Understanding PTSD: Symptoms And Treatment
Dealing with PTSD can be overwhelming and confusing. It can take a toll on every aspect of a person’s life and make them feel vulnerable. In fact, people exposed to traumatic events often experience feelings and exhibit reactions similar to the ones they experienced during the traumatic event. Hence if you or a loved one is struggling with PTSD, it’s essential to get professional help. This article covers what you need to know about PTSD, its symptoms, and possible treatments.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition caused by watching or experiencing a traumatic incident. That incident could include an actual or perceived threat of bodily harm or death. This could include:
- military warfare
- terrible accident
- sexual or physical torture
- physical or sexual exploitation
- natural disasters such as earthquakes or tornadoes
Receiving appropriate treatment after PTSD symptoms appear will help lessen symptoms and enhance function.
PTSD might interfere with your daily activities and capacity to function. Words, noises, or scenarios that bring back trauma memories can worsen your symptoms. PTSD symptoms are classified into four categories:
Symptoms of intrusive memories are:
- Repetitive, unpleasant recollections of the tragic occurrence
- Reliving the horrific incident as if it were a new one (flashbacks)
- Having disturbing dreams or nightmares regarding the tragic occurrence
- Severe mental distress or bodily reactions to something like the horrific event
As the name implies, avoiding people, places, or events that remind you of the horrific incident.
Arousal and Reactivity
Symptoms of arousal and reactivity are:
- Getting easily startled or worried
- Always being on the lookout for risk
- Problems sleeping and concentrating
- Irritability, rage, or violent behavior
- Intense feelings of guilt or shame
- Self-destructive conduct, such as excessive drinking or driving pretty fast.
Cognitive and Mood changes
Symptoms of cognitive and mood changes are:
- Negative feelings about yourself or other people.
- Having no hope for the future.
- Detachment from family and friends
- Having a hard time experiencing positive emotions
- A feeling of emotional numbness.
- Having a difficult time maintaining close relationships.
- Memory issues, such as forgetting essential details of the horrific event.
If you are diagnosed with PTSD, your doctor will most likely suggest counseling, medication, or a combination of the two.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), sometimes known as “talk therapy,” motivates you to process the traumatic incident and change the negative thought patterns associated with it.
In exposure therapy, you relive components of the trauma in a safe setting. This can help you desensitize to the incident and alleviate your symptoms.
Although there are no particular oral treatments for PTSD, several medications may help with specific symptoms. For instance, antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRs) can sometimes aid anxiety-related mood changes.
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Acupuncture, yoga, and meditation are examples of complementary therapies for PTSD.
How Can Pristine Mental Health Help Treat PTSD?
Pristine Mental Health is qualified to treat a wide range of PTSD patients, and we specialize in treating first responders and military members. We have treated over 100 first responders in the past few years and work closely with the Department of Labor and Industries by assisting with worker’s compensation claims.
Pristine Mental Health provides a comprehensive range of services, including TMS therapy and medication management, tailored to our patients’ needs. Please fill out a contact form or schedule a pre-screening phone call with our intake coordinator.