What is PTSD?
The condition known as PTSD is also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
About one in ten Canadians and approximately 7.5% of Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD can present in very complex ways and many sufferers of the condition may not even be aware that they have PTSD at all and just think that they have anxiety and have difficulty interacting with society in a ‘normal’ way.
The condition can be caused by physical or emotional trauma and affect the individual in different ways.
The effects of Physical Trauma
Physical trauma usually comes about when a person has extreme experiences in their life that are brought about by either a single incident [such as a vehicle accident or fall from a height], the psychological side of that physical trauma is how PTSD would present itself.
When left untreated, the physical and psychological trauma can have devastating effects on a person. For some people they will heal over time with proper self-care.
But, for some people, the symptoms remain even after a significant amount of time has passed, and may even worsen to the point of interfering with daily life.
The effects of Emotional Trauma
Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of living through stressful events that can shatter one’s sense of security – they can involve threats to life or safety, but may also simply be a situation that overwhelms the sufferer.
The trauma may be caused by a single incident, such as an accident, injury or violent attack; it may also be the result of ongoing stresses such as domestic violence, bullying or childhood neglect.
Sudden stressors that can be overlooked such as surgery, the death of a loved one, or even the end of an important relationship can also be traumatic.
Symptoms of PTSD
Symptoms of PTSD can begin immediately after the trauma, but for some people, symptoms arise much later.
Many traumatic memories can be blocked from when the sufferer is not yet able to process them, and PTSD symptoms can therefore appear months or even years after the traumatic event.
People under already heavy stress loads, or who lived through childhood trauma are more likely to react strongly to traumatic events in adulthood.
While physicals symptoms of PTSD include insomnia or nightmares, which can lead to extreme fatigue, people have also experienced edginess, feeling easily startled, a racing heartbeat, as well as muscle tension or aches and pains.
Some typical emotional and psychological reactions to trauma can include:
- Feeling numb or disconnected
- Confusion and/or difficulty concentrating
- Shock, disbelief and denial
- Guilt, shame, or self-blame
- Withdrawing from others
- Anxiety or fear of everyday life
- Feelings of extreme sadness or hopelessness
- Anger, irritability or mood swings
- Feeling overwhelmed when faced with simple tasks
- Flashbacks and nightmares
How to treat Trauma and PTSD
While Trauma and PTSD can feel crippling at times, there are treatment options available;
Regular exercise and self-care is very important because Trauma can disrupt your fight or flight balance, burning off excess
adrenaline with regular exercise can be beneficial, which will in turn release endorphins and contribute to a sense of well-being.
Mindful, rhythmic exercise such as martial arts, weight training, swimming, running, or even dancing would be beneficial.
Maintain relationships and avoid isolation
It can also be helpful to join a support group, volunteer, or just participate in social activities. It’s not necessary to discuss the trauma, simply to feel accepted by others, or to have a support system.
Working with a PTSD Coach or therapist can be beneficial in helping you work through the many layers of trauma.
Techniques may vary from coach to coach but PTSD therapy has three main goals:
- Improve your symptoms
- Teach you skills to deal with it
- Restore your self-esteem
Most PTSD therapies fall under the umbrella of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
The idea is to change the thought patterns that are disturbing your life, this might happen through talking about your trauma or concentrating on where your fears come from.
Therapy with Sharon
Sharon works in unique ways with her clients. Using many systems that she has used in her own healing journey to help to re-program her belief systems and internal dialogue.
Each coaching session is different and unique because Sharon understands that we are all different and unique.
She draws on her intuitive, right-brained, healer side to facilitate a healing path that aims to calm the responses to emotional and physical trauma.
All that she asks of you is that you have the willingness and the want to find more balance and healing in your life as well as your body.