Damon G. LaBarbera, PhD


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PTSD services offered in Panama City Beach, FL, Rockville Centre, NY and Union City, NJ

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect people after a frightening or distressing experience, causing nightmares, flashbacks, and severe anxiety. If you have PTSD symptoms, contact expert psychologist Damon G. LaBarbera, PhD, at Rockville Centre, New York. Dr. LaBarbera also offers telehealth services from Rockville Centre and Union City, New Jersey. Call or book an appointment online to begin the process of healing.


What is PTSD?

PTSD develops after a terrifying, disturbing, or life-threatening experience. Any trauma can cause PTSD, but well-recognized ones include:

  • Assault and rape
  • Floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters
  • Ongoing physical or sexual abuse
  • Severe road accidents
  • Suicide of a family member
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Multiple milder trauma
  • Batlle exposure
  • Multiple stresses as a child

PTSD was first identified in soldiers returning from war. But day-to-day life also produces its share of traumatic experiences, including natural disasters, dangerous jobs, accidents where people expect to die, and ongoing physical and sexual abuse.

What symptoms can PTSD cause?

PTSD symptoms include autonomic arousal, avoidance of negative thoughts, attempts to manage stress in unhealthy ways, altered social patterns, and re-experiencing the traumatic event.

Negative thoughts and feelings

PTSD patients experience unpleasant emotions such as sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, and detachment. Autonomic Arousal may include a constant sense of tension, difficulty relaxing, feeling dissociated or numbed, and enhanced startle reflex. 

Intrusive thoughts

Intrusive thoughts include recurring thoughts, memories, or nightmares focused on your trauma.

People with PTSD may seem irritable and quick to anger. If feelings become too painful, they might try and relieve your stress with alcohol or drugs or engage in high-risk activities.


Avoidance behaviors are common with PTSD. The person may try to suppress the memories by refusing to talk about the trauma and avoiding anything that might prompt or trigger a memory or flashback.

How is PTSD treated?

PTSD treatment includes psychotherapy, learning relaxation techniques, processing traumatic memories, and regulating emotions. Treatment has come a long way in recent decades, and relief is more possible than ever before.

You can overcome the damage to your mental health only by talking about the event(s), but you might find it hard to open up to family and friends about your trauma. You might not want them to know the harrowing details, or you may fear they won’t understand.

Psychotherapy provides a comfortable environment where you and Dr. LaBarbera can discuss your experience and its effects. He helps you deal with emotions and memories and offers practical advice on managing the daily problems PTSD can cause.

Call Damon G. LaBarbera, PhD, today or book an appointment online for authoritative help managing PTSD.