Living with Trauma and PTSD

April 10th, 2023

Living with Trauma and PTSD

Living with trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be extremely difficult as the symptoms can only be ignored for so long before they begin to have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life.

When this happens, everything starts to suffer – from a person’s mental and physical wellbeing, to their ability to have positive and fulfilling relationships with others.

“Trauma doesn’t have to be a life sentence.”
Peter Levine

Here at The Therapy Room, we want to get you back to feeling good, and we believe this is possible by giving people a non-judgemental and empathetic space where they can discuss and process their trauma.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is often associated exclusively with soldiers who have come back from war, and whilst military combat is one of the most common causes of PTSD in men, the truth is – any traumatic experience can trigger PTSD.

When a person goes through a traumatic experience, it’s normal for them to feel scared, anxious and disconnected as a result.

In some cases, these feelings will fade over time. However, in others, they don’t.

If anything – they get worse.

If this is the case, then that person may be suffering from PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of PTSD can vary widely from person to person, but some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Re-experiencing the trauma through flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts
  • Avoiding situations or activities that may trigger memories of the trauma
  • Hypervigilance or feeling constantly “on edge”
  • Feeling numb or detached from oneself or others
  • Emotional reactivity or mood swings

Living with these symptoms can be incredibly distressing and can impact many areas of a person’s life, including their work, social life, and relationships.

What is Complex PTSD?

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) is more likely to develop in a person if they have experienced multiple traumas, trauma at an early age, if the trauma lasted for a long time, or if they were harmed by someone close to them.

When a person develops CPTSD, they are likely to experience additional symptoms to that of PTSD, including:

  • feeling very angry or cynical towards everything
  • having difficulty controlling their emotions
  • feeling as if no one understands them or what they have been through
  • persistent feelings of emptiness
  • feeling as if they are permanently damaged or worthless
  • avoiding friendships and relationships
  • developing physical symptoms including headaches, dizziness, chest pains and stomach aches
  • having regular suicidal feelings

Strategies for managing trauma and PTSD

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to managing trauma or PTSD and here at The Therapy Room, we know how important it is to tailor our approach to an individual’s situation and unique requirements.

Some common strategies for managing trauma and PTSD include:

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is a great tool to address emotions and feelings, understand how they can be processed in a healthy way, and to build resilience. Exposure therapy and cognitive reappraisal therapy are two of the more reliable treatments for trauma and PTSD.

Trauma-informed care: This type of care is holistic and treats the whole person – it recognises past trauma and the effects of unhealthy coping strategies. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy is frequently used to address the destructive effects of early trauma.

Developing coping skills: Coping skills are strategies that individuals can use to manage symptoms when they arise. These can include grounding techniques, breathing exercises, mindfulness practices, and positive self-talk.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): SSRIs are a type of antidepressant, usually taken in the form of a pill. They’re prescribed to treat a number of conditions including depression, anxiety, panic disorder and PTSD, and are often used in conjunction with talking therapy.

How can therapy help with PTSD?

PTSD can be difficult to talk about, and people may feel uncomfortable discussing their experiences with friends or family members.

A therapist however, can provide a non-judgemental and compassionate space to discuss trauma with the aim of processing what has happened and developing healthy coping strategies in order to get better.

Having PTSD does not make you a weak person – if anything it is a marker of how much strength you have had to call on to have gone through that trauma and survived it.

Here at The Therapy Room, we believe that with the right support and strategies in place, recovery is possible, and that individuals can learn to manage the symptoms of PTSD effectively and go on to lead happy and fulfilling lives.

Founder Jay L Pink Ad.Prof.Dip MBACP PC MNCS (ACC) established The Therapy Room to offer high quality, expert counselling and therapy services to people of all ages, as well as to couples for relationship and partner counselling and groups for corporate and family therapy. Jay’s commitment to anyone visiting The Therapy Room is to unconditionally respect values, lifestyle, background and beliefs, offering a discreet and professional service tailored to their needs.

Therapy is held either in-person at The Therapy Room in Northampton or online.

To organise a booking, please visit our bookings and payment page.