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Help for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by a distressing, frightening or traumatic event. See also ‘Trauma‘ in ‘Issues Treated‘.

Events that can cause PTSD:

  • Abuse
  • Death threats
  • Sexual assault
  • Physical assault
  • Robbery
  • Automobile accidents
  • Occupational injuries
  • War
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Natural disasters
Symptoms of PTSD
(which may vary):

  • Flashbacks
  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty sleeping e.g. Insomnia
  • Feeling isolated
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feeling fear
  • Feeling anxious
  • Emotional numbness
  • Phobia
  • Depression
  • Drug abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain and stomach upsets
  • Sweating and shaking
  • Hyper-vigilance

Although exposure to a traumatic event does not necessarily indicate the development of PTSD, 30% of individuals faced with a traumatic event will go on experiencing chronic symptoms and this is where we can help.

How can therapy help with PTSD?

At Fresh Mind Therapy we use effective techniques based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (http://www.nice.org.uk/media/878/f7/cbtcommissioningguide.pdf). Trauma-focused CBT aims to reduce the very high levels of emotional arousal associated with the traumatic event.  During this process you are encouraged to recognise internal traumatic images and gain control of the accompanying distress you feel. CBT sessions will help you to:

  • Identify the triggers to your PTSD
  • Reduce the symptoms, both physical and psychological, of your past trauma
  • Examine unhelpful behaviours and beliefs that continue to maintain the PTSD
  • Learn effective tools to manage your symptoms long-term

While treatment for PTSD is usually successful, progress takes into account your individual symptoms and level of previous distress.

Medication (via a psychiatrist or GP)

Many people with PTSD have depression and if this is the case, it is important that we evaluate you for psychiatric medication as it can influence both your symptoms and the kind of therapy needed to maximise your recovery.

Speak to one of our therapists now about PTSD or trauma and get the help you need