When we think about trauma and traumatic experiences, we often think about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Now, it is important to state that not everyone who has experienced trauma experiences PTSD as a result.

One’s response to trauma may be present only during and right after a traumatic event, or it may be prolonged. More often, it has long-lasting effects that can disrupt well-being for years.  

Trauma & Memory

When symptoms of trauma persist and involve experiences of flashbacks of the traumatic event/s, nightmares, high physiological arousal (Including but not limited to flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of being on edge, increased heart rate, sweating, and heightened anxiety), intrusive thoughts, and avoiding/numbing, you might be experiencing symptoms of PTSD. 

Of the 60% of Americans who have experienced trauma, 6 to 10 percent of individuals will experience symptoms of PTSD. It is bad enough that they either witnessed or experienced trauma and now have many unpleasant symptoms causing much distress. 

First, let’s normalize something; after experiencing a trauma, it is pretty common for that individual to experience an overactive trauma response. 

In other words, after experiencing a trauma, we may experience events that others don’t find threatening as threatening or triggering, which signals our trauma response (fight, flight, freeze, or fawn). 

As a result of PTSD, one may get stuck in this trauma response and overstimulated, which can completely deplete you of your energy.  ‘

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder  Is Treatable!

PTSD will not go away if left untreated, but the good news is that research has told us that symptoms of PTSD respond very well to treatment. Therapy can create a space to challenge and break free of your fixed trauma responses, build effective coping strategies, create healthy boundaries with others, and begin healing. 

If you have experienced trauma, are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, and/or want to engage in trauma-informed care, please feel free to contact Dr. Kendal Vaarwerk for a free and confidential consultation with her, after which, together, we can decide your preferred next steps. She looks forward to hearing from you!