Advice To Counselors: Using Information About Biology And Trauma
- Educate your clients:
Frame reexperiencing the event, hyperarousal, sleep disturbances, and other physical symptoms as physiological reactions to extreme stress.
Communicate that treatment and other wellness activities can improve both psychological and physiological symptoms . You may need to refer certain clients to a psychiatrist who can evaluate them and, if warranted, prescribe psycho-tropic medication to address severe symptoms.
- Increased charitable giving and volunteerism.
How To Recognize Ptsd
How to recognize PTSD without raising tensions is to look for avoidance symptoms, such as unreasonable guilt, fretfulness and depression. Observe if your loved one avoids the place, objects or events that pertain to the traumatic experience. Determine if a lack of enthusiasm for activities that were previously enjoyable is present. Also, be aware of hyperarousal symptoms. These can be outbursts of anger, sleep disturbances, tension or being easily startled.
How Do Children And Teens React To Trauma
Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but their symptoms may not be the same as those seen in adults. In young children under the age of 6, symptoms can include:
- Wetting the bed after having learned to use the toilet
- Forgetting how or being unable to talk
- Acting out the scary event during playtime
- Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult
Older children and teens usually show symptoms more like those seen in adults. They also may develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They also may have thoughts of revenge.
For more information, see the National Institute of Mental Health brochure, Helping Children and Adolescents Cope With Disasters and Other Traumatic Events.
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Advice To Counselors: Universal Screening And Assessment
Only people specifically trained and licensed in mental health assessment should make diagnoses trauma can result in complicated cases, and many symptoms can be present, whether or not they meet full diagnostic criteria for a specific disorder. Only a trained assessor can distinguish accurately among various symptoms and in the presence of co-occurring disorders. However, behavioral health professionals without specific assessment training can still serve an important role in screening for possible mental disorders using established screening tools . In agencies and clinics, it is critical to provide such screenings systematicallyfor each clientas PTSD and other co-occurring disorders are typically under diagnosed or misdiagnosed.
Talking To Someone With Ptsd
When talking to your loved one about PTSD, be clear and to the point. Stay positive, and dont forget to be a good listener. When your loved one speaks, repeat what you understand and ask questions when you need more information. Dont interrupt or argue, but instead voice your feelings clearly. Dont assume your loved one knows how you feel if you dont express it. PTSD is hard on everyone involved with the victim.
Help your loved one put feelings into words. Ask about specific feelings, and ask what you can do to help. Lastly, dont give advice unless your loved one requests it.
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Effective Coping Strategies For Ptsd
The triggers of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are actually debilitating and far-reaching along with a negative impact on mental as well as physical health. When PTSD triggers sometimes people want to isolate themselves and experience difficulty in controlling their emotions. Meanwhile, there are various effective coping strategies for PTSD that offer hope, sense of renewal, control, and peace.
To remove the PTSD triggers from our lives or the lives of our loved ones, it is really necessary to work in each area. Through this blog, I am going to highlight effective coping strategies for PTSD which is medically and psychologically proved. So, lets get started.
Work On Your Relationship With Your Partner
Its so easy for both moms and dads to neglect their relationship. This may feel amplified when youre struggling with mental health. Having a supportive partner can make all the difference, though, so keeping your relationship strong is an essential coping strategy. Here are some things you can do:
- Keep communicating about everything, especially as your roles and expectations shift with a new baby.
- Bond together with the baby, spending time reading, singing, laughing and playing as a family.
- Let the grandparents step in to help with the baby so you can spend time together, even if only for a walk around the block.
- Go to therapy sessions together, both to help manage your PTSD together and to work on strengthening your relationship.
- Avoid turning your frustrations on your partner. Address your challenges together, not divided and against each other.
Postpartum PTSD is a real phenomenon, and it affects more women than most people realize. You dont have to live with this in silence or alone. PTSD is manageable. Get professional help first and then try these coping strategies to heal and to be able to fully embrace the joys of motherhood.
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Be Honest About Your Needs
Take time to help your loved ones understand what you are experiencing and be honest about how they can help. Ask them to be patient with you and remember to be patient with yourself as well. Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries around time or personal space can be important in relationships. Learning how to trust people and asking for help can be significant obstacles, but are very importantespecially with those who care for us most.
Living With Someone With Ptsd
PTSD doesnt only affect the person who has it. Its effects can affect those around them.
The anger, fear, or other emotions that people with PTSD are often challenged with can strain even the strongest relationships.
Learning all you can about PTSD can help you be a better advocate and supporter for your loved one. Joining a support group for family members of people living with PTSD can give you access to helpful tips from people whove been or are currently in your shoes.
Try to make sure that your loved one is getting proper treatment which can include therapy, medication, or a combination of the two.
Also, try to recognize and accept that living with someone who has PTSD isnt easy. There are challenges. Reach out for caregiver support if you feel the need to do so. Therapy is available to help you work through your personal challenges like frustration and worry.
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Post
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is considered to be one of the leading psychological treatments for post-traumatic stress. All of our online courses use CBT strategies to help ease symptoms. Click below to see if CBT can help you tackle your symptoms to improve the way you feel.
Strategies for Managing Post-Traumatic Stress
People with PTSD often feel stressed, nauseous, tense, and irritable. This is generally because the traumatic thing they experienced has made them feel vulnerable to danger their mind feels like it needs to be on high alertat all times. Relaxation strategies can help reduce the physical symptoms of stress and help people with PTSD start to feel safe again. These can be formal therapeutic strategies, like progressive muscle relaxation or deep breathing, or the things that people normally do to relax, like yoga, aromatherapy, or having a warm bath.
Coping with Symptoms of PTSD
Its generally recommended that people with PTSD seek professional help. However, some of the below strategies may help you manage some PTSD symptoms.
Emotional And Psychological Trauma
If youve experienced an extremely stressful eventor series of eventsthats left you feeling helpless and emotionally out of control, you may have been traumatized. Psychological trauma often has its roots in childhood, but any event that shatters your sense of safety can leave you feeling traumatized, whether its an accident, injury, the sudden death of a loved one, bullying, domestic abuse, or a deeply humiliating experience. Whether the trauma happened years ago or yesterday, you can get over the pain, feel safe again, and move on with your life.
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What Are The Treatments For Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
One of the main PTSD treatment methods is therapy. There are a few types of therapy which work best as PTSD treatments compared to just talk therapy or counselling, such as EMDR. Its best if you find a specialist Trauma therapist who has experience in those fields, because they will be better equipped to help you.
If you go via the NHS route, you may be offered CBT as an alternative to EMDR and for some people medicating is another option. Heres some info on the NHS treatments for PTSD.
If you dont want to stay on a waiting list, you can take a look at private therapy or Private Psychiatry One of the pros of private therapy is that you will have more control over exactly what type of therapy you do, as well as the time frame and you will have more choice over exactly which therapist you work with.
This blog post is written in collaboration with Psymplicity Healthcare, who offer many kinds of therapy and treatment to help with a variety of adult and childhood conditions including PTSD, Anxiety disorders, ADHD and lots more.
Find Support In Other Mothers
For too long women have not talked about the unique mental health challenges of motherhood. This silence promotes isolation. You probably feel alone, as if other mothers are doing just fine and that there is something wrong with you.
Look for support in other mothers with similar experiences. There are many more out there than you may realize. Support groups for postpartum PTSD and depression, or even just regular coffee sessions with moms you know, can be a huge relief. Share your experiences, learn from each other, and know that you are not alone.
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Advice To Counselors: Understanding The Nature Of Combat Stress
Several sources of information are available to help counselors deepen their understanding of combat stress and postdeployment adjustment. explains how a prolonged combat-ready stance, which is adaptive in a war zone, becomes hypervigilance and overprotectiveness at home. He makes the point that the mutual interdependence, trust, and affection that are so necessarily a part of a combat unit are different from relationships with family members and colleagues in a civilian workplace. This complicates the transition to civilian life. Wheels Down: Adjusting to Life After Deployment provides practical advice for military service members, including inactive or active duty personnel and veterans, in transitioning from the theater to home.
The following are just a few of the many resources and reports focused on combat-related psychological and stress issues:
- Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery
- On Killing , an indepth analysis of the psychological dynamics of combat
- Haunted by Combat , which contains specific chapters on Reserve and National Guard troops and female veterans
- Treating Young Veterans: Promoting Resilience Through Practice and Advocacy
Cognition And Mood Symptoms Include:
- Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
- Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
- Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
Cognition and mood symptoms can begin or worsen after the traumatic event, but are not due to injury or substance use. These symptoms can make the person feel alienated or detached from friends or family members.
It is natural to have some of these symptoms for a few weeks after a dangerous event. When the symptoms last more than a month, seriously affect ones ability to function, and are not due to substance use, medical illness, or anything except the event itself, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD dont show any symptoms for weeks or months. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.
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Favorite Resources For Becoming An Advocate
Want to get involved with PTSD advocacy for yourself or a loved one who is a veteran of the Armed Forces? We like the PTSD Foundation of America for its resources on volunteer opportunities and fundraiser ideas. While youre at it, check out ways you can help sponsor a veteran or get involved in your local chapter.
Looking to change local and federal policy to support mental health initiatives? NAMI is your best resource for how to get involved. Even if you cant make it to Capitol Hill personally, NAMI offers ideas on how to write letters, engage in your own community, and more.
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Rape Or Sexual Trauma
The trauma of being raped or sexually assaulted can be shattering, leaving you feeling scared, ashamed, and alone, or plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, and other unpleasant memories. But no matter how bad you feel right now, its important to remember that you werent to blame for what happened, and you can regain your sense of safety, trust, and self-worth.
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Do Children React Differently Than Adults
Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but some of their symptoms may not be the same as adults. Symptoms sometimes seen in very young children , these symptoms can include:
- Wetting the bed after having learned to use the toilet
- Forgetting how to or being unable to talk
- Acting out the scary event during playtime
- Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult
Older children and teens are more likely to show symptoms similar to those seen in adults. They may also develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They may also have thoughts of revenge.
Sexual Assault And Ptsd
A sexual assault is a nonconsensual sexual encounter between at least two individuals. This kind of assault may occur through physical force against the victim, using a date rape drug to make them intoxicated, or when the victim is otherwise unable to consent. Roughly one in every five women reports being raped or sexually assaulted during their lifetime. The numbers for men and children are less well known because these conditions are likely underreported.
After the assault, the victim will likely experience confusion, anxiety, panic, guilt, shame, or fear. These are normal reactions to a traumatic event. However, if these feelings persist for several weeks, get worse over time, or do not occur until time has passed, the victim may develop PTSD.
There are specific triggers associated with people struggling with PTSD after a sexual assault.
Some of these may include:
- Seeing the aggressor or someone who looks like the aggressor
- Being in crowds
- Certain clothing, smells, places, or foods
- Verbal harassment on the street
- Jokes, especially those about rape or assault
- Trying to form relationships with others
Because substance abuse and PTSD are closely associated, it is important to get help if signs of PTSD surface. People who are victims of assault, crime, natural disasters, accidents, or combat are not at fault for their condition, and they deserve evidence-based treatment to help them heal.
Its Never Too Late to Get Help
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When To Seek Help
Not everyone requires treatment for traumatic stress. Most people recover on their own with time. However, mental health professionals such as psychologists can help you find healthy ways to cope in the aftermath of a traumatic event.
If your distress is interfering with your relationships, work, or daily functioning, you may have acute stress disorder or PTSD.
The Causes And Prevalence Of Ptsd After Stroke
The development of PTSD after stroke could be more common than previously thought. A meta-analysis of 9 post-stroke PTSD studies reported that about 25% of individuals who survive a stroke or TIA develop significant PTSD symptoms.
To understand the link between stroke and post-traumatic stress disorder, its important to look at the survivors experience both during the onset of the stroke and during life after stroke.
Many survivors report feelings of fear during the onset of stroke. For example, when asked what a stroke feels like, some survivors recollect feeling dazed and confused while others are aware of whats happening and may even struggle to call for help due to a sudden loss of motor control . When you put yourself in the shoes of a survivor, it quickly becomes clear how a life-threatening condition can cause trauma.
When a stroke is treated successfully, the survivor begins the recovery process. This process is full of hard work, and it can be a long journey for those that sustained significant secondary effects, such as paralysis or loss of speech.
Another long-term consequence of stroke that elicits fear is the possibility of recurrent stroke. The risk of stroke increases after an individuals first stroke, which can cause anxiety knowing that another stroke can occur at any moment.
The combination of these fears and changes in life circumstances can lead to the development of PTSD.
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Where To Find Ptsd Treatment For A Friend Or Family Member
You can contact hospitals in your area or your doctor for advice. Check with local mental health facilities or support groups that can also supply you with information. University medical centers are good resources.
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