Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health state that’s instigated by a terrifying event, They have either experienced it or are currently witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression, stress as well as uncontrollable thoughts with respect to the event.
Most people who go through traumatic events may have short-term difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for a long period of time, and interfere with your daily functioning, you may have PTSD.
PTSD has been called by many names in the past, such as “shell shock” during the years of World War I and World War II. But PTSD does not just happen to war veterans. PTSD can happen to anyone, people of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and any age. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. Women are more likely to be detected with PTSD.
PTSD symptoms are grouped into four types generally i.e. intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thoughts and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary among different people and subject to time as well.
Intrusive memories –
Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:
- Recurring, unwanted and disturbing memories of the traumatic incident.
- Backtracking the traumatic incident as if it were happening again (flashbacks).
- Extremely disturbing dreams or nightmares about the traumatic incident.
- Extreme emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic incident.
Symptoms of avoidance may include:
- Trying to avoid thoughts and talks around the event.
- Unwillingness to go to places, do activities or meet people that remind you of the traumatic incident.
Negative Thoughts and Mood –
- Memory Retention problems, including not remembering important elements of the traumatic event.
- Problems in maintaining close relationships.
- Feeling detached from family and friends.
- Lack of interest in hobbies you once enjoyed.
- Lack of positivity, feelings of numbness
Symptoms of Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions or Arousal Symptoms may Include:
- Being vulnerable and scared easily.
- Always sensing danger around yourself.
- Self-Sabotaging behavior, such as drinking too much, smoking etc..Sleeping and Concentration problems
- Irritability and aggressive behavior
For children 6 years of age or younger, symptoms and signs may also include:
- Acting out the previous traumatic experiences in the form of a role-play.
- Scary dreams and nightmares are also another symptoms.
For people with PTSD, the symptoms cause considerable distress or problems in basic daily functioning. PTSD often occurs with subsequent other related conditions, such as depression, substance use, memory retention problems, and other physical or mental health problems.
Causes of PTSD
You can develop PTSD when you experience, by seeing or hearing about an incident involving actual or threatened death, deadly injury, or sexual violation. Doctors aren’t quite sure why some people show symptoms of PTSD. As with most mental health problems, PTSD is probably caused by a complex combination of reasons such as:
- Stressful experiences, trauma from past life experiences etc.
- Inherited mental health risks, due to a family history of depression or anxiety.
- Inherited features of your personality or characteristic behavior.
When and How to Seek for Help?
If you have unpleasant, mentally disturbing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event for more than a month, if they’re extreme, or if you feel you’re having trouble getting your life back to normal, talk to your doctor or mental health professional. Getting treatment at the earliest can help prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, get help right away through one or more of these resources:
Reach out to a close friend, family member, or a loved one.
Dial into a suicide hotline number – in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor/therapist.
Make an appointment with your doctor or mental health professional. We, at advanced telemedicine services, provide telepsychiatry services with the help of remotely operational technologies. For more information, on how we can serve you or your business, big or small, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 855-933-3600.
It is important to know that not everyone who experiences trauma develops PTSD and not everyone who develops either requires psychiatric treatment. For some people, symptoms of PTSD reduce or disappear over time. Others get better with the help of family, friends etc.. But many people with PTSD need professional treatment to recover from psychological distress that can be intense and disabling.
Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals use variously tested and proven research-driven ways to help people recover from PTSD. Both Psychotherapy and medication provide effective treatment for PTSD.
One category of psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapies (CBT), is very impactful. Cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, and stress inoculation therapy are a few types of CBT used to treat PTSD.
Cognitive Processing Therapy aims at changing painful negative emotions (such as shame, guilt, grief, etc.) and beliefs developed due to the trauma. Therapists help the person confront such disturbing memories and emotions.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy uses recurring, detailed, and vivid imagining of the trauma or exposures to symptom “triggers” in a safe, controlled way to help a person in facing the incident and gain control of fear and distress by coping up with it. For example, virtual reality programs have been used to help war veterans with PTSD recurring imagery of the battlefield in a controlled and therapeutic way.
Group therapy encourages survivors of traumatic events on the same lines to share their experiences and reactions in a comfortable and non-judgmental safe space setting. Group members help one another realize that they are not alone, and a lot of people suffer from similar issues. We at Advanced Telemed Services via https://groupthera.com provide virtual group therapy sessions. A hassle-free way to schedule and book your appointments virtually and seek help in times of emergencies, without the need to be physically present for the session.
Medication can help in controlling the symptoms of PTSD. Also, the symptom relief that medication brings with it allows many people to participate more effectively in psychotherapy. Other medications may be used to lower anxiety, anger, and agitation or treat the nightmares and sleep problems associated with PTSD.
Other treatments including complementary and alternative therapies are also increasingly being incorporated to treat PTSD. These approaches provide treatment outside the conventional mental health clinic and may require less talking and revealing facts as compared to psychotherapy. Examples include acupuncture and animal-assisted therapy. In addition to treatment, many people with PTSD find comfort in sharing their experiences with peers undergoing similar symptoms and conditions.