Anxiety is a normal human emotion but when it is severe and affects quality of life it then becomes a disorder. The five most common types of anxiety disorders are: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Anxiety disorders are common and affect about 14% of the Australian population each year.

Many victims of crime suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Reactions of PTSD may include:

1. Re-current disturbing thoughts about the trauma, flashbacks or nightmares.

2.  Avoiding talking or thinking about the trauma or avoiding reminders of it.

3.  Becoming emotionally numb or distant from others.

4. Having physical reactions like when reminded of the trauma.

PTSD is believed to be caused by memories about the traumatic event not being properly processed and which are triggered by reminders of the trauma. When these memories are triggered they can result in the following symptoms:  Unhelpful thoughts and behaviours as well as strong physical sensations and emotions.

One of the most proven psychological treatments for PTSD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT involves learning to manage thoughts, physical symptoms and behaviours that maintain the cycle of PTSD as well as techniques for processing the memories of the trauma.

If you have been a victim of crime in Victoria contact Victims of Crime Counselling and Compensation Services on freecall 1800 000 055 or email: for further assistance.

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