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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very dangerous condition. It is very common nowadays. We should know what it is.

What is Post-traumatic stress disorder? (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. It is natural to experience anxiety during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many instant changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.

Signs and symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within one month of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social situations and affects your personal relationships. PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: invasive memories, avoidance, negative cognition and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions.

  1. Invasive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event
  1. Avoidance

Symptoms of avoidance may include:

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
  1. Cognition and mood

Symptoms of cognition and mood include:

  • Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
  • Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
  • Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
  1. Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Symptoms of changes in physical and emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may include:

  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame

Risk factors for PSTD

Some factors that increase risk for PTSD include:

  • Living through dangerous events and traumas
  • Getting hurt
  • Seeing another person hurt, or seeing a dead body
  • Childhood trauma
  • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
  • Having little or no social support after the event
  • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
  • Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse

Treatment

The treatment includes psychotherapy and medication.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk therapy”) involves talking with a mental health professional to treat a mental illness. Psychotherapy can occur one-on-one or in a group.

Talk therapies teach people helpful ways to react to the frightening events that trigger their PTSD symptoms. Based on this general goal, different types of therapy may teach about trauma and its effects, use relaxation and anger-control skills, provide tips for better sleep, diet, and exercise habits, help people identify and deal with guilt, shame, and other feelings about the event.

Medications

The most studied medications for treating PTSD include antidepressants, which may help control PTSD symptoms such as sadness, worry, and anger. Antidepressants and other medications may be prescribed along with psychotherapy.

How can you help yourself?

It is essential to apprehend that although it may take some time with treatment, you can get better. You can help yourself. Talk with your doctor about treatment options. Try to engage in mild physical activity or exercise to help reduce stress. Set realistic goals for yourself. Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can. Try to spend time with other people, and confide in a trusted friend or relative.

This was the overview of post traumatic stress disorder one must know about.

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