To have been traumatised is to have been through an extremely stressful event which has been outside the ‘normal’ realm of experience and has threatened a sense of safety and welfare. These events may include such things as exposure to violence including physical and sexual abuse, natural disasters, war horror, and life threatening accidents.

Common reactions to such events can include a reliving of the trauma, such as flashbacks, intrusive imagery or thoughts of the traumatic event, avoidance of anything to do with the event, vigilance, e.g. constant checking of one’s environment, agitation, irritability, guilt, sadness, crying and an inability to find pleasure in life. Sleep disturbance such as insomnia and nightmares may occur, as well as appetite and sex drive changes. Common bodily symptoms can include profuse sweating, a racing heart, ‘spacing out’, e.g. a feeling of not being in one’s body. Psychological symptoms such as something terrible is going to happen, and a feeling of dread when faced with a situation that triggers a recollection of the traumatic event.

When the above symptoms are experienced short term, for example in the first few weeks or months post a traumatic incident, it can be considered normal. Symptoms should reduce within one to two months. However, a number of factors can impede on the processing of and recovery from a traumatic event. If symptoms linger and don’t diminish in intensity, it is a sign of risk of long term anxiety and/or depression.

Deborah can assist by providing a safe and confidential environment in which to discuss your situation and provide strategies to help manage difficult thoughts and feelings that often occur after a traumatic incident.

Call Deborah to make an appointment