Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—The Practical Side
Depending on your age, different images may come to mind when you hear “PTSD” or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. When I hear “PTSD” I immediately think of Vietnam Veterans. There are two main reasons for this. The most recent reason is that for a few years at the beginning of my career I had the privilege of working with several Vietnam Vets. I saw an influx of Vets and most of them had PTSD coupled with at least one other mental health diagnosis.
The second reason is that one of my best friends growing up had a dad who served in Vietnam. He was never anything but kind and calm towards me. However, I remember early on in my friendship with this girl her warning me about her dad. She said we should never scream inside of her house, play hide and seek or play jokes on her dad. She told me about a time that she had playfully hidden from her dad. When she jumped out of hiding to scare him, he was very upset and yelled at her. My friend said her mom had intervened and told her it was “because of the war.” This was my earliest knowledge of “what war did to people” as some people say and of PTSD itself.
PTSD differs from complex posttraumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD or CPTSD) which can result from severe, repetitive, or threatening trauma that is often from abuse and many times begins in childhood. As a clinician I now know much more about PTSD and how trauma impacts us. I am also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. EMDR is a psychotherapy that empowers people to heal from trauma. EMDR “facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and other adverse life experiences to bring these to an adaptive resolution” (www.emdr.com). This therapy works for most types of trauma, including mental and emotional, physical and sexual trauma. I will speak more to what living with trauma is like in the personal blog on this topic and explain CPTSD a little more.
For now, I encourage you to take inventory of your major stressful life events. Do these events replay in your mind, do you avoid situations that remind you of these events or do you worry such things will happen again? If so, it is possible you have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or symptoms of it. As a trained psychotherapist who is seasoned in working with those with PTSD and many times using EMDR therapy to address it, I can provide the knowledge and support you need. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.