Are you in the armed services? An emergency or aid worker? Have you witnessed an incredibly distressing event? Have traumatic experiences left you feeling
persistently fearful, angry, sad, numb or intensely anxious?
There’s a name for this range of emotions: post-traumatic stress or PTSD, a condition that can be treated with appropriate support and time.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a complex series of emotions, which are often persistent, uncomfortable and founded on anxiety. It typically develops after experiencing one or
many traumatic events that threatened your life or safety, or those of people around you. These events can include serious accidents, natural disasters,
crime, war, torture, physical or sexual assault, and other horrifying events.
People in professions such as the military, firefighters, paramedics, emergency workers, police officers and psychologists are particularly vulnerable
to this debilitating condition. It’s estimated that around 10% of Australians experience PTSD at some stage in their lives. People with PTSD can experience
other mental health issues at the same time, such as anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug use.
Sometimes the feelings dissipate by themselves after talking with family, friends or colleagues. But when these feelings continue and begin to interfere
with everyday life, work and relationships, then it’s time to find help, as these kinds of shocking and overwhelming events can be difficult to come
to terms with on our own. Speak with your GP or other trusted and qualified health professional, and attend Quest for Life’s Moving Beyond Trauma program.
Some symptoms to look out for:
- flashbacks of the traumatic event/s
- intrusive memories or nightmares about the traumatic event/s
- numbing oneself with alcohol, drugs or busyness
- flight or fight behaviours; extreme reactions, angry outbursts, reckless behaviour
- avoiding people, places or conversations that might trigger memories
- feeling emotionally numb; becoming detached from friends and family
- feeling ‘dissociated’; watching life from a distance
- feeling jumpy and anxious for no reason
- heightened vigilance; looking for or anticipating danger
- persistently blaming yourself or others for the traumatic event
- extreme distress in response to triggers, such as images, smells, stories
- impatience, intolerance, sleeplessness, irritability
Some effective treatments for PTSD include psychotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, and medication. It can take time to discover the best treatment
for each person, so it’s best to work closely with your GP to find what works for you.
How Quest for Life can help
Moving Beyond Trauma is designed to help people with PTSD to reclaim their lives and gain greater
control over their emotions and lifestyle choices. It is based on the latest research into neuroplasticity and epigenetics.
Quest for Life knows how to help: our internal research results show that participants feel better after attending a program and that this improvement
increases over time.
Quest for Life can help you work through PTSD through our program Moving Beyond Trauma. For program dates, visit our website or call 1300-941-488 for more information.