Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological disorder to be taken seriously. It may appear as a result of rape, road accident, hostage-taking or terrorist attack .

The symptoms are not necessarily immediate: they sometimes appear a few weeks or even months after the traumatic event. The disorders remain minor for some, but they generate a real suffering and an alteration of the social behavior among the most vulnerable people, because of a mourning or a preexisting anxiety .

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Signs that need to alert

The victim often has a repetition syndrome. She mentally revives in the form of flashes the dramatic scene during the day, but also during the night with repeated nightmares. On the alert, she often jumps for nothing and finds herself in the grip of inextricable anxiety attacks . Phobias, obsessions, explosive anger, eating disorders or hypochondria can also develop.

If these disorders last more than one month, it is imperative to consult so as not to sink into depression or in a state of generalized anxiety.

Two-step support

After an attack or a gigantic pileup, a medico-psychological emergency unit is now immediately set up so that those present - shocked but not necessarily injured - digest the trauma as quickly as possible. Some people are in a state of stupor, others of torpor, which does not presage the way in which they will later overcome this psychological shock. It is necessary to reassure as quickly as possible, then debrief the event one to two days later, once the sideration passed. The earlier the load is, the lower the risk of developing chronic post-traumatic stress.

If no psychological support has been undertaken early, as is often the case after individual trauma, or if the violent event leaves stubborn marks in the brain and body, we must be helped in the long term to achieve to put the event at a distance, regain self-confidence and dissolve anxiety.

Antidepressant medications may be prescribed for a short time, but they are not a long-term solution. And anxiolytics are contraindicated. "They could even lengthen the time needed to recover from a potentially traumatic event," suggests the World Health Organization (WHO).

Psychotherapy is a great help to get out of the grip of trauma, combined with other methods such as sophrology to fight against the manifestations of stress ( insomnia , hypervigilance, ...) or hypnosis to relive more serenely the trauma and detach gradually.

EMDR, an increasingly popular therapeutic technique

EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing in English - is currently recognized as one of the most effective therapeutic methods to alleviate the emotional burden of trauma that has become chronic.

It relies on alternating eye stimulation (left eye / right eye) to retreat the traumatic memory, to uproot it from the emotional brain. The work can also be done with alternating stimulation on the legs - with tapping - or with sounds that swing from one ear to the other, while the patient remembers the trauma.

"It's a powerful tool of cognitive restructuring that leads to reinterpreting the event," says Dr. Christophe Bagot, who practices EMDR with his patients. In 5 to 10 sessions, an omnipresent trauma is transformed into a simple memory. It is not erased from memory but it does not poison the present anymore.

To find a practitioner in EMDR: