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Turn PTSD into (P)rayer, (T)rust and (S)erenity in (D)ivine love

Posttraumatic Stress (PTSD) and Trauma

When someone has PTSD they re-experience an extremely traumatic event again and again by having flashbacks, recurrent dreams or nightmares, and other sensations and emotions that are triggered and related to the trauma. Many experiences can lead to PTSD, such as a close encounter with death or being seriously injured (i.e., sexual assault, robbery, car accident, being taken hostage, serving in war), witnessing a death, injury or threat to another person, learning suddenly that a loved one had an unexpected or violent death or was seriously harmed, and more. Traumatic events are accompanied by intense fear, helplessness, or horror as well as heightened and prolonged stress. These factors make it more difficult to cope with the trauma and the experience almost seems trapped in the person’s mind and memory.

We have all gone through experiences that have had a profound effect on us in one way or another. When we experience these types of shocking, threatening, or scary events, our body elicits a fear response involving physiological and psychological changes meant to protect us from harm. Trauma can cause us to respond in many different ways. Some people recover from these responses naturally, but others continue to experience problems that may develop into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The experience of traumatic events can have lasting impacts on our everyday functioning, our relationships, and our sense of self.

If you are suffering from PTSD, take courage because healing is possible! And we want to help you.

Did You Know?

  • Symptoms typically begin within 3 months of the traumatic incident but also may not arise until years after the event.
  • PTSD is often accompanied by substance abuse, depression, and anxiety.
  • About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.
  • The sudden, unexpected death of a loved one can lead to PTSD.
  • The most common events leading to the development of PTSD include combat exposure, sexual violence, childhood physical abuse, physical assault, being threatened with a weapon, and an accident.

Common symptoms include: Avoidance of things associated with the traumatic event, depressed mood, flashbacks, nightmares, being easily startled, feeling tense or ‘on edge,’ difficulty sleeping, angry outbursts, trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, feeling detached from family and friends.

Recommended Resources:

My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of Saints by Dawn Eden – This book may be helpful for someone who has experienced sexual trauma to find deeper spiritual healing and connection with the lives of saints who suffered similar trials.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk – This book explains the impact of trauma on the mind and body and provides guidance on treatments that can be healing for trauma victims.

How We Can Help: If you or a loved one suffers from one or more of the symptoms listed above, counseling can help by providing education about symptoms, identifying triggers, and helping process the trauma you have experienced. Treatment for PTSD often involves exposure therapy, meaning you will be assisted in telling the story of what you experienced so that it no longer causes fear, shame, or other negative symptoms. It may also involve journaling about it or using other creative medium to express your experience, learning how to remain grounded during flashbacks, envisioning a new ending to the traumatic event, creating a balanced life that aids in managing stress and anxiety, understanding your triggers and discovering how to overcome them, prayer, and inviting the love of God into the pain you continue to experience. A counselor can help you develop grounding techniques to be able to remain calm and in control in the midst of intrusive thoughts and memories. In counseling you can find deeper healing from painful events with the help of the Holy Spirit. 

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 30:17