Trauma often occurs in the context of an adverse life event that may have caused a change in the way we function cognitively, emotionally, socially, and occupationally. Not all individuals will respond to adverse life events in the same way, however when we do experience a physical or psychological response to a traumatic event or ongoing exposure to traumatic stimuli, consequently we will experience a decrease in the way we are able to manage in most areas of our life.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is characterised by the following symptoms resulting from either being directly exposed to, witnessing, or experiencing vicariously one or more traumatic events:
Intrusive symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s) such as:
Recurrent distressing memories or dreams
Psychological or physiological distress when exposed to stimuli that may remind the individual of the traumatic event
Avoidance of aspects associated to the traumatic event(s) such as:
Avoidance of distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings associated to the traumatic event(s)
Avoidance of external reminders of the traumatic event(s) such as people, places, conversations, activities etc.
Other symptoms such as:
A change in mood and/or memory
A change in our sense of self
Social isolation or a feeling of detachment from other people
At times, an increase in reckless behaviours
A change in sleep patterns
Acute Stress Disorder
Acute Stress Disorder is similar to PTSD; however, the symptoms last for approximately 3 days to one month when an individual is either directly exposed to, witnessed, or experiences vicariously one or more traumatic events.
Adjustment Disorder is a trauma-related disorder, following an individual’s experience of an identified stressor (such as the end of a romantic relationship, the conclusion of employment), with emotional and behavioural symptoms occurring within three months of the onset of the stressor. Symptoms may include significant distress and rumination around the stressor, an impairment in functioning, a change in mood, a change in sense of self, sleep and appetite disturbances, and a decrease in motivation.
Trauma informed care is incredibly important when working with any individual who may be presenting with PTSD, or more complex cluster of symptoms related to reoccurring exposure to trauma. At The Mind Body Practice, we have experience with understanding the complexity of trauma and create a safe place to begin processing the traumatic experience(s). There are multiple intervention options for PTSD, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), as well as Schema Therapy. You and your Psychologist will chat through your experiences and begin to develop a treatment plan unique to you.