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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD is a situation that may occur after you have undergone a traumatic condition or event. This event may have induced you to feel intense fear, pain, or sorrow. You may believe you are going to get hurt or die. You may also proceed to feel helpless after the incident. These feelings influence your daily activities and relationships.

What causes PTSD?

The causes of PTSD are;

  • an accident
  • a crime performed to you or a crime you may have seen, such as robbery, murder, or shooting
  • a severe disease, such as death or cancer of a loved one
  • a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane, flood, or tornado
  • violence, war, or terrorism
  • physical or sexual abuse

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

When you have PTSD, you may feel;

  • hallucinations, nightmares, flashbacks, bad memories
  • trouble sleeping, feeling depressed
  • feeling anxious, restless, or on edge
  • feeling helpless, afraid, numb, or detached from others
  • avoiding circumstances or people that remind you of the trauma
  • angry or violent outbursts
  • negative feelings about yourself, feeling guilty

How is PTSD diagnosed?

Your physician will request you some questions about your signs and use a guide to know the stage of your PTSD. You have PTSD if you are suffering from the following for at least one month:

  • You have seen, faced, or encountered an event that involved severe injury, near death, or death.
  • Your response to the event was helplessness, great fear, or horror.
  • You have at least one constant sign of re-experiencing the traumatic event.
  • You have at least two hyperarousal symptoms.
  • You have at least three symbols of avoidance.
  • Your symptoms cause distress and influence your work, daily activities, and relationships.

How is PTSD treated?

Doctors may give medicines to decrease anxiety, depression, or assist you in staying calm and relaxed.

The PTSD Therapy may perform in a group or one on one with a therapist. Family and friends are also an essential part of recovery.

Cognitive behavior therapy assists you learn to face the feared object or situation gently and carefully. You will also learn to manage your mental and physical reactions to stress.

During cognitive processing therapy, a therapist assists you to identify which thoughts about the trauma cause anxiety. He or she will support you to see the event differently. This act may help you learn to improve your thoughts and decrease your stress.

During prolonged exposure, a therapist helps you work through feelings and memories about the trauma. A therapist assists you in learning how to handle your thoughts and feelings. This act can decrease your fear or anxiety.

Talk treatment may be one or more meetings with your doctor to have crisis counseling. You may have this right after a traumatic experience to prevent or decrease further emotional problems.

Relaxation therapy guides you on how to feel less physical and emotional stress. Anxiety may cause pain, lead to illness, and slow healing. Muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and music are some modes of relaxation therapy.

A therapy Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is also a kind of exposure therapy. Healthcare providers assist you in making your eyes move forth and back while you imagine the trauma.

When should I call my doctor?

You should call your doctor if;

You are incapable of sleeping or are sleeping too much.

If you have suicidal thoughts

You have inquiries or concerns about your shape or care.

If you have painful thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event for more than a month, if they’re critical, or if you feel you’re having a problem getting your life back under control, talk to your specialist or mental health professional. Getting medication as soon as possible can help prevent PTSD signs from getting more serious.

If you or someone else has suicidal feelings, get help immediately through one or more of these resources:

When to get emergency help

If you believe you can hurt yourself or attempt suicide, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

If you know someone at risk of attempting suicide or has caused a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person to hold him or her safe. Call 911 or your local emergency number quickly. Or, if you can do so carefully, take the person to the nearest clinic emergency room.

Risk factors

People of all ages can have PTSD. However, some factors may cause you more likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic event, such as;

  • having encountered other trauma ahead in life, such as childhood abuse
  • experiencing severe or long-lasting trauma
  • having a job that raises your risk of being exposed to traumatic events, such as military personnel and first responders
  • having problems with something misuse, such as excess drinking or drug usage
  • having blood relations with mental health problems, including anxiety or depression
  • having other mental health difficulties, such as anxiety or depression
  • kinds of traumatic events

The most common circumstances leading to the development of PTSD involve:

  • Combat exposure
  • Childhood physical abuse
  • Sexual violence
  • Physical assault
  • Being threatened with a weapon
  • An accident

Many other traumatic accidents also can lead to PTSD, such as natural disaster, mugging, robbery, fire, plane crash, torture, life-threatening medical diagnosis, terrorist attack, kidnapping, and other extreme or life-threatening events.

Complications

Post-traumatic stress disorder can upset your whole life ― your relationships, health, job, and enjoyment of everyday activities.

Having PTSD may also raise your risk of other mental health difficulties, such as:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Issues with drugs or alcohol use
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions

Prevention

After surviving a traumatic experience, many people have PTSD-like signs at first, such as being unable to quit thinking about what’s happened. Fear, anger, depression, anxiety, guilt all are common responses to trauma. However, many people exposed to trauma do not acquire long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.

Receiving timely help and assistance may prevent normal stress reactions from getting more dangerous and developing into PTSD. This act may mean changing to family and friends who will listen and offer support. It may mean trying out a mental health professional for a brief program of therapy. Some people may also notice it helpful to turn to their faith community.

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