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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


Lacamas Counseling Serves Vancouver, Camas, Washougal Washington and the surrounding areas

Posttraumatic Stress(PTSD) refers to a person’s interaction with a potentially life-threatening or traumatic experience. People respond to and recover from trauma in different ways. One person may be resilient enough to easily move forward in their life and relationships. Others may be more deeply impacted by traumatic experiences and notice a negative impact on their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.

A trauma response may be diagnosed as a mental health disorder when it impacts your ability to function at home, school, or work, or in your relationships.

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Trauma Symptom Self-Check

Have you experienced a traumatic event in which your life was threatened?
Do you feel stressed or troubled when you remember the incident?
Are the memories difficult to control, coming to mind when you don’t want them to?
Do you “check-out” mentally when the memories occur?
Do you avoid places, people, situations, or other things that remind you of the trauma?
Do you feel more fear, guilt, shame, or anger?
Do you have a negative view of yourself (e.g. feeling worthless or bad)?
Have you started distancing yourself from other relationships?
Do you startle easily?
Do you always have to watch your surroundings and stay on-guard?
Are you having difficulty sleeping?

Treatments for PTSD and Acute Stress Disorder

Trauma-related responses can be treated and it’s important to work with a professional to help identify an effective treatment plan. Treatment for trauma-related responses can include:

  • Counseling
  • Medications (i.e. antidepressants, mood stabilizers)
  • Group counseling
  • Social support
  • Education and empowerment
  • Exposure therapy
  • Self-care (sleep hygiene, exercise, nutrition)
  • Stress management and reduction
  • Cognitive re-structuring
  • Self-reflection (mindfulness, meditation, yoga)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Service animals

If you are experiencing any trauma-related responses that are impacting your well-being and functioning, please connect with Lacamas Counseling for professional therapeutic support to address and alleviate your trauma-related responses.

Additional Resources for PTSD:

Factsheet for PTSD by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

PTSD by NIMH (National Institute of Mental Illness)

Mental health diagnoses of trauma include:


Exposure to a traumatic or life-threatening experience, with many of the following residual symptoms: reoccurring and intrusive memories, nightmares, or flashbacks; significant distress when reminded of the trauma; avoidance behaviors; negatively distorted thoughts, memories, emotions, or behaviors; detachment or dissociation; over-aroused irritability, anger, caution, or startle reflex; recklessness; and problems concentrating or sleeping.


Exposure to a traumatic or life-threatening experience with symptoms similar to PTSD that last up to one month following the traumatic event.