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Trauma happens to many of us and can occur at different stages of our life through either direct experience or witnessing and event. Whilst trauma and PTSD go hand-in-hand, not all traumatic events will progress to PTSD, but to be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have experienced some kind of traumatic event. 
This content will only be shoWhat is the difference between PTSD and a normal response to trauma? 
 
The primary difference between trauma and PTSD is the not in the severity of the event or trauma but the severity and length of the symptoms. Following a traumatic event, the mind and the body are in shock and almost everyone experiences at least some of the symptoms of PTSD such as bad dreams, feeling fearful and anxious and constant throughs about the traumatic event. These are normal reactions to abnormal events and for most people the symptoms will run their course and normal life will resume. This can take some weeks but eventually the symptoms will decrease as you make sense of what happened and process your emotions and begin to feel a sense of normality. 
 
The difference with PTSD is that the symptoms don’t decrease and people will feel worse. 
 
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
 
Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. 
 
They may also have problems sleeping, and find concentrating difficult. 
 
These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person's day-to-day life often including avoidance and/or heightened arousal/ anxiety. 
 
Causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
 
Any situation that a person finds traumatic can cause PTSD. 
 
These can include: 
 
• serious road accidents 
• violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery 
• serious health problems 
• childbirth experiences 
 
PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event, or it can occur weeks, months or even years later. 
 
PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience, but it's not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not. 
 
When to seek medical advice 
 
It's normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event, but most people improve naturally over a few weeks. 
 
You should seek professional advice if you or your child are still having problems about 4 weeks after the traumatic experience, or if the symptoms are particularly troublesome. 
 
How post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is treated 
 
PTSD can be successfully treated, even when it develops many years after a traumatic event. 
 
Any treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and how soon they occur after the traumatic event. 
 
Any of the following treatment options may be recommended: 
 
• watchful waiting – monitoring your symptoms to see whether they improve or get worse without treatment 
• antidepressants – such as paroxetine or mirtazapine 
• psychotherapy - such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) 
 
 
Here at 360 we offer a safe space for you to talk about and learn about trauma. Our team of professionals offer CBT and EMDR in addition to alternative therapies to aid in anxiety reduction and general wellbeing. 
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