Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental disability that affects people who have gone through trauma. PTSD patients often struggle with the experience of reliving emotions they felt during their trauma and making unpleasant emotional connections as a result of the memories. Luckily, there are recovery options that can help people who struggle with PTSD and the people who love them.
What Causes PTSD?
There are a number of traumatic events that can cause PTSD. One of the most popular causes is military combat. Other causes can be natural disasters, accidents, death of a loved one, assault, abuse, and neglect.
While many people experience trauma, not everyone who goes through trauma gets PTSD as a result. A person with PTSD will experience the effects of a traumatic event for much longer than someone who does not suffer from PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD
The symptoms of PTSD can appear immediately after a traumatic event or up to a year later.
Popular symptoms include:
- flashbacks and nightmares of the traumatic event
- inability to feel emotions
- avoidance of certain triggers
- hyper-awareness and anxiety
- difficulty sleeping
- difficulty feeling trust
Those experiencing PTSD can often have difficulty trusting the people and circumstances around them. This can result in having difficulty talking about the traumatic event they experienced and can make treatment especially difficult. For loved ones, pointing out the symptoms they are observing can open pathways for communication and help those struggling by allowing them to admit to the issues they are experiencing and trying to avoid.
There are many different steps available for treating PTSD. Inpatient and outpatient rehab programs can help treat PTSD and the symptoms that go along with it, such as alcohol abuse. Largely, treatment can seek to get the patient talking about the trauma they have experienced, help with negative residual feelings, prevent recurring memories or nightmares, and rebuild relationships that may have been affected by the condition. This can happen through a number of different methods. Popular treatments for PTSD include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be in an individual or group setting and attacks the trauma head-on. For people with severe cases, there are also recovery programs that might be useful.
- Since PTSD can affect the a person’s family members in addition to themselves, many forms of treatment offer family sessions to help all parties involved.
- Medication can be used to help handle some of the side effects of the PTSD. Depending on the diagnosis, a professional may prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicine.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- During this form of treatment, patients learn how to perform regular eye and body movements with a steady pulse to assist when triggers occur.
It is important to seek treatment as soon as symptoms occur and before circumstances intensify and have negative effects on relationships. When you or a loved one experiences PTSD, look into recovery centers and other treatment options.