Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Dealing with the Trauma

After going through traumatic events, most people experience several changes that affect their day-to-day lives. Mostly, traumatic events occur out of the blues, leaving us feeling shocked, hopeless, and disoriented.

Such potentially traumatic events include the death of a loved one, accidents, physical assault, combat, illness, or emotional abuse. Different people who have been exposed to the same type of trauma respond differently. Some people may experience difficulty when sleeping as the recurring negative images run through their heads.

These reactions to trauma eventually lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. This article describes post-traumatic stress disorder, the risk factors involved and highlights the importance of counseling.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a mental health condition brought about by experiencing exposure to a traumatic event. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people experiences a form of mental illness each year. PTSD can happen to anyone, but veterans returning from combat are at a higher risk. 

Not everyone who experiences traumatic events develops PTSD. It is very typical to feel stressed after a traumatic event, but if symptoms get prolonged or cause interference in your day-to-day life, you may need help. There is no given way that is either right or wrong to deal with a traumatic experience. Individual reactions vary from one another due to specific reasons such as:

  • A difference in people’s personality
  • The difference in ways of handling a situation
  • The difference in emotional expression
  • The support system they have

Response to Traumatic Events

People respond differently to tragic events. Types of behavioral responses include:

  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Constant thoughts or memories of tragic events
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Anxiety
  • Worrying that something terrible is going to happen
  • Withdrawal
  • Sometimes people resort to drinking and drugs as a way of coping.
  • Feeling angry, irritable, or frustrated

Where to Find Help

Counselors are skilled at listening to people; they play a significant role in PTSD treatment. Talking to a counselor about your life experiences can be very helpful. He/she will help you select the proper treatment to help you recover from trauma.

Counseling will help you deal with emotional trauma through the following treatment methods:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- Helps patients deal with anger, fear, and guilt. The counselor will help you change how you think about trauma and issues affecting you.
  • Exposure Therapy- You get to talk about your stressful events and feel less overwhelmed.
  • Virtual reality Treatment- VR is a treatment method that helps patients transform images into memory. Once exposed to these images, counselors can help patients overcome traumatizing issues.
  • Eye movement Desensitization and Reprocessing- This method involves having one-on-one contact with your counselor. He/she will sit close to you and pass their hand back and forth. Research suggests that this method is a beneficial technique.

Finding a qualified Counselor

Experiencing traumatic events can lead to sharing very personal details and feelings. Therefore, professional counseling is highly recommended in helping individuals recover from traumatic life experiences. If you may feel affected by an incident,don’t suffer in silence; seek help as soon as possible.


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