Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD – What is it?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an extreme form of anxiety following a traumatic event. Sufferers often develop PTSD after experiencing an event that caused them to feel extreme fear, shock or helplessness such as a car accident or wartime atrocity or after being repeatedly exposed to trauma such as childhood abuse or sexual violence.

PTSD can even develop after simply hearing details of such events on a regular basis, as can happen with emergency workers who are exposed to traumatic events every day.

Many of us may experience a trauma at least once in our lives and spend a period of time finding ways to cope. But what defines PTSD is when these feelings of anxiety do not fade with time, but continue to be felt months or years after the event and may even get worse, often being triggered by something which reminds us of the event.

Traumatic events that can induce PTSD include acts of war, terrorism, torture, assaults, car accidents, natural disasters, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. And those in the military, firefighters, police officers, paramedics, emergency workers and psychiatric professionals are particularly susceptible to this condition.

 

Symptoms

Someone going through PTSD will normally exhibit the following  symptoms:

  • Re-experience – reliving the traumatic event in your mind is normal, often in vivid flashbacks and nightmares, an experience which may be accompanied by heart palpitations, profuse sweating, difficulty breathing and feelings of panic.
  • Hyperarousal – experience feelings of being highly-wired, constantly on guard for signs of danger, overprotective of loved ones, easily startled and often experience irritability, lack of concentration and difficulty sleeping.
  • Avoidance – may avoid any places, situations, people, objects or activities that might remind them of the traumatic event and bring back painful memories. They may also avoid having any thoughts or conversations about the event.
  • Detachment – they often lose interest in everyday activities and feel detached and isolated from others and emotionally numb. Their thoughts and feelings may also become negative and they may experience difficulty having positive feelings like love or happiness.

Many of these reactions are an exaggerated version of the body’s natural ‘fight or flight’ responses to stress, so gaining a better understanding of the symptoms may help us to better understand the causes of PTSD.

 

Causes of PTSD

There is no one single reason why someone will develop PTSD after experiencing trauma and someone else will not. Genetic and environmental factors are both believed to play a part in the predisposition for developing PTSD.

Someone who has previously experienced a traumatic event is thought to have a higher chance of developing PTSD, as is someone who has been exposed to trauma over a period of time (such as childhood abuse or living in a war zone).

Someone with a history of other types of mental illness is also believed to be more susceptible to PTSD, along with anyone experiencing ongoing stressful life events following a trauma without the benefit of any social supports.

Whether the traumatic event was intentional or not may also have a bearing, with someone experiencing a natural disaster thought less likely to develop PTSD than someone who has been sexually assaulted or suffers some other form of intentional physical violence.

 

Major Forms of Treatment for PTSD

There are various methods available for treating PTSD, with several types of psychotherapy being the major form of treatment. These include:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Focuses on changing the sufferer’s way of evaluating and responding to situations and unhealthy behaviours stemming from their thoughts and feelings.

  • Exposure therapy

A behavioural treatment aimed at reducing fear, anxiety and avoidance behaviour by confronting or being exposed to the feared thoughts, feelings and situations.

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy

A treatment based on the idea that suffering results not from experiencing emotional pain, but from attempting to avoid that pain.

PTSD sufferers can also help themselves by learning stress management techniques, connecting with supportive people and talking with others who have experienced the same disorder.

 

Get Expert Support for PTSD at Palladium Private

Help is available for PTSD sufferers with the Palladium Private Program, in which our qualified therapists will help you pinpoint the beliefs that trigger your anxiety.

The process begins by learning to observe emotions that result when anxiety is activated. We teach that trying to stop a painful emotion is only a very temporary fix and while you might get through the moment, when you are once again in a similar situation, the same beliefs will surface and the same emotions will occur.

At Palladium Private, we teach you simple ways to stop, change and even reverse this pattern. By using newfound tools and techniques, we will teach you to adopt new behaviours, apply new skills and engage in new ways of thinking.

Our programs offer change that is long-lasting because of our comprehensive range of highly unique therapies and the fact that we look at the symptoms of each individual and set about unravelling the root cause of their problem.

The Palladium Private Program is supported by CBT, ACT, Rational Emotional Behaviour Therapy and other client-specific techniques chosen on a needs basis. Our program is underpinned by Mindfulness Training, which has existed for millennia but has only been studied and proven effective in the last twenty years.

Our approach to PTSD is completely different to what you may have tried before. We assist you to identify and address the cause of your problem within peaceful and relaxing surroundings and our qualified therapists work with you one-on-one, day by day, teaching you how to initiate a new way of thinking based on objectivity and reality.

This approach is accompanied by nutritious meals cooked by our passionate chefs and physical care from our professional personal trainers, yoga teachers and spa and massage therapists.

So if you or someone you know needs help with PTSD, feel free to talk to one our admissions team about a program that’s custom-designed for your needs. You can contact Palladium Private by filling in our online query form or by calling us direct on 1300 573 095.