AS OUTLINED IN THE INTRODUCTION, THE SIX CRITERIA FOR DIAGNOSING SIMPLE PTSD INCLUDE:
A. experiencing an event in which the life, physical safety or physical
integrity of the client was threatened or actually harmed, resulting in
feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror
B. continuing to…
There is a growing awareness among healthcare providers that traumatic experiences are widespread and that it is common for people who have been traumatized to develop medical and psychological symptoms associated with the experience.
Recent studies have shown that childhood abuse (particularly sexual abuse) is a strong predictor of the lifetime likelihood of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Although many people still equate PTSD with combat trauma, the experience most likely to produce PTSD is rape. PTSD is associated with an extremely high rate of medical and mental health service use, and possibly the highest per-capita cost of any psychological condition.
But there is help and there is hope.
PTSD is a long-term problem for many people. Studies show that 33–47 percent of people being treated for PTSD were still experiencing symptoms more than a year after the traumatic event. Without treatment many people may continue to have PTSD symptoms even decades after the traumatic event.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD symptoms are divided into three categories. People who have been exposed to traumatic experiences may notice any number of symptoms in almost any combination. However, the diagnosis of PTSD means that someone has met very specific criteria. The symptoms for PTSD are listed below.
- Intrusive Re-experiencing
People with PTSD frequently feel as if the trauma is happening again. This is sometimes called a flashback, reliving experience, or abreaction. The person may have intrusive pictures in his/her head about the trauma, have recurrent nightmares, or may even experience hallucinations about the trauma. Intrusive symptoms sometimes cause people to lose touch with the “here and now” and react in ways that they did when the trauma originally occurred. For example, many years later a victim of child abuse may hide trembling in a closet when feeling threatened, even if the perceived threat is not abuse-related.
People with PTSD work hard to avoid anything that might remind them of the traumatic experience. They may try to avoid people, places, or things that are reminders, as well as numbing out emotions to avoid painful, overwhelming feelings. Numbing of thoughts and feelings in response to trauma is known as “dissociation” and is a hallmark of PTSD. Frequently, people with PTSD use drugs or alcohol to avoid trauma-related feelings and memories.
Symptoms of psychological and physiological arousal are very distinctive in people with PTSD. They may be very jumpy, easily startled, irritable, and may have sleep disturbances like insomnia or nightmares. They may seem constantly on guard and may find it difficult to concentrate. Sometimes persons with PTSD will have panic attacks accompanied by shortness of breath and chest pain.
Who Gets PTSD?
PTSD can affect anyone at any age who has been exposed to a traumatic event where he/she experienced terror, threat (or perceived threat) to life, limb or sanity, and his/her ability to cope was overwhelmed. Conservative estimates show that 9–10 percent of the general population has PTSD. Among people who were victims of specific traumatic experiences (rape, child abuse, violent assaults, etc.), the rate of PTSD is 60–80 percent.
Diagnosis of PTSD is challenging for a number of reasons. Because the symptoms are often delayed and may appear long after the traumatic event is over, many people don’t connect the way they are feeling with the event they experienced months, or even years, before. Unfortunately, since avoiding reminders is one of the hallmarks of PTSD, it is common for those with PTSD to avoid diagnosis and treatment. Also, it is common for those who do seek treatment to be misdiagnosed. Because PTSD often occurs at the same time as other physiological and mental health disorders, PTSD symptoms may be masked or difficult to identify. Examples of common co-occurring conditions are depression, substance use/dependence, and dissociative disorders. Trauma survivors may experience physical health problems such as headaches, chest pain, or digestive or gynecological problems as well. However, a growing number of clinicians are skilled at recognizing PTSD and still others are specializing in treatment of traumatic stress disorders. If you think you, or someone you know, might have PTSD a thorough physical and mental health assessment is in order.
Can PTSD Be Treated?
Yes. A person who has survived a traumatic event will probably never feel as if the event didn’t happen, but the disruptive, distressing effects of PTSD are completely treatable. Depending on the source of the trauma (manmade vs. natural), the nature of the trauma (accidental vs. purposeful), and the age of the victim at the time of the trauma, treatment strategies may vary. Treatment involves both managing symptoms and working through the traumatic event. Most experts agree that psychotherapy is an important part of recovery. Medications can help reduce some symptoms allowing psychotherapy to be more effective.
Where Can I Get More Information?
Sidran Institute is the only national nonprofit, charitable organization specifically devoted to providing mental health information, technical assistance, resources, publications, and education to survivors of psychological trauma, their supportive family members, and mental health care service providers. Our mission is to support trauma survivors through advocacy, education, and training. www.sidran.orgThe Sidran Institute Press publishes practical tools for training and trauma recovery. Authors include leaders in the field of traumatic stress. Among them are: Aphrodite Matsakis, Laurie Anne Pearlman, Kay Saakvitne, Maxine Harris, and Jon G. Allen. New in 2000, Risking Connection®: A Training Curriculum for Working with Survivors of Childhood Abuse is a ground-breaking introductory trauma treatment curriculum for use in training mental health professionals and paraprofessionals who work in mental health agencies. Growing Beyond Survival: A Self-help Toolkit for Managing Traumatic Stress is a symptom management workbook for trauma survivors. Recent titles include Secondary Traumatic Stress,Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings, and workbooks Managing Traumatic Stress through Art and The Way of the Journal. For a complete list of the books published by the Sidran Institute Press, click here.
The Sidran Bookshelf on Trauma and Dissociation is an annotated mail order catalog of the best in clinical, educational, and survivor-supportive literature on post-traumatic stress and dissociative conditions and related subjects. The catalog is available online.
Psychtrauma Education and Training provides professional and survivor training on many trauma-related topics, including Trauma Symptom Management. We will be glad to customize presentations for the specific needs of your agency. Sidran has also developed educational workshops on the psychological effects of severe trauma for a variety of audiences.
INFORMATION, RESOURCES, AND THERAPIST LISTING FROM SIDRAN’S HELP DESK
The Trauma Resource Specialists at Sidran’s Help Desk will aid you in finding a therapist, reading matter, and other resources to aid your progress toward recovery.
ARTICLES, FACT SHEETS, BROCHURES, WEBSITES
Click on an article below to read the full version.
PTSD and Holidays- PDF
by Patience Mason - Patience Press
What Is Psychological Trauma?
By Esther Giller
What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
By Sidran Institute
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Fact Sheet
By PTSD Alliance
Myths and Facts About PTSD
By the PTSD Alliance
What Are Traumatic Memories?
By Sidran Institute
What Is a Dissociative Disorder?
By Sidran Institute
Self Inflicted Violence/Self Abuse/Self Injury
How to Choose a Therapist for Post-Traumatic Stress and Dissociative Conditions
A Recovery Bill of Rights for Trauma Survivors
by Thomas V. Maguire, Ph.D.
Rights and Responsibilities in Psychotherapy
by Laura S. Brown, Ph.D. ABPP
PTSD and Children
By Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D.
PTSD and Parenting
By Patience Mason
Helping a Child Manage Fears After a Traumatic Event
By Ceridian Corporation
Dental Tips for Individuals Sexually Abused as Children
by Kate F. Hays, Ph.D. and Sheila F. Stanley, Ed.D.
Retraumatizing the Victim
By Ann Jennings, Ph.D.
Understanding Integration as a Natural Part of Trauma Recovery
By Rachel Downing, L.C.S.W.-C.
About Medications for Combat PTSD
By Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D.
Parents as Partners in the Treatment of Dissociative Children
By Frances S. Waters, M.S.W.
When a Terrorist Act Occurs
By Ceridian Corporation
The Effects of DID on Children of Trauma Survivors
By Esther Giller
Position Statement on Services and Supports to Trauma Survivors
By the National Association of State Mental Health Program DirectorsHope for Recovery from PTSD - Video
by PTSD Alliance - Please Note: Involves dramatizations of individuals briefly describing interpersonal traumas, which may be upsetting for some individuals.
Podcasts and Webcasts by Gift From Within
Free podcasts and webcasts from Gift from Within featuring Dr. Frank Ochberg
Helping Traumatized Children at School
By Kathleen Nader D.S.W. & Gift from Within
I’ll see what I can do.
I’ll make a rebloggable post regarding resources sometime later this week but here is what I have right now:
Followers, have any links or resources you want to let us know about?
Don’t worry. It is a huge amount of information to put together but compiling said list has the potential to help out so many people.
Thank you for the suggestion and thank you for helping people.
Much love <3
Will do! :) I’ll look around for materials now. In the meanwhile, feel free to peruse our helpful resources section on PTSD :PTSD & Trauma
- Help Guide A site containing articles to help understand, help numbers, “tool kits”, and self help.
- Mental Help A site that has basic information, resources, articles, and a list of books that might be helpful.
- Here are some tips and tricks on coping with flashbacks.
- Here is a post with some information on PTSD service dogs.
- This article explains the link between ptsd and dissociation
- Coping with flashbacks
Music to calm your soul. Zelda’s Lullaby - The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword 1 Hour Orchestral. mp3 download available at http://www.sendspace.com/file/st4mbc
Full pdf document can be found here: http://www.sendspace.com/file/f3rg9a
Hi everyone, my name is hman. I host the scheduled chats on Survivors Chat sometimes and I know that some of you can’t make it to the scheduled chat due to time differences or differences in schedules. Anyway, I wanted to take this time to talk about the upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving.
For some of us, mostly all of us, Thanksgiving is one of the hardest holidays; maybe even the hardest because we think, “what do I have to be thankful for?” and trust me I have been there and I understand where you are coming from. I have been there too. In, fact the last couple Thanksgivings it has been hard for me to be thankful for anything because I continued to focus on what I don’t have and what I want but can’t have. But this Thanksgiving is different. I have turned over a new leaf…
if you need to talk or be cheered up for the Thanksgiving time I am happy to talk to you and help you
do that. You can private message me on Survivors Chat whenever you want.
[Volunteering] can really make you feel good to help others and to be part of a community effort. Maybe you will meet some new friends or friends in general just do something that will make you feel grateful for everything you have.
We can become full of worry and anxiety. What this can do to us is tear us down, break us apart, and ruin everything. I realize sometimes during holidays or special occasions I become full of anxiety and full of worry. I didn’t understand why before but now I do. I think is because of two things: I get worried something bad will happen, something won’t go right, and also I have realized that I get really stuck in my ways during holidays because I am programmed to act that way because of what my abusers did to me. I have to quickly snap out of it because if I don’t it will consume me and ruin my day and it will be a very bad memory. I am sure most of us have experienced this during the holiday times. We don’t feel like doing anything festive or we feel like what is the point to celebrate anything. Thanksgiving is a time of reflection as well; a day where we reflect on what we have and try our best to appreciate whatever it is that we have.
I hope you all learned something from this short Thanksgiving book and I hope you are able to take as much as you can away from this. As hard as it is I have a long book coming out soon and a short book coming out before that, so I hope you all like it.
Again my name is hman. If you have any questions you can contact me through the private messaging system on Survivors Chat.
Thank you all for reading this.
shhh don’t say mean things about yourself, i happen to like that person.
An original submission:
I WAS MOLESTED
This is a story that many women have gone through in there life and its sad. I never told anyone who I was molested by or what they did to me. Its hard on me and I still cry about but I don’t want to be sad, mad, confused, and scared anymore. I want to be free from this even though I know I may never be. It breaks my heart to know that innocent children have to go through things like this. Never wanting to tell anyone because they are too afraid . I was too afraid, I didn’t want anyone to know. What would they think of me?? I still think that way now. Why do I think this way when I did nothing wrong? Before when I was little I was just so confused and scared that I never told anyone. Now I’m scared they would be disgusted by me and think of me differently. I don’t want to see the pity and the hurt in there eyes as I tell them the horrible things I had to go through. Things that happened a room away from some of them. I am afraid to hurt my family especially my mother. I picture how sad she would be how hurt that she couldn’t protect me. I tell myself at times that some women had it worse than me, that I was lucky for not having it as bad. Those words would make me feel oddly better.
As I sit here on my laptop I still find it so hard to type all of this. I don’t want to say what I am about to but I need to let women know that they aren’t alone that they aren’t freaks. That its not their fault and they don’t have to live with the pain alone anymore. I don’t know how old I was when it all happened, I was anywhere from 5-9 years old. How long it lasted for I don’t know that either. I try to remember but I can’t recall. What I do remember is that I would lay in my bed and pretend to be asleep, he would come in my room in the middle of the night and molest me. I would lay there under my blankets scared every night hoping he wouldn’t come in my room. When he came in he would lick my vagina and my body . He would make me hold his dick sometimes too. I would pretend to be asleep every time. Hoping that would make him go away but it never did. I always wondered if he knew I was awake or not. That’s all I remember. My Dad might of had a suspicion that something was wrong, one day he was asking me what was going on. I said nothing ,I kept lying because I was a little kid and I was scared, and I didn’t understand why all of this was happening to me. One day it just stopped, I thank GOD it did.
The damage was already done and It traumatized me for the rest of my life. When I got older it made me very depressed, I lost a lot of weight I didn’t even want to eat. I thought of ways to tell him maybe say, ” I know what you did to me and now everyone will know too.” I thought of so many ways of telling him and his gf (now his wife). I wanted everyone to see what a sick freak he was and how he ruined my life. I think at time how I could have been, what i could have become if it wasn’t for everything he did to me. I can’t think this way anymore. I can be whatever I want despite of what I was, what he made me to be . I am not that person anymore and I need to let this go, I need to move on. Maybe I will never have the courage to tell him or anyone out loud with my own words but this is my start. My name is ********* and I was molested by my brother.