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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Trauma

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Our brains and bodies have developed ways of reacting to these situations that allow us to learn from them and keep ourselves safe. Sometimes this process gets stuck, and we may need help.

A traumatic event is an experience of something threatening such as a horrific event or series of events. The event could have happened to us, we may have seen it, or we may have seen or heard about the event in detail. It could be a car crash, the sudden loss of a loved one, an assault and more.

People react differently to traumatic events, but for most there will be distress. Common reactions include:

Unwanted memories, flashbacks and nightmares that make us feel like the trauma is happening all over again Feeling jumpy, on edge, tearful and afraid Avoiding thinking about the event, talking about it or staying away from things or places that remind us of it

Although we can all experience trauma, we may not go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For most people, these symptoms will calm down after a few weeks following a traumatic event. For others, through no fault of their own, the symptoms continue or even get worse. If they last over a month, there is a possibility that a person may be struggling with PTSD.

There are many effective treatments for PTSD and the good news is that most people make a full recovery. Trauma focussed therapies help to reduce flashbacks, nightmares and difficult emotions. They also help people reclaim their lives and do the things that are important to them. NHS Somerset Talking Therapies can help people overcome their symptoms of PTSD with a variety of treatments including:

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