The Truth About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Aug 28, 2019
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD) can develop in individuals following a terrifying, shocking, threatening, or traumatic event. Though symptoms may appear immediately or even months after the event occurred, it is important to understand these symptoms and know when to seek treatment. The following information will help you better understand this disorder, its symptoms, and available treatment options.
Although the symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person, the following are some of the most commonly experienced among all patients suffering from this disorder. Symptoms often develop within three months of the traumatic event, though this is not always the case.
- Repeatedly re-living the trauma through distressing and involuntary flashbacks, nightmares, or memories.
- Avoiding or disassociating self from places, people, or things that are reminders of the traumatic event.
- Heightened emotional sensitivity, jumpiness, anger, guilt, shame or agitation, particularly in reaction to reminders of the traumatic event.
- Frequently feeling tense, afraid, or on edge.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating as a result of these or other symptoms.
The following is a list of common (not all) causes for PTSD. Identifying the cause of your symptoms is very important in diagnosing and treating the disorder.
- Experiencing or being threatened by a serious injury, death, horror, or extreme fear.
- Physical abuse or assault.
- Sexual abuse.
- Sudden or unexpected death of a loved one.
- Witnessing or experiencing a violent event.
- Being exposed to the details of an extreme event.
Many individuals may experience one or more of these events, not everyone will develop PTSD as a result. Having little or no emotional support, experiencing high levels of stress following the traumatic event, or having a history of mental illness can all be risk factors for developing this disorder.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you are experiencing
one or more of the listed symptoms following a traumatic or highly
stressful event, it is important that you talk to your primary care
provider about finding the right solution for you. For those
in the Fresno, Kingsburg, Oakhurst, and Visalia areas of California, Jodi Mitchell
is a certified and licensed therapist devoted to helping individuals suffering from PTSD (and other psychological disorders).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This form of therapy can be highly effective in reducing your symptoms and helping you understand and process the traumatic events which cause PTSD. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can include:
- Exposure Therapy - involves slowly and safely exposing the individual to the traumatic event in a controlled environment in order to cope with the unwanted feelings surrounding the event.
- Cognitive Restructuring - involves helping the individual view the traumatic event in a realistic way, helping to relieve them of exaggerated or imagined guilt, shame, and negativity.
Different Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) - focuses on evaluating and reforming unwanted thoughts or memories. CPT is widely effective in treating PTSD because it allows you appropriately address and evaluate the trauma and feelings surrounding it.
- Prolonged Exposure (PE) - takes a more subtle or gradual approach towards evaluating avoided the memories and emotions subsequent to the trauma. Prolonged Exposure aids in confronting the traumatic experience, which is proven to decrease PTSD symptoms.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) - utilizes a "back-and-forth movement" or sound while thinking back on the trauma and memories surrounding it. During the EMDR process, the brain is able to process more information about the event as the way you perceive it changes and adjusts.
- Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) - focuses
primarily on teaching healthy coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety
that can result from PTSD. Strong research shows how SIT is commonly
successful in treating PTSD symptoms.
Present Centered Therapy (PCT)
This treatment focuses more on the situations you're presently experiencing rather than directly confronting past trauma. In doing do, PCT also teaches "problem solving strategies" using a more comfortable and effective method, which can in turn help you better combat the negatives symptoms associated with PTSD.
Get help today. The Fresno Therapy & Counseling Services offered by Jodi Mitchell can be the first and effective step in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Visit online to learn more!
Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) can lead to negative and unwanted symptoms, thoughts,
and feelings after a extremely stressful or traumatic experience. Many
available treatments are proven effective in combating
PTSD, so seek treatment or an opinion from your doctors right away if
you are experiencing symptoms or showing signs of PTSD, as described
Don't forget about your loved ones, too. If someone you care about has recently gone through a traumatic experience and is showing signs of PTSD, try having a relaxed conversation about what they're going through and the treatment options available.