Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can make survivors feel trapped inside the damaging events they endured in the past. Because of its relationship to the nervous system, PTSD may have a broad impact and be challenging to deal with alone. Fortunately, there are effective therapeutic interventions for PTSD, and getting help is only a phone call or electronic message away. For information about top-notch PTSD treatment programs near Austin, TX, call The Right Step Hill Country at 1.844.675.1628 or fill out our confidential online form.
What Do the Symptoms of PTSD Feel Like?
There are many ways individuals may experience PTSD, and not all classic symptoms are present for everyone. Thus, it’s key to seek a professional evaluation if you or someone you care about is struggling and you think PTSD may be the cause. Nonetheless, here are some symptoms of PTSD and how they may appear:
- Intrusive recollections –Those with PTSD usually have memories of the traumatic event that arise unbiddenly. They can be so intense they feel like reliving the traumatic event. These memories can also manifest as nightmares or be triggered by seemingly innocent everyday occurrences.
- Avoidance – Because the disorder is so disruptive and painful, people with PTSD often actively avoid talking or thinking about the traumatic event that triggered their condition. Similarly, they may try not to be in places, take part in activities, or see specific people who trigger trauma memories.
- Negative shifts in mood and cognition – Overarching changes can occur in the mental and emotional life of someone with PTSD. They may, for instance, carry on very negative self-talk, feel hopeless, experience memory problems, feel detached or struggle in relationships, lack interest in activities that once brought joy, or feel emotionally numb.
- Physiological changes – PTSD is fundamentally related to nervous system function and the body’s fight, flight or freeze stress response. It thus makes sense that noticeable physiological changes can occur. For instance, people with PTSD often startle easily, experience chronic tension, sleep poorly, or engage in substance abuse to cope.
Children with PTSD, especially those six or younger, may display unique symptoms. These include reenacting traumatic events through play or art or having frightening dreams that represent the trauma non-literally.
What Treatments Can I Seek If I’ve Identified Signs of PTSD?
Getting professional help with PTSD can be a great way to regain a greater sense of control, enjoyment, and safety. A few of the most effective PTSD treatment approaches include:
This form of talk therapy teaches clients to identify their self-defeating thoughts, especially when they are cyclic. Once identified, they learn to replace these negative cognitions with more positive statements. This builds a greater capacity for self-compassion and self-regulation.
In this behavioral technique, clients gradually face situations and recollections of past trauma, e.g., through virtual reality software, within the safety of the therapeutic context. This can be especially effective in dealing with nightmares and flashbacks. The key is for the client and therapist to communicate and make adjustments as needed as the client confronts their trauma.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy
Similar to exposure therapy, the client verbally revisits a past trauma within the safety of the therapy session. While doing this, their therapist administers bilateral stimulation, typically through hand buzzers or moving lights. This causes both hemispheres of the brain to activate. In turn, this stimulates more balanced input from the emotional right hemisphere and more logical left hemisphere.
Mounting research suggests that body-based practices such as yoga, meditation, and dance can profoundly facilitate trauma recovery. By engaging in coherent, empowering physical movement, the client’s nervous system is able to process the stored effects of trauma. Moreover, they begin to integrate healthy new nervous system patterns and build greater flexibility of response.
Learn More About PTSD Treatment and Get Help Today by Contacting Hill Country
PTSD gained significant attention because of the impact it’s had on veterans over the past century. That said, many people undergo trauma in their lives and develop exceedingly challenging symptoms as a result. Whether neglect, bullying, witnessed violence, or something else caused your trauma, remember you are worthy of support in healing. Call Hill Country for more information about symptoms of PTSD and how trauma recovery and substance use treatment can help recovery at 1.844.675.1628 or contact us online.