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Your Healthy Mind

Signs you may be experiencing PTSD

Posted by Dr. Peter Farvolden, Ph.D., C.Psych. on May 23, 2018 9:43:25 AM

A woman leans against a fence while lost in thought.

Most people are familiar with posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, as a mental health condition experienced by soldiers who have experienced combat or by first responders following experiences in the line of duty.

But PTSD affects more people than our armed forces and first responders. Anyone who has suffered a tragic event may struggle with symptoms of PTSD, including people who have been victims of sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, or sudden death of a loved one. You do not have to experience the traumatic event directly. It may be enough to have a close friend or loved one who experienced an event.

Here is a list of possible indicators that you may be experiencing PTSD after a traumatic event. You do not need to be experiencing all of them to have PTSD.

Being stuck – unable to stop thinking about the event or what you could have done differently, or getting stuck in emotions related to the event.

Images – Nightmares, flashbacks to what happened, or re-living the event.

Shame or blame – Strong feelings of personal guilt, or feelings of anger toward others.

Loss of trust – loss of trust in yourself and your own judgment, or loss of trust in others.

Feeling on edge – feelings of hypervigilance, being on edge, jumpy, irritable or quick to anger.

Avoidance – Avoiding places, people or activities associated with the trauma.

Disconnected – feeling disconnected from yourself or others.

If you have been experiencing any of the above for more than a month following a stressful or upsetting event, consider reaching out to your doctor or a mental health professional.

There are a number of effective treatments for PTSD including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). In CBT, people experiencing symptoms like the ones above can learn effective skills for helping them understand and overcome their symptoms. BEACON is CBT—digital therapy guided by a therapist dedicated to you, that you can complete anytime or anywhere you’re comfortable. If you have experienced a traumatic event, are experiencing some of the symptoms we’ve described, BEACON may be part of the solution for you.

Don’t wait to start finding help if you are experiencing mental health issues that are interfering with how you live your life. Start with the BEACON assessment, to see if you could benefit from BEACON therapy.


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*This post is for informative purposes only. It is not intended for readers to self-diagnose.

Topics: Mental health care in Canada, PTSD