Are you suffering from PTSD?

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

If you're worried that you're suffering from PTSD then I'm really glad you've found my pages. I so hope my advice will help you through this difficult time.

Just before we have a look at the way traumatic experiences can be managed, do hop over to Part 1 to begin with. The list of PTSD Symptoms over there can help you to understand how you might be feeling at the moment, and help you work out exactly why you're suffering.

Trauma Risk Management - TRiM

police - accident sign

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) states that brief single-session interventions should not be routinely offered.

However, people do value some kind of an intervention after a work-related traumatic incident and TRiM fits in well with the NICE guidelines.

Untill the end of Aug 2012 I was the Lead for TRiM in a large UK police service. Together with a great team of police officers and support staff, we introduced TRiM at all levels. We liaised with, trained, supported and advised staff and officers of all rank. 

This unique co-operation has strengthened the link between the force's health services, police officers and support staff. We expect this will ultimately result in increased referrals for people at risk of developing longer-term PTSD symptoms - at the right time, rather than years after a traumatic incident.

TRiM practitioners

TRiM practitioners are specially selected police officers and police support staff, who have volunteered for the role. They're at the forefront of helping to ensure that individuals on their team or in their policing area remain well after a potentially traumatic work-related incident.

TRiM practitioners can refer people at the right moment, when they appear to continue to be affected by an incident. The Welfare and Counselling Department ensures that these individuals are treated for their suspected PTSD symptoms in the shortest possible time. 

Field of poppies


‘Debriefing’, using the Mitchell model, has been shown at best to be ineffective and at worst to be harmful for psychological trauma. This is in part because someone could potentially be re-traumatised by being made to re-experience the sights, sounds and feelings of the original incident. This type of intervention interferes with the natural healing process.

In addition, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing offered only a single intervention. There was no way of knowing how people were really doing after a potentially traumatic event. Whereas - a TRiM assessment offers a baseline against which the outcome of further individual assessments can be compared.

Symptoms of PTSD or full-blown PTSD...
... but not recovering?

It's far more likely that you don't suffer from full-blown PTSD.  According to a study conducted by the Centre of Military Health Research only 5.4% of British soldiers returning from Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. However, many are left with post-traumatic stress symptoms, which can be severe - but don't fall under the exact criteria for PTSD.

The percentage number of course will mean little to you if you're personally suffering from those horrendous symptoms. However, for people that have recently been exposed to a potentially traumatic event it may be a sign that - even after such horrendous exposure - recovery as indicated above is very likely.

If after time has passed and you continue to suffer from those hugely distressing post-trauma symptoms, you'll want to know about how to cope and what treatment is available. PTSD Symptoms Can be Treated (link to my page on PTSD treatment) - there is every chance that you will recover. 

You can also talk to an online expert counsellor, right from this page.

"We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us, and make us kinder. We always have the choice."

Dalai Lama

Post traumatic growth

I've often witnessed people come through really traumatic circumstances or events (and the dreadful emotional and mental fall-out) absolutely shining! They've changed their perspective of the world, and not only adapted to it, but found meaning in it.  

When you've been through something life-changing, which trauma almost invariably is, it can be seen - in time - as... opportunity to really reassess what is and what is not important to you.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Related Articles

Other Helpful Links

Psychology Today - about Post-traumatic growth
BPS Research Digest - 363,120 Ways to have PTSD

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Elly Prior

It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person! I'm hoping to make a positive difference, small or large, to every person who visits my site.

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Images courtesy of: Patrick Hoesly and Massimo Valliani