Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD
Fraser Valley Treatment Centre, or FVTC, is a private, fully licensed disorder, addiction and PTSD treatment facility in Abbotsford. Our centre offers affordable PTSD treatment and rehab programs for people in the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver Lower Mainland. Facing up to feelings and getting professional help is often the most effective PTSD treatment.
PTSD is a mental illness that involves exposure to trauma. A traumatic event, either experiencing or witnessing it, that causes intense fright and distress, can evolve into PTSD. Traumatic events that leave a lasting impact that is often unexpected, leaving the trauma victim feeling powerless and unable to control the outcome of the event. Disturbing nightmares, intense flashbacks, and terrifying thoughts can create severe stress on a person with PTSD.
PTSD can cause invasive symptoms that come out of nowhere, leaving psychological scars that are debilitating.
PTSD is commonly linked to careers that witness repetitive traumatic events. Soldiers, first responders and doctors are among the occupations that experience trauma daily. Although most people associate PTSD with people serving in combat, it can effect anyone who has experienced or witnessed a frightening event, or has been exposed to a series of frightening and stressful events. Here are some possible causes, or events, that can cause PTSD:
- Military combat
- Physical abuse
- Physical violence - mugging
- Sexual assault - molestation
- Childhood neglect and-or abuse
- Being menaced with a weapon
- Kidnapping, being held hostage
- Civil conflict
- Car or plane crash
- Natural or man-made disasters
- Life-threatening illness
- Death of someone close
- Witnessing violence or a violent death
People at higher risk for PTSD may have been exposed to repetitive trauma, repeated abuse, early childhood neglect, and-or past mental illness. Untreated PTSD is commonly associated with substance abuse issues such as alcohol and drugs.
Victims of PTSD feel that something bad is always about to happen, even though they are safe. Someone with PTSD can often appear irritable, on edge and nervous. Here are some symptoms of PTSD:
- Flashbacks - can be caused by sights, sounds, smells or reminiscent feelings
- Severe anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping due to nightmares
- Uncontrollable thoughts about the event
- Frightening easily
- Being emotionless
- Isolation from friends and family
- Problem with intimacy
- Trouble concentrating
- Hostile, argumentative or possibly violent behavior
- Mood swings
- Avoidance of situations that are a reminder of the trauma
- Struggling through meaningful times, like the anniversary of the trauma
- Refusal to discuss the trauma, afraid of triggering flashbacks or other symptoms
PTSD triggers can also result in physical responses similar to panic attacks such as:
- Elevated heart rate - palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Hot flashes
- Muscle tension
- Back pain, stomach pain and general body aches
If you are having trouble following a traumatic event, even if it is long past, evaluate and make note of the PTSD symptoms you are feeling and reach out to a professional who can help with the healing process. A traumatic experience can have more of a long-term impact than most people realize.
Fraser Valley Treatment Centre has doctors and other health professionals who have decades of experience treating PTSD. Give us a call and a facilitator can provide you with some treatment options. You can also schedule a free, no obligation PHONE CONSULTATION on programs for PTSD treatment.