When one experiences a traumatic event, be it in childhood or as an adult, the effects can be far-reaching and severe.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, can affect one at any point, and often therapy is the only route to a healthy resolution and restored sense of wellbeing.
Today e-counseling services are gaining widespread popularity, with many preferring an online counseling service as compared to in-person sessions. If you are seeking counseling for your own struggles with PTSD, online therapy may or may not be the appropriate method for you.
While there are many course of action one can take to heal from PTSD, it's important to first understand the symptoms, as well as their causes.
The symptoms of PTSD
Frequently revisiting the trauma through specific triggers.
Individuals suffering from trauma are often unexpectedly triggered by words, visuals, or subject matter depicted in film, television, and literature. Once a memory is triggered it can be extremely distressing, with recollections of the event taking precedent over any present event.
We tend to avoid the individuals or places that feel unsafe or remind us of unpleasant experiences, but those with PTSD are inclined to avoid any or all persons, places, or things that might potentially trigger a flashback.
This can mean refusing to visit a type of location (such as a beach, lake, or type of city), watch a category of show or film, or talk about a certain topic for fear of recalling traumatic memories.
Insomnia, recurring nightmares, and inconsistent sleep patterns are all factors wrought by PTSD.
Anxiety and Irritation
Anxiety is often a resulting symptom of PTSD, accompanied by feelings of irritability, anxiousness, dread, and jumpiness. One may experience panic attacks, as well as overwhelming sensations of dread and paranoia.
Persons with PTSD often find it impossible to relax in certain situations, and can find social gatherings extremely stressful.
Depression can have many causes and reveal itself in a number of ways, and PTSD is a frequent culprit. Trauma related depression can result in a lack of joy and social engagement, as well as lowered sex drive and ability to experience intimacy.
One may feel hopeless about the future or unworthy of success and happiness due to the trauma experienced. Loss of appetite and lack of energy are also commonly reported.
Trauma often makes us feel alienated from those around us, unable to partake in activities or engage in honest discourse, preferring instead to keep a polite distance at all costs.
Friendships and romantic partnerships can be difficult to form and maintain, and feelings of isolation can lead to a reserved or hermit-like existence.
Do these symptoms apply to you?
If any of the above symptoms apply to you, it may be time to seek out professional help. A licensed and experienced therapist will help you confront your trauma, and prescribe a course of treatment tailored to your individual needs.
Psychotherapy and medication may be applied separately or in combination, as well as exercises to relieve you in moments of triggered flashbacks and/or panic attacks.
Your therapist will create a safe and trusting environment for you to take the necessary steps towards eliminating trauma from your present life.
Is online therapy a suitable for treatment of PTSD?
Which leads to the question, is online therapy right for treatment of PTSD? Certainly the convenience of e-counseling services make taking that first step easier, but can a remote therapist be able to help you conquer your trauma and set you on the right course for a healthier, happier life?
Many who have sought help via online therapy say yes.
Benefits on using online counseling for treating PTSD
Online counselors are all certified, trained, and licensed to communicate with clients both in person and online, and all services and procedures are conducted under the same guidelines.
Your selected therapist will be able to speak with you via chat messenger or through voice call, and all sessions are conducted in real-time.
Many report that this method allows them to open up from the familiarity of their own home, enabling them to seek the help they need without venturing outside their crucial comfort zone.
Closing thoughts and considerations
Ultimately, online counseling or in-person therapy is a choice only you can make, and the best way to know which method will work for you is to take the first step and find out.
You may find an e-counselor too remote, and thus desire a more traditional setting; conversely, an online platform may provide you with the discretion and security necessary to heal from trauma and its related symptoms.
One's mental health is a vital aspect of enjoying life and overcoming the unexpected, and trauma should never hold you back from leading a productive, joyful existence.