PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Many individuals who experience trauma are living with PTSD but may think the symptoms are just a part of their personality, especially if the traumatic events occurred during childhood.

What does PTSD do to your brain?

Your amygdala is the place where you sense a threat and move into a reactionary response. Those responses can fall into fight or flight. Without PTSD, a perceived threat triggers your brain, and that signal gets sent to your prefrontal cortex, where you store your logical reasoning, and you can quickly determine whether your life is in danger.

If you experienced one traumatic event or several over time, your brain goes into a protective mode with PTSD. It’s as though you build a wall down the middle of your skull, and when your amygdala fires at the back of your brain after experiencing a trigger that it interprets as a threat, that signal cannot get to the prefrontal cortex at the front of your brain for proper processing. So instead of the threat signal lessening, it keeps hitting that wall and bouncing back to your amygdala, saying, “this isn’t safe. I need to respond. Now.”

If you see yourself experiencing any or all of the following symptoms of PTSD, you may want to seek professional help.

What are the triggers?

Triggers can be anywhere, unfortunately, and they are different for different people based on your experiences. When you’re living with PTSD, you can react to triggers without fully understanding why.

Sometimes, they’re apparent. Maybe you’re driving, and there is a car accident that you go past. Other times, they could be something your subconscious picks up on that you may not even notice, but you start feeling “off.” This could be a song playing in the background at the grocery store or a particular smell that was present when something happened to you. Take a look at some of the symptoms below.

Do you startle easily?

Do you notice yourself jumping or flinching when someone walks into a room and starts talking? Do your arms shoot out seemingly involuntarily if you hear a loud noise? This annoying little trait may not be a personality trait but rather a symptom of your amygdala on overload.

Remember, PTSD is your brain’s way of trying to keep you safe in a way that you never have to experience the trauma ever again. In doing so, there is a part of your brain that is continuously scanning subconsciously for a reason for you to jump into fight or flight.

The jumpiness you’re experiencing is due to the inability to slow down and analyze the situation before reacting to the trigger. Whether life-threatening or not, your brain isn’t taking any chances.

Are you reliving the trauma?

If you have flashbacks or dreams that make you feel like you’re reliving the traumatic event(s), your brain is trying to process and work through what happened. But with PTSD, you haven’t consciously worked through what happened; therefore, it keeps coming back and putting you in the situation to relive it.

Another way people who experience PTSD is by having the same conversations about what happened with others. Instead of moving forward from the event(s), you’re trapped in the event itself, explaining it repeatedly.

This can also make it difficult to fall asleep at night because the brain is trying to make sense of something that traumatized you. Still, the emotions and the event are stuck in the amygdala and can’t get through to the part of your brain that can process and heal productively.

Do you have a short fuse?

People dealing with undiagnosed PTSD may consider themselves angry people by nature. But that isn’t the case. This is the fight part of the amygdala that is exaggerated and acts as the sole response to triggers.

For example, maybe you’re doing just fine at the grocery store. Suddenly you notice that a person with a full cart is in the ten items or less line, and you lose your temper and yell at them about it. Or you’re driving, and the driver in front of you is going slower than you want, and you start honking your horn and waving your arms at them to get them to go faster.

Neither of those triggers is life-threatening, but they put you right into fight mode. This can happen anywhere and at any time. After the fact, you may not remember why you were so angry.

Are you withdrawing?

Have your friends and family members asked why you don’t come around anymore? And when they ask, are you at a loss for an answer that makes sense? This could be the flight part of your amygdala acting out its idea of how to protect you.

Subconsciously, you may feel like being away from people makes you safer. You may notice that you feel more anxious or even start to sweat when you think about being in the middle of a social event with many people. If you weren’t an introvert before you experienced trauma, this could be another symptom of PTSD.

It’s okay to get help.

If you notice that you’re struggling with your mental health, we encourage you to make an appointment to chat with us. All consultations are virtual and confidential. We have years of specializing with others who struggle with PTSD and we would be honored to help you take the next steps towards a healthier and stress-free life.

It takes time and effort, but when you can fully understand what you’re dealing with and how to work through it, you’ll be amazed at how you feel when you get to the other side!

6 views0 comments

Life after experiencing a global pandemic caused a lot of us to challenge our priorities and the way we take care of ourselves and each other. Many people began a journey of personal growth and for a lot of us, that seeking led to learning more about ourselves by looking within. When we begin to embrace our own spirituality, we get closer to our life’s purpose and grow in unimaginable ways.

What is spirituality?

If you google this question, the first definition from Oxford languages is as follows: “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” There are many more definitions out there, but this one resonates as a practical definition without bringing us into a religious debate.

Spirituality is a personal endeavor, as every soul is unique. The process of coming back to who you are on a soul level and using that information to live in a way that helps you use your natural gifts for the greater good feels like the epitome of embracing your spirituality.

Re-evaluate your values.

If you are ready to begin your own journey of becoming more spiritual, start by asking yourself the simply-stated but extremely complex question, who am I?

Start by making a list of statements that reflect the way you feel about the following:

  • Relationships

  • Money

  • Work

  • Freedom

  • Love

When you look at what your immediate thoughts were, start to evaluate them. Do you agree with each statement, or are they the values and opinions of others around you? If they don’t feel true to who you are, take some time to rewrite them.

Getting clear on how you feel helps you get closer to who you are and helps you let go of the influence from outside sources.

Practice the art of being present.

Find some time every day to be present. When having a conversation with a friend or family member, make eye contact and listen to what they’re saying without creating a response in your mind as they talk.

Go outside without your phone. Put your bare feet on the grass. Listen to the birds’ songs and follow the sound to locate where they are and what they’re doing. Watch the leaves dancing in the wind. Every time you intentionally enjoy its beauty, you’ll feel the connection between your soul and nature.

It creates a sense of profound peace when you can enjoy the moment. You can take it a step further and write about your daily experiences in a gratitude journal. When you can embrace the joy in the ordinary, imagine how extraordinary your life can become!

Try meditating.

Meditation doesn’t have to mean that you can sit with yourself for hours on end. And it doesn’t necessarily give you a feeling of inner peace when you begin to really listen deeply to yourself. Many beginners find that listening to their inner voice is challenging.

The more you meditate, the easier it is to face your thoughts during the process. You can get curious about why they’re popping up when they do and how to process them and let them go. As you continue to focus within, you’ll start to hear your intuition more clearly.

Once you can sit in stillness for at least five minutes, create a daily practice and begin each session with an intention to love yourself fully. Having an intention like that helps you reconnect with your heart and live with more love for yourself, which eventually translates to more empathy for those around you.

Find your tribe.

It’s easier to continue your learning when you can meet new people with similar paths in life. Look for community events that resonate with your spiritual journey. When you can make connections with growth-minded people, it helps you build a foundation of friends and accountability partners.

You gain a lot of insight when you have honest conversations with others. It’s amazing when you find your tribe! It’s almost magical when you become a member of a group of individuals who love themselves and understand their gifts and purpose in life.

You suddenly notice that there isn’t a need for envy or comparison, because each person has something amazing to offer. And when everyone has the freedom to be themselves and contribute to the greater good, amazing things begin to happen!

Looking to become more connected with your own spirituality?

We can help! As we mentioned before, every individual's journey to spirituality is very personal. It would be our pleasure to walk beside you on your own path to becoming more connected. We encourage you to schedule a free 15-minute consultation to begin the process.

11 views0 comments

One-on-one counseling is a form of therapy that is used as a personal opportunity for individuals to receive guidance and support during various challenging stages in life. This counseling approach can help individuals by working directly with one specific Therapist in a trusting, caring, and safe environment. These sessions can take place in person or in an online setting, depending on the patient and provider's preference. One-on-one counseling can help in many areas, such as:

- Depression

- Anxiety

- Career

- Relationship

- Sexual Abuse

- Parental


- and many more

One-on-One counseling sessions on average last about 45 and 60 minutes in length. Initial sessions normally focus on getting to know the individual, the background of the issue at hand, and setting goals for each counseling session. The frequency and duration of therapy will depend largely on each individual’s needs, treatment goals, and progress.

One-on-one counseling sessions have been known to benefit patients by providing a confidential space where they can freely share emotional information with someone they trust. It also can provide a quicker transformation since each session is customized towards one individual, as opposed to a group therapy session where topics are broader, and time to interact on an individual basis is limited. Lastly, one-on-one counseling is a great way to improve communication skills. During sessions, patients learn how to express their feelings in a healthy way, learn ways to actively listen, and become more confident speaking to others.

6 views0 comments