Who isn't under stress these days? While many used to ignore it, the importance of actively alleviating stress in our everyday live's can not be over-rated as the incidence of people suffering and even dying from stress related conditions reaches epidemic proportions. No-matter what industry profession or walk of life you are from, learning about stress management can assist yourself, clients, family and friends to combat this increasing health concern.
Everyone deals with stress differently; and some people do not deal with it at all. Sometimes stress can be mild and manageable; but at the other end of the spectrum, it can be severe and a serious health problem.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a terrifying ordeal or event. This can include events such as violent assaults, such as rape, mugging, a beating, or natural disasters, military combat, accidents or the sudden death or loss of a loved one. People who suffer from PTSD can experience emotional numbness, sleep disturbances, anxiety, anger, depression and guilt. It is often diagnosed when the symptoms have lasted for more than one month. Although symptoms typically develop within three months of event, but can take longer for some people.
PTSD sufferers can experience a range of symptoms, such as disturbing flashbacks, nightmares, traumas, frightening thoughts, particularly when they experience something similar to the trauma or it is an anniversary of the trauma (for example).
The person will often re-experience the trauma, so having the same emotional, physical and mental feelings that they had at the time of the trauma. They may feel agitated and have the same physical sensations as when they were experiencing the trauma. They will feel as though they are in danger. The person cannot control them or stop them from happening. They may also have trouble controlling their emotions, such as anger, upset and anxiety. It can also affect their concentrate and thinking.
Sufferers of PTSD will obviously find thinking about the trauma very upsetting, so they may avoid reminders of the trauma. This may be intentional, but some may not be aware that they are doing this. They may avoid people, places or activities that remind them of the trauma.
They may also have other symptoms, such as –
- Feeling emotionally numb.
- Have trouble feeling love or strong emotions.
- Feel that things around them are unreal or strange.
- Feel that they are not “themselves”.
- Have problems remembering some parts of the traumatic event.
- Have weird physical symptoms.
- Feeling physically numb.
- Feel disconnected from the world.
- Losing interest in things they used to enjoy.
- Not feeling pain or other sensations
Treatment of PTSD
The treatment of PTSD will vary, but research has found that cognitive-behavioural therapy, exposure therapy and group therapy can be very effective. The person is gradually, and repeatedly, encouraged to relive the trauma under controlled conditions to help them to work through their trauma. Avoidance of thinking about the trauma will have the opposite effect as the person is not dealing with or resolving their feelings. Medication can also ease feelings of depression and anxiety that the person may feel.
Dangers of intervention
As with any intervention, we have to treat everyone differently. For a person suffering from PTSD or who has experienced a serious trauma, being encouraged to face it too soon can cause a serious effect. If the person is not ready, it can be more harmful than good, but an experienced counsellor or psychiatrist will recognise the signs that the person is ready to begin their therapy.
Learn More with ACS
ACS offer a wide selection of courses which include Stress Management (please see the link at the bottom of this page). Our courses are studied by distance learning and can be started at any time. Students are supported and guided in their studies by our highly knowledgeable tutors.
If you have any questions or want to know more about any of our courses, then please contact us today. You can phone us on (UK) 01384 442752 (or, outside UK +44 (0) 1384 442752) or connect with our tutors using our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.