If you have nightmares, flashbacks, and are always avoiding reminders of the past...
If you have nightmares, flashbacks, and are always avoiding reminders of the past… You may wake up in a sweat, feeling like you are in the past, like the bad thing is happening right now, again. You may have moments where you believe you are reliving that hard experience and it feels SO real. You may spend time setting up new routes, avoiding certain smells, foods, settings, etc, so you don’t get triggered back into feeling scared and upset. You may be surprised by how jittery and jumpy you feel, startling easily and constantly on edge. You may feel like you should be ‘over it’ and that your reactions are silly, like it shouldn’t still be affecting you this much.
The past traumatic event might be something related to childhood, or a single event like a car accident. Experiences like physical or sexual assaults, abusive relationships, bullying incidents, and repeated hard experiences in childhood are commonly ones that get stuck in our minds. Post-traumatic stress disorder is not just for veterans of combat. It frequently shows up in survivors of sexual assault and other abuse in adulthood or childhood.
If you feel this describes you, feel free to take the following quiz that might give you more information about your level of PTSD. PCL5: traumadissociation.com/pcl5-ptsd
If you score over 24 on the PCL-5, you are an excellent candidate for EMDR and therapy will be most helpful for you. EMDR helps reset the brain and in the process of preparing for reprocessing, we spend a lot of time figuring out positive coping skills and developing resources to help you exercise your ‘Calmness, Healing, Resilience’ muscle and give your ‘PTSD/Trauma Response’ muscle a break.
To get you started on healing, here are a couple of activities that can enhance a sense of calm for you, even before you see a therapist. Three minute breathing meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEfs5TJZ6Nk Five minute yoga for stress: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOfshreyu4w Healing is possible. You deserve to feel better. I look forward to hearing from you and helping you further along your journey toward Healing Self. Rachael Bain-Chase, LCSW, EMDR Therapist