While PTSD is often associated with combat veterans, the fact is that anyone who experiences trauma can develop the disorder. The most common examples of trauma include:
- Witnessing a violent act
- Sexual abuse
- Domestic abuse
- Natural disasters
- Death of a loved one
This list is only meant to represent how people perceive, and process trauma has everything to do with whether they develop PTSD.
With PTSD, your brain doesn’t “process” the trauma adequately, leaving you with ongoing symptoms that include:
- Re-experiencing the trauma, such as flashbacks or nightmares
- Avoiding situations, people, or places that you associate with the trauma
- Startling easily (excessive jumpiness)
- Problems with focus or memory
- Feelings of guilt
- Isolation or loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Here again, it’s important to underscore the fact that there’s no checklist of symptoms that defines PTSD as people respond differently to trauma. We want to emphasize that processing a trauma in the days, weeks, and even months afterward can be difficult, but perfectly normal. If, however, you have ongoing symptoms that disrupt your life months or years afterward, this is likely a sign that you have PTSD.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be exhibiting signs of PTSD, it’s important that you seek help. Unresolved PTSD not only prevents you from alleviating your current symptoms, but it can also lead to larger mental health problems, such as depression.
When you come in, we sit down with you to review your symptoms to determine whether you may have PTSD. If we find that you’re trapped by your trauma, we typically recommend:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Prolonged exposure therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy
While we can’t say here which therapy might be best for you, we want you to know that we will work tirelessly toward finding a solution that best manages or even resolves your PTSD.
To learn more about PTSD and your treatment options, contact one of our three locations in Tualatin or Newberg, Oregon, to set up an appointment.