Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an illness that occurs after a trauma in which there is physical harm or the threat of physical harm. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness: An anxiety disorder. Post-Traumatic stress symptoms occur for more than one month and typically develop within three months of the traumatic event, although in some cases there is a greater delay. If post-traumatic stress exists for less than one month, acute stress disorder may be diagnosed.
Prior to 1980, symptoms of PTSD were seen as a personal weakness or character flaw and not as an illness. It is now known, however, that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms are caused by physical changes in the brain and not due to a person’s character.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Definition
Several criteria must be met in order to be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder definition contains six parts.
- Experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event where there is a physical threat; a response of helplessness and fear
- Re-experiencing of the event
- Avoidance of anything related to the event; inability to remember parts of the event; detachment from others; reduced visible emotion; sense of a shorted life
- Sleep problems; decreased concentration; always searching for possible dangers; anger; exaggerated response when startled
- Symptoms lasting more than one month
- Impairment of functioning due to symptoms
Symptoms and Signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) signs and symptoms can severely impact day-to-day life and that’s why it’s important to get PTSD help as soon as possible. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental illness that develops after experiencing, or being exposed to, an event that physically harms or threatens to physically harm someone. This harm, or threat of harm, may be directed towards the sufferer or another individual.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms include the persistent reliving of the trauma, avoidance of any place that is a trauma-reminder, trouble sleeping and many others. PTSD symptoms can be terrifying and life-altering, as the person tries to avoid any situation that may bring about severe anxiety. This avoidance can make a person’s world much smaller and allow them to do fewer and fewer things as they fear the re-emergence of their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. They may even turn to drugs to numb the psychological pain caused by their symptoms.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for PTSD focuses on recognising thought patterns and then ascertaining and addressing faulty patterns. For example, faulty thought patterns may be causing the individual to inaccurately assess the danger of a situation and thus react to a level of danger that isn’t present. CBT is often used in conjunction with exposure therapy where the person with PTSD is gradually exposed to the feared situation in a safe way. Over time, exposure therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder allows the person to withstand and adjust to the feared stimuli.
Protecting your privacy is of the utmost importance.
All psychological services maintain confidentiality for all clients seen. Clinical records cannot be accessed by any third party without written consent. All services are in accordance with state laws.
Information revealed in therapy, even the information that you have made an appointment, is not disclosed to others unless you provide written authorisation for that information to be released.
The exceptions to this practice are:
- When the psychologist believes you present an imminent danger to yourself or others.
- When the life or safety of a readily identifiable third person is endangered.
- When the psychologist believes that a child or vulnerable adult is being subjected to abuse, neglect or exploitation.
- When disclosure is made necessary by legal proceedings.
- When a client becomes gravely disabled.
- If you are a minor (under the age of 18).
Clients are encouraged to address any questions or concerns about this important issue during the initial session.
Please note that e-mail is not a confidential medium for communication. Because we are concerned about protecting our clients’ privacy and cannot ensure confidentiality of e-mail communication, Kelvin does not use e-mail to discuss clients’ clinical issues.
Yes many clients can claim a medicare rebate.
In order to claim a Medicare rebate you need to make an appointment with your GP who will conduct an assessment. If you meet the relevant criteria, the GP will complete a Mental Health Care Plan which can provide access of up to 10 rebates within one calendar year.
If you are claiming a rebate under the Mental Health Care Plan it is a requirement that your GP receives a summary report after 6 sessions. This report contains general information about the presenting problems and what assessment and treatment methods have been implemented. Once your GP has received the progress report, a further 4 sessions can be activated after you have reviewed your progress with your GP.
Yes, we have many patients who came to us as private referrals.
A private referral is where you refer yourself without speaking to a GP.
Private referrals do not require a mental health plan for you to see Kelvin and do not have the same restrictions that a Medicare referral has, however there is no rebate available.
Many of our clients came to us as WorkCover referrals.
WorkCover referrals require an assessment from your general practitioner that pertains to work related incident/s that consequently result in psychological injury.
Just like a physical injury a psychological injury left untreated can result in long term psychological issues. It is recommended that if you have been subjected to a psychological injury that you consult with your general practitioner and follow the claims process for treatment as soon as practical.