A traumatic event can leave anyone with upsetting memories, feeling on edge, or having difficulty with sleep. Most people will start to feel better after a few weeks or months. Sometimes lingering issues continue to disrupt our daily lives including struggles with going to work, school, or spending time with people. Difficulties experienced within the first month of a traumatic experience can be classified with Acute Stress Disorder. If symptoms persist after a month, you may have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). These symptoms may come and go with varying intensity over time.
Anyone can develop Acute Stress Disorder or PTSD at any age. Personal factors, like previous traumatic exposure, age, and gender, can affect whether or not a person will develop symptoms. What happens after the traumatic event is also important. Stress can make symptoms more likely, while social support can make it less likely. Click here to learn more about PTSD.
What does it look like?
People respond to traumatic events in a number of ways such as anger, avoidance, fear, or helplessness. It is natural to want to avoid thinking about or feeling emotions about a stressful event. But when avoidance is extreme, or the main way you cope, it can interfere with emotional recovery and healing. Research shows that people who have been through trauma, loss, or hardship in the past may be even more likely to be affected by new, potentially traumatic events.
Trauma can have a large impact on our youth and it effects them differently than adults. The symptoms in children and teens can also look different. For many children, symptoms go away on their own after a few months. Yet some children show symptoms for years if they do not get treatment.
Most Acute Stress Disorder & PTSD therapies fall under the umbrella of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The goal is to change the thought patterns that are disrupting your life. This might happen through talking about your trauma or concentrating on where your fears started. Examples of these types of therapies are Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy.
THERAPISTS & COUNSELORS
All clinicians at Mindly are fully licensed to practice counseling & psychotherapy in the state of North Carolina.