Posttraumatic stress is a natural response to traumatic experiences. It helps protect you from processing too much too quickly, so that you can continue to function in the world while you make meaning out of the traumatic incident (s) and decide the extent to which the trauma has altered your life.
Posttraumatic stress disorder is when the mind struggles to incorporate the trauma memory (ies) into your life in a way that allows you to live and function in ways that are important to you. Hypervigilance, frequent body tension, elevated anxiety, struggling to experience positive emotions, more intense or longer periods of negative emotions, greater irritability, trying to get back to normal but feel like things are getting worse, feeling disconnected from yourself and others, reckless or impulsive behaviors, and the desire or motivation to avoid anything that reminds you of the trauma - these are symptoms of posttraumatic stress that, when prolonged, can make you feel like your existence will never be the same again. People often feel defined by their trauma and daily symptoms of PTSD, especially if they've been living with it for years.
If you've been living with PTSD for a long time, you may end up confusing who you are with your constant symptoms. Worse, you build your lives around trying to manage them. Life can feel very small despite your best efforts. It's okay if you struggle to get your life back after experiencing trauma. The brain needs helps adjusting and I'm here to guide and support you in that healing process.
You deserve to get your life back. You deserve to remember your trauma and not relive your trauma. What would it be like if remembering your trauma was just like recalling times in life that upset you are annoyed you, but you could let them go, give yourself compassion, and still be present for your current experiences?
I can treat PTSD and traumatic grief, and other trauma-related symptoms (like depression, anxiety, avoidance, personality/identity struggles) using Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and/or Prolonged Exposure Therapy, along with other trauma-informed approaches to therapy. After 12-14 weekly sessions, you will breathe, think, and feel differently, you will make meaning out of your trauma that helps you live your life in line with your values, and not in line with your trauma symptoms. You will return to a calmer internal world and nervous system instead of the turbulent one you've been enduring. I've helped several individuals do exactly that.