What Is Traumatic Stress (download)?
- Traumatic events are shocking and emotionally overwhelming
situations that may involve actual or threaten death, serious injury, or
threat to physical integrity.
- Reactions to traumatic events vary considerably, ranging from
relatively mild creating minor disruptions in the person's life to
severe and debilitating.
- Acute Stress Disorder And Posttraumatic Stress Disorder are mental
health diagnoses associated with traumatic stress reactions.
- Other difficulties can co-occur with mental health symptoms,
including physical health problems and changes in beliefs about
What can be helpful after trauma?
- Connecting to natural support systems (friends, family) and taking
care of basic needs.
How to decide whether you need help
- For many people, natural coping allows the reactions to gradually
- When disturbing symptoms persist or worsen it may be useful to seek
- If attempts to cope lead to unhealthy or unhelpful outcomes (e.g.
alcohol or drug use, withdrawing from friends and family), it may be
useful to seek professional help.
- Evidence-based (well researched) psychotherapy and medications are
- There are many options for psychotherapy format (individual, groups)
- No single treatment is effective for everyone and it may take time
to find the right treatment fit.
Where to go for help
- It is important to find someone with experience in treating people
affected by traumatic stress.
- A family doctor, local clergy, local mental health association, or
health insurance carrier may be able to assist in the search for
Find a Clinician
The ISTSS Clinician
Directory is a service of the International Society for
Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). The ISTSS Clinician Directory makes it
easy for you to find a clinician, counselor or mental health
professional in your local area. The ISTSS Clinician Directory lets you
consider many factors in searching for a clinician, counselor or mental
health professional, including their discipline or specialty, special
interests, populations served and languages spoken. ISTSS does not make
specific referrals, but does make its list of members and their
specialties available. This searchable database is provided as a public
service and includes the names and clinical practice information of
ISTSS Regular Members who choose to participate in this service.