Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma and stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to an event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm occurred or was threatened. People who are likely to suffer from the disorder include military troops, rescue workers, and survivors of shootings, bombings, violence, and rape. However, trauma looks different to each individual and it is possible to experience PTSD after betrayal, accidents, significant loss, nataural disasters and more. Even family members of victims can develop the disorder through vicarious trauma.

PTSD affects about 8 million American adults and can occur at any age, including childhood. Women are more likely to develop the disorder than men, and there is some evidence that it may run in families. PTSD is frequently accompanied by depression, substance use disorder, and anxiety disorders. When other conditions are appropriately diagnosed and treated, the likelihood of successful treatment increases.

When symptoms develop immediately after exposure and persist for up to a month, the condition may be called acute stress disorder. PTSD is diagnosed when the stress symptoms following exposure have persisted for over a month. Delayed expression of PTSD can occur if symptoms arise six months or more following the onset of trauma.

PTSD is caused by a complex mix of stressful experiences (including the amount and severity of trauma you’ve gone through in your life), inherited mental health risks (such as a family history of anxiety and depression), inherited features of your personality — often called your temperament, and the way your brain regulates the chemicals and hormones your body releases in response to stress.  

Symptoms of PTSD may look like:

  • Having intrusive thoughts and memories about the traumatic event. You may be grocery shopping and suddenly be thinking about the traumatic event and have a hard time controlling your thoughts.
  • Frequent nightmares. These nightmares could be about the traumatic event itself or even about an entirely different subject.
  • Feeling escalated and anxious often especially about safety and security. This may look like checking locks, driving extremely slow, sitting in a certain position in a restaurant, planning escape routes while out of the house, etc.
  • Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma.

Treatment

So, how can you turn your trauma into your power? What would it feel like to stand in your power and fully feel it and heal it. You don’t have to allow this event to trigger you over and over. You can ground into a safety that has been waiting to support you. You can breathe fully and feel expansive rather than constricted with fear. At Evolution Wellness, we want to help you transform. We want you to take your power back and grow through what you’re going through.

There are several treatment approaches to help people overcome PTSD including outpatient therapy, medication management to manage symptoms, and neurofeedback.

The most common treatment approaches in outpatient therapy include:

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Prolonged Exposure

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

The most uncomfortable and the most important step to healing are one and the same: reaching out for help. At Evolution Wellness in Wilmington, NC you can choose to talk to the team about treatment or go ahead and schedule online so you don’t have to talk to anyone except your counselor. Treatment is a journey that takes time and dedication, but with action you can take your power back.