Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a particular set of reactions that can develop in people who have been through a traumatic event. That is, they have experienced or witnessed an event which threatened their life or safety, or that of others around them, and led to feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror. This can be a car or other serious accident, physical or sexual assault, war or torture, or disasters such as bushfires or floods.
Around 1 million Australians experience PTSD in any one year, and 12 per cent of Australians will experience PTSD in their lifetime. Serious accidents are one of the leading causes of PTSD in Australia. It is common for people to have some of the symptoms of PTSD in the first few days after the traumatic event. Most will recover by themselves or with the support of family and friends. Others may need professional help.
PTSD can cause a person to feel emotionally numb, constantly anxious, sleep poorly, not concentrate and engage in life, avoidance of certain situations, people or places. It is also common for PTSD clients to experience symptoms of other associated problems, such as depression and substance use.
It is important to develop coping strategies following a traumatic event in order to reduce the amount of anxiety experienced, and prevent PTSD from developing. Constantly re-experiencing a trauma, and avoiding things that remind you can be unhelpful if left untreated, and it can have a big impact on how you live your life.
Talking to one of our trained Clinical Psychologists will help you manage your stress and eventually over come it. We are more than ready to assist you in putting you on the path to wellness once more.