If you’ve had a traumatic experience that has lead to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) you may wonder if your symptoms will ever go away. You may feel like you are living a nightmare and may never be the same again. The traumatic experience may have occurred in your early life or adulthood. It might have been a one-time event, or it could have been a series of recurring events.
Common causes of trauma leading to PTSD are abuse, accidents, natural disasters, etc.
Common Symptoms of PTSD After Trauma
After a traumatic event, it is common to “relive” the traumatic event when a reminder of the situation confronts you. You may feel guarded, easily startled, and irritated. You may avoid people and places that stir up the memories. Perhaps you isolate yourself from people and you may feel numb. You may have trouble sleeping or eating. You may feel insecure and out of sorts much of the time.
Thankfully, there are a number of treatment methods in the psychotherapy field that are extremely effective at providing relief of PTSD symptoms. These methods are well researched and based on the latest brain science. They can often be used in conjunction with one other.
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
EMDR is one of the most researched backed techniques for resolving PTSD and trauma. It works on the level of how the brain processes memories. The technique can often quickly resolve troublesome symptoms including disturbing emotions and body sensations associated with the traumatic event.
After repeated EMDR sessions, the memories and associated feelings and body sensations lose their intensity and eventually are no longer “triggered” when you are reminded of the event.
Mindfulness Therapy allows you to focus on the present, and to accept your feelings and emotions as they are—without judgment. You allow your feelings to flow through you without getting caught up in them.
As you as practice mindfulness regularly, your awareness improves and your response to situations that remind you of the traumatic event lesson. The symptoms of trauma that are locked in your nervous system are gradually released.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a popular form of therapy that is used to help resolve many problems, including depression, anxiety and PTSD. It involves examining negative and often irrational thoughts and replacing them with more positive ones. CBT also has a great body of research proving its effectiveness.
These and other methods of therapy have all been shown to be effective at reducing and healing symptoms of PTSD. A therapist can help determine what the best approach is for you.