Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder triggered by exposure to very distressing events, experienced as traumatic situations. Although it has been mainly related to combat veterans, it may be developed as a result of several events (or of a series of events) that have had an extremely strong influence on the body (i.e. road accidents, consequences of crimes, sexual abuse, natural disasters, etc.).
In the presence of the stressogenic event, the body activates a series of biochemical changes as a survival mechanism. Due to this reaction, certain individuals may produce excessive amounts of adrenaline and other hormones and, as a result, there may be changes in certain brain nets. Factors that could make an individual more vulnerable to developing PTSD are a history of depression or other mental disease, as well as certain elements of their personality.
PTSD may be mild, moderate or severe. The categorisation of PTSD is set out according to the extent to which the symptoms affect the individual’s day-to-day life, and not how severe is deemed to be the event itself.
If you have PTSD, it is highly likely that you avoid situations or persons that remind you of the event, and there is a particularly high possibility to overreact to strong or unexpectable sounds or movements.
Some of the PTSD symptoms are the following:
- revival of the trauma through nightmares and flashbacks;
- perspiration – pain – nausea – fright;
- avoiding places or situations that are reminders of the traumatic event;
- decreased tolerance to noise or light;
- condition of continued overstimulation with intense reactions;
- diminished interest in participating in activities and social gatherings;
- difficulties in concentrating and negative self-assessment;
- sleep disturbances (quality, duration);
- dysfunctional occurrences of behaviour (thoughtless or destructive).
Both Occupational Exhaustion Syndrome and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder are more frequently found in certain professions, mainly doctors and uniformed professionals. Given the nature of the duties of the medical, uniformed and other personnel of all sectors and fields of specialisation (Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Hellenic Police, Fire Services, Hellenic Coast Guard, Municipal Police, Doctors and Rescuers of the National Emergency Aid Centre (E.K.A.V.), Doctors and Rescuers of the Special Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (E.T.I.K.), Doctors and Rescuers in Intensive Care Units or High Dependency Units), their workplace is considered particularly challenging.
People working on the field encounter every day emergency, and quite often even high-risk situations, and they are called to successfully manage crises, inter alia, at military, humanitarian and health level, that may have significant psychological and social impacts, both on individual affected persons and on the professionals involved themselves.
In addition to the day-to-day stress, they are called to cope with and manage the increased — due to the specificities of the profession — stress at workplace, as well as the operational stress during intervention to any type of event, as many of these professionals are exposed to all kinds of traumatic situations.
My approach has been designed precisely to address all the above issues. It is intended to be used as a toolkit serving to prevent and address dysfunctional behavioural occurrences in family, social and working environment.
My extensive experience with persons belonging to the aforementioned professional categories or having Occupational Exhaustion Syndrome or/and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, in various fields of specialisation, guarantees a successful outcome.
In order to assess your condition, and, of course, to draft a personalised intervention programme, please feel free to contact me directly.