Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can occur after a distressing event. It can cause symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and emotional numbness. In this blog post, we will cover the causes of PTSD, how to identify it, and how to control it.
Causes of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can be triggered by any event that makes you feel intense fear, horror, or helplessness
– Being the victim of a crime
– Childbirth experiences, such as losing a baby
– Childhood or domestic abuse
– Homicide of a loved one
– Mass violence, such as a mall shooting
– Natural disaster
– Physical violence
– Serious medical events, like being in intensive care
– Severe accidents
– Sexual assault
– War or combat
Some people are more likely to develop PTSD than others.
– Having a history of trauma or mental illness
– Having a lack of social support
– Having a negative coping style
– Having a genetic predisposition
– Being female
Symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can affect people differently, but there are some common signs and symptoms that can help you identify it. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions.
Intrusive memories are unwanted and distressing thoughts or images of the traumatic event. They can also include reliving the event as if it were happening again (flashbacks) or having upsetting dreams or nightmares about the event.
Avoidance is trying to avoid anything that reminds you of the trauma. This can include avoiding places, people, activities, or conversations that trigger your memories. It can also include avoiding thinking or talking about the event.
Negative changes in thinking and mood are persistent and negative thoughts or feelings about yourself, others, or the world. They can include feeling hopeless, guilty, ashamed, angry, or detached. They can also include having trouble remembering aspects of the trauma, losing interest in things you used to enjoy, or feeling emotionally numb.
Changes in physical and emotional reactions are alterations in your body’s response to stress or stimuli. They can include being easily startled or frightened, always being on guard for danger, having trouble sleeping or concentrating, being irritable or aggressive, or engaging in self-destructive behavior.
To be diagnosed with PTSD, you need to have symptoms from all four types for at least one month. The symptoms also need to cause significant distress or impairment in your daily functioning.
Control of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can be treated with various methods, depending on your needs and preferences. Some common treatments for PTSD are:
This involves talking to a trained professional who can help you process your trauma and cope with your symptoms. There are different types of psychotherapy for PTSD, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), or group therapy.
This involves taking prescribed drugs that can help reduce your anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Some common medications for PTSD are antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, or sleep aids.
This involves taking care of yourself physically and emotionally by doing things that make you feel good and healthy. Some examples of self-care for PTSD are exercising regularly, eating well-balanced meals, getting enough sleep, practicing relaxation techniques, seeking social support, or engaging in hobbies or activities that bring you joy.
PTSD is a serious condition that can affect your quality of life. However, with proper treatment and support, you can overcome it and regain control over your emotions and actions. If you think you have PTSD or know someone who does, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. You are not alone and there is hope for recovery.
Visit NIMH » Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (nih.gov) for more on Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)