Friday, February 25, 2011

Signs of Post-Traumatic Stress in Adults

All of us have had painful life experiences in the past. If we are lucky, we can just shake them off and get on with our lives. But sometimes experiences of trauma and loss can affect us so deeply that months and even years later; we still feel the impact in our daily lives. The aftermath of trauma can disrupt our lives and cause continuing stress that is harmful to our health and wellbeing. The signs of PTSD are often misdiagnosed. Here are some common signs of post-traumatic stress in adults:
- Depression
- Feeling "stuck"
- Feelings of panic/anxiety
- Nightmares
- Involuntary response to "triggers"
- Physical ailments like back and headaches
- Flashbacks
- Overpowering urge to cry or run
- Intrusive memories
- Impulsive behavior
- Eating/sleep disorders
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Suicidal tendencies
- Self-harm
- Grief
- Denial
- Anger/rage
- Guilt/shame
- Feeling out of control
- Easy startle response
- Accident proneness
- Tendency to isolate
- Low self-esteem
- Emotional outbursts
- Emotional numbing
- Emotional swings
- "Doomsday" thinking
- Hypervigilance
- Difficulty trusting
- Amnesia of the traumatic event
- Restlessness
- Poor problem solving
- Difficulty making decisions


EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization is a highly successful and much researched form of psychotherapy that has recently been acclaimed by the WHO, World Health Organization, as a frontline treatment for PTSD. According to WHO " EMDR therapy aims to reduce subjective distress and strengthen adaptive cognitions related to the traumatic event. Unlike CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR does not involve (a) detailed descriptions of the event, (b) direct challenging of beliefs, (c) extended exposure, or (d) homework.” To learn more about how EMDR can lead to trauma recovery please visit my website:

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