What is PTSD?

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD for short is a mental health problem that people can develop after experiencing or witnessing traumatic events. These events could be wide-ranging.

It is estimated that 1 in 3 people who witness a serious accident or shared traumatic event will develop PTSD. It is not known why some people experience PTSD and others don’t.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?

The collection of symptoms varies from person to person and so does the severity. The symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, memory problems, anxiety and finding it hard to concentrate. The symptoms can become debilitating for some people, although some people find that they fade over time.

What Triggers PTSD?

After witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, the brain makes an assessment. It decides whether the information it is holding on to can keep you safe in the future. It holds on to snippets of memories, attaching meaning to them.

Flashbacks can pop into the mind at anytime. The purpose of them is to keep you safe – it’s a reminder of what happened before as a warning signal.

Sometimes a seemingly unconnected trigger can cause a flashback. The brain takes a snapshot at the very moment that the event occurred. All of the senses are heightened and engaged at that precise moment, in order to help you survive. Your body is in flight-fight-freeze mode, and it tries to capture absolutely everything it can in order to keep you safe now, and to prevent this from happening again.

So once the event is over, the brain files away what it thinks is vital information. It’s job is to keep you alive and safe.

Then on another day, a seemingly unconnected trigger, like a sight, sound, smell, or thought can remind you of the traumatic event in some way.

Some PTSD triggers are obvious, such as seeing a news report of an accident. At other times the connection between the trigger and the memory seems less clear. For example, if you were attacked on a summer’s day, feeling warmth on your skin might remind you of the feelings you had then.

These responses can be very unconscious, and that is where the treatment needs to start – in the unconscious mind.

Treating PTSD

I help people to process the thoughts, feelings and trauma they are experiencing, though Quest cognitive hypnotherapy. It is gentle and permissive, allowing you to open up as much or as little as you want. This therapy can be done with or without words. The thoughts and feelings can be processed gently, allowing your mind to update and recover from the trauma safely. If trauma or PTSD is dominating your mind, why not get in touch and see if I can help?

Please visit my page about the treatment I provide for trauma and PTSD here. 

You can contact me on 07961 389 030 or book a discovery call here.

Here is more information about PTSD and the help that is available.

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