Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop when some has experienced multiple and repeated traumatic events which include childhood abuse, domestic violence, physical assaults, torture or significant events which have shocked and had a long term effect on someone.
It is usual for people to be upset and shocked following a frightening incident. They may have flashbacks, feelings of fear and panic, and have trouble sleeping, concentrating or going back to the activities they did before. For most people, as time goes on, these feelings of stress diminish and they find themselves not forgetting the incident, but thinking about it less. To a point when it has less influence on their daily lives.
For some, their feelings can get stronger, creating obstacles and difficulties to continuing with every day life. People who remain stress and traumatised many weeks or months later will need to get specialist help to help them process these feelings to reduce the stress and impact on their day-to-day lives.
Our local community mental health teams can offer assessment and psychological treatment.
GP should refer to their local community mental health team.
It is normal to have strong emotional responses to traumatic events. Immediately after a traumatic event, individuals will benefit from general support from family and friends. Specific formal psychological therapy or counselling at this point in time is not recommended.
However, we all need to make space and time to talk and to listen. It is important not to probe or 'force' someone to talk about what has happen or what they saw. Instead, let them talk spontaneously about the aspects or areas that they wish to rather than encouraging them to relive their experience.
Most people will feel better as time goes on. Their recall of the incident will lessen and they recover naturally and find that their thoughts move on to more every day issues.
However, if symptoms are severe or continue for more than 4 weeks, get in contact your GP or contact the specialist mental health service for your area. (Contact numbers are on this website.)
You can also contact one of our Talking Therapy Services who will be able to help:
Newham Richmond Bedfordshire Luton
See the NHS leaflet “Coping with stress following a major incident” for further information
For extra support or information please use the following contact points:
• National Victim Support 0808 16 89 111 (24hrs)