Everybody will go through scary times in their life. Unfortunately for some, these experiences may be traumatic and would make you need PTSD treatment.
PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health disorder that develops in some people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event where they may have felt terrified and helpless.
Some traumatic events that may cause PTSD include wars, sexual assault, home invasions, medical emergencies, car accidents, natural disasters, and postpartum.
While most people adjust, cope, and get over their trauma– albeit difficult– they usually get better. But if symptoms worsen, last for a long time, and interfere with daily functioning, you may have PTSD.
When this happens, it would be best to seek treatment for PTSD.
4 Tell-Tale Signs You Need PTSD Treatment
PTSD is a scary condition that has symptoms that can get in the way of your living a normal life. When it comes to seeking treatment, it’s best not to wait until things get too severe. You may need treatment if you see the following signs:
- Avoiding places, people, and activities that remind you of the event
- Trying not to think or talk about the traumatic event
Re-experiencing or Intrusion Symptoms
- Reliving the traumatic event or flashbacks. This includes physical symptoms like sweating and your heart racing
- Anxiety and distressing thoughts
- Recurring unwanted dreams or memories of the event
- Severe physical and emotional signs of stress as a reaction to something that reminds you of the event
Cognition And Mood Symptoms
These symptoms involve negative changes in mood and thinking
- Feeling hopeless about the future
- Negative thoughts about yourself, other people, and the world
- Problems with your memory, such as forgetting important parts of the event
- Difficulty maintaining close relationships
- Feeling socially detached and isolated
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Having a hard time feeling positive emotions, such as satisfaction and happiness
- No more interest in activities you used to enjoy
Arousal And Reactivity Symptoms
Arousal and reactivity symptoms involve altered physical and emotional reactions that are often experienced if you have PTSD. They can cause negative emotions, such as irritability, stress, and anger. Consequently, these may interfere with daily function, disrupting sleeping, eating, and concentration.
- Getting startled easily
- Being on edge, on guard, or feeling tense
- Engaging in reckless and destructive behavior, like driving too fast or drinking too much
- Having problems concentrating
- Having sleeping problems, such as falling asleep and staying asleep
- Having aggressive and angry outbursts
- Feeling overwhelming shame or guilt
According to an article in the National Institute of Mental Health, for an adult to be diagnosed with PTSD, they should have the following symptoms for at least one month:
- At least one avoidance symptom
- At least one re-experiencing symptom
- At least two cognition and mood symptom
- At least two arousals and reactivity symptom
Best PTSD Treatments
There is no magic pill for PTSD. Rather, there are several forms of treatment that may cater to your PTSD treatment goals. Listed here are some of the best forms of treatment for PTSD.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a form of psychotherapy that’s been very effective in treating most mental disorders, i.e., PTSD.
CBT for PTSD is trauma-focused. This means that the traumatic event or events are at the center of this treatment, focusing on identifying, understanding, and modifying your behavior and thinking patterns.
There are many types of CBT. The following are ideal for treating PTSD.
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Prolonged Exposure Therapy or PE will help you confront your fears, phobias, and traumas.
First, you and your therapist will work on breathing techniques to help manage your anxiety when you think about the event. Then, your therapist will gradually expose you to things related to the traumatic incident.
PE uses imaginal exposures, recounting the details of the incident. It also uses vivo exposures, repeatedly confronting people, things, and situations related to your traumatic event that you have been avoiding.
The ultimate goal of PE is to help you manage and overcome your fears and traumas by letting you face them in small increments.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy
In Cognitive Processing Therapy, you’ll work with your therapist and talk about the event and how your thoughts and feelings about it have affected your life. After talking, you’ll write about it in detail.
The process allows you to examine how you think and feel about your trauma and find new and healthier ways to deal with it.
- Stress Inoculation Training
Unlike the previous CBT techniques, Stress Inoculation Training or SIT doesn’t require you to go into detail about the event. Instead, you’ll focus on dealing with the stress from the traumatic experience.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR focuses on thinking about the experience and not necessarily talking about it. While thinking about the incident, concentrate on what your therapist is doing, like flashing lights or making a sound.
Some PTSD treatment programs include medications. They are sometimes used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as the ones mentioned above.
People with PTSD process threats differently, which is, in part, a result of the imbalance of neurotransmitters. Medications treat you on a chemical level. They can help you stop thinking about the event and things related to it. It can also halt symptoms and other reactions to it, such as flashbacks and nightmares.
More than that, certain medications can boost your mood and give you a better, more positive view of life and make you feel somewhat normal again.
While we all go through scary things, some may have it harder. PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced or witnessed anything traumatic. Knowing what the disorder looks like, you can then look for treatment. Although PTSD looks different for everyone, there are several ways to treat it. The best course of action is to speak with a professional to help you map out a PTSD treatment plan suited for you.
You don’t have to live your life in fear. Seek PTSD treatment and choose Roots Through Recovery. You can schedule an appointment and visit us at 3939 Atlantic Ave Suite 102, Long Beach, CA 90807, United States. You may also contact us at 562-352-2035, email us through firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to our website.