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10 Signs you are Experiencing Post Traumatic Stress

Trauma comes in many forms and the causes of trauma are often complex. Many of us think of trauma as a one-time event or experience that has put a person in life-threatening danger like a car accident, rape, or war. It’s important to understand that trauma and resulting post-traumatic stress can also occur from less obvious experiences such as on-going emotional and psychological abuse, various forms of oppression, bullying, prolonged exposure to anger and violence, etc. In fact, most, if not all of us have been through a traumatic experience.

Sometimes we are able to process trauma and negotiate it naturally over several weeks until we reach a point where the traumatic experience no longer negatively affects our lives. Other times, depending on various circumstances such as our neurological make-up, the level and type of trauma we have experienced, additional life stressors, access to support, our environment, and previous life experiences (among many other variables that are beyond our control) we experience long-term negative affects of trauma that can impede our ability to function normally.

Signs that you may be experiencing the lasting, negative affects of trauma include:

- Nightmares and/or flashbacks related to your traumatic experience(s)

- Avoidance of all feelings associated with the trauma

- Persistent and elevated negative feelings about yourself, other people, and the world

- Difficulty remembering certain parts of the traumatic experience(s)

- Feeling detached from others

- Impulsive or self-destructive behavior

- You don't find enjoyment in the things that you used to

- Symptoms of anxiety and/or depression

If you are currently struggling with any of these symptoms, you may be experiencing post-traumatic stress. Counselling can help restore your ability to not only cope with symptoms, it can also help you regain your personal power so you can feel like you are living again and not just surviving.