Experiencing an emotional or psychological trauma, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, a natural disaster, etc, can have severe negative consequences on the victim, as well as on the people around them. A trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event, which can lead to shock and denial at first, but also have severe long-term consequences for the individuals who suffer a trauma. A trauma can be experienced as a harmfull, terrifying, life-threatening experience, which impacts your body and mind. This harm can happen to yourself, but can also be something that has harmed a loved one or even that you have seen a harmful event that happened to strangers.
Trauma can result in PTSD
Fear during a trauma triggers your body to fight (defend yourself against danger) or flight (avoid the danger). This is called the fight-or-flight response which is a healthy, natural response to protect yourself from harm. However, after the trauma is over, the fight or flight response, the shock and denial, should reduce and the body should restore itself to its natural status. It is very possible that victims suffer from symptoms, even after the trauma itself is over, and the victims will still feel stressed or frightened even when the danger has passed. After such a trauma, victims can develop symptoms such as severe anxiety, a sense of constant danger, flashbacks and nightmares. These symptoms are an indication that the victim is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Victims who experience and live with PTSD usually suffer from three main types of symptoms:
- Re-experiencing the trauma, the victim can have flashbacks, nightmares or have strong emotional responses to triggers that remind them of the event.
- Avoidance and emotional numbness, the victim can be emotionally numb, can experience loss of interest in activities that they previously enjoyed or start avoiding places, people, activities or objects that remind them of the trauma.
- Increased arousel due to the trauma, which can include symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, having angry outburts, feeling tense all the time or being hypervigilant.
There are different forms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can have an acute onset, symptoms start within three months after the event. PTSD can also be chronic, with symptoms remaining for at least six months and it can be delayed-onset, with symptoms who do not start untill at least six months after the traumatic event.
Trauma can affect anyone
Although women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD, it can happen to anyone who suffers a life-altering, terrifying event and it can happen in many different ways. PTSD first came to public attention with returning war veterans, who had suffered traumas during their time in the army and who came back with complaints relating to PTSD. In the years after, research has shown that PTSD can result from any traumatic event, such as mugging, rape, car accidents, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, war, plane crashes, and can even be secondary, caused by working with trauma victims or hearing trauma stories daily. In recent news, judges in the U.S. that preside over serious criminal cases have been starting counselling. For years they have been hearing recollections of traumatic events, seeing disturbing images, and although they are more resilient to stress, they can also experience symptoms and even develop PTSD.
Trauma Counselling can help
Living with PTSD can be very hard on the individual suffering from it, as well as on the family and friends around them. It can disrupt life and even change the personality and character of the victim. It is important to seek help for yourself of your loved ones if they have lived through a traumatic event or if you suspect that they are suffering from PTSD. We offer trauma counselling that can help deal with the emotional and psychological consequences and seeking help in the early stages, even when there are no symptoms yet, can help relieve and prevent PTSD. The government provides victims services, which can include free counselling and financial support to victims. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to have more information.
For more information on the best treatments for PTSD in Sydney using Victim Services NSW approved specialist counselor contact the clinical psychologists in Potentialz Unlimited with full confidence. All inquiries are treated with full confidence.