Stress disorders fall under the umbrella of anxiety disorders. Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event or series of events such as an accident, sexual assault/abuse, natural disaster or war. Psychological trauma may set in after a distressing or life-threatening event.
Sufferers and survivors may develop extreme anxiety, which can create functional impairment. Treatments include
- teaching stress management and relaxation skills
- talking about the event and its associated feelings
- creating a coherent story of what happened, to enable you to master painful feelings and put the events into perspective in your life
This process involves correcting distorted ideas such as self-blame. It is important that the therapy move at a speed that you can tolerate.
Medications are sometimes used to dampen symptoms like nightmares, generalized anxiety and insomnia. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy strategies are frequently used to address anxiety, depression and self-destructive behaviors that some survivors experience because of their trauma. Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is also considered effective for PTSD, and is available from other therapists in the community.