Helpful Tools to Understand PTSD
Have you ever wondered whether you or a loved one has post traumatic stress disorder? While an assessment by a trained mental health professional or doctor is required to diagnose any mental health condition, I'd like to share a few tools that can help you sort out your own experiences and learn more.
First, the Life Events Checklist. Look through the below document and answer the questions. Have you ever had any of these stressful or traumatic life events occur to you, witness them happen to someone else, or learn about them happening to a loved one?
If you've had one or more of these stressful life events occur to you, witnessed it, or learned about it happening to someone close to you, then move on to the following questions. The next questionnaire, called the PCL-9, is designed to help you and your therapist understand 1) whether you have symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and 2) the severity of these symptoms.
If you scored 28 or higher on the PCL-9, take these questionnaires to a therapist as soon as you can. If you didn't score that high, but are still concerned about your experience of a stressful life event, talking to a therapist can help you sort out and further assess what you are experiencing.
Please know these questionnaires alone are not meant to diagnose PTSD. However, the way you answered them can help a mental health professional provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment options. The good news is that PTSD is treatable and mental health counseling is often a critical part of treatment.
Contact us at Flourish if you want to learn more about how we work with trauma to help those with PTSD live a meaningful and rich life, despite the history of stressful life events.
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Kambria Kennedy-Dominguez, Counselor and yoga teacher specializing in mental health, substance abuse and wellness.