Traumatic Stress

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other staff.


As a survivor of acquaintance rape, I am wondering how long PTSD symptoms last? Is this something that ever goes away?


Your question is an excellent one and is one that is frequently asked. Even after a lengthy period of successful counseling, symptoms may reappear. This is normal. Memories are triggered by changes and events throughout ones' life. These changes are unique to the survivor's life and their traumatic event.

Realizing that symptoms continue to reoccur gives some a reassurance of normalcy for all victims of trauma. A return to therapy to work through and obtain support during this troubling time can be most beneficial.


Connie Saindon, M.A., MFT, has been a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist since 1979. In addition to providing services for Individuals, couples and families, Ms. Saindon is among the few specialists in the field of violent death bereavement. Founder the Survivors of Violent Death Program and volunteer faculty at the University of California Medical School Department of Psychiatry, she is author of The Journey, Violent Death Bereavement: Adult Survivors Workbook and contributing author of Violent Death: Resilience and Intervention beyond the Crisis. To reach her, please see this page.


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