Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a kind of anxiety disorder that may develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which severe physical harm occurred or was threatened. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may be triggered by traumatic events such as violent personal assaults, natural or unnatural disasters, accidents or military combat.
PTSD can develop at any age. Research shows that 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives, and up to 20% of these people go on to develop PTSD. It’s estimated that at any given time, more than 24 million people are experiencing PTSD—that’s equal to the population of Texas. While anyone can experience PTSD, it strikes women about twice as often as men.
Signs and symptoms
PTSD is often accompanied by other conditions such as depression, substance abuse or other anxiety disorders. When these other conditions are treated alongside PTSD, a successful outcome is more likely. While it is normal to experience stressful symptoms immediately following a traumatic event, PTSD is diagnosed when symptoms have persisted for at least a month. Common symptoms include:
Acting or feeling as though the traumatic event is happening again (also called a “flashback”)
Physical response to reminders of the trauma, such as a surge in heart rate or sweating
Difficulty falling or staying asleep
Feeling more irritable or having outbursts of anger
Feeling constantly “on guard” or like danger is lurking around every corner
Making an effort to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations about the traumatic event
Loss of interest in important, once positive, activities
Difficulty having positive feelings
How Crosswinds can help
People suffering from PTSD often experience feelings of guilt, anger and fear. In-home counseling through Crosswinds helps clients deal with these feelings and identify thought patterns that lead to distress. Through therapy, Crosswinds helps clients replace these upsetting thoughts with more accurate, healthy ones. Crosswinds also helps clients learn to change how they react to their stressful memories, creating a safe, secure place to talk about their experiences. The goals for each individual’s therapy are different, but with counseling, Crosswinds can help clients reduce their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, learn how to live with symptoms and cope with other problems surrounding PTSD (like feelings of sadness, difficulty with relationships and trouble communicating with friends and family).
While therapy cannot undo the trauma experienced by someone with PTSD, at Crosswinds, our goal is to give our clients strategies that enable them to cope with their experience and over time return to a life of whole well-being.
If you believe you or a loved one may be experiencing PTSD, please contact Crosswinds: