A traumatic event occurs and it may be days, weeks, or even years before the impact is felt. Trauma prevents individuals from fully living in the present. Those who have suffered from an emotional or physical trauma may be afflicted with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD not only affects veterans, but anyone who has experienced a terrifying event. Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Intrusive memories, including flashbacks, nightmares, or recurrent thoughts of event
- Avoidance of people or activities which may trigger memories
- Changes in thinking and mood, including social isolation, negative feelings, hopelessness, emotional numbing, and inability to recall important aspects of event
- Mood disruptions which may include irritability, anger, changes in sleep, being startled easily, guarding oneself, or self-destructive behaviors like heavy drinking or drug use
Trauma responds to many effective treatments, including psychotherapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).