PTSD, now classified as a “trauma and stress related disorder” in the DSM V- TR, instead of its former classification as an anxiety disorder, develops in response to a traumatic event. The definition of triggering events was more expansive in the fourth edition of the manual; currently a triggering event is defined as “exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation.” Triggers can be associated with events related to:
Features of PTSD include:
Not everyone that experiences trauma develops PTSD. Here to Help BC estimates that about 15% of those exposed to trauma will go on to develop PTSD. The reasons for this are not clear. Many believe it is a complex combination of childhood experiences, previous traumatic events and biology. As noted above, for an official (medical) diagnosis of PTSD, there needs to be a triggering event involving exposure to actual/threatened death/serious injury or sexual violation.
Unofficially, a person may experience classic symptoms of PTSD in response to a trigger that does not meet this revised definition. Complex PTSD is an example of this. The survivor’s experience remains very real, very legitimate, even without the label.
I invite you to contact me for a free 15-minute consultation to help you determine whether I am the right fit for you. Achieving help for trauma or PTSD, like any other reason for coming to therapy, is predicated on a good therapeutic fit.
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A searing, no-holds-barred memoir of the author’s lived experience of complex PTSD. She also shares her path to recovery.
Seminal text on the neurobiology of trauma.
A gentle approach to trauma resolution, emphasizing the importance of choosing strategies that work well for you personally.
Call or text 9-8-8, from anywhere in Canada, 24/7.
A program of the Community Legal Assistance Society, providing up to 3 hours of free, trauma-informed and confidential advice with a lawyer for any BC resident who was sexually assaulted in BC. You do not need to be low-income to qualify. A lawyer will explain your rights, explain the legal options available to you and connect you with resources, if applicable. If you are unsure of whether you would qualify for this program, please contact the office.
Funded counselling for victims of crime, immediate family members and witnesses. Call for eligibility.
Trauma-informed counselling and services for refugees. Individual and group support.
Canada-wide, 24/7 professional phone counselling and other support options.
Assists victims, immediate family members and some witnesses in coping with the effects of violent crime by providing qualifying individuals with financial benefits to help offset financial losses and assist in recovery.
A resource list of lower-cost professional counselling options in Vancouver. Corrections and suggestions welcome.
Individual and group counselling on a sliding scale.
Professional counselling for women, children, survivors of incest/trauma/sexual abuse, pregnant women with a trauma history and those experiencing family violence.
National organization promoting mental health for all.
604-675-3700 – Joseph and Rosalie Segal Centre, Vancouver Hospital, Level 1, East Entrance
7 days a week: 7:30am-11pm. Phone, walk-in and outreach support for urgent, non life-threatening mental health and addictions issues. Response times vary. Serves residents of Vancouver.
BC-based website offering comprehensive information on a wealth of mental health conditions and addictions concerns.