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What is Post Traumatic Stress?


What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) many years ago was called "Shell Shock" and related to the veterans that returned and were deeply impacted by the horrors of war.  Today we know PTSD  can occur when any person has experienced  a traumatic event. Children also can get PTSD.  Usually the person has actually experienced, witnessed or was exposed to  an event (s) that involved death or threatened death or serious injury.  The person's response was intense fear, helplessness, or horror. 
The traumatic event is often re-experienced by the person through reoccurring images, thoughts, or perceptions.  Children may repeatedly engage in repetitive play acting out the trauma.  Dreams or nightmares about the event may occur.  In some cases people have had illusions, hallucinations and dissociative flashback episodes.  Sometimes external cues  (fireworks, loud noises, smells, pictures) can create intense distress for PTSD victims.
Some individuals who have experienced an intense trauma will avoid stimuli associated with the trauma. 
Some individuals may have sleep issues, anger, irritability, difficulting concertrating, hypervigilence, and an exaggerated startle response. 
PTSD can be treated!  Treatment may include therapy, medication, or both.  Treatment is not the same for everyone and what works for one person may not work for someone else.  Drinking alcohol or using other drugs will NOT help PTSD and may make it worse. 
All our therapists have had extensive trauma training to help those with PTSD. 

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