We all experience scary events in our lives. Car crashes, medical scares, childhood trauma, military combat, an assault, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks are just some examples of shocking and dangerous situations. For some people, the events they survive change the way they view the world. These people may develop PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
PTSD symptoms include flashbacks, anger outbursts, nightmares, feeling on-edge, extreme anxiety, avoiding people, places, and things, distorted thoughts and/or feelings, and trouble sleeping. PTSD, if left untreated, can create a lot of problems with life functioning. It can impact the ability to hold a job, have relationships, and feel stable.
What is Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG)?
After a trauma, people who experience PTG are able to make meaning of the event, become resilient, and grow. This phenomenon can be best described as finding a purpose in the pain. For a rape victim, it may mean becoming an advocate against dating violence through a nonprofit. For parents who lost a child in an accident, it may mean starting a foundation to help other parents who have suffered a loss. These examples show how we as humans are able to take something tragic and traumatic, and do good despite our pain.
PTG comes after grieving and processing the loss or traumatic event. This doesn’t mean that people who experience PTG don’t experience pain and/or PTSD symptoms. They absolutely do!
This week at Imagine Hope we will be discussing the 5 domains of PTG, and how they contribute to self-growth and healing. We hope you'll check it out!
Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.
Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.