A Team-Centered Approach to PTS
After a traumatic event, the memory survives along with the person who experienced it. Despite more recent attention being given to Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), there still remains a large gap of public knowledge, as well as a stigma, attached to PTS. Below is a summary of symptoms and diagnosis from two nationally recognized organizations that specialize in mental health education and research (NAMI and NIMH)
Traumatic events, by definition, overwhelm our ability to cope. When the mind becomes flooded…a circuit breaker is thrown that allows us to survive the experience fairly intact.
-Susan Banitt, The Trauma Tool Kit: Healing PTSD from the Inside Out
Post Traumatic Stress manifests in a multitude of shapes and forms depending on the individual, genetics, the event, time, and several other factors. Diagnosis for PTS requires that an individual must have some form of these symptoms for at least one month after the event or events:
Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress
- Re-experiencing the event: nightmares, flashbacks, recurring images or memories, heightened distress or physical reactions– such as racing heartbeats or sweating– which are triggered by reminders, symbols, or resemblances of the event.
- Avoidant and numbness: actively avoiding feelings or triggers connected with the event; avoiding people, places, and activities that act as reminders of the trauma; unable to recall significant parts of the event itself; estrangement from others; difficulty thinking about long-term future plans; diminished range of feelings and emotions. Guilt, depression, and anxiety can also manifest as components of PTS.
- Increased Arousal: two or more of the following: difficulty sleeping, feeling “on edge” regularly, increased irritability or angry outbursts, difficulty concentrating, heightened vigilance, amplified startle responses.
Some or all of these symptoms can occur as a result of a traumatic experience, however, the symptoms may only lasts for a few week and then they subside. This is known as Acute Stress Disorder and differs from Post Traumatic Stress, mostly because of the duration of symptoms. It’s also important to note that those who have PTS may not show any symptoms for weeks or months following the event and that not all symptoms that a person experiences are present all the time.
The Post Trauma Institute specializes in a team-centered approach to PTS, helping to give you or your loved ones the best possible care. If you are ready for a hand up, give us a call today.