June is PTSD Awareness month, but awareness of PTSD and its effects is always important.
Many people will experience trauma in their lifetime. Individuals may experience trauma through direct exposure, indirect exposure/witnessing events, or through repeated exposure. Some examples of trauma include emotional/physical/verbal abuse, neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, exposure to violence, discrimination, assault, combat, religious abuse, or a natural disaster.
The effects of trauma can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress far after the event has passed. The support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist are fundamental to healing from trauma.
Symptoms of trauma and adverse events can vary widely. Commonly, the following are experienced:
Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of trauma
Avoidance of memories or feelings related to trauma
Intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks
Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance
Aggressive or reckless behavior
Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
Change in beliefs, emotions, and/or behavior since the trauma
If you or someone you know is experiencing lasting effects of trauma, please reach out. Therapy and support are integral to healing.