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About trauma, PTSD & C-PTSD

Get all the information you need about trauma, PTSD and C-PTSD

For ease of reading, we use the term trauma to cover trauma, PTSD & C-PTSD except for where we are defining or speaking exclusively about PTSD or C-PTSD.

  • A note on the language & terminology we use
    We know that language used around trauma can be tricky to navigate and different people like to use different terms. We wanted to briefly describe the following terms that we’ve chosen to use: ‘traumatic event’ - an event or experience that causes trauma ‘trauma’ - the impact of the traumatic event on the mind and body ‘trauma survivor’ - someone who has had a traumatic experience, regardless of the traumatic event; we know that some people who experience trauma like to identify themselves as survivors, however we also recognise that not everybody does. Although we use the term trauma survivor, it's up to you how you choose to refer to yourself ‘symptoms’ - the effects, challenges, reactions or responses that someone experiences after a traumatic event; we know that some people like to use the term symptoms because it helps them seperate the impact of the trauma from themselves, however others feel it’s too medicalised. Although we use the term symptoms, it's up to you how you choose to describe the effects of your trauma
  • What are traumatic experiences?
    Trauma, PTSD and C-PTSD can be caused by one or many traumatic experiences. Traumatic experiences can be single events or a series of repeat or prolonged events that happen over a period of time. Traumatic experiences can also be a series of multiple events, witnessing harm to somebody else or exposure to traumatic events through work, living in a traumatic atmosphere or being affected by trauma in a family or community. There are many examples of traumatic events, which include (but are not limited to) the following: Abuse, including domestic or emotional Adverse childhood experiences Bereavement by suicide Childbirth experiences or losing a baby Exposure to traumatic events through work Physical or sexual assault Road traffic accident Serious health problems Sudden death of a loved one War, conflict or terrorism
  • What happens in the short-term after a traumatic event?
    If you've experienced something traumatic, it's normal to have reactions and responses (symptoms) that you may not have experienced before in the days and weeks afterwards. This is sometimes called an "acute stress reaction". Often these symptoms will go away on their own after a few weeks, but if after a month you're still experiencing them, you might be given a diagnosis of PTSD or C-PTSD. To get a diagnosis, you must seek advice from a healthcare professional.
  • What are trauma, PTSD and C-PTSD?
    Trauma is a stress response to an event or series of events that are deeply distressing, stressful or frightening or threaten or cause physical or emotional harm to you or someone else. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and Complex-PTSD (C-PTSD) are specific diagnoses you can be given if you are experiencing particular symptoms after a traumatic event. You can still be struggling with the effects of trauma without an official diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Getting a diagnosis can help with getting appropriate treatment and support.
  • What are the signs & symptoms of trauma, PTSD and C-PTSD?
    Trauma can display a range of different symptoms and traumatic stress affects people in different ways, so no two people will experience it in exactly the same way even if they have very similar experiences. To get an official diagnosis of PTSD, symptoms fall into four main categories and you must experience a certain number of symptoms from each category. The diagnosis for C-PTSD is similar, with additional symptoms. You may still be experiencing trauma, even if you don’t have an official diagnosis. Here are the official list of symptoms of PTSD: Re-experiencing symptoms - Unwanted memories - Nightmares - Flashbacks - Feeling very upset by reminders of the experience - Physical responses to reminders of the experience Avoidance - Avoiding reminders of the experience - Avoiding memories thoughts or feelings Cognition and mood - Difficulty remembering details of the experience - Blaming yourself or someone else - Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy - Negative beliefs about yourself, others or the world - Feeling distant or cut off from others - Overwhelming feelings of horror, guilt or shame - Trouble experiencing positive feelings Arousal and reactivity -Feeling jumpy or easily startled -Being “superalert”, watchful or on guard -Taking too many risks or doing things that could cause you harm -Difficulty concentrating -Trouble falling or staying asleep ​​-Irritable behavior, angry outbursts, or acting aggressively Additional C-PTSD symptoms -Difficulty controlling your emotions -Feeling like no one understands or as though you are completely different to others -Feeling as if you are permanently damaged or worthless -Struggling with or avoiding friendships or relationships -Experiencing dissociative symptoms such as depersonalisation or derealisation -Physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness or chest pains or physical health issues -Feeling very angry or distrustful of the world -Experiencing suicidal feelings It’s common that someone who has experienced a traumatic event may not recognise their experience as such, or may not feel they are able to or that it’s valid to call it traumatic, compared to the experience of someone else. It’s also common that they may not relate the symptoms that they start to have with their traumatic experience. Sometimes people can be affected by a traumatic event straight away, and other times it may take years before people start to experience symptoms, this is called delayed onset trauma. Even if their symptoms do start soon after the incident, it may be years before some people identify their symptoms.
  • Someone I care about has been affected by trauma, what can I do?
    If somebody you care about is struggling with trauma, PTSD or C-PTSD, then it can be really difficult for you too, but there are things you can do to help. These include: listening to them without judgement learning how trauma affects them learning their triggers don’t take over respecting their privacy helping them seek support
  • What professional support is available?
    If you are struggling with trauma, then you should seek professional support. You can speak to your GP, local mental health services or you may want to seek private support. There are also charities that provide support and information for particular traumatic experiences. Trauma can be successfully treated, even when it's been a long time since the traumatic event took place or it develops many years after a traumatic event. The type of treatment can depend on the severity of symptoms and how soon they occur after the traumatic event. It is important to note that different people find different treatments more effective than others, so if you find that the treatment you're trying isn't working for you, don't despair - there are other things you can try.
  • How can re;mind help?
    re;mind is designed specifically to support adults over 18 who are experiencing the effects of trauma, whether or not you have a diagnosis of PTSD or C-PTSD. The re;mind app is designed to support you whilst waiting for professional support, to complement professional support or to continue to support you after professional support, not to replace it. With re;mind you can: relieve - find relief during moments of distress, with grounding tools immediately to hand whenever you need them - use your favourite grounding tools or try new ones - get activity suggestions to remind you to practice self-care track - log your symptoms and understand any triggers that may be affecting you - Take a moment to reflect on your feelings & the things influencing them ​- Reflect on the things you’ve achieved today, what you’re grateful for or write a journal entry understand - understand what impacts your symptoms and feelings over time - learn how to manage your symptoms using self-help tools best suited for you ​- access reliable resources & information so you can better understand your experiences
  • What is the evidence for re;mind?
    Our self-help app has been designed specifically for trauma survivors. Our app features multiple recognised trauma-focused & mental health tools. The app design is based on evidence from lived experience and clinical practice and academic research.
  • Is re;mind a replacement for professional support?
    No, categorically not. The re;mind app is designed to support you whilst waiting for professional support, to complement professional support or to continue to support you after professional support, not to replace it. It is designed to work alongside regular therapy and to give you a bridge to support you when you’re not in a therapy session. You may wish to use re;mind in association with your therapy to discuss your feelings, symptoms and triggers as part of your sessions and to aid in your recall during discussions. However if you’re unable to access other services for whatever reason, we’re here to help you through your traumatic stress, track your symptoms & triggers to better look after your mental wellbeing.
  • Where can I find more information on trauma?
    You can find more information on trauma, PTSD and C-PTSD: NHS Website PTSD UK Mind Charity There are also many charities that offer information and support on particular traumatic experiences.
  • I need urgent support
    See our urgent support page
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You are not alone

Helping you navigate trauma.

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