POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

Do you feel as if your life is in shambles, and that you do not even recognize yourself anymore? Maybe you have problems controlling your anger or feel as if you can’t connect with anyone. Perhaps you feel alienated by your family or that no one can understand you. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you got a good night’s sleep because you have nightmares, or you try to avoid conversations or people that remind you of something bad that happened to you. Maybe you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Perhaps you were once happy and carefree, but all of that was disappeared before your very eyes because you experienced something that was horrific. When it happened, you likely didn’t have any control over it, and maybe you felt helpless.

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER IN THE UNITED STATES

Most of the time when people think about PTSD, they envision a war-torn veteran. PTSD is actually more common than you think, and has the potential to affect anyone from any walk of life. When I say it is more common, what I mean is that 70 percent of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. Secondly, 20 percent of these people go on to develop PTSD. It is estimated that 8 percent of Americans – 24.4 million people – have PTSD at any given time. That is equal to the total population of Texas.

Sadly, these numbers do not reflect the amount of people who do not actively seek help. People who have PTSD look just like everyone else, they just had the unfortunate experience of something traumatic happen to them. When people think of PTSD, they usually conjure up an image of a war-torn veteran, but PTSD does not solely occur in veterans of wars. It can occur in people who have been abused, people who have been involved in natural disasters, or people who have been involved in various crimes or other “man-made” disasters, and many other things.

WHAT CAN PTSD TREATMENT DO FOR YOU?

You may be feeling pretty hopeless right now, depressed, and feeling as if no one will understand you. You may even feel ashamed or guilty about what happened or how you are acting. I want to reassure you that PTSD is a treatable diagnosis and most people can find relief from PTSD through a combination of counseling and/or medications.

In our sessions, I will utilize Cognitive Processing techniques to help you face your trauma head on, so that you can process and understand what happened to you. I will first explain to you how PTSD develops and how you can learn how to control your symptoms. My purpose initially will be to help you understand the goals of therapy and the rationale behind it. I will help you learn how PTSD has affected your beliefs about yourself and the world, and we will work together to change any negative beliefs. We will work on decreasing your feelings of blame and guilt and I will help you process your trauma in a new context. It has been my experience that people who overcome PTSD learn that their traumatic experiences and their past does not have to define them. In therapy, you will learn how to regain the sense of safety you lost, trust in others, how to feel more in power and more in control, how to regain intimacy with others, and improve your self-esteem.

YOU MAY STILL HAVE SOME CONCERNS ABOUT TREATMENT

What if I am not ready to talk about the pain?

Therapy can be challenging and even sometimes painful. I want to reassure you that we will move at a pace you feel comfortable with; however, I also want you to be aware that not much progress can be made if you are not willing to address the trauma and face it head on. Facing the trauma will definitely not be something that happens on the first session, as we will be spending the time getting to know one another.

Which is better, medications or counseling?

It is hard to answer this question because it is different for everyone. Some people need the assistance of medication to help them process what they are learning in therapy; whereas other people prefer to go the route “cold turkey.” Whatever the case is with you, I will ultimately respect your wishes, and I will be more than willing to discuss the various treatment options available to you.

How long will therapy take?

When it comes to trauma, most people see relief in as little as 12 sessions; however, for others, therapy can take longer. It really depends on the nature of your specific problem, and how quickly you would like to try to resolve the problem.

If you have more questions regarding PTSD, therapeutic approaches, or questions about me, then it would be my privilege to speak with you. Please call me for a free consultation.

“Brittainy is a skilled and innovative therapist with a comprehensive knowledge of the profession. I highly recommend her for anyone seeking psychological services in our area.”

-Brent Phillips-Broadrick, LPC-S