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I’m finding it hard to cope after trauma or abuse

Living with abuse and trauma can trigger something called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a complex condition that can be improved with treatment.

If you’ve suffered trauma or abuse, you may be experiencing a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Learn more  Those with  PTSD will often replay the stressful experience through nightmares or flashbacks, which can lead to feelings of isolation and guilt, as well other health problems like insomnia.

PTSD can appear immediately after a stressful experience, it can also develop over time, appearing at any point during your life.

Most people are aware of the condition effecting soldiers returning from war, but it can affect anyone who has experienced extreme stress as a result of trauma or abuse. Learn more

What to do

Diagnosing and treating PTSD is a complex task, but your GP can help with an initial assessment. If you have experienced PTSD symptoms for less than four weeks, or they are mild, your GP may suggest a process called ‘watchful waiting’ where they keep an eye on you regularly. Many patients can and do recover quickly.

If you’ve had symptoms for longer than four week, or they are severe, your GP can then refer you to specialist services, where you will receive an in-depth assessment before identifying appropriate treatments.

Treatments include psychotherapy (where you will talk about your condition) and medication. Learn more

If you are in crisis call 111 or visit our 'I need help now' page or contact Samaritans on 116 123 or jo@samaritans.org.