June is National PTSD Awareness Month, which provides an important opportunity to increase understanding of this condition and to raise awareness of the hidden signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s essential for those living with PTSD to get the support they need to find relief. Fortunately, there are several different forms of therapy that can help people with PTSD. In this blog post, we’ll look at two of the more helpful therapies, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Somatic Experiencing.
Symptoms of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. The symptoms of PTSD can range from mild to severe and may manifest differently in each person.
Common symptoms of PTSD include intrusive thoughts or memories, flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of triggers, hypervigilance, and a heightened startle response. Additionally, some people with PTSD may experience negative changes in mood or cognition, such as feeling isolated, having difficulty sleeping, or feeling guilty or ashamed.
It’s important to note that some people with PTSD may not even be aware that they are experiencing symptoms, as they may have learned to cope or suppress their feelings over time. That’s why it’s essential to recognize the hidden signs of PTSD, which we will discuss in the next section.
Hidden Signs of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can often go unnoticed or unrecognized by those around us. Symptoms of PTSD are not always obvious and can sometimes manifest in hidden signs that are easily overlooked. If you or someone you know has experienced trauma and is struggling with hidden signs of PTSD, it is essential to seek help. Here are some common hidden signs of PTSD to look out for:
- Physical Symptoms: Many people who have PTSD may experience physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and chronic pain. These physical symptoms are often a result of the body’s response to stress and can sometimes go untreated.
- Avoidance: People with PTSD may also avoid certain activities or situations that remind them of the traumatic event. They may also avoid discussing the trauma or their feelings surrounding it.
- Emotional Numbness: People with PTSD may also experience emotional numbness, making it difficult for them to connect with others emotionally. They may feel disconnected or detached from their own feelings.
- Hypervigilance: People with PTSD may be constantly on high alert and always looking for potential threats. This state of hypervigilance can be exhausting and lead to further anxiety and stress.
- Sleep Disturbances: People with PTSD may have trouble sleeping or experience nightmares related to the trauma. This can lead to further fatigue and exacerbate other symptoms.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these hidden signs of PTSD, it is crucial to seek help. EMDR for PTSD is a highly effective therapy that can help individuals heal from past trauma. Through EMDR therapy, individuals can reprocess traumatic events and move forward with their lives. Another effective therapy for PTSD is somatic experiencing, which focuses on the mind-body connection and helps individuals release trauma held in their bodies.
In summary, PTSD can manifest in hidden signs that are not always apparent. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, it is important to seek help from a trained therapist who can provide support and guidance. EMDR for PTSD and somatic experiencing are both highly effective therapies that can help individuals heal from past trauma and move forward in their lives. Let us use this National PTSD Awareness Month to educate ourselves and others about the importance of mental health and seeking help when needed.
EMDR Therapy for PTSD
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that is gaining popularity as a treatment option for individuals suffering from PTSD. EMDR therapy is different from other therapies as it includes guided eye movements, sounds, or taps while patients recall their traumatic experiences.
During an EMDR session, patients will first identify a specific traumatic memory and then discuss their feelings and thoughts related to it with their therapist. While talking about their experience, the therapist will provide visual or auditory stimulation, which aims to stimulate the brain’s natural healing processes.
EMDR therapy is unique in that it can help patients process and reduce the intensity of traumatic memories without the need to go into detail or relive the entire experience. As a result, it can be an effective therapy option for individuals who find traditional talk therapy difficult or overwhelming.
EMDR therapy has been shown to have long-lasting effects on reducing the symptoms of PTSD, including intrusive thoughts, avoidance behavior, and hyperarousal. In fact, studies have shown that 84-90% of patients report a reduction in symptoms after only a few sessions.
It’s essential to note that while EMDR therapy is an effective option for PTSD, it may not be the right treatment for everyone. As with any treatment option, it’s crucial to speak with a licensed mental health professional to determine which therapy options will be the most beneficial for you.
Somatic Experiencing for PTSD
Somatic Experiencing is another form of therapy that has been found to be effective for people with PTSD. This approach involves the recognition and release of physical tension that arises from trauma. In many cases, traumatic experiences leave an imprint on the body, which can result in chronic tension, anxiety, and other physical symptoms. By using the Somatic Experiencing technique, individuals can learn how to release these physical tensions, thus allowing them to move past their traumatic experiences.
One of the main benefits of Somatic Experiencing is that it is non-invasive and does not require individuals to revisit their traumatic experiences in detail. Instead, the focus is on learning to regulate the nervous system and develop an awareness of bodily sensations. With the guidance of a therapist, individuals learn how to recognize and release physical tension that arises from trauma, which in turn helps them to develop a greater sense of calm and wellbeing.
Research has shown that Somatic Experiencing can be particularly helpful for people who have experienced complex trauma, such as childhood abuse or neglect. By working with a skilled therapist, individuals can learn how to release the tension that has built up in their bodies, and begin to feel more connected to their emotions and physical sensations.
As always, it’s important to work with a licensed therapist who is experienced in treating PTSD to ensure that you get the care and support you need. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, consider speaking with a mental health professional to determine if EMDR or Somatic Experiencing therapy is a viable option.
At Recovery Ways we have over a decade of experience helping those who are seeking to improve their mental health including specializing in supporting healing with PTSD, anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, and more. We have a thriving alumni program with many who support each other in their new found freedoms of a life of sobriety. We offer a wide range of services including Detox, Residential Treatment, PHP, and IOP therapy to help those in need. Please contact us today if we can be of assistance in getting your life unstuck and back to finding more purpose and joy. We accept most major insurances.