Post traumatic stress disorder or simply known as PTSD is a mental condition that is normally caused by a terrifying situation. People who experienced post-traumatic stress disorder are those who find hard to cope to a situation like injury, accident and other serious problems.
Generally, people have the self-coping mechanism to adjust to life threatening situations but people who exhibit symptoms of PTSD like flashbacks and anxiety attacks may have uncontrollable feelings about what had happened.
The initial symptoms of PTSD may be exhibited right after a serious situation. The symptoms should be properly treated to avoid leading to more serious mental health problems.
What are the Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be exhibited after three months of a traumatic situation. Though there are some cases, that symptoms of PTSD may be observed even after years after the situation had taken place.
The symptoms of PTSD may differ from each person, likewise, the severity of the symptoms exhibited may differ from one patient to another.
Here are the typical symptoms of PTSD:
- Reliving the situation repeatedly
- Reliving the event that hampers the daily activities
- Flashback episodes
- Nightmares related to the event
- Show uncomfortable reaction to things, events and situations that reminds the event
- Avoiding any emotions
- Detached feeling to anything
- Lack of interest to any normal activities
- Avoids all places, people and things that reminds the traumatic situation
- Lack of hope in the future
- Lack of focus
- Easily agitated
- Easily angered or have episodes of excessive outburst
- Difficulty in sleeping
Other physical symptoms may include:
- Feeling of fainting
- Fast heartbeat
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder may come and go. People with this mental condition may feel normal without the things that reminds them of their traumatic situation but may react excessively when they see or read something that reminds them of traumatic event.
What are the Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder can happen to anyone but doctors cannot pinpoint the exact cause of PTSD. There might be several causes why PTSD affects one person while others do not develop the condition. Accordingly, a combination of several causes may include:
- Inherited mental health condition like depression
- Exposure to traumatic experience
- Hormones and brain chemicals that are released by the body in response to stress
What is the risk factors affecting PTSD?
PTSD does not choose any age group and it can affect anyone. However, there are several factors that increase the risk of developing PTSD.
Some of the risk factors of PTSD are:
- Female are more prone to experience PTSD.
- Those who have other mental health problems like depression
- Other relatives who also have PTSD
- Abused child
- Those who have experienced severe trauma early in their life
Traumatic events that may lead to PTSD may include:
- Physical abuse
- Life threatening medical diagnosis
- Threatened with a weapon
- Prison stay
- Domestic violence
Post-traumatic stress disorder is common to those who have served or stayed in combat zone. It is often known as shell shock or combat stress.
What are the PTSD Treatments?
PTSD treatment may vary from one patient to another. The PTSD treatment is given depending on the severity of the symptoms. The normal course of treatment is medication and psychotherapy sessions, in order to help the patient cope and adjust better.
Some of PTSD treatment may include:
Several type of medications is given to people with PTSD. Medications given are combination of antipsychotic in order to reduce anxiety attacks. Antidepressant may also be given in order to deal with concentration and sleep problems.
2. Cognitive Therapy
Cognitive therapy addresses the ways of thinking why a person cannot move on with the traumatic experience. This will help them to face and perceive things more accurately.
3. Exposure therapy
Exposure therapy is another PTSD treatment that allows the person to “re-enter” again the stage or events that had been traumatic. This approach will give the person the chance to cope with it more effectively.
4. Find a support group
Finding a support group that can understand you and your situation is one effective way in voicing out the traumatic experience that you have been through.
PTSD treatment is available but aside from available cures, families and friends of those who have PTSD should be open and understanding to what their loved one had gone through. Working with your medical health care provider and with the support of people around, person with PTSD may be able to cope and adjust again in time.