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If you have experienced something traumatic whether it be in the past or more recently, you may be struggling with upsetting memories, emotions or feeling a constant sense of danger. When bad things happen, it can be difficult to overcome them however, with the right support it is possible to move forward whatever the trauma and whenever it happened.
What is classed as a ‘trauma’ is very individual but examples might be witnessing or being in an accident, a natural disaster, military combat or being abused by someone. Traumatic events can often involve a threat to life, but anything that was overwhelming and frightening can be considered traumatic. What is important is how you experienced the event and how you feel about it now.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a name for a cluster of symptoms that some people experience after a traumatic experience that do not go away without support.
Am I experiencing emotional trauma?
There are many signs and symptoms that might be indicative of emotional trauma and PTSD. These include:
- Reliving the traumatic event regularly. This may feel as though the event is happening again in the present moment, for example as a flashback.
- Feelings of isolation, irritability, guilt or anger.
- Difficulties with cognitive function such as concentrating and memory.
- Difficulties sleeping.
- Wanting to avoid certain situations or things that trigger memories or flashbacks about the event.
When is trauma a problem?
It is normal to experience difficulties and to be upset following something traumatic. Most people will find their symptoms improve naturally over time. However, if you are still experiencing difficulties and struggling after a few weeks or months, or if the symptoms are particularly distressing you might require some additional support.
The important thing to remember is that everyone is different and what might be problematic to one person might not be the same for someone else. If your experiences are interfering with your quality of life, then seeking help is a positive step forward.
There are a variety of treatments that can help people overcome traumatic events and PTSD. There is a strong evidence base in using either CBT and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and both are recommended by The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). There is no real evidence to suggest that one is more effective than the other. All of the team are trained in using CBT for trauma. Additionally, Anna has completed the first part of EMDR training and is now able to use this model to treat single event traumas. We are happy to discuss appropriate treatment with you either by phone or in the initial assessment as it is important that you choose the right therapy for you.