Avoidance Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) | Psych in 60

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Avoidance Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

As a piece of being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a person needs to experience symptoms in four separate categories beyond just exposure to a traumatic event.

One of those categories is avoidance symptoms, which is where the individual begins to avoid circumstances directly tied to the traumatic events.

It is important that the avoidance began after the traumatic event occurred and not prior.

The first set of symptoms is the avoidance of distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings associated with the traumatic event.

The next set of symptoms takes that a bit further in that a person also avoids people, places, conversations, activities, objects, etc. that may then cause them to have those distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings.

This may seem like a common sense response to a terribly painful experience, but avoidance symptoms can drive a person into unhealthy isolation and disconnection with a supportive and healing environment.

Extensive research supports that avoidance does not allow for a person to heal from their traumatic wound.

It may feel good in the moment, but it is ultimately making the situation worse.

Watch other videos in this Psych in 60 series to learn more about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and leave your questions in the comments below!

Click here for more content by Jennifer Fights, NCC, LPC!

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Jennifer Fights, NCC, LPC
Jennifer is a strengths-based clinician who is creative, compassionate and non-judgmental. She enjoys working with adolescents, adults, and families. When providing therapy, her special interests include working with trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and self-harming behaviors. Jennifer is also trained in EMDR and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and incorporates these treatment modalities into her work when appropriate. In her work with adolescents specifically, Jennifer has expertise in behavioral disorders and defiance issues. When working with families, she strives to come alongside married and divorced parents alike, helping them effectively co-parent their children. Jennifer also helps children struggle well with difficult family circumstances. In addition, she enjoys integrating client’s faith with clinical treatment. As she feels strongly about educating and empowering others, Jennifer regularly provides training for fellow clinicians, non-profit organizations, parent and teen groups and educational institutions.

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