Introduction to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 3.6% of the US Adult population experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the past year. PTSD is a serious mental health condition linked to the way our brain processes traumatic events. Following a traumatic event, people diagnosed with PTSD typically do not begin to feel better within a few weeks or months following the event.

Common Causes Linked to PTSD

  • Child Sexual or Physical Abuse
  • Life – Threatening Events
  • Natural Disasters
  • Serious Accidents
  • Sudden Death of a Loved One
  • Terrorist Incident / Attack
  • Violent Assault: Sexual or Physical
  • War

Common Symptoms Associated with PTSD

  1. Avoiding certain triggers that act as reminders of the traumatic event.
  2. Constantly feeling like something bad will happen.
  3. Development of a lack of trust or closeness with loved ones.
  4. Feeling more sad, scared, or angry emotions post the traumatic event.
  5. Feeling numb due to the traumatic event.
  6. Feeling on edge, easily startled or trouble sleeping that develops post trauma.
  7. Feeling upset, distracted, or absent when reminded of the traumatic event.
  8. Having trouble cultivating and holding on to relationships with loved ones.
  9. Nightmares or flashbacks that feels like the trauma is happening all over again.

Common Treatment Options

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): focuses on identifying, understanding and changing thinking and behavior patterns by focusing on the trauma.
  • Present Centered Therapy (PCT): focuses on the impact of the trauma in relation to dealing with current life stressors.
  • Medications: commonly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and Benzodiazepines.

 

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with PTSD, visit a doctor or mental health care provider to determine a treatment plan that works best for you or your loved one.

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