Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—The Personal Side
If you have experienced PTSD, you know it is real. People with PTSD often have nightmares and flashbacks. They worry something bad will happen to them. They may see the world as a scary place and avoid reminders of their trauma–reminders we call “triggers.”
People suffering with PTSD have told me they “feel like they are losing their minds” because they “see” the trauma in nightmares and flashbacks. Some people also feel disconnected from their bodies or as if they are living in a movie. This is called dissociation.
Whether you have mild or severe PTSD, it is life altering. Things like going to the grocery store, meeting a friend or taking a walk may feel like major life challenges. You may feel like you live in a constant state of fear or worry. And, you may even begin viewing the world as “a bad or scary place.” This is because your mind (your thoughts) and your nervous system are so intricately connected. Once one of them starts to get off track or become dysregulated, the other follows. This is why EMDR and calming strategies are so helpful. Learning and using calming strategies calms the mind and body while EMDR empowers clients to access and address their trauma without feeling completely overwhelmed by it.
While working with Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD or CPTSD) is considered a specialty this form of PTSD is worth mentioning in this post. It can present with emotional regulation issues, difficulty with self-perception, interruptions in consciousness, difficulty with relationships and more. I like the quote from Bessel A. van der Kolk “The traumatic stress field has adopted the term “Complex Trauma” to describe the experience of multiple and/or chronic and prolonged, developmentally adverse traumatic events, most often of an interpersonal nature (e.g., sexual or physical abuse, war, community violence) and early-life onset. These exposures often occur within the child’s caregiving system and include physical, emotional, and educational neglect and child maltreatment beginning in early childhood.” A common difference is PTSD usually results from a single event, short-lived trauma or traumas of time-limited duration. C-PTSD stems from chronic, long-term exposure to trauma in which a victim has limited belief it will ever end. The healing and recovery from CPTSD often takes much longer as well.
Several different forms of therapy in addition to EMDR therapy are proven tools to help heal from the effects of PTSD. If you feel you may have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, our mental health counselors can help. You can get your life back. Please contact us today at 407-443-8862. We are here to help you heal, grow and experience life again to the fullest.