PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
There are a specific set of symptoms that accompany a PTSD diagnosis, which is why sometimes we need a wider lens to talk about trauma. Trauma does not always result in a PTSD diagnosis and may still require treatment to improve. Here is a list of the symptoms/categories of PTSD:
1. The person has to have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a death, natural disaster, or a life threatening situation.
2. Re-experiencing: This is a section that includes intrusive thoughts, nightmares, flashbacks, and reactivity to reminders or triggers of the event.
3. Avoidant Symptoms: These symptoms describe the ways that someone has tried to avoid any feelings about the event. This may include avoiding thinking or remembering the event or avoiding places or people who make the person think about the event.
4. Negative Alterations in Mood or Cognitions: This is a new section that describes a decline in someone’s mood or thought patterns. Severely reduced satisfaction in activities, memory problems related to the event, negative thoughts or beliefs about themselves or the world, and/or feeling detached or isolated from relationships are all symptoms from this category.
5. Increased Arousal Symptoms: These are the result or process of the person attempting to assess current threat levels and being “on edge”. Difficulty concentrating, irritability, trouble sleeping, being easily startled, and hypervigilance are all symptoms of increased arousal.
As I said before, I will be your guide in working through the trauma. One Important goal of trauma work, is to regain your sense of mastery and wisdom. Many of the interventions that I use do not require a constant exposure to the trauma. However, some people feel deep down that they really need to talk about it in depth and repeatedly. That’s something that we can explore if you feel strongly about it, and this exposure to the trauma can be helpful at times. At the same time, grounding techniques and even grounded lifestyles such as a yoga lifestyle have proven to be just as effective as exposure therapies. Either way, we need to determine the difference between what really is traumatic today in your life and what are just triggers that activate past traumas. Sometimes the triggers can feel just as intense as the original threat when the trauma becoomes activated. Once you can see something as just a trigger, not a threat, you can reduce your reactivity and take back your body and your mind. I will work with you, discuss what it’s like to live your day to day life, and find the patterns and connections in collaboration with you. You are the expert.