Misty Slopes

TRAUMA & PTSD

Experiences of extreme stress and trauma can result in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and relationship difficulties. Dr. Deniz provides evidence-based treatments that have been shown to be effective in healing trauma and it’s effects, including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE), as outlined by the National Center for PTSD. Dr. Deniz takes an individual approach to trauma treatment by obtaining a thorough background history, assessing current symptoms and personal goals, and considering individual factors, such as cultural factors to determine the best course of treatment. Treatment may often be integrated with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and other mindfulness-based approaches.

Types of Trauma

  • Relationship Trauma: This includes emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse. Other relational traumas include living with a narcissistic or borderline partner or family member, or the loss of a loved one

  • Physical Trauma: Injuries such as car accidents, falls, or other extreme events 

  • Acts of Violence: Experiencing crime, rape, assault, robbery, or witnessing such acts

  • Military Service: Witnessing and experiencing combat or other traumatic incidents while serving

  • Racial Trauma: Experiences of racism and micro aggressions have been linked to symptoms of trauma, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns

  • Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events out of an individual’s control

  • Medical Trauma: The life-changing impact of a new medical diagnosis or long-term illness can present as trauma

Symptoms of PTSD

Re-experiencing

Nightmares, flashbacks, unwanted thoughts or images

Arousal

Strong emotion & physiological reactions to reminder of the trauma

Avoidance

Avoid people, places, activities, sights, sounds smells, or thinking about the event. May use drugs/alcohol, or isolate and withdraw

Cognition & Mood

Guilt/shame, anger, sadness, fear, self-blame, emotional numbing, difficulty experiencing positive emotions or remembering parts of the event

Complex Trauma or cPTSD

Many traumatic events are of time-limited duration. However, in some cases people experience chronic trauma that continues or repeats for months or years at a time. Oftentimes, the current PTSD diagnosis does not fully capture the severe psychological harm that occurs with prolonged, repeated trauma. Examples include, repeated, severe, interpersonal trauma such as sexual, emotional and physical abuse; neglect during childhood; repeated loss and abandonment; domestic abuse, community violence or being held hostage for a prolonged period of time. Complex PTSD, or cPTSD, is a subset of PTSD. Whereas PTSD is a fear-based disorder, cPTSD is often referred to as a shame-based disorder originating from a history of chronic, and long-term exposure to traumatic events.

 

The symptoms associated with Complex PTSD can be seen as the person’s best possible ways of surviving an unsafe and harmful environment. However, they become unhealthy and dysfunctional when the trauma is over.

Symptoms of cPTSD

  • Emotion regulation: Problems in regulating your feelings and actions – leading to extreme emotional highs and lows and self-destructive behaviours to cope with daily life.

  • Memory & Sense of SelfDifficulties in memory and making sense of yourself – leaving you with a poor or

  • fragmented sense of identity, memory gaps and a confused ‘life story’

  • AttachmentDifficulty trusting others, issues with boundaries, social isolation, interpersonal difficulties, difficulty attuning to others' emotions, difficulty with perspective taking, difficulty enlisting others as allies

  • Self-Image: Experiencing a long-lasting negative self-image, which often includes feelings of guilt, shame, badness and being ‘flawed’ beyond repair.

  • SomaticBody complaints which are often medically unexplained – the body remembers trauma, which sometimes our minds try hard to forget.

  • Sensory processingDifficulties processing sensory experiences and regulating the body

  • States of consciousness- experiences of dissociation, feeling detaching from one's body or emotions

Deniz Ahmadinia, Psy.D.  l  Drdenizpsyd@gmail.com

8702 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood CA 90069

(424) 281-7872

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