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  • Kennedy McLean

PTSD...Would You Recognize It?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is it?

A natural emotional response to frightening or dangerous experiences involving actual or threatened serious harm to oneself or others.


Symptoms usually appear within 3 months, but for others they can take years to appear which can be confusing for many people.


What are the symptoms?

  • Intrusive distressing memories of the event

  • Re-experiencing (acting or feeling like the event is happening again), this can be in the form of flashbacks

  • Nightmares

  • Emotional numbness or feeling detached from others

  • Avoidance of thoughts, feelings, or conversations about the event

  • Feeling upset when reminded of the event

  • Avoiding people, places, or activities that are reminders of the traumatic experience

  • Avoiding friends and family

  • Losing interest in activities that used to be enjoyable

  • Inability to feel pleasure/ ongoing negative emotional state

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Feeling jumpy

  • Having sudden periods where you feel dizziness, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Being easily irritated or angered

  • Reckless behaviour

  • Constant worrying


Not everyone who experiences traumatic events develops PTSD. There are many factors that contribute to this.


Some identified risk factors include:

  • Prior trauma exposure

  • Lack of support after the trauma

  • Feeling guilty, or responsible for the event

  • Feeling helpless

  • Stresses after the trauma occurs such as job loss, pain/injury, divorce

  • A history of mental health or substance use problems

If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from PTSD, or if you have experienced a traumatic event and you don't have PTSD but you just don't feel "right," talk to someone. One of the best predictors for recovery is early treatment and intervention.