PTSD Can Affect Anyone - Not Only Veterans

As a therapist of 20 years, I am always amazed by how many people come to me anxious and depressed, yet not realizing why they are feeling that way. Maybe they have lost a loved one, or were in an accident, or were bullied or abused in some way as a child. Maybe their family doctor put them on antidepressants, or antianxiety medication, maybe they have seen a therapist, but they still don't feel really well. Many of these people come to realize that the name calling that they received as a child from peers or from family members, or the bullying that they are now receiving from a spouse, has in fact left a scar. That scar might actually be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  

Although as a nation we are becoming more informed about PTSD because of our military returning from the war zone, we don't think of it as affecting OUR lives.  

The first criterion for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is exposure to a traumatic or stressful event, which at the moment was perceived as life threatening to yourself or others. There are different levels of trauma.  These are often referred to as "Big T " Trauma,  and "little t" trauma. "Big T" would be defined as you might expect. Major shocks that affect one for life. "Little t" traumas are relatively small things that build up. They could be things as simple as work stress or getting a speeding ticket, but these stresses can accumulate and lead to PTSD symptoms.

To a young child, these traumas could include physical (or even verbal) punishment, being molested, or teased and called names repeatedly by other children. It could be a car accident. As an adult, maybe you were assaulted, or called fat or stupid or put down or beat up by a partner. You might not immediately think of some of these as traumatic events, but they may have been.  

As a result, today you may experience life with a lot of anxiety, perhaps depression, or with low self esteem. It's really hard to get rid of the anxiety. You might get over it in 10 or 20 years, though there is no way to be certain. Talk therapy may help, but it might not, or it might take years. Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is recognized widely as an effective form of trauma treatment. EMDR and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) therapy, in the hands of an experienced, trained therapist, can change your life, and get rid of that just below the surface anxiety that you've been living with.

You can look up Post Traumatic Stress, DSM 5 to get a better understanding of PTSD. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), was written for professionals so you may not understand it. You should look for an experienced therapist who has specific training in trauma, and is experienced in EMDR. There are many qualified professionals within this very site in the directory. 

5/4/2015 7:00:00 AM
Beverly White Munsing
People who have anxiety, depression, who have experienced bullying or abuse at some time of their life, or have poor self esteem, find that my manner, personal style, and theoretical framework are very helpful. I have had 20 years of experience with adults, children and adolescents, individuals, families and families o...
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Hello Beverly, From my perspective you are Spot On! I have had Many traumas in my life time. Teasing, bullying, losing people, 2 very bad accidents, and abandonment. One day I realized that I was so depressed I could not cope with anything. My doctor told me to find a counselor that used EMDR. I went to her for about a year. We did a lot of sessions with EMDR and it was like the big things were there in memory but on antagonizing me, I no longer centered on them to the point that I had to tell everyone all of my problems. I would recommend this to anyone who has had recent trauma, or things in memories that keep you from focusing on, and moving forward in you life.
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