Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

As the name suggests, this disorder affects a person who has gone through some trauma. It is an anxiety disorder. It can start due to some fearful event, accident, stress or abuse. The human body is meant to undergo some changes to avoid a traumatic situation. Most people recover; however, some don’t. Those individuals who don’t get better go through the same conditions even when they are not in danger.

Symptoms

There are four types of symptoms:

  • Re-experiencing: the victim keeps getting flashbacks, nightmares, repeated stressful images, sensations like sweat, shivering, pain and discomfort. Some people get stuck in the constant loop of asking themselves about the event and negative thoughts.
  • Emotional numbing and avoidance: the sufferer avoids reminding of the incident. This behaviour means to keep away from the person, place, memories or even talking about it. Some people resort to not feeling anything at all; this action is called emotional numbing.
  • Hyperarousal: In this symptom, the individual finds it difficult to relax and is always on edge. This symptom can lead to irritability, angry outbursts, insomnia, finding it difficult to concentrate.
  • Some people undergo self-harming behaviours like drug abuse, alcohol consumption, cutting or burning.
  • It can add other mental issues like anxiety and depression.
  • Some suffer physical symptoms like stomach ache, dizziness and headaches

Causes

The following list of events can commence PTSD in individuals:

  • some serious accidents
  • physical and sexual assault
  • childhood or domestic abuse
  • traumatic events at work like remote exposure
  • serious health problems
  • childbirth experiences for instance, as losing a baby
  • war and conflict
  • Torture

Treatment

PTSD affects people differently; here are a few available treatments:

  • Medication: This is used for the patients going through sadness, worry, anger, and emotional numbness, antidepressants are used in such cases. Symptoms such as insomnia and nightmares are also treated similarly.
  • Psychotherapy: The patient talks to a medical professional to receive therapy for mental illness. These are conducted in sessions and can last from 6-12 weeks. The support from family is essential in such cases. This therapy uses different ways to teach you about trauma and its impact, uses anger management skills, and helps you deal with guilt, shame and other feelings associated with the trauma.
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