Trauma counselling in Bagshot, Surrey and Surbiton

The term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD for short) was first coined following the Vietnam war as a term to describe the reactions experienced by some veterans returning from the conflict.

Now, however, PTSD is used widely to describe the symptoms that can be experienced when you either witness, or are involved in a terrifying, stressful or distressing event. It is used in its very literal sense to describe the stress that follows trauma.

No two people will ever react in the same way, even if they have witnessed or experienced the same terrifying or distressing event … we all process our experiences differently and uniquely and so our responses and reactions will be unique too.  There are almost unlimited responses which are both physical and emotional.

You may experience some or all the following:

  • Vivid flashbacks (where you feel as though the trauma is happening again)

  • Nightmares, that may be related to the event or seemingly completely unrelated

  • Intrusive thoughts and images

  • Disturbed Sleep

  • Anger, irritability, outbursts, aggressive behaviours

  • Extreme alertness, constantly feeling “ready for anything”, being easily startled

  • Or the opposite to this, feeling extremely detached and numb

  • Avoiding things that remind you of the trauma, tying to keep busy to avoid it, repressing memories

  • Self-destructive behaviours

  • Intense distress at any real or imagined memory or reminder of the trauma

  • Physical symptoms such as sweating, dizziness, pain

  • Experience depression and / or anxiety

  • Have suicidal thoughts and feelings


The video below gives a clear and simple example of how trauma affects our brain.