Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is in many ways a normal response to an abnormal situation, after tragic events, it is likely that people experience a variety of symptoms and emotions. Sometimes these symptoms surface several weeks or months after an event in the form of PTSD, recognising these symptoms is the first step towards recovery and finding appropriate help.

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, 2000 (DSM IV TR) provides us with the following symptoms. The following is not a diagnosis, however they are designed to enable you to reflect on your situation or that of someone close to you. They will tell you if you have symptoms that are common among people who are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

  • Reexperiencing the event through vivid memories or flashbacks ?
  • Feeling emotionally numb ?
  • Feeling overwhelmed by what would normally be considered everyday situations and a diminished interest in performing normal tasks or pursuing usual interests ?
  • Crying uncontrollably ?
  • Isolating yourself from family and friends and isolating yourself from social situations?
  • Relying on drugs or alcohol in a way not done before ?
  • Feeling extremely moody, angry,irritable,suspicious or frightened ?
  • Having difficulty falling or staying asleep and experiencing nightmares ?
  • Feeling guilty about being unable to solve the problem or change the event ?
  • Feeling a sense of doom about the future ?
  • Avoiding activities that remind you of the event ?
  • Having trouble remembering parts of the event ?
  • Have trouble feeling positive emotions such as excitment or love ?
  • Easily startled ?
  • feeling "on gaurd"

    Feltham & Horton (2009) suggest 75 per cent of the population may experience an event which meets the criteria of being sufficiently traumatised to qualify for a diagnosis of PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is associated with comorbidity of anxiety and depression further complicating recovery. Counselling & Psychotherapy has demonstrated efficacy when working with this client group. If you feel Counselling or Psychotherapy may be of help to you at this time simply contact me, brian@changes.ie for an appointment.