Posttraumatic Stress (or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD) is a condition suffered by people who have been exposed to an extreme stressor.
What is an extreme stressor?

Examples include:

  • Serious accident or natural disaster
  • Rape or criminal assault
  • Combat exposure
  • Child sexual or physical abuse or severe neglect
  • Hostage/imprisonment/torture/displacement as refugee
  • Witnessing a traumatic event
  • Sudden unexpected death of a loved one

When people experience posttraumatic stress it is as if their brain gets stuck in a loop where they are repeatedly reliving the stressful experience. This may be in the form of dreams, or it may just be thoughts or visions that flash through their mind. Every time someone with PTSD has a “flashback,” all of the stress, anxiety, and fear that go along with the trauma are also relived.

Some of the other symptoms that go along with posttraumatic stress are emotional numbing, avoiding people or certain situations, and increased agitation. Sometimes when people have been exposed to an extreme stressor, they are irritable all the time, or angry in a way that they never were before. These symptoms may start right after the event occurred, or they may begin weeks, months, or years later.

If you experience these symptoms after being in a car accident or in an accident at work, you may have coverage for counselling through ICBC or WorkSafe BC. If you were the victim of a rape or a criminal assault, or the victim of childhood sexual abuse, you may be able to get counselling paid for by Crime Victims Assistance.

You may have been a victim of one of these events earlier on in life and continue to be affected by it. Or, this may be a more recent occurrence. If you have been suffering from PTSD for a long time, you may also be suffering from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. As a clinical counsellor I can help you address all of these conditions. And if necessary, I can also help you work with a psychiatrist if you want, as sometimes the use of medications along with therapy can be very helpful.

Ben Kotler Counsellor

Ben Kotler, MA, RCC

Victoria Address: 1517 Amelia St, Victoria, BC V8W 2J9
Duncan Address: 111 Station Street, Suite 202, Duncan, BC V9L 1M8
Ph: 250-634-1634 ( iPhone Texting Available )
Fax: 1-888-684-6922