How Is Ptsd Diagnosed
The diagnosis is made by filling in a specially designed questionnaire and means of a interview by a suitably qualified mental health professional. That person could be a psychiatrist or psychologist, but depending on in which country you reside, it may be another mental health specialist.
The questionnaire and interview are based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 . This is the manual used by mental health professionals to classify mental health problems. Its meant to help professionals decide on the best treatment .
A proper diagnosis is essential for insurance purposes and to help you, ideally, get the right kind of treatment .PTSD cannot be self-diagnosed.
Be aware though, that its possible for you to feel worse and still not have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is due to the vagaries and limitations of the DSM.
Ptsd Treatment And Therapy
Treatment for PTSD can relieve symptoms by helping you deal with the trauma youve experienced. A doctor or therapist will encourage you to recall and process the emotions you felt during the original event in order to reduce the powerful hold the memory has on your life.
During treatment, youll also explore your thoughts and feelings about the trauma, work through feelings of guilt and mistrust, learn how to cope with intrusive memories, and address the problems PTSD has caused in your life and relationships.
The types of treatment available for PTSD include:
Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to feelings and situations that remind you of the trauma, and replacing distorted and irrational thoughts about the experience with a more balanced picture.
Family therapy can help your loved ones understand what youre going through and help you work through relationship problems together as a family.
Medication is sometimes prescribed to people with PTSD to relieve secondary symptoms of depression or anxiety, although they do not treat the causes of PTSD.
EMDR incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation, such as hand taps or sounds. EMDR therapy techniques work by unfreezing the brains information processing system, which is interrupted in times of extreme stress.
Why Do Some People Develop Ptsd And Other People Do Not
It is important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not develop the disorder.
Many factors play a part in whether a person will develop PTSD. Some examples are listed below. Risk factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD. Other factors, called resilience factors, can help reduce the risk of the disorder.
Some factors that increase risk for PTSD include:
- Living through dangerous events and traumas
- 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
Some factors that may promote recovery after trauma include:
- Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
- Finding a support group after a traumatic event
- Learning to feel good about ones own actions in the face of danger
- Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
- Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear
Researchers are studying the importance of these and other risk and resilience factors, including genetics and neurobiology. With more research, someday it may be possible to predict who is likely to develop PTSD and to prevent it.
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Kinds Of Ptsd Triggers
Triggers can fall into two categories: Internal Triggers and External Triggers. Internal triggers are things that you feel or experience inside your body. Internal triggers include thoughts or memories, emotions, and bodily sensations .
External triggers are situations, people, or places that you might encounter throughout your day . Listed below are some common internal and external triggers.
Emotional And Physical Coping Strategies
One of the most important ways to cope with PTSDand many other conditionsis to take care of your mental and physical wellness. There are many strategies that can work together with your treatment to not only help you cope with PTSD but to strengthen your mind and body in ways that can benefit you in your everyday life.
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Optimise Your Lifestyle Together
I salute you if youre not immediately skipping over this section! So, let me explain why this is soooo important.
Your spouse is using an enormous amount of energy to simply get through the day, let alone heal. The whole of their body/mind is involved in the healing process. That is regardless of whether or not theyve sustained a physical injury.
The raw materials for that energy come from food which provides all the nutrients the body needs for every single cell to work at its best.
So, now is the time to knock any bad habits on the head and make both your health and well-being a priority.
A junk diet is detrimental not only to your physical health but also to your mental well-being. Watch The Junk Food Experiment . Did you know, for example, that consistently eating junk food can increase nightmares, lead to poor sleep and brain-fog?
In addition, the two of you will need to get off the couch! So much can be achieved by taking up a sport. Even just walking around the block and building on that day-by-day can make a huge difference.
For inspiration, be sure to look at the Invictus Games .
You can make the difference by setting an example, encouraging and supporting your spouse or partner.
Read on for more tips and advice to help your spouse or partner deal with PTSD
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Speak To Others That Have Experienced The Same Thing As You
It might help you to speak to other people who experienced the same traumatic event as you, or who have had similar experiences. However, people recover and react to the same events in different ways. Try not to compare your own recovery to someone elses. If you feel able to support others who have been affected by the event, then that can be helpful too.
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Find Support With Talkspace
Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause severe anxiety disorder symptoms in war veterans, first responders, victims of abuse, or anyone else who witnesses or experiences terrifying, traumatic events. Some people begin to self-medicate or use drugs or alcohol to numb their painful symptoms.Fortunately, therapy is hugely effective in treating PTSD, and there are many other methods you can use to help to ease symptoms naturally. If you suffer from the memories of traumatic events, online therapy with Talkspace can teach you ways to cope with PTSD in the workplace, at home, and everywhere in between. Gain valuable tools to lessen symptom frequency, and enhance your quality of life. Learn more about how to deal with PTSD today you dont have to let post-traumatic stress disorder take over your life., lessen symptom frequency, and enhance your quality of life. Learn more about how to deal with PTSD today you dont have to let post-traumatic stress disorder take over your life.
Know That Recovery Is A Process
Following exposure to a trauma most people experience stress reactions. Understand that recovering from the trauma is a process and takes time. Knowing this will help you feel more in control.
- Having an ongoing response to the trauma is normal.
- Recovery is an ongoing, daily process. It happens little by little. It is not a matter of being cured all of a sudden.
- Healing doesn’t mean forgetting traumatic events. It doesn’t mean you will have no pain or bad feelings when thinking about them.
- Healing may mean fewer symptoms and symptoms that bother you less.
- Healing means more confidence that you will be able to cope with your memories and symptoms. You will be better able to manage your feelings.
In This Article
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How Does Therapy Help
Trauma therapy gives kids a way to safely share their feelings, tell their story, and get support.
In therapy, kids learn coping and calming skills to help them deal with anxiety they feel after a trauma. This makes it easier to talk about what theyve been through.
Through therapy, kids learn to adjust some of their thoughts about the trauma. They learn to let go of any guilt or shame about what happened to them. Slowly, they learn to face things they used to avoid.
Therapy helps children gain courage and confidence. Kids use their strengths to cope.
Avoid Spending Lots Of Time Alone
Being around other people has been shown to make you less likely to experience poor mental health after a traumatic event. While this might not be possible, if you live alone you might want to see if you can move in with family or a close friend after a traumatic event. If this isnt possible, try to spend more time with people close to you, or stay in contact with them over the phone or through video calls.
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What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.
PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as shell shock during the years of World War I and combat fatigue after World War II, but PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people, of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and at any age. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults every year, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD. Three ethnic groups U.S. Latinos, African Americans, and American Indians are disproportionately affected and have higher rates of PTSD than non-Latino whites.
People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares they may feel sadness, fear or anger and they may feel detached or estranged from other people. People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as a loud noise or an accidental touch.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation And Yoga
Research has shown us that a routine practice of mindfulness meditation and yoga can help to significantly lessen symptoms of anxiety, depression, and restlessness related to PTSD. Mindful meditation involves focusing your attention on your breath and witnessing your thoughts as they develop.
Through regular meditation and developed yoga practice, you can learn to recognize your thoughts before they take hold of your emotions. Then, you can learn to focus on your breathing and replace negative thoughts with healthier, more beneficial ones.
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Have A Safety Plan In Place
Although it is important to increase your awareness of your triggers, doing so can cause some distress. Some people might actually become triggered by trying to identify their triggers. Therefore, before you take steps to identify your triggers, make sure you have a safety plan in place in case you experience some distress.
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment . Understanding the Impact of Trauma. In: Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services. Rockville : Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2014.
Why Do Flashbacks Occur
To address PTSD images and flashbacks and make them less powerful, it is important for people to know why they are happening in the first place.
Flashbacks and the mental pictures that surround them stem from traumatic events, and they belong to a cluster of symptoms in PTSD, known as re-experiencing symptoms, which also include nightmares and intrusive thoughts.
What happens during a flashback is that a person will have a recollection of this past trauma, that intrusive and often very spontaneous. The mental images in flashbacks can feel incredibly realistic and seem as if they are occurring in that specific moment this can lead to disassociation and can make a person feel like they lost touch with reality. This alone is a primary reason why they are so distressing for individuals with the disorder.
On the other hand, some people may only be able to have partial reliving of their traumatic memories, instead of a full replay of the event however, this does not make it any less bothersome for people.
Because the event has made a significant negative impact on their lives, it is considered of great importance to a person, and therefore will be on his or her mind. This can make thoughts and images intense and persistent, and the fear can cause individuals with PTSD to develop avoidance behaviors. For example, a person will go out of his or her way to stay away from things that will remind them of the traumatic event, which are also commonly known as triggers.
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Getting Professional Help For Ptsd
If you suspect that you or a loved one has post-traumatic stress disorder, its important to seek help right away. The sooner PTSD is treated, the easier it is to overcome. If youre reluctant to seek help, keep in mind that PTSD is not a sign of weakness, and the only way to overcome it is to confront what happened to you and learn to accept it as a part of your past. This process is much easier with the guidance and support of an experienced therapist or doctor.
Its only natural to want to avoid painful memories and feelings. But if you try to numb yourself and push your memories away, PTSD will only get worse. You cant escape your emotions completelythey emerge under stress or whenever you let down your guardand trying to do so is exhausting. The avoidance will ultimately harm your relationships, your ability to function, and the quality of your life.
Why you should seek help for PTSD
Early treatment is better. Symptoms of PTSD may get worse. Dealing with them now might help stop them from getting worse in the future. Finding out more about what treatments work, where to look for help, and what kind of questions to ask can make it easier to get help and lead to better outcomes.
PTSD symptoms can change family life. PTSD symptoms can get in the way of your family life. You may find that you pull away from loved ones, are not able to get along with people, or that you are angry or even violent. Getting help for your PTSD can help improve your family life.
Spend Time With People
It is common for people with PTSD to shy away from people, withdraw, and retreat. Fears, anxiety, anger, frustration, confusion, and the feeling of being overwhelmed are just some of the reasons why it might feel better to stay isolated than be around people.
Spending time with supportive friends and family can make a significant difference in your mood and outlook.
Keep in mind that if you are sharing space with any family or friends, it is likely they already notice you struggling. Many times people don’t know how to help or are afraid to say something for fear of causing more emotional pain. It can be helpful for all partiesboth you and your loved onesto have time to spend together. Some ways to spend time with others can include things like:
- Going for a walk
- Talk on the phone
If you don’t feel ready to talk yet, you can also sit quietly in the same room to read a book or a newspaper. Simply sharing the same space quietly can feel comforting.
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I Ruined My Marriage And You Will To
Yes, I fully admit I ruined my marriage. And mark my words: I promise every one of you reading this: You will ruin yours, too! This website will give reasons.
I know, I know, its one bold statement, but first read on so I can explain. See if by the end you dont agree.
Justin and I had known each other for about 17 years when we decided to get married. By the time we got married we were best friends, head over heels in love with each other, and on Cloud 9. We knew each other inside and out. Our friends and family all commented on how happy we were together.
Justin was still in the Navy when we said our I Dos with a year and a half to serve before he could come home. Im a realist, so I knew when he came home it would take some time to get used to living together and being married. What I didnt expect was my husband to return home injured with post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a separate story in and of itself. But still, I was confident we could overcome anything so long as we were together. And I was right but yet so wrong, I even took Justin along with me for couples counseling orange county to save our marriage. Sometimes it becomes especially difficult to understand each other in relationship, but you can try to save your marriage with a weekend intensive. To learn more check out African American marriage retreats 2019.
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