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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following post is from our psychotherapist, Cheryl Webb:

As humans we are often struggling with difficulties in our lives that may cause us to have nightmares or flashbacks of a difficult or scary event. Usually, these symptoms fade over a few days or weeks and life goes on as normal. PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder), however, happens to us when we witness or experience a traumatic event that then causes intrusive symptoms that continue for an extended period of time, such as:

  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event
  • Vivid nightmaresEF4CE9F4-E31B-475A-991C-41F0C3F94EED
  • Flashbacks of the event
  • Thoughts of the event that seem to come out of nowhere, even years later.

This may seem to be a disorder that has just “popped up” in the last several years as we are talking more about it, but there is evidence that the ancient Greeks suffered from PTSD, and in the 2 World Wars this disorder was called “Shell shock” or “combat neurosis”. It wasn’t until the 1970s that we began calling it PTSD, and until 1980 that it was added to the Diagnostic Manual.

The good news is that PTSD can be treated!  Several treatments have been shown to the very effective. I have tried 2 other trauma treatments, but have had, and continue to have, the greatest success with a treatment called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). I have been using this treatment since being trained in the early 1990s and it usually just takes a few sessions.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the clinic!

– Cheryl E. Webb, MSW, RSW

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