HAVE YOU RECENTLY EXPERIENCED A TRAUMATIC EVENT?
If you've recently experienced or been exposed to a life-threatening event, you might be having stress reactions that are impacting your daily life. It's important to understand that your mind and body's responses to trauma are normal reactions to abnormal experiences. It makes sense that your mind and body are on edge following an experience like this. Your body is doing whatever it can to protect you and ensure that you're safe. In most cases, these stress reactions will decrease with time as you process the emotions associated with the trauma with your support system or a therapist like myself.
"responses to trauma are normal reactions to abnormal experiences"
UNDERSTANDING COMMON RESPONSES TO TRAUMA
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
PTSD occurs when these stress reactions do not subside on their own over time following a traumatic event. If after many weeks (or even years), you find yourself still managing many of the symptoms below, you might be experiencing PTSD. Despite the dramatic impact PTSD can have on your life and relationships, it is a highly treatable condition. PTSD is not a life sentence (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2018).
Exposed to death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence, in the following way(s):
Witnessing the trauma
Learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma
Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma, usually in the course of professional duties (e.g., first responders, medics)
Unwanted upsetting memories
Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders
Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders
Avoiding trauma-related thoughts or feelings
Avoiding trauma-related reminders
NEGATIVE THOUGHTS & FEELINGS
Inability to recall key features of the trauma
Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world
Exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma
Decreased interest in activities
Difficulty experiencing positive affect
Irritability or aggression
Risky or destructive behavior
Heightened startle reaction