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Trauma and PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can cause an overreaction of the “fight-or-flight” response, in which a person continues to experience extreme stress and fear when they are not in danger. PTSD can make normal daily functioning difficult, but medication and a strong support system can help you manage your symptoms.

What Are Trauma and PTSD?

Trauma is an emotional response born from exposure to a distressing event or events that disrupt your sense of safety. Some people may experience traumatic stress and recover over time, but for others, that fear response evolves into PTSD. According to Northwestern Medicine, when you are afraid, your brain releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which triggers your “fight-or-flight” response to the situation. With PTSD, those stress hormones overact as they create an extreme fear response to ordinary situations. 

Common Signs of PTSD:

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Avoidance
  • Easily startled
  • Difficulty remembering key parts of trauma
  • Negative emotions
  • Social isolation
  • Loss of interest in activities

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Related Conditions:

  • Acute stress disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Disinhibited social engagement disorder
  • Reactive attachment disorder

PTSD Statistics

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 12 million adults in the United States have PTSD in a given year. While the percentage is slightly less, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia notes around 4% of children 18 and younger have PTSD. Moreover, girls and women are twice as likely to experience trauma that develops into PTSD. Research has shown that 7% of girls and 8% of women are diagnosed with PTSD compared to 2% of boys and 4% of men.


As noted by Cohen Veterans Bioscience, a staggering 10-20% of post-deployment military officers develop PTSD along with co-occurring mental health conditions. However, the disorder is not limited to the traumatic events experienced during combat. There is evidence that certain aspects of a traumatic event, as well as genetics and other factors, can impact the development of PTSD. 

Risk Factors for Trauma and PTSD:

  • Accidents
  • Sexual assault
  • Physical and emotional abuse
  • Natural disasters
  • Violent attacks
  • Harm or danger to a loved one
  • High-risk jobs
  • Lack of support after the event
  • Additional stress after the trauma
    • Loss of a loved one
    • Injury
    • Job and or home loss
  • Gender identity
    • Cisgender women
    • Transgender women
    • Non-binary people
  • Sexual orientation
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Childhood trauma
  • Family or personal history of mental illness/substance abuse 

Why Is Treatment for Trauma and PTSD Important?

Everyone deserves to lead a fulfilling life, but untreated mental health disorders can make that difficult. If you have PTSD, you may struggle with daily functioning, work, school, isolation, and maintaining relationships. Seeking support from a therapist can help you build coping skills and process the trauma that led to your PTSD. Moreover, investing in treatment for your mental health can support you in reconnecting with yourself and loved ones, setting goals, and building a life dedicated to your long-term wellness. 

Additionally, reaching out for support after a traumatic experience is an important factor in treating trauma and potentially avoiding the development of PTSD.

Resilience Factors:

  • Seeking support
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Therapist
    • Support groups
  • Healthy coping strategies
    • Relaxation strategies
    • Grounding techniques

What Do Trauma and PTSD Feel Like?

The symptoms of PTSD can vary from moderate to severe, depending on the person. While symptoms of PTSD typically manifest early, around three months after a traumatic incident, sometimes it can take years for the condition to become apparent. In addition, PTSD can be a short-term condition or chronic, depending on individual factors. However, to be considered PTSD, you must experience symptoms from four symptom categories for at least a month. 

Symptoms of PTSD:

  • Re-experiencing symptoms
    • Flashbacks
    • Physical symptoms of stress
    • Nightmares 
    • Intrusive thoughts 
  • Avoidance symptoms
    • Avoiding places, events, and things
    • Ignoring thoughts and feelings
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms
    • Easily startled
    • Feeling tense 
    • Sleep issues
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Irritable
    • Angry outbursts
    • Risky or destructive behavior
  • Cognition and mood symptoms 
    • Struggle to remember essential parts of the trauma 
    • Negative emotions 
    • Loss of interest in activities 
    • Social isolation
    • Issues feeling positive emotions 

Symptoms for Children and Teens:

  • Sleep issues
  • Depression
  • Easily startled
  • “On guard”
  • Detachment 
  • Difficulty feeling affection
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Avoidance
  • Flashbacks
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Worrying about dying at a young age
  • Concentration issues
  • Regressive behaviors
    • Bedwetting
    • Talking issues
    • Abnormal clinginess 
  • Reenacting the trauma
  • Disruptive or destructive
  • Thoughts of revenge
  • Feelings of guilt

What Makes Our Program Unique?

At Mindfuli, we can support you with trauma-informed care that recognizes the four Rs of trauma:

  • Realize trauma is widespread
  • Recognize the symptoms of trauma
  • Respond to the trauma
  • Resist re-traumatization

Through our flexible real-time video and chat-based services, we can provide social, emotional, and crisis support from the comfort of your home. Our licensed therapists and care counselors are dedicated to providing a safe space for you to express your trauma and work collaboratively to build a long-term wellness plan for your specific needs.


  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Psychoeducation
  • Virtual support groups

Getting Help

If you feel like you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, seeking support can help you process your trauma, heal, and maintain long-term mental well-being. PTSD can make it difficult to function in your daily life, maintain relationships, and find pleasure in the activities and hobbies you once enjoyed. With the assistance of a care team and medication management, you can get back to living a more meaningful life. Our trauma-informed care at Mindfuli is designed to help you build a  treatment plan that will support you on your journey to lifelong wellness.

To learn more about how virtual therapy can support you, visit our Blog page.

PTSD can make daily life and relationships difficult to maintain. However, with treatment, you can process your trauma and build coping skills to support lifelong wellness. At Mindfuli, our virtual services and trauma-focused care can support you in setting and achieving your goals for better long-term healing. Call us at 866.714.8913 to learn more.

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