Jun 22, 2017
What is PTSD?
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a condition caused by exposure to a traumatic event. Many people believe that PTSD can only happen to soldiers as they experience wartime atrocities. This is not true. Any trauma can cause this condition, from witnessing the horrors and aftermath of a natural disaster, to sexual abuse.
Who can develop PTSD?
The list of types of people that can develop PTSD is endless. Paramedics, members of the military, victims of sexual abuse, and those that observe acts of extreme violence just to name a few. But developing PTSD isn't at all restricted to these specific life experiences. Anyone suffering from a traumatic and shocking experience might develop the condition.
Symptoms arising from PTSD often don't appear right away. Instead, they can take months or even a year to fully manifest. Each case is different. Symptoms include reliving the traumatic experience over and over again in vivid detail. This can take on the form of flashbacks or nightmares. Hallucinations centering on the event are also not uncommon.
It's also likely that the PTSD sufferer will develop avoidant tendencies related to the trauma, which can result in isolation from friends or relatives.
Heightened arousal due to the trauma can result in mental changes, such as bouts of anger, insomnia, issues with sustaining attention, and having a noticeable "startle" response. Physical symptoms related to hyper-arousal include heart-rate fluctuations, high blood pressure, as well as intestinal distress due to anxiety.
How therapy can help
Therapy is a very effective way of treating PTSD. Fortunately, there are different therapeutic methods available to choose from. One type of therapy that has successfully helped patients is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is effective because of the way it challenges a patient's thought patterns and helps replace them with more positive perceptions.
Exposure therapy takes a different approach in that it relies on exposing the patient to events that are similar to the initially traumatizing experiences, but over time help significantly reduce the anxiety associated with those experiences.
Help is close by
Are you suffering from PTSD? Please, contact us.