If you can’t seem to get over a significant event, don’t blame and punish yourself. All human beings experience intense stress from events that involve a serious injury, threat to personal safety, betrayal, or even witnessing others go through a disaster.
Take our Trauma Recovery Assessment to see if you would benefit from meeting with a counselor.
Normal stress reactions may include the following symptoms (this list is representative, not exhaustive):
- irritability or anger
- being easily startled
- trouble concentrating
- trouble eating (or eating too much)
- trouble sleeping (or sleeping too much)
- a desire for isolation
- a constant state of anxiety
- emotional numbness constantly thinking about the event OR constantly trying to avoid thinking about the event
- feeling helpless
- feeling overwhelmed
Normal stress reactions generally decrease as time passes. If you experienced a traumatic event more than a month ago and are still experiencing these things, you may be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Many types of traumatic events can result in PTSD: military combat, physical or sexual assault, serious accidents, childhood physical or sexual abuse, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters (fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake). Not everyone who experiences any of these events will develop PTSD.
Whether or not you develop PTSD depends on many things including:
- how intense the trauma was (or how long it lasted)
- the type and severity of injury sustained or threatened
- how many times you’ve experienced a trauma
- how much you felt in control (or how much you felt a lack of control) during the event
- the type and extent of support that you received immediately after the event
Only a trained mental health professional can determine whether or not you have PTSD. Regardless of the clinical name for what you are experiencing, if you are suffering, help is available. If you have experienced a traumatic event and are having trouble dealing with it – if you simply cannot stop thinking about it, if you cannot “shake” the emotional impact of it, if you continue to live in fear, or if your life seems to be “on hold” or “stuck” because of the event – counseling can help.
Your caring, professional counselor can
- help you learn to manage and minimize the stress reaction,
- provide a safe, nonjudgmental environment for you to talk about what happened, and
- help you “process” the trauma and break free from the emotional or psychological hold that the event has on you and on your life.
Do you have significant emotional pain that is motivating you to seek help? Recognizing you have a problem is often half the battle. It’s okay if you aren’t excited about facing your pain, as long as you are determined to feel better and live with hope.
If you are ready to start your recovery, contact us to schedule an appointment and bring this evaluation with you to your first appointment. Take our Trauma Recovery Assessment to see if you would benefit from meeting with a counselor.
Life can be harsh sometimes. We want you to be able to grieve your losses and regain your strength so you can pursue God’s plans for your life.
Whatever traumatic experience(s) you have had in your life, the experience does not have to define, control, or ruin your life. There is help and there is hope.