“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
―  Laurell K. Hamilton

Posttraumatic Stress

Have you or a loved one survived a traumatic life event?  Are you experiencing nightmares, flashbacks, or other painful reminders of the past? Do you feel “broken” or stuck in the past?

If so, you may be struggling with posttraumatic stress – and we are here for you.

We know what it’s like to live with the pain of posttraumatic stress, and we believe that no one should have to face it alone. Taconic Psychiatry provides trauma-informed and holistic treatment for people who have survived trauma.  We work with people here in Manchester as well as all across the state of Vermont via telehealth.  If you are interested and ready to get the help you need, contact us today.  Read on to learn about trauma, posttraumatic stress, and how the healing process works.

What is trauma?

Psychological trauma includes any life-threatening, scary, or disturbing experience.

Common examples include car accidents, abuse, near-death experiences (e.g., heart attacks), combat experience, or being attacked or assaulted.  However, trauma can also be caused by relational experiences, such as neglect, betrayal, rejection, bullying, and more.  Trauma can even happen indirectly when someone witnesses something traumatic happening to someone else (also known as vicarious trauma).

Some people will experience one major traumatic event while others experience a lifetime of multiple traumas.  For example, a person who survived child abuse may suffer the abuse of a partner.  A combat veteran may experience countless acts of violence and terror.  Over time, these wounds combine to create what is called “complex trauma” or complex PTSD.

How does trauma affect people?

Many people assume that only military veterans and survivors of war experience trauma.  And yet, trauma can happen to anyone.  Some research has indicated that more than 90% of adults will experience a traumatic life event at some point.

When we experience trauma, the body does what it needs to at the moment to survive. The fight-or-flight response activates, and a surge of stress hormones floods the brain and the body.  The mind does its best to make sense of things.  Memories are stored in a chaotic, difficult-to-process manner.

Some survivors of trauma are able to recover quickly and regain a sense of normalcy.  However, many will continue to suffer from the aftereffects of trauma, also known as posttraumatic stress.  Some of the most common warning signs of posttraumatic stress include (diagram on right).

Left untreated, the symptoms of posttraumatic stress can last for weeks, months, even years after the trauma has ended.  When these symptoms keep you from being able to thrive in your career, your relationships, or other parts of your life, we call it Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.  Not all survivors of trauma meet the criteria for PTSD, but everyone with posttraumatic stress can benefit from treatment.

How does treatment for trauma work?

Psychological trauma is a lot like a physical injury.  Initially, there is a great deal of shock, pain, and distress.  The body does its best to repair and heal, and often the pain fades with enough time.

However, some injuries continue to hurt.  Maybe the wounds didn’t heal properly.  Maybe something is left unresolved or unaddressed.  Or maybe it just needs some extra care and attention to resolve the lingering pain.

That’s where we come in.

Ben Stillman, Psy. D
Ben Stillman, Psy. D

Here at Taconic Psychiatry, we offer a comprehensive approach to treating symptoms of posttraumatic stress for survivors of trauma.

Our psychologist, Dr. Ben Stillman, provides specialized psychodynamic psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress.  Dr. Stillman’s compassionate, trauma-informed approach offers a chance to find lasting freedom from the past while developing deep personal insights.  You can learn to regain feelings of safety, reconnect with loved ones, and reclaim your sense of purpose in life.

Adam Pruett, M.D., M.P.H
Adam Pruett, M.D., M.P.H

Our psychiatrist, Dr. Adam Pruett, can provide a holistic, personally-tailored regimen of medication and supplemental remedies designed to provide immediate relief from posttraumatic stress.  Symptoms of posttraumatic stress often cause people to overuse or become dependent on drinking and medication, which is why Dr. Pruett also helps his clients overcome these unhealthy habits.

Together, this combination of psychological and psychiatric treatment can help you or your loved one recover from trauma and move forward from the past.  Taconic Psychiatry can help you get your life back on track – all you have to do is get started.

Get Started with Taconic Psychiatry

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Let’s work together!

All of our services are entirely confidential and offered both online as well as in person.  We work with teens (16+) and adults from all over Vermont: Manchester, Dorset, Bennington, Rutland, Londonderry, Winhall, Arlington, Shaftsbury, West Dover, and beyond.  We work collaboratively to help you reach your goals as efficiently and effectively as possible.  We strive to help you feel supported, understood, and cared for as you make your wellness journey.

With the help of Drs. Pruett and Stillman, you can begin to:

  • Move forward from the past
  • Decrease sensitivity to triggers
  • Learn to cope with stress and fear
  • Work through the pain of what happened

No matter how long you’ve struggled, no matter how hopeless things might seem, we can help.