By Stephanie C.
People who have experienced – or even witnessed – a traumatic incident may suffer from psychological difficulties well after the fact.
Traumatic events may include (from https://www.nhs.uk):
When people continue to experience the ongoing of effects of trauma, they may be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
People of all ages can have PTSD, including children.
Identifying and treating the disorder as soon as possible is important. Some PTSD symptoms may subside over time by themselves. But many people with PTSD find their lives disrupted by the symptoms, and require intervention.
According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD symptoms are grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions.
Intrusive Memories may include:
Avoidance may include:
Negative Changes may include:
Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions may include:
Children with PTSD may re-enact the traumatic event, or some aspect of the traumatic event, through play or art making. They may also have stomach aches and headaches, and may exhibit regressive behavior, such as bedwetting and thumb-sucking.
PTSD is treatable, and requires time and commitment to be effective. Early diagnosis and intervention are important. If you suspect you or your child has PTSD, seek help immediately.
Treatment paths include:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is talk therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thinking patterns and behaviours associated with the trauma.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment that utilises directed eye movement or other “side-to-side” stimulation to help the brain reprocess and dampen memories from a traumatic experience.
Medication that treats symptoms of depression and anxiety can be helpful to individuals with PTSD. They are used in conjunction with CBT or other forms of psychological therapy.
If you or you child has symptoms of PTSD, contact the BFDC. We can help.