TRAUMA AND STRESS RELATED DISORDERS
Although Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is known by many in reference to symptoms faced by combat veterans, it more generally refers to a set of symptoms experienced by those who have been through various kinds of traumatic events. These include experiences such as rape, abuse, assault, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, in addition to distressing military experiences and other traumatic events. Symptoms of PTSD generally fall under four main categories including intrusion, avoidance, negative changes in cognitions (thoughts) and mood, and difficulties with arousal and reactivity (eg. heightened startle response).
Complex PTSD is another diagnosis discussed in relation to trauma, particularly prolonged and repeated trauma. For individuals with this kind of experience, posttraumatic symptoms may include additional problems in different areas including emotion dysregulation, dissociation, self-perception, and relationships with others.
In addition to PTSD and Complex PTSD, there are other problems that can be associated with trauma. These can include depression, substance abuse, and anxiety, among others.
Perhaps you have already been made aware of what you are experiencing or maybe you are just starting to think about these issues. Either way, an initial visit will be helpful to understand how trauma may have impacted you. Based on your particular circumstances, there are a number of effective treatments available to you. Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) are treatments that have been found to be effective in the treatment of PTSD. If you are dealing with more complex trauma symptoms, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an approach which focuses on learning skills that could be helpful. For depression, substance use, or anxiety related to trauma, certain additional cognitive and behavioral approaches that are helpful for treating these problems can be further discussed with you.