Post-traumatic stress disorder, more commonly known as PTSD, affects many people. It is estimated in Canada that it affects 8% of the population but these numbers may be low considering that we have just expanded the defining characteristics of PTSD with the release of the DSM-V, which is the guiding manual for diagnosing mental health.
For many years, we believed that PTSD existed only for those who were involved in situations where their life was threatened, such as those involved in crimes or after serving in the war. However, many people may experience some of the symptoms of PTSD from circumstances that felt threatening and individuals can experience trauma symptoms after hearing that a loved one was affected by a traumatic experience. Some of the symptoms common to PTSD include:
- Angry outbursts
- Attempts to avoid reminders about the event
- Blaming yourself for things that were outside of your control
- Startling easily
- Feeling constantly “on guard”
Because PTSD has both physiological and emotional symptoms, it is important to work on strategies that address both mind and body. Some of the things that may be important to address include grounding strategies, relaxation strategies as well as addressing any negative thoughts related to the trauma.
If you are wondering if you are experiencing PTSD, you might want to consider meeting with a psychologist to assess for the presence of the concern. Then you can work with your psychologist to create a treatment plan that will serve you best to create healing.
If you are a Veteran who believes you may be experiencing PTSD, we are a preferred provider for Veteran Affairs and you may not have to worry about any out-of-pocket expenses.
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