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Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

trauma and anxiety in Edmonton, Alberta

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects people from all walks of life, and can greatly inhibit the enjoyment and fulfillness they find in their lives. The Registered Psychologists at Gary J. Meiers, Ph.D., Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers, Ph.D. and Associates Ltd. treat trauma and anxiety in Edmonton, including PTSD, and our clients have benefited greatly from seeking to understand and find help for their condition. If you worry that you might have PTSD, then it's important to take note of your symptoms and seek out professional treatment.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a condition which may develop after a person has gone through a traumatic experience such as a vehicle accident, an assault, a sexual assault, warfare, a natural disaster, or any other event which made them feel fearful for their safety. PTSD is characterized by intense fear and anxiety. It essentially heightens the body's "fight-or-flight" response, causing a person to feel and behave as if they are danger even when there is no present threat.

What Are the Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD can cause an array of different symptoms which are often grouped into four main categories: re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, negative thinking, and hyperarousal symptoms. People who suffer from PTSD will re-experience the traumatic event through intrusive flashbacks. They may have trouble sleeping and functioning normally in everyday life, as flashbacks are often accompanied by emotional distress, an increase in heart rate, and an inability to concentrate. Because of these emotional and physical reactions, people with PTSD end up avoiding activities, places, objects, and people who serve as a reminder of their traumatic experience. They may lose interest in activities which they used to find enjoyable, which can also be an indicator of depression. Depression and PTSD tend to go hand-in-hand, as PTSD can cause an individual to experience negative moods and negative thinking. They may feel a sense of hopelessness and emotional numbness, which in turn can lead to difficulty maintaining emotional relationships with others. Hyperarousal symptoms can also interfere with a PTSD sufferer's interpersonal relationships. Someone who has PTSD may be easily startled and can constantly feel on edge, leading to emotional outbursts. Though intrusive flashbacks can come and go, hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, putting great strain on a person's mental and physical wellbeing.

How to Get Help for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and Trauma in Edmonton

Though PTSD can be difficult to manage on your own, most people respond very favourably to treatment with a registered psychologist trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) patients who experience anxiety and trauma in Edmonton. Through EMDR sessions, the debilitating symptoms of PTSD can be greatly reduced. Gary J. Meiers, Ph.D., Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers, Ph.D. and Associates Ltd. specialize in treating patients in Edmonton with anxiety, trauma, and PTSD. Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder can help you understand, address, and change how you respond to your feelings. If you recognize the symptoms of PTSD and think that it's time to see a Registered Psychologist, then you can get help by contacting Gary J. Meiers, Ph.D., Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers, Ph.D. and Associates Ltd.

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