trying to do so is exhausting. The avoidance will ultimately harm your relationships, your ability to function, and the quality of your life.
When looking for a therapist for post-traumatic stress disorder, seek out mental health professionals who specialize in the treatment of trauma and PTSD. You can start by asking your doctor if he or she can provide a referral to therapists with experience treating trauma. You may also want to ask other trauma survivors for recommendations, or call a local mental health clinic, psychiatric hospital, or counseling center.
Do you think you or your child may be suffering from PTSD? Why not make an appointment with Jennifer? She has 15 years of specialized experience in treating children who have anxiety and symptoms of PTSD. Due to PTSD, some children exhibit different behaviors and issues including, but are not limited to: making friends, test taking anxiety, discipline problems in school, failing grades, skipping school, legal issues, bullying, verbal and physical aggression, drug and alcohol use, school suspensions, health/hygiene, and problems involving social media. Jennifer’s experience encompasses a wide range of treatments for children, adolescents and adults. Her gentle approach will put you at ease. You may reach her at (716) 432-3656.