What is PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental health condition that can develop after you experience or witness a traumatic event. It is a form of anxiety. Common symptoms often include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about your traumatic experience. If symptoms from trauma last more than a few months, you may have PTSD.
We often think of this condition as something veterans suffer, but anyone can have PTSD. Perhaps you have been in a bad accident or stopped to help at the scene of an accident. You may have been the victim of rape, an assault, or human trafficking. You may have witnessed a shooting or are a survivor. You may have experienced spousal abuse or another kind of domestic violence. You may be a first responder or a healthcare provider caring for covid patients.
When you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, your memories and experiences filter into your everyday life. They become intrusive and uncontrollable and impact your behavior. It can seem like you're stuck in a trauma loop. The impact of PTSD makes it difficult for you to carry out your daily responsibilities and live a healthy and fulfilling life.
When horrible things happen, it can take a while to get over the shock, trauma, and pain. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can make you feel stuck in a perpetual state of danger, reliving painful memories. PTSD can make it difficult to function normally in daily life and can be very distressing. While the cause of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not fully understood, we believe it results from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Your trauma experience is unique to you. If others were also present at the event, they might have a completely different response.
The first line of treatment is psychotherapy. Some people find medication helpful to assist in PTSD treatment. With support, you can learn to live without your past showing up in the present. You can feel safe again and get on with your life. Online PTSD counseling can speed up your recovery.
Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Your reaction to trauma can cause PTSD. Several events can cause PTSD, including combat exposure, sexual assault, losing a loved one, and natural disasters. During a stressful or life-threatening experience,
your nervous system sounds the alarm and switches on your fight-or-flight response. It is a survival mechanism that prepares you to fight or run away to stay safe from danger. Your heart increases. You may feel it pounding. Your breathing quickens. Your blood pressure increases blood flow and transports oxygen to the organs needed to survive. All these physical changes help your body get ready to take action. Once the danger passes, your body returns to its normal resting state.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs when you experience excessive stress and anxiety when the dangerous situation is over. The fight or flight state continues past its useful timeframe. The danger is gone, but your nervous system gets stuck in the ready-for-danger state. You find it difficult to return to a relaxed, calm state. The event stays at the forefront of your mind.
Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and can cause intense fear, helplessness, hypervigilance, and horror. You might have flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, depression, and uncontrollable thoughts about the traumatic event. You may also experience feelings of isolation and guilt and have trouble maintaining healthy relationships or returning to work.
Although there is no cure, therapy, and medication can help you manage your symptoms. PTSD treatment involves helping your nervous system let go and relax so you can heal and participate in daily activities.
Symptoms of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause several symptoms that are disruptive to daily life. Symptoms of PTSD may include disturbing thoughts, memories, or dreams related to the precipitating event, feeling emotionally numb; avoiding places, activities, or people that remind you of the event; feeling angry, irritable, or aggressive; and having problems sleeping or concentrating. Many people with PTSD also experience intense feelings of fear, guilt, or shame.
Some symptoms of PTSD are:
Repetitive thoughts about the event
Replay of memories
Intrusive, unwanted thoughts
Avoiding certain people or places
Making an effort to suppress feelings
Avoid talking about the event
Negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself
Negative assumptions about others
Decreased interest in activities
Persistent shame, guilt, or fear
Avoidance of reminders
Sense of danger
Difficulty falling or staying asleep
What is Complex PTSD?
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a relatively new diagnosis that mental health professionals are still studying. Between 1% and 6% of the population suffers from this disorder. Complex PTSD is a more severe form of PTSD caused by prolonged or repeated exposure to traumatic events. It includes more symptoms at a higher intensity. Symptoms can persist for years after the original traumatic event. They can severely disrupt your life. You might experience problems with relationships, work, cognitive issues, and basic daily functioning. Working with a complex PTSD therapist online can help you function better.
Complex PTSD treatment online can help you function better.
People with Complex PTSD often experience memory, mood, and identity problems. Symptoms of Complex PTSD can be very debilitating and interfere with your day-to-day life. You may have difficulty remembering things that happened in your life. Problems with mood regulation and identity can make it difficult to establish relationships and make good decisions. You may feel like you're in a constant state of chaos and confusion and have difficulty connecting with others.
Complex PTSD is a more severe form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Childhood abuse or neglect are common causes since they can continue for a long time during vulnerable developmental stages. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder develops when an adult child was exposed to extreme trauma from their parents during childhood and can affect their entire life. Victims of rape, domestic violence, or torture may also develop complex PTSD. Domestic violence is often a long-term problem that is difficult to escape. Physical, verbal, and emotional abuse over an extended period causes confusion and disorientation, often leading to alienation and isolation. The causes of complex PTSD are not well understood. The trauma itself could be the cause or your reaction to the experience.
You may have difficulty controlling your emotions. You may feel overwhelmed and anxious. It is common to struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, difficulty making decisions, second-guessing yourself, and depression. This type of PTSD can also cause severe dissociation and extensive personality changes. Symptoms include flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and social withdrawal. Your symptoms may accompany additional problems, such as addiction or eating disorders. People with complex PTSD are also more likely to self-harm or attempt suicide.
Complex PTSD is a serious condition that requires treatment. It can develop after prolonged, repeated trauma. Treatment for complex PTSD can be complicated and requires specialized care. If you have complex PTSD, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. You can recover from this debilitating condition. Complex PTSD treatment online can help you find relief.
What's the difference between PTSD and trauma?
Both are associated with mental and emotional distress, but there is a big difference between the two. PTSD is a diagnosable mental health condition that can develop after exposure to any traumatic event, such as combat, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. On the other hand, trauma alone does not meet the criteria for a mental health condition. Trauma is an emotional response to an intensely distressing event. Most people who experience trauma do not develop PTSD.
They have overlapping symptoms. Both include avoidance of the location or situation where the trauma occurred. Feeling nervous or fearful in situations is another commonality. Nightmares are another symptom they share.
Generally speaking, nearly everyone has experienced some kind of trauma at some point in their life. Trauma can happen to anyone. It is often life-threatening. Anything that makes you feel unsafe, hurt, abandoned, injured, fearful, ignored, unimportant, marginalized, unloved, unwanted, neglected, or a violation of your rights can cause trauma. Some people experience trauma caused by changes in the environment or social structure. Trauma is an experience, not a mental health disorder. PTSD follows a traumatic event, but not all trauma leads to a mental health diagnosis.
The most significant differences are the symptoms' severity, duration, and treatment. A traumatic event is a shorter-term experience that resolves in time and becomes part of your history. PTSD is longer-term with continual symptoms like flashbacks and feeling like the event is happening all over again. The mental health diagnosis requires extensive and ongoing distress and disruption of daily life.
Protective factors can help you avoid a mental health diagnosis after you experience trauma. These things can help you heal more quickly and reduce the amount of time you spend in a diminished state.
- Talking to friends and loved ones about your traumatic experience and your symptoms
- Avoid isolation and stay in contact with those who care about you.
- Focusing on the positive and allowing yourself to enjoy things.
- Seeing yourself as a strong person who is a survivor.
- Learning from your trauma
- Acknowledging the strengths you used during the traumatic event.
- Supporting others who experienced the same trauma.
- Believe you have the capacity to heal.
- Knowing you can get back to being yourself.
- Drawing on past experiences, you overcame to manage your feelings and cope.
- Knowing you have overcome other challenging things and can make it through this too.
- Being kind to yourself and allowing yourself the time and self-care you need to heal.
Trauma doesn't always lead to mental health problems that disrupt your life, but when they do, counseling can help get you back to living a productive life. You will be met with compassion, never judgment.
Benefits of online therapy for PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can make it difficult to function day-to-day and can lead to long-term mental health issues if left untreated. Fortunately, there are treatments available for PTSD. One such treatment is online PTSD counseling. Studies show virtual therapy via the internet is an effective treatment and can provide many benefits over traditional in-person therapy. Some of these benefits include:
Teletherapy is an effective option if it is difficult to attend traditional therapy sessions because of medical constraints or travel issues. You can access your therapy sessions from the privacy and comfort of your home.
Better treatment adherence
Therapy delivered through telehealth can make it easier to stick with to your therapy regimen until you feel better.
Many people are hesitant to attend traditional therapy sessions due to the stigma associated with mental illness. By providing a virtual environment, online PTSD treatment can help you maintain a sense of anonymity while getting the help you need.
Teletherapy can help you achieve your treatment goals. The privacy of a virtual environment provides a safe environment to be yourself and work through whatever keeps you from living the life you want.
PTSD treatment online can help you make sense of your trauma so your central nervous system can calm down.
Effects of PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can have a devastating impact on you and your loved ones. It can make living with you difficult. Your PTSD symptoms can be very disruptive and can affect all areas of your life. You can feel isolated and alone, which can lead to depression and anxiety.
You may have trouble maintaining relationships and may struggle with addiction or self-harm. Your loved ones can become helpless and frustrated as they try to support you.
Living with someone always on edge, who isn't comfortable going out, and wakes the household with nightmares makes family life stressful. Your overstimulated nervous system can make you startle easily. PTSD research shows the harmful impact PTSD can have on families.
Children can suffer when a parent has PTSD. It can be difficult for a child to understand your symptoms and reactions. Children can become confused when they witness you strongly react to flashbacks or other triggers. They don't know what is happening or why you behave differently. They may interpret your behavior as not caring about them because you don't laugh and do fun things together. The misunderstanding can cause your child to worry about you, and they don't have the skills or resources to take care of you. Your child's mental health and healthy development are excellent reasons to get professional help to manage your PTSD symptoms.
Online PTSD counseling can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. You can get back to living your life with your child. You can go to places you've been avoiding and do fun things together. You don't have to be distanced or disconnected from family and children.
PTSD and Substance Abuse
Many people who have post-traumatic stress disorder also struggle with substance abuse. Using substances to self-medicate is not surprising. Drugs and alcohol can offer an escape from the painful memories and symptoms of PTSD. However, using substances to cope with PTSD can be dangerous and lead to even more problems.
People with PTSD are at a higher risk for addiction and other mental health disorders. Those with PTSD are three times more likely to abuse alcohol and six times more likely to abuse drugs than those without PTSD. Substance abuse can worsen the symptoms of PTSD and make it harder to recover. It can also lead to additional problems such as job loss, financial troubles, and relationship issues.
The symptoms of PTSD can lead to substance abuse. Many people turn to alcohol and other drugs in an attempt to avoid their symptoms. They may also use substances just because they are available rather than for any medical benefit or relief from symptoms. The most commonly abused substances are alcohol, marijuana, prescription medications, and cocaine.
PTSD in Military Veterans
The saying goes that war is hell. That may be especially true for military veterans returning home from battle with post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms often include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and depression.
While PTSD can occur in anyone, it is widespread among veterans. A recent study found that veterans with PTSD are more likely to experience certain symptoms than civilians with PTSD. Veterans are more likely to experience guilt, isolation, and survivor's guilt. They are less likely to have positive memories of the events that caused their PTSD. Veterans can also experience physical symptoms, depression, lack of motivation, anger, and substance abuse.
What is Retraumaitzation?
Retraumatization is the experience of being traumatized again, often due to being retraumatized by others who don't understand trauma. It can take you back to the event and feel like it's happening all over again. Retraumitization can be caused by hearing about or seeing an unrelated traumatic event or by someone insensitive to the needs of trauma survivors. It can also happen when you experience flashbacks or intrusive thoughts related to your traumatic experience. Retraumatization can lead to anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health issues. It can also interfere with your relationships and work productivity.
Retraumatization can occur in therapy, especially when working with survivors of trauma. When a counselor is unaware of their triggers and biases, they can accidentally cause harm to their client. It can also occur if a mental health professional believes it is necessary to recount details to facilitate healing.
Retraumitization is the process of reliving a traumatic event and can slow down or prevent recovery. It can happen if you experience a reminder of the event, such as a sound, smell, or image. Retraumitization can also happen if you talk about the event or think about it. It is a common thing to experience after a traumatic event.
Don't give up if you are experiencing retraumatization, whether caused by experiences, sensory input, thoughts, or a professional trying to help. Finding a counselor specializing in trauma and PTSD treatment is important.
You can find relief from your Trauma symptoms with PTSD Treatment Online.
Trauma is a reality. Many events can trigger a trauma response, such as natural disasters, accidents, physical or sexual abuse, or the loss of a loved one. Memories of these events can cause lasting symptoms. You may experience anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
PTSD treatment online can provide relief from your symptoms in the privacy of your own home. We will be careful to avoid retraumatization so you can heal more quickly and with less emotional pain.
You decide what is acceptable. You can work through your trauma without reliving it. You can discover new ways of thinking about your trauma and how your experience can exist in your past without causing everyday issues. With help and support, you can live a fuller life without your past seeping in and causing stress.
How to find a PTSD Therapist Online
Finding the right mental health professional for PTSD can be challenging. You can also search for therapists who offer PTSD treatment online by searching the internet. When searching for a provider, read their website to get a feel for how they practice. You should also call the PTSD therapist or schedule a free video consultation to ask questions about their specialties and how they work.
You can improve your search for a licensed PTSD mental health professional who fits your needs if you search the whole state with "PTSD therapist online California." Other search options that might be helpful are:
"PTSD counseling online California"
"PTSD therapy online California"
"Online PTSD treatment California"
Expanding your search will increase your choices of online PTSD therapists. This strategy won't limit you to local results.
Unfortunately, trauma is not rare.
According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 8 million adults experience PTSD every year. You are not alone if you've experienced a traumatic event and are suffering from long-lasting symptoms. Suffering from PTSD is not a sign of weakness. Your system is responding to a traumatic experience. This response is actually quite normal.
You are still you. Your intense and disturbing thoughts, feelings, and memories do not have to rule your life. Your trauma doesn't define you. You can get back to being yourself and lead a productive, enjoyable life. You deserve the feeling of relaxation.
I have supported many clients through the process of getting their life back on track. I would be happy to help you, too. You deserve to live your life without disturbing thoughts and images popping up without your permission.