Do you feel trapped, overwhelmed or paralysed by the consequences of a traumatic event? Psychological traumas can cause an enormous amount of suffering. Maybe you are constantly re-experiencing what happened. Maybe it comes to haunt you by night in the form of nightmares. Maybe you feel anguished and irritable during the day, and you are afraid of any place, word or person reminding you of what happened. If you identify with these phrases, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With the objective of reprocessing the traumatic memory, I use a combination of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), or exposure therapy, and talking therapy.
What is a psychological trauma?
You are suffering from a psychological trauma when, after a life experience that implied a severe threat to your life (or the people's around you), the wound caused by the event remains imprinted in your memory. Trauma, in other words, is a type of damage to the mind resulting from an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one's ability to cope. The possible causes for a psychotrauma are multiple: physical or psychological abuse, accidents, natural disasters, combat situations and terrorist attacks, among others. But their psychological consequences tend to be alike: a re-experiencing of what happened accompanied by anguish and restlessness.
What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may, or may not, arise after experiencing a psychological trauma. While the majority of survivors of a traumatic event recover, some continue experiencing stress reactions that do not improve (or even worsen) with time. They tend to re-experience the trauma through nightmares or intrusive memories, they usually have difficulties in falling asleep, and they frequently feel anguished, irritable, and aggressive, avoiding places or people that remind them of the traumatic event. When these symptoms persist for months without decreasing in intensity, interfering with normal functioning, it is important to ask for psychological help. Fortunately, scientific advancements in the last decades have provided us with efficacious psychological techniques to treat PTSD.