Post-Traumatic Stress and Trauma

post-traumatic stress disorder dictionary definition
It’s not uncommon for people who have experienced a traumatic event to have difficulties adjusting and coping with said event. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the person has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prolonged and worsened symptoms, along with the failure to seek professional help, can eventually lead to PTSD. At Rice Psychology Group of Tampa, we believe one of the first steps in the path back to a normal life is recognizing and comprehending every factor of a mental health condition.

Know the Causes

Post-traumatic stress disorder is widely recognized as a mental health condition caused by a traumatic event experienced or witnessed by an individual. These events can often involve serious injuries, sexual violations or threatened death. While doctors and experts in the field are not sure why some people experience PTSD, they generally agree that it arises as a result of:

  • Genetic mental health risks such as anxiety and depression
  • Severe experiences in life that have occurred as early as childhood
  • An individual’s inherited personality, also known as a person’s temperament
  • The way a person’s brain regulates the chemicals and hormones released by the body as a response to stressful situations

Recognize the Symptoms

The symptoms surrounding PTSD can often be severe enough to cause serious difficulties in social, professional and personal situations. In many cases the symptoms arise within three months after the traumatic event has been experienced, but sometimes they occur years after. The symptoms of PTSD are often grouped into four categories including:

  • Intrusive Memories
    • Persistent and unsolicited memories of the event
    • Flashbacks
    • Distressing dreams of the event
    • Severe emotional misery or physical reactions to reminders of the event
  • Avoidance
    • Avoiding thinking or talking about the event
    • Avoiding people, places or activities that remind the person of the event
  • Changes in Thinking and Mood
    • Negative feelings about others or oneself
    • Emotional numbness
    • Lack of enjoyment in activities
    • Bleak outlook on the future
    • Trouble remembering key factors of the traumatic event
    • Trouble retaining close relationships
  • Changes in Emotional Reactions
    • Bursts of anger and irritability
    • Constantly staying on guard for possible danger
    • Feeling shame or guilt
    • Experiencing self-destructive tendencies
    • Difficulty sleeping or focusing

Let Us Help You Cope

At Rice Psychology Group, we understand that it takes time to accept and deal with the events that may have caused disruption to the way you or someone you know lives life. If you feel as if progress has not been made, or want to comprehend a loved one’s situation, our psychologists are ready to help.

We’ll help you understand the depths of the situation at hand with interviews and evaluations that are designed to help you feel at ease and as comfortable as possible. Contact our team in Tampa today to let Rice Psychology Group help you find your way back to normality.

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