Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an extreme anxiety disorder that can develop either after exposure to a traumatic event, or exposure to many smaller events over time (C-PTSD). Sufferers often develop PTSD after experiencing an event that caused them to feel extreme fear, shock or helplessness such as a car accident, wartime atrocity, a sudden bereavement, or being repeatedly exposed to trauma such as childhood sexual abuse or violence.

PTSD can even develop after simply hearing details of such events on a regular basis, as can happen with emergency workers who are exposed to traumatic events every day. Many of us may experience a trauma at least once in our lives and spend a period of time finding ways to cope. But what defines PTSD is when these feelings of anxiety do not fade with time, but continue to be felt months or years after the event and may even get worse, often being triggered by something which reminds us of the event such as sudden sounds or certain smells. Traumatic events that can induce PTSD include acts of war, terrorism, torture, assaults, car accidents, natural disasters, domestic violence, sexual abuse etc. Front line workers in the military, firefighters, police officers, paramedics, emergency workers and psychiatric professionals are particularly susceptible to this condition.

Our psychotherapists use a combination of evidence-based therapies to unravel the traumatic events and triggers that are leading to powerful flashbacks, nightmares and extreme waking anxiety. Using a two-step technique, Experience Learning – Life Learning, in our PTSD therapy, we show you how to capture important subsconscious information from past experiences by finding the objective learning that has come from this experience. The application of this psychotherapeutic technique isolates the belief(s) causing the PTSD from the acute traumatic experience(s) in question and brings lasting relief to the feelings that have been weighing you down.

We understand that re-visiting these unwanted and unpleasant events will be confronting and highly uncomfortable. We know you cannot forget the traumatic incidences that occurred, nor can they be changed. However, we can teach you a new way of looking at past experiences in a different light. This is powerful and life-changing, giving you a real way to reduce your ongoing trauma and eliminate the PTSD symptoms. Our skilled therapist take a delicate, yet pro-active approach, allowing you to gain greater control of your physical and emotional responses – and ultimately your functionality and happiness.

What Causes PTSD?

There is no one single reason why someone will develop PTSD after experiencing trauma and someone else will not. Genetic and environmental factors are both believed to play a part in a predisposition for developing PTSD. The extreme nature of the event or series of events can also be the instigator of development of either condition.

Someone who has previously experienced a traumatic event is thought to have a higher chance of developing PTSD, as is someone who has been exposed to trauma over a period of time (such as childhood abuse or living in a war zone).

Someone with a history of other types of mental illness is also believed to be more susceptible to PTSD, along with anyone experiencing ongoing stressful life events following a trauma without the benefit of any social supports.

Whether the traumatic event was intentional or not may also have a bearing, with someone experiencing a natural disaster thought less likely to develop PTSD than someone who has been sexually assaulted or suffers some other form of intentional physical violation.


PTSD Symptoms

Someone going through PTSD will normally exhibit the following complex PTSD symptoms:

Many of these reactions are an exaggerated version of the body’s natural ‘fight or flight’ responses to stress, so gaining a better understanding of the symptoms may help us to better understand the causes of PTSD.

Is there Treatment for PTSD?

There are various methods available for PTSD treatment in Australia, with several types of psychotherapy being the most effective forms of treatment. These include:


We can help you overcome a variety of challenges

Our personally tailored, holistic and integrative programs are designed to empower you to deal with
issues in your life including:

Reliving the Traumatic Event


Avoidance Behaviours



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Trauma FAQs

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing an extremely traumatic event. PTSD is commonly associated with war veterans or first-responders, but it can impact anyone who has experienced trauma at any point in their life. C-PTSD (Complex PTSD) develops over time when a person is exposed to a series of similar events or traumatic behaviours, such as in cases of domestic violence, sexual abuse or emotional abuse.

PTSD/C-PTSD is experienced differently by different people and symptoms tend to be led by the type of trauma you have experienced. Some common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Intrusive memories or distressing flashbacks
  • Avoidance of triggers associated with the trauma
  • Uncontrollable negative changes in mood and thinking patterns
  • Increased arousal or reactivity
  • Partial or full disassociation when triggered

Only a qualified healthcare professional can diagnose PTSD/C-PTSD. If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD, it’s essential to reach out to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

They can conduct a thorough evaluation, provide an accurate diagnosis based on your experience, and offer appropriate treatment options and support tailored to your needs.

In Australia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be considered a disability under certain circumstances. The Australian government has provisions to recognise and support individuals with disabilities, including those with mental health conditions like PTSD.

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, mental health conditions, including PTSD, are covered by the definition of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act. This protects individuals with mental health conditions from discrimination in various areas of life, including employment.

The main program in Australia that provides support for individuals with disabilities is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS provides funding and support services to people with disabilities, including those with mental health conditions like PTSD, if their condition significantly impacts their daily functioning.

To be eligible for the NDIS, individuals must meet specific criteria related to the impact of their disability on their ability to participate in everyday activities. This includes undergoing assessments and providing evidence of the impact of the disability on their life.

Eligibility for disability support can vary depending on individual circumstances, and each case is assessed individually.

If you believe that your PTSD is affecting your ability to function in your daily life, you may want to consider contacting the NDIS or seeking advice from a healthcare professional or disability support organisation in Australia for more information on eligibility and available support services.

Understanding someone’s experience of PTSD/C-PTSD can be complex, and many seeking to support someone with the condition may struggle to know the best ways to offer help.

It’s important to know that offering the right support to someone with PTSD/C-PTSD can significantly affect their recovery and well-being. Here are some suggestions on how to do that:

  1. Educate yourself: Learn about PTSD, its symptoms, and how it can affect individuals. This will help you understand their experiences better and provide appropriate support.
  2. Be patient and understanding: People with PTSD may have triggers that cause distressing reactions. Be patient and understanding when they experience symptoms such as flashbacks, anxiety, or irritability. Avoid judgment and criticism; let them know you’re there to support them.
  3. Encourage professional help: Encourage the person to seek professional help from a therapist, counsellor, or psychiatrist experienced in treating PTSD. Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), can be highly beneficial.
  4. Create a safe environment: Help create a safe and supportive environment for the person with PTSD. Minimise triggers if possible and provide a sense of security and understanding. Encourage open communication and tell them they can talk to you about their experiences when ready.
  5. Offer practical support: Help with practical tasks or responsibilities that may be challenging for them. This can include offering assistance with household chores, accompanying them to appointments, providing transportation, or simply being available to talk through things when needed.
  6. Respect boundaries: Respect their boundaries and personal space. Understand that individuals with PTSD may have specific triggers or situations they want to avoid, and honouring and respecting their boundaries is essential.
  7. Practice self-care: Supporting someone with PTSD can be emotionally challenging, so care for yourself too. Seek support from friends, family, or support groups. Maintain healthy boundaries and engage in self-care activities that help you recharge.
  8. Be a good listener: Offer a listening ear without judgment. Allow the person to share their experiences and emotions when they feel comfortable. Active listening can provide them with a sense of validation and support.

Remember: Everyone’s experience with PTSD is unique, so it’s essential to communicate openly and ask the person with PTSD how you can best support them. Listen to what they tell you and act on this information accordingly, don’t just do what you believe is right for them.

If you are worried that someone’s symptoms of PTSD may worsen, encourage them to seek professional help from a therapist trained to provide specialised guidance and treatment.

With appropriate treatment support, it is possible to recover from PTSD. While the recovery process can vary for each individual, many people experience a significant reduction in symptoms and an improvement in their overall quality of life once they seek support and discover the right treatment plan for them.

There are different treatments available for treating PTSD/C-PTSD, including psychotherapies, medication, or a combination of both.

Some of the more effective therapeutic approaches for treatment of PTSD include:

  1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): This therapy helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours associated with their trauma. It may involve techniques such as exposure therapy, where the person gradually confronts their fears and memories in a safe environment.
  2. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a specialised form of therapy that uses eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation to help individuals process and reframe traumatic memories.
  3. Group Therapy: Participating in group therapy sessions with others who have experienced similar traumas can provide a supportive environment for sharing experiences, gaining insights, and developing coping strategies.
  4. Medication: Certain medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can help alleviate symptoms of PTSD, such as depression and anxiety. Medication is often used in conjunction with therapy.

Self-care and holistic health practices can also support recovery from PTSD. These may include regular physical exercise, practising relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and fostering social connections and support networks.

Recovery from PTSD/C-PTSD takes time and is often a gradual process. The timeline of recovery also varies significantly from one individual to the next.

When seeking to manage symptoms of PTSD/C-PTSD and recover, it is important to focus on your journey, discover the right treatment and support for you, and pay attention to your improvements over time – no matter how small they may seem.

If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD/C-PTSD, contact a mental health professional who can provide personalised guidance and support.

Post-traumatic stress disorders can significantly impact the mind, affecting various aspects of an individual’s cognitive and emotional functioning.

Here’s a brief summary of the different ways this may show up:

  1. Intrusive memories and distressing flashbacks: People with PTSD/C-PTSD often experience intrusive memories of the traumatic event. These memories can be distressing and intrusive, causing the person to relive the event through flashbacks, nightmares, or distressing thoughts.
  2. Avoidance and emotional numbness: To cope with the intense emotions associated with trauma, individuals with PTSD may develop avoidance behaviours. They may avoid places, people, activities, or situations that remind them of the traumatic event. This avoidance can lead to emotional numbing, making it difficult for them to experience positive emotions or connect with others.
  3. Hyperarousal and hypervigilance: Sufferers may be in a constant state of hyperarousal, feeling on edge, irritable, or easily startled. They may have difficulty sleeping, experience difficulty concentrating, or have an exaggerated startle response. Hypervigilance, a state of heightened alertness, is also common, where the person is constantly scanning the environment for potential threats.
  4. Negative thinking patterns: PTSD/C-PTSD can lead to negative changes in thinking patterns and beliefs about oneself, others, and the world. Individuals with PTSD may have negative thoughts about themselves (e.g., feeling guilty or responsible for the traumatic event), others (e.g., distrusting others), or the future (e.g., a pessimistic outlook). They may also experience self-blame or a diminished sense of self-worth.
  5. Emotional dysregulation: PTSD/C-PTSD can disrupt a person’s ability to regulate emotions effectively. Sufferers may experience intense and unpredictable emotions, including anger, sadness, guilt, shame, or fear. They may have difficulty managing these emotions, leading to emotional outbursts or withdrawal.
  6. Cognitive difficulties: Post traumatic stress can impact cognitive functions such as attention, concentration, and memory. Sufferers may have trouble focusing or maintaining attention, affecting their ability to perform daily tasks or engage in activities. They may also experience memory problems, particularly with remembering details of the traumatic event.

This list is not definitive, so don’t worry if you or someone you know is experiencing different effects on their mind or mental state from experiencing post traumatic stress than those listed here.

While therapy is a crucial component of PTSD treatment, it may be possible for some individuals to experience a reduction in PTSD symptoms without receiving formal therapy.

Some individuals may find relief from their symptoms over time as they engage in self-care practices, adopt healthy coping strategies, and receive support from loved ones. However, therapy has a large body of research showcasing its effectiveness in treating PTSD. Those seeking recovery from the condition are encouraged to seek professional support alongside self-care practices and social support.

Here are a few factors that can contribute to recovery from PTSD without formal therapy:

  1. Social support: Having a strong support network of understanding and empathetic family and friends can provide a significant source of emotional support. Talking about the trauma and receiving validation and understanding can help you heal.
  2. Self-help strategies: Engaging in self-help techniques, such as relaxation exercises, mindfulness practices, physical exercise, journaling, and self-education about PTSD, can be beneficial. These strategies can assist individuals in managing their symptoms and promoting healing.
  3. Education and self-awareness: Learning about PTSD, its symptoms, and available resources can empower individuals to understand their experiences better. This knowledge can enable them to develop effective coping mechanisms and seek appropriate support when needed.
  4. Natural resilience: Some individuals naturally possess strong resilience and coping skills, which can contribute to their ability to recover from PTSD symptoms over time. Resilience allows individuals to adapt and bounce back from traumatic experiences.

While these factors can contribute to symptom reduction, it’s important to emphasise that PTSD is a complex disorder and professional help from a therapist or mental health professional is highly recommended.

If you are experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress, no matter how minor, you do not have to suffer in silence. There are many ways to reach out and get the support you need.

There are several places where you can seek help, including:

  1. Mental health professionals: Reach out to psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, or counsellors specialising in trauma and PTSD. They can provide assessments, diagnoses, and evidence-based treatments tailored to your needs. You can find mental health professionals through online directories, referrals from your GP, or recommendations from trusted sources.
  2. Community mental health centres: Many communities have mental health centres offering various services, including counselling and therapy for PTSD. These centres may provide affordable or sliding-scale fee options based on your income. Search online or contact local government agencies or helplines for information about mental health services available in your area.
  3. Support groups: Support groups can provide valuable understanding and encouragement. They offer the opportunity to connect with others who have experienced similar traumas.
  4. Online resources: Online resources are available for information, support, and self-help materials for PTSD. Websites of reputable mental health organisations, such as Phoenix Australia and FearLess, offer self-education resources, helpful guides, and other ways to connect and get support.
  5. Mental health retreats: A mental health retreat offers you community support, a dedicated team of professionals, and the time and space to get the help you need. They’re a great way to explore various treatment options and uncover the ones that work best for you while working towards a sense of overall health. Our residential retreat program combines psychological, physical, educational and social strategies with a focus on nutritional elements to help you combat and eradicate the root cause of your condition.

Remember that seeking help is an essential step in the recovery process.

If you need help figuring out where to start, consider talking to a trusted individual, such as a friend or family member, who may be able to assist you in finding appropriate resources.

Our dedicated team is on hand to talk you through these options and explore how Palladium Private might work for you and your circumstances.

To get in touch, call 1300 573 095 to speak confidentially to one of our Admissions Consultants