Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?













​​There are three types of PTSD;

1.Primary- when the event happens to you,

2.Secondary- when you witness a traumatizing event and

3.Complex- where abusive or traumatic life events are severe and repetitive over a long period of time.

Anyone who has gone through an overwhelming life-threatening event can develop PTSD. These events can include:


  • Childhood and adulthood sexual or physical abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional and economic abuse
  • Natural disasters, such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake
  • Rape or physical assault
  • Serious accidents, such as a car wreck, plane crashes
  • Terrorist attacks


There are other life events that could produce PTSD symptoms to one degree or another may be overlooked or under estimated such as:


  • abandonment
  • harassment
  • belittlement
  • being bullied
  • divorce
  • isolation
  • relationship breaks-ups
  • re-locating
  • rejection
  • terror (scared)
  • verbal abuse


What are the symptoms of PTSD?

The onset of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms can be terrifying and surface without warning. PTSD symptoms disrupt one’s life and make it hard to function in daily activities.

PTSD symptoms can begin soon after the initial shock wears, may not surface for months or years later. The intensity and frequency also may come and go over many years, depending on exposure to triggers. There are four types of symptoms: reliving the event (recollections, re-experiencing or flashbacks), avoidance, numbing, and feeling hyper vigilance (intense anxiety and fear).

Secondary mental, emotional or behavioral symptoms may occur such as emotionally acting out, anger, confusion, depression, drinking, drugs, fear, guilt, immobilized, inability concentrating, rapid respiration, relationship problems, shame, sleeplessness, sexual difficulties, and tachycardia. If these symptoms or feelings don't go away 4 weeks or they get worse, seek help.





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"STOP allowing your past to define you!"
Dr. Bill Tollefson
239-349-2209

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is simply the after effects of experiencing an abusive or traumatic life event. PTSD is classified as an anxiety disorder. A traumatic life event is something that happens which is perceived as horrible, emotionally overwhelming and terrorizing that happens directly and personally to you or an event you witness. Simply put trauma is an invasion of self. During this type of life event, you perceive or think that your life or others' lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening. PTSD symptoms are a latent reaction, the residual effects, to a past overwhelming emotional life event; an experience of loss. PTSD symptoms mimic many other diagnoses. PTSD is certainly far more widespread than most people realize.

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