"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." – Martin Luther King Jr.

 Are you experiencing post-trauma stress?

Some level of stress is inevitable in today’s world and for many it is thought to be desirable in keeping them motivated.

Some events, such as a divorce, loss of a loved one, unexpected unemployment, and severe debt, can be extremely stressful, traumatic, and emotionally difficult to deal with and these kinds of experiences may cause prolonged distraction, preoccupation, sadness, or anger about these things.


Other stressors, however, can be so serious and horrifying that they can cause more long term symptoms often resulting in a condition called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

Such experiences include combat, assault, rape, prolonged abuse, or observing serious, violent, or sudden and unexpected death of another person. What distinguishes these stressful events from trauma is whether they involved an immediate threat to life or physical injury or violation.

Signs & symptoms of post-trauma stress. 

Anyone can, and most do, experience negative symptoms for a short time following a very stressful or traumatic experience. For example, s
ome events, such as a divorce, illness, accident, injury, loss of a loved one, unexpected unemployment, and severe debt, can be extremely stressful, traumatic, and emotionally difficult to deal with. 

These kinds of experiences may cause prolonged distraction, preoccupation, sadness, and anger about these things.


When we experience, witnessed, or have been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of ourselves or others,  we can develop a much more severe stress response involving intense fear, helplessness, and horror which can lead to behaviours such as suicidal ideation, self-harm or harm to others.


For these kinds of symptoms it's important to seek professional help asap and especially if they persist for several weeks following trauma.

To meet the diagnostic criteria of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) a person would need to be experiencing symptoms from the following categories and have had them longer than 4 weeks.


1) Reliving or re-experiencing the traumatic event in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, when relaxed, falling asleep, bored, etc.

2) Avoiding stimuli associated with the event, or emotional numbing (dissociated) from the experience e.g., suppressing the memories or using substances to block/distract away from it such as food, cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs.


3) Hyper-arousal; experiencing anger, irritability, becoming jittery, hypervigilance, sleep and concentration problems/disturbances.


4) Feeling worse about self &/or the world since the trauma e.g., guilt, sadness, depression, shame, anxiety, physical and emotional pain, low self-esteem, isolation, loneliness, low confidence, etc.

How to become unstuck from post-trauma stress

After experiencing a severe stress or trauma, we can get stuck in our processing of the trauma and feel unable to fully file the memories away in a non-active state. This keeps negative symptoms appearing in the mind and body during daily life in the form of flashbacks & nightmares typically when we’re off guard in sleep, when relaxing, or falling asleep, etc.


By addressing the ongoing symptoms, it’s possible to understand where we  have got stuck in the processing of the event and address it so it no longer continues to negatively affect us.


Recovery from trauma means connecting with the memories in a safe and controlled way rather than avoiding or ignoring them. The latter can be very useful in the short term to help us cope with the effects of our recent traumatic and stressful experiences, however when used more longer term these strategies prolong and delay the process of recovery causing unnecessary disruption and suffering in our daily lives.

Supporting trauma survivors at Unbind Your Mind

View more options below for breaking the cycle of post-trauma stress.

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