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Complex Trauma & PTSD

You don't have to be a veteran to suffer from PTSD

According to the DSM-V, PTSD symptoms fall into five different clusters. 

If you have  one or more of these symptoms from each of these clusters you may be suffering from PTSD.

Have you been exposed to a "Stressor?" (Cluster 1)

Being exposed to an  injury or a severe illness that was life-threatening is considered a stressor. 

An actual  or threat to injury or violence is also a stressor;

As is  direct exposure to a trauma; or witnessing a trauma.

Exposure to trauma by being a first responder, such as police, firefighter, medic, or crisis counselor could put you at risk for PTSD, as could learning that someone close to you experienced the trauma. 

If you have been exposed to a trauma, have you then re-experiences the trauma?  (Cluster 2)



Intense and distressing memories

Distress or physical reactions after being exposed to reminders, known as “triggers”

Have you experienced two or more unpleasant changes to your mood or your thoughts listed below?  (Cluster 3)

Difficulty feeling positive

Negative affect, and difficulty feeling positive

Decreased interest in things that were once enjoyable

Negative feelings about self and the world

Blaming self or others for the trauma

Feelings of isolation

Inability to remember the trauma clearly

Are you or a loved one trying to avoid all reminders of the trauma?  (Cluster 4)

Are you avoiding external reminders of what happened?

Are you avoiding trauma-related thoughts or emotions, sometimes through the use of drugs or alcohol?

Have you noticed  two or more changes in reactivity? (Cluster 5) 

Are you easily startled and react to frightful experiences more fully? 

Have you experienced symptoms of:

     Heightened startle response

     Aggression or irritability

     Hypervigilance and hyper-awareness

     Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep

     Difficulty concentrating

     Engaging in destructive or risky behavior

All of these symptoms must have persisted at least one month, and they must be causing distress or functional impairment of some kind. 

These symptoms must not be related to any substance use, illness, or medications.

If you or someone you love has experienced a trauma and need support, Adrienne Richardson Niagara Counselling & Online Therapy team can help. We've Got Your Six"

Our team are dedicated experts who can help you and those you love get your life back.

It is possible to heal from PTSD.

 Call us at 289-407-9699 to learn more and book a session.

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