Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, C-PTSD, and Dissociation

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Have you experienced a traumatic event? Of course you have if your Autistc and/or have ADHD. 

Are you suffering from lingering fear and anxiety ... intrusive thoughts, sleepless lives? 

Do you feel like you no longer have any control over how you think, feel, and behave? 

Do you "check out" dissociate? 

All of this is normal, reasonable ... you are taking the best care of you that you can. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - also known as PTSD - is a mental health challenge that may occur in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a terrorist act, an act of war, a serious accident, rape, any other violent personal assault or being a first responder. It can also be complex, starting in childhood and including Developmental Trauma (Van Der Kolk). 

It is believed that PTSD affects nearly four percent of the U.S. adult population. I wager 100% of our Autistic community. While it is usually linked with veterans who’ve experienced combat, PTSD occurs in all people regardless of age, race, nationality, or culture. In fact, women are twice as likely to experience PTSD than men. Research continues to indicate a normal reaction to traumatic event is dissociation. (Dissociation Made Simple by ??)

What are the Symptoms of PTSD, C-PTSD?

PTSD is different for each of us. We often experience intense thoughts and feelings related to their traumatic experiences. These can last for a long time after the initial event. Many people with PTSD also relive the event through flashbacks and nightmares.

People with PTSD often feel intense emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, and detachment from friends, family, and community members. They often avoid people and situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Ordinary sounds or incidents such as a door banging or accidental touch in a crowd may cause a strong and uncontrollable reaction.

Treatment can help ... healing

There are a variety of treatments that can be used to treat PTSD. However, there are three specific techniques that are consistently gaining research-based evidence of their effectiveness in successfully treating PTSD.

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy – This modality focuses on how a person perceives a traumatic event and processes it. A therapist can help their client work through stuck points, which are certain thoughts related to the trauma that prevents the person from recovering. 
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy - This modality focuses on becoming the owner of the story, moving from "victim" to "survivor". 
  • EMDR – EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. This technique uses bilateral sensory input such as side-to-side eye movements to stimulate the brain to process difficult thoughts, memories, and emotions.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a form of talk therapy that focuses on how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are related to one another. The goal of a CBT therapist is to help a client with PTSD return to a place of hope with a greater sense of being in control of their thoughts and behaviors.

If you have experienced trauma, have the diagnosis of PTSD, would like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me. I have personally seen amazing transformation through therapy and want to offer the help you need to enjoy life again.