Water drops depicting post traumatic stress disorder

It is estimated that approximately five million people suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Women are more often identified due to incidences of rape and molestation; however symptoms can occur in both men and women as well as children and adolescents. Statistics involving children and teens indicate that more than 40 percent have had at least one traumatic event, resulting in the development of PTSD symptoms in approximately 15 percent of girls and 6 percent of boys.

The definition of PTSD is any extremely upsetting and/or stressful event that has happened to an individual and is unpredictable in its occurrence. The surprise and equivalent stress and upset of this occurrence are significant enough to result in a generalized fear related to any of the events leading up to the specific stressful event.

Rape and molestation are clearly recognized as potentials for PTSD, but often terrorist or hostage situations, brain injury (sudden, traumatic injury), or any other trauma to the individual such as cyber bullying, divorce, death or illness are often overlooked.

A diagnosis of PTSD relates to the specific individual factors of a person related to the event and their environment in addition to the consequence of continued fearfulness, nightmares, reliving of events of the trauma and/or total repression and results in avoidance or escape behavior.

The event can result in personality changes and symptoms of PTSD such as; hypervigilence, obsessive compulsive behavior, over-reactive emotionality, fear of new situations, and continual demanding of parental proximity.

At United Psychological Services we can:

  • Provide an accurate diagnosis through the completion of a full neuropsychological and psychological evaluation.
  • If needed, identify stress related attention and memory problems using neuropsychological evaluation.
  • Offer social skills groups to talk about the trauma with same aged peers.
  • Behavioral intervention for parents to address the trauma symptoms of younger children.
  • Identification of trauma trigger(s) in order to prevent future trauma reactions and use of EMDR therapy.
  • Rule out and treat sleep disorders related to PTSD such as nightmares and insomnia.
  • Offer brain/cognitive training program to address the attention deficits associated with PTSD, such as Interactive Metronome training and specific brain training to address memory and selective attention deficits as well as executive reasoning deficits associated with PTSD.

For more about PTSD, watch this video by Dr. Barbara Fisher, our Clinical Director.

See our video page for more informative videos.