Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event or experience. This event often involves a threat of serious injury or death, but alternatively may involve a threat to our personal integrity. Symptoms may include flashbacks or nightmares of the event, intrusive images of the event, avoidance of any reminders of the event (e.g. thoughts, feelings, people or places), feelings of numbness, intense fear or distress when faced with reminders of the event, a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities, depression or low mood, sleep disturbance, concentration difficulties, anger or irritability and/or hypervigilance
A formal diagnosis of PTSD requires that the symptoms last more than a month and have a significant impact on daily functioning.
The preferred treatment for PTSD, recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Effectiveness (NICE), is individual Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). PTSD can be treated successfully even if the traumatic event took place a long time ago.
If you think that you might be experiencing PTSD and would like an assessment and/or therapy from a clinical psychologist or a CBT therapist, Changing Minds can offer you this from locations throughout Hertfordshire and North West London, including Harrow, Watford, Borehamwood and Berkhamsted. We are also able to offer online therapy via Skype.