mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be caused by a single incident, like an assault, betrayal, or accident, or several events that build up over time, such as abuse, bullying, and bad relationships. Almost all people who go through a trauma have some symptoms for a short time after the trauma but for some, the trauma leads to PTSD. Individuals with a family history of anxiety disorders tend to have a greater risk for developing PTSD as they may respond to trauma more severely than others.

There are four primary types of PTSD symptoms: re-experiencing, avoidance, arousal, and negative changes in beliefs and mood. An individual suffering from PTSD may experience vivid flashbacks (that can feel like the trauma is happening again), severe distress at reminders of the trauma, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, self-destructive behavior, feeling overly alert or irritable, and other symptoms of anxiety. Those battling PTSD experience a great deal of distress and often turn to drugs and/or alcohol as a means of coping.

PTSD is a serious condition that can impact everyday life if left untreated. To diagnose PTSD, a mental health provider evaluates the symptoms of the trauma. A variety of therapy modalities including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) are highly effective in the treatment of PTSD.

At Claibourne Counseling, we specialize in treating Trauma & PTSD!