Going through a traumatic event can change your perspective on many things. It can also create a mental health disorder known as PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder can include experiences like flashbacks, severe anxiety, and nightmares. If these symptoms persist for months, or even years, they can have a dramatic effect on your daily life. Here is everything you need to know about PTSD.
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that is caused by an event that terrifies a person. This can occur whether the event happened to you, or if you witnessed it.
The symptoms of PTSD typically occur within a month of your traumatic experience. The symptoms of those that suffer from this condition can severely impact your life. From social settings to relationships, to your career, normal daily tasks become more difficult as a result. There are four types of general PTSD symptoms: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions.
Intrusive memories are unwanted, recurring, and stressful memories of your traumatic event. They cause you to relive your experience as if it were happening again, also referred to as a flashback.
As a symptom of PTSD, avoidance can be described as taking action to avoid talking or thinking about your traumatic event. Avoiding the people, places, and activities that remind you of this experience is another sign of avoidance.
If your mood or thought process takes a negative turn, it can be a result of post traumatic stress disorder. These changes in your mood and logic can be identified by:
Drastic changes in the way your emotionally and physically respond to things are known as arousal symptoms. They can be direct signs that you are suffering from PTSD. These arousal symptoms include:
There are a variety of factors that can lead to the development of PTSD. Some of these factors include:
PTSD can affect people of all ages. However, certain factors can make it more likely that you develop this condition.
PTSD influences everything in your life. The ability to enjoy your life, function in your job, and maintain your health all become compromised. PTSD can also lead to depression, eating disorders, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicidal thoughts or actions.
Depression, fear, anxiety, and guilt are all frequent emotions that are experienced after a traumatic event. While these are symptoms of PTSD, many people do not suffer from these effects on a long-term basis. If you experience a traumatic event, receiving timely help and support can prevent these stressors from getting worse.
PTSD affects everyone differently. However, there are several different types of therapy and medications that can help. Attempting different therapies, or a combination of therapies can be very effective in alleviating the symptoms of this condition. Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, has been found to consistently be helpful as both a short-term and a long-term treatment option for PTSD. The focus of CBT is to identify, understand, and change thinking and behavior patterns. There are several different types of CBT that can be effect in treating post traumatic stress disorder.
In addition to CBT, some medications can enhance the effects of treatment. SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are anti-depressants can counteract depression, which can be a part of PTSD. Benzodiazepines can also be a short term and adjunctive treatment.