Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Counseling & Therapy Services in Orlando, East Orlando, Lake Mary, Winter Park & Clermont Florida FL

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from Military Trauma, Car Accidents, Violence, Assault, or Dog Bites

What is PTSD?

I have heard of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but never understood what it is. Could you provide some information about this disorder?

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is related to surviving a traumatic event, in which you feel your life or someone else’s life is threatened. These events can be catastrophic, such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, separation, loss, death of loved ones, effects of divorce, and war zones. Often times the event may be more individualized, such as a serious car accidnet, physical or sexual abuse, or animal attack.

Most people respond to life threatening event with some fear after the event, but it goes away after a few months. Even if they develop PTSD after the initial trauma, 1 out of 3 people’s symptoms resolve shortly. For those who lives remain disrupted, cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective treatment. Interestinly, some people do not develop symptoms for months or years after the initial event.

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What are the symptoms or behaviors as a result of PTSD from a Car Accident?

I recently received a phone call asking, “Is it possible to have PTSD after a car wreck? I thought this disorder mainly occurred in veterans or child abuse survivors.”

Absolutely! Car accidents can certainly be traumatic! You don’t have to experience military combat or childhood abuse to develop it. The probability of developing PTSD increases if you or someone else was seriously injured, felt out of control, believed you were in grave danger, or experienced a previous car accident or another traumatic incident.

People rarely expect that a car accident could have such far ranging psychological consequences as PTSD. After an accident, people may fear riding in a car, driving by the accident site, jump when they hear sirens, experience nightmares, and may not be able to articulate what happened to them. Getting to sleep or remain sleeping at night may become a problem. These are a few of the symptoms that can occur following a car wreck. However after a few months, most people’s fear and anxiety dissipate. However with PTSD, these symptoms continue to persist and interfere with their lives. I often work with insurance companies and lawyers to provide treatment for their clients. A self-report test is given initially to see if there are sufficient symptoms to warrent a diagnosis of PTSD. This test also determines the severity of the symptoms and ways in which the accident has disrupted a person’s life. View more symptoms at the bottom of this page.

dogbite ptsd trauma anxiety therapy counseling services orlando floridaWhat about PTSD from a Dog Bite?

Cartoons represent dog bites as silly, seemingly harmless events. The truth is far more serious. A large percentage of dog attacks leave their victims with debilitating scars, both physical and psychological. The sound of dogs barking or even venturing outdoors can become a fear provoking situation. Because dogs target the face, neck and head of a child, reconstructive surgery is often required. Even with these surgeries, a child may remain disfigured. So not only do these children have to face corrective surgery, they also may have difficulty finding friends. It is not unusual for children as well as adults to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from dog attacks. These attacks may remain very traumatic and stress provoking long after the bites occur.

If you have suffered from a dog bite and have continued fears, nightmares, and difficulties handling difficult situations with life, call us for a PTSD evaluation (407) 248-0030. It is possible to recover from this trauma and gain a better capacity to deal with the difficulties stemming from this very terrifying occurrence.

The Center for Disease Center and the American Veterinarian Association reveal a great deal of statistical information about dog bites. Did you know that: Children are the most frequent targets.

  1. The highest incident rate is for 5-9 year olds
  2. For children 10 and under, 77% of injuries are to the face, neck, and head
  3. The family dog was the aggressor in 47% of the attacks on children 4 and under.
  4. 4.7 million attacks per year 800,000 of these require medical attention 386,000 require emergency room treatment 32 people died in 2007 from dog mauling and 3 of those were in Florida
  5. Three breeds most likely to bit are Pit bulls, Rottweilers and German Shepards
  6. Pit bull comprise 1/3 of all fatal dog bites
  7. Male dogs ages 1-5 are three times more likely to bite than spayed or neutered animals
  8. Chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite than unchained dogs
  9. Majority of dog attacks occurred at home or at a friend’s house Insurance companies pay out about $1 billion dollars per year due to dog bites

What are other ways to get PTSD?

If you have been in a car accident, dog bite, sexual assault, rape, robbed, or any other traumatic experience then you can have symptoms of PTSD. If you are suffering from PTSD there is no reason to suffer long-term from the consequences.

Are there any programs to help pay for counseling for PTSD?

  1. Car Accidents: Most auto insurance policies have personal insurance protection (PIP) funds to cover mental health and counseling services for victims of car wreckes. Our Trauma experts use two internationally approved assessment scales to show the level or trauma before and after counseling. Your attorney can use these scales along with our assessment to help determine the level of care and amount of your settlement.
  2. Assault or Abuse: The Victims Abuse Fund from the Attorney Generals office has funds for those who have been assaulted.

What Therapies are most effective for PTSD!

  1. EFT – Emotion Freedom Techniques is a very effective short term therapy used in helping people be free from the intense feelings of trauma.  This technique is used in addictions treatments as well and in many cases more effective than 12 step programs!
  2. EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing is used also for Military Veterans and highly successful in freeing them from the intense trauma they have endured in war and used for auto accidents, dog bites, substance abuse, addictions and more!  Read More
  3. CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps people change their thinking patterns and the way they react to anxiety provoking situations.
  4. Wellness & Supplements: Interestingly, twenty minutes of aerobic exercise per day is thought to be an effective weapon against anxiety. Good nutrition is essential and adding supplements such as B Vitamins, calcium, amino acids, and Vitamin C may be important but the quality of the supplements are paramount.  We can direct you to the right health food stores to get the right brands that often work immediately. Caffeine and cigarettes aggravate anxiety and should be eliminated or decreased.  Often with your treatment for PTSD the cravings to smoke or drink caffeine are reduced considerably.

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Helpful websites include:

  1. Abused Empowered Survive & Thrive
  2. National Center for PTSD
  3. Sidran Institute – Trauma Stress Education & Advocacy
  4. Trauma Information Pages – David Baldwin
  5. International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Symptoms

309.81 DSM-IV Criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following have been present:

(1) the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others (2) the person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Note: In children, this may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior.

B. The traumatic event is persistently reexperienced in one (or more) of the following ways:

(1) recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. Note: In young children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of the trauma are expressed.

(2) recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: In children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content.

(3) acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including those that occur upon awakening or when intoxicated). Note: In young children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.

(4) intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.

(5) physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.

C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

(1) efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma

(2) efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma

(3) inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma

(4) markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities

(5) feeling of detachment or estrangement from others

(6) restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)

(7) sense of a foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)

D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma), as indicated by two (or more) of the following:

(1) difficulty falling or staying asleep
(2) irritability or outbursts of anger
(3) difficulty concentrating
(4) hypervigilance
(5) exaggerated startle response

E. Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in Criteria B, C, and D) is more than one month.

F. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Specify if:
Acute: if duration of symptoms is less than 3 months
Chronic: if duration of symptoms is 3 months or more

Specify if:
With Delayed Onset: if onset of symptoms is at least 6 months after the stressor

TLC provides anxiety treatment and anxiety therapy in Orlando, Winter Park, Lake Mary, and Clermont Florida.  Call us Today!

complimentary free 15 minutes consultation with a qualified counselor specialist therapist orlando winter park florida east orlando clermont central florida