Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that persists after an individual experiences a traumatic event. Examples of trauma include sexual or physical assault, serious injury or other experience in which the person is at risk of death. It can also occur vicariously, that is, after hearing about another person’s traumatic experience. When memories of this event are triggered, someone with PTSD experiences intense and overwhelming anxiety.
An individual suffering from PTSD experiences symptoms that fit into two broad categories; avoidance symptoms and re-experiencing symptoms. Avoidance symptoms include an unwillingness to discuss the trauma, avoidance of the place the trauma occurred, and avoidance of things that may trigger memories of the event. Re-experiencing symptoms are unwanted and intrusive experiences such as flashbacks, nightmares and hyper-arousal.
PTSD can be a very distressing and disabling condition that interrupts work and relationships. Encouragingly, there are a range of scientifically validated treatment that have been demonstrated to significantly reduce symptoms and improve functioning. It is often viewed as a complex condition that requires high level skills in the psychologist. At Peter Walker and Associates we have several clinicians who specialise in this condition.