What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

The sad reality of our current society is that it is important to be able to distinguish the difference between experiencing trauma and developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

In order to be diagnosed with PTSD a person needs exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violence by either directly experiencing the traumatic event, witnessing the event as it occurred to someone else or learning that the traumatic event occurred to a close family member or friend, or lastly experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to the grisly details of traumatic events.

An example of this is found with first responders such as police officers repeatedly being exposed to child abuse.

Exposure along though is not enough to garner the diagnosis: “it’s not only about what happened, it’s also about what happened next.”

There are four other categories of symptoms that must be present: intrusion symptoms, avoidance symptoms, cognitive symptoms, and finally arousal symptoms.

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!

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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