Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that occurs as a result of experiencing, and remembering, a traumatic event. According to the American Psychological Association, trauma is defined as a strong emotional response to a terrible event. While the definition provided lists events like accidents, assault, abuse, or natural disaster, any terrible event that threatens death, violence, or serious injury can be considered traumatic. PTSD is commonly associated with combat veterans; however, it can also affect survivors of abuse.
Did You Know?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD affects around 3.5% of American adults annually, with women being twice as likely as men to develop PTSD.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
The symptoms of PTSD can vary in severity, however they generally fall into four categories:
- Intrusion: Symptoms can include repeated memories, flashbacks, or distressing dreams that an individual experiences involuntarily. In addition, many individuals with PTSD feel like they live in a state of constant fear, often thinking that something dangerous is about to happen.
- Avoidance: Individuals with PTSD tend to avoid anything that reminds them of the event, whether it be people, places, or activities.
- Mood & Cognition Changes: Mood changes can cause a person to experience constant fear, horror, anger, guilt, shame, as well as a general feeling of detachment from others. Often a person may also experience a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities and struggle to experience positive emotions. Cognitive changes can cause a person to forget parts of the event or to develop distorted beliefs about themselves relating to the event.
- Increased Arousal & Reactivity: This can be categorized by extreme irritability that causes angry outbursts, self-destructive or reckless behavior, hyperawareness, or problems with concentration and sleeping.
Symptoms associated with PTSD generally start within three months of the event and last for longer than a month. However, some symptoms may start later. If you think you may be experiencing PTSD, schedule a consultation with our team at Transitions Counseling in Glendale, Phoenix, Mesa, or Chandler. Our team is also available for telehealth appointments.
How is PTSD diagnosed?
At Transitions Counseling, our team diagnoses PTSD by performing a formal assessment. During this evaluation, you will be asked about your symptoms, medical history, and other factors that could affect your mental health.
How is PTSD treated at Transitions Counseling?
At Transitions Counseling, we use integrative programs to guide you through your own personal recovery with respect and compassion. Our practice uses evidence-based treatments including EMDR and Cognitive Processing Therapy. During your treatment, you may also be encouraged to participate in one or more of the following to support your recovery:
- DBT Skills Training
- Expressive Arts Therapy
- Family Groups & Workshops
- Group Counseling
- Meditation & Mindfulness Exercises
- Nutritional Assessment & Coaching
- Yoga Practice & Yoga Therapy
If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, our team at Transitions Counseling in Glendale, Phoenix, Mesa, or Chandler would love to help you get back on your feet with an integrative PTSD treatment program that addresses the whole person. Give us a call for more information!