Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological disorder that people may develop after experiencing or witnessing traumatic events such as military combat, torture, violent assault, road traffic accidents, natural or man-made disasters, sexual abuse and childhood neglect. It is normal for individuals to experience upsetting memories, feel nervous and have difficulty sleeping following events like this but most people start to feel better after a couple of months. However, if these symptoms persist for longer than this you may be suffering from PTSD. It is thought that personal factors, such as one’s early attachment relationship and traumatic events in childhood contribute to the development of PTSD. Stress and the level of support an individual receives after the traumatic event can also influence the development of PTSD.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
Symptoms often start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. Typical symptoms include:
- Reliving the event: Being repeatedly troubled by memories of the event and/or experiencing nightmares. You even may also experience ‘flashbacks’ which refer to times when you feel that you are going through the event again, including experiencing the same sounds, smells and physical sensations of the traumatic event.
- Avoiding situations and people that remind you of the event: Avoidance of reminders of the event may also occur alongside avoiding thinking about the traumatic event/s.
- Changes in emotions and beliefs about oneself and the world: You may feel a lot of shame and guilt about what has happened to you. It is common to feel that the world is no longer safe and have difficulty trusting others. You may also find it difficult to enjoy previously pleasurable activities.
- Hyperarousal: This includes feelings of nervousness and always being on the lookout for danger. It is not uncommon to feel easily threatened and respond with intense anger, rage and/or irritability which may be disproportionate to what is going on around you . In order to manage these feelings you may start using drugs and alcohol to help you cope.
Treatment for PTSD
There are two main types of treatment, psychotherapy and psychiatric medication. Sometimes people combine psychotherapy and medication. Dr Rose has undertaken specialist training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Processing) which is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of PTSD. She may also combine EMDR with other therapies such as Schema Therapy or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy depending on the needs of the individual.
If it is considered that you may additionally benefit from pharmacological treatment to also support symptoms relating to PTSD, e.g. depression, Dr Rose is also able to refer you for a psychiatric review and onward referral if necessary.
Contact Dr Rose now to arrange a consultation for treatment of PTSD. Email: [email protected] or call on: 07393 488534.