PTSD Counseling

While many people are familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fewer understand the prevalence and possible symptoms associated with this mental health condition. PTSD is often associated with the aftermath of military combat, but it can be the result of any traumatic event, such as a home robbery, childhood abuse, or witnessing a violent crime. The symptoms of PTSD can become very severe and disruptive to daily life. However, this condition is manageable with help from a mental health professional.

PTSD Counseling

Video appointments are now available for all new and existing patients in our practice. You can continue scheduling appointments online or call our office at (520)-261-6533 to set up your telepsychiatry visit.


Understanding PTSD

Trauma is, unfortunately, something that most people will experience in life in some form or another. Typically, through time and emotional coping mechanisms, the effects of that trauma will fade, and life will return to normal. However, for some people, the aftermath of a terrifying event can resonate and cause ongoing symptoms of stress for months or even years after the triggering event. In many cases, symptoms will disrupt relationships, work, and other aspects of daily life.

What Causes PTSD?

PTSD is triggered by specific events that may involve death (or the threat of death), serious injury, or sexual abuse. Yet not all people who experience these types of events will struggle with PTSD. There are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of post-traumatic stress disorder, including:

  • A personal or family history of mental health disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Lack of familial support
  • Lack of financial resources and housing stability
  • Experiencing long-lasting or particularly intense traumas

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Symptoms of PTSD are unique in every individual. They may appear within a month of a triggering event, or they may not arise until several years later.

There are four basic categories of PTSD symptoms: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in mood and thinking, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. More specifically, you may experience:

  • Recurrent, unwanted memories
  • Detachment from your social circle
  • Nightmares
  • Self-destructive behavior*
  • Avoiding certain places or topics in conversation
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Negative thoughts about yourself and others
  • Outbursts of aggressive behavior

Symptoms may fluctuate over time, and they will often worsen without appropriate professional treatment and self-care. If you have symptoms of this nature for more than a month following a traumatic event, it’s time to reach out to a doctor for help.

Treatment Options

Treatment Options

Treatment for PTSD focuses on learning new coping skills to manage the emotional and physical reactions you are feeling. Cognitive therapy and exposure therapy can both be effective treatment modalities to help you restore cognitive pathways and focus on your emotional healing. In some cases, medication may also be beneficial, especially if you are experiencing co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse, anxiety, or depression.

Dr. Julia DiPierdomenico is here to help you regain control over your life and overcome the challenges of PTSD. Schedule an initial consultation in our Tucson psychiatry practice to discuss your symptoms and develop a treatment plan.

*If you are having suicidal thoughts or are considering self-harm, call 911 immediately or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)