Treatment Options For Ptsd
Treatment for PTSD ranges from the combatting of the anxiety and depressive side effects, for which CBT is effective. CBT works to help with patients suffering from both short-term and long-term PTSD In this case ensuring the events are at the centre of the treatment and dealt with directly.
Other treatment options include antidepressants and medications. In terms of first line treatment for PTSD, SSRIs are considered the go-to solutions.
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Where To Find Ptsd Treatment For A Friend Or Family Member
You can contact hospitals in your area or your doctor for advice. Check with local mental health facilities or support groups that can also supply you with information. University medical centers are good resources.
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What Happens During A Ptsd Episode
A PTSD episode is characterized by feelings of fear and panic, along with flashbacks and sudden, vivid memories of an intense, traumatic event in your past. These memories are often accompanied by sensory experiences visions, sounds, and even smells from the incident may return, as if they are happening in the present moment. Perceiving imminent danger, your brain will go into a state of alarm: your heart races, you sweat profusely, and your breath speeds up. The feeling is all-consuming, intense, and often debilitating.
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How Is Ptsd Treated
It is important for anyone with PTSD symptoms to work with a mental health professional who has experience treating PTSD. The main treatments are psychotherapy, medications, or both. An experienced mental health professional can help people find the treatment plan that meets their symptoms and needs.
Some people with PTSD may be living through an ongoing trauma, such as being in an abusive relationship. In these cases, treatment is usually most effective when it addresses both the traumatic situation and the symptoms. People who have PTSD or who are exposed to trauma also may experience panic disorder, depression, substance use, or suicidal thoughts. Treatment for these conditions can help with recovery after trauma. Research shows that support from family and friends also can be an important part of recovery.
For tips to help prepare and guide you on how to talk to your health care provider about your mental health and get the most out of your visit, read NIMHs fact sheet, Taking Control of Your Mental Health: Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider.
Ask Yourself: Do I Really Want To Overcome Ptsd
If you really want to overcome the condition of PTSD you can, but it may very well feel like passing through the gates of hell many times throughout your recovery. There were times when I didnt care about getting things fixed and just wanted to give up and commit suicide.
Additionally, I am by no means guaranteeing that this will be a way for everybody to recover or get cured. Im just sharing what worked for me and what is possible for some individuals. I also realize that not everyone wants to re-visit the initial trauma because of the intense pain it is associated with. I reached a low point that made me wake up one day and just say screw it Im going to do all that I can to overcome this and if I dont, well at least Ill have tried.
I hit a point in life where my only option was suicide or try something to improve my situation. Even if you dont fully recover from your condition, I do think that what Ive listed here can help you get some joy back into your life and at the very least reduce some of the stress you are experiencing. Full recovery involves changing from a fight or flight, fear based state of being back to homeostasis how you felt before the stress ever occurred this is a long journey.
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How To Help Someone With Ptsd
Contributed by Christine Binney
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health problem that can occur after a traumatic event. It can be hard for people to know how to help someone with PTSD because it is impossible to relate to their experience. If you have a friend or family member who is suffering from PTSD, you know how difficult it is to see your loved ones behavior change. Its important to remember that the person suffering from PTSD doesnt always have control over their behavior, so you should not take their actions personally. While it is a hard journey for all involved, there are ways that you can help get life back to the way it was before the trauma. Here is a short guide on how to help someone with PTSD.
Understand the inner workings of PTSD
Understanding PTSD is the first step towards helping someone recover. PTSD is caused by harrowing ordeals such as a physical assault, sexual violence, a natural disaster, war, an accident or the death of a loved one. When a person is threatened with or suffers serious physical harm or violence, they will experience intense fear, helplessness and terror.
Learn the symptoms
Offer social support
Create a sense of safety
Have a plan in place
Remain calm during emotional outbursts
Encourage professional treatment
Take care of yourself
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.
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How Do Children And Teens React To Trauma
Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but their symptoms may not be the same as those seen in adults. In young children under the age of 6, symptoms can include:
- Wetting the bed after having learned to use the toilet
- Forgetting how or being unable to talk
- Acting out the scary event during playtime
- Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult
Older children and teens usually show symptoms more like those seen in adults. They also may develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They also may have thoughts of revenge.
For more information, see the National Institute of Mental Health brochure, Helping Children and Adolescents Cope With Disasters and Other Traumatic Events.
Most People Know That The Symptoms Of Post
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that some people develop after a traumatic life event. Usually, this life event is something very upsetting or disturbing, such as combat, a natural disaster, a car accident or sexual assault. Sometimes PTSD develops after less significant events. The effect that this event has on an individual and their reaction to it plays a fundamental role in the development of PTSD.
Living with PTSD can make a person feel constantly uneasy, on-edge, scared and depressed. The symptoms of PTSD affect each person differently. However, there are some side effects and common features that are worth considering when trying to understand what PTSD feels like.
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Tip : Deal With Volatility And Anger
PTSD can lead to difficulties managing emotions and impulses. In your loved one, this may manifest as extreme irritability, moodiness, or explosions of rage.
People suffering from PTSD live in a constant state of physical and emotional stress. Since they usually have trouble sleeping, it means theyre constantly exhausted, on edge, and physically strung outincreasing the likelihood that theyll overreact to day-to-day stressors.
For many people with PTSD, anger can also be a cover for other feelings such as grief, helplessness, or guilt. Anger makes them feel powerful, instead of weak and vulnerable. Others try to suppress their anger until it erupts when you least expect it.
Watch for signs that your loved one is angry, such as clenching jaw or fists, talking louder, or getting agitated. Take steps to defuse the situation as soon as you see the initial warning signs.
Try to remain calm. During an emotional outburst, try your best to stay calm. This will communicate to your loved one that you are safe, and prevent the situation from escalating.
Give the person space. Avoid crowding or grabbing the person. This can make a traumatized person feel threatened.
Ask how you can help. For example: What can I do to help you right now? You can also suggest a time out or change of scenery.
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.
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Tip : Support Treatment
Despite the importance of your love and support, it isnt always enough. Many people who have been traumatized need professional PTSD therapy. But bringing it up can be touchy. Think about how youd feel if someone suggested that you needed therapy.
Wait for the right time to raise your concerns. Dont bring it up when youre arguing or in the middle of a crisis. Also, be careful with your language. Avoid anything that implies that your loved one is crazy. Frame it in a positive, practical light: treatment is a way to learn new skills that can be used to handle a wide variety of PTSD-related challenges.
Emphasize the benefits. For example, therapy can help them become more independent and in control. Or it can help reduce the anxiety and avoidance that is keeping them from doing the things they want to do.
Focus on specific problems. If your loved one shuts down when you talk about PTSD or counseling, focus instead on how treatment can help with specific issues like anger management, anxiety, or concentration and memory problems.
Acknowledge the hassles and limitations of therapy. For example, you could say, I know that therapy isnt a quick or magical cure, and it may take a while to find the right therapist. But even if it helps a little, it will be worth it.
Encourage your loved one to join a support group. Getting involved with others who have gone through similar traumatic experiences can help some people with PTSD feel less damaged and alone.
Ensure Your Personal Safety
If you are in a dangerous situation healing is not likely until you deal with the current emergency. Make a safety plan and execute it. You need to feel safe and have reliable food clothing and shelter before you think about other aspects of recovery. But dont put off recovery waiting for the day you will miraculously feel safe. Get started on the safety part first. Just taking steps to move to a safe place can be empowering.
Challenges to your safety dont only come from outside. You may be a big part of the danger. Avoid, control, or work on urges and cravings. Confront any urges to commit suicide and seek help immediately if you have thoughts of suicide. Recognize and deal with non-suicidal self-injury, substance abuse, eating disorders, and the urge to try out risky behaviors. Dont put yourself at risk to be victimized anymore.
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Communication Pitfalls To Avoid
- Give easy answers or blithely tell your loved one everything is going to be okay.
- Stop your loved one from talking about their feelings or fears.
- Offer unsolicited advice or tell your loved one what they should do.
- Blame all of your relationship or family problems on your loved ones PTSD.
- Invalidate, minimize, or deny your loved ones traumatic experience
- Give ultimatums or make threats or demands.
- Make your loved one feel weak because they arent coping as well as others.
- Tell your loved one they were lucky it wasnt worse.
- Take over with your own personal experiences or feelings.
How I Healed From Ptsd And How You Can Too:
Healing from PTSD is possible I know, because I healed. You can too!
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Can You Fully Recover From Ptsd
Depending on the severity of trauma, as well as genetic factors and existing features of your personality, it can range from months to years. In some severe cases PTSD may not fully go away although most people do slowly get better, its important to know that this is not always the case.
This is due to the symptoms themselves varying some people experiencing them months, to even years after a traumatic experience. Examples of a PTSD attack can include panic attacks, flashbacks and nightmares.
The main reason as to why one may never recover fully from PTSD if they experience a major increase in stress, or a reminder of their past trauma These can resurface symptoms and trigger ones PTSD all over again.
Tip : Be A Good Listener
While you shouldnt push a person with PTSD to talk, if they do choose to share, try to listen without expectations or judgments. Make it clear that youre interested and that you care, but dont worry about giving advice. Its the act of listening attentively that is helpful to your loved one, not what you say.
A person with PTSD may need to talk about the traumatic event over and over again. This is part of the healing process, so avoid the temptation to tell your loved one to stop rehashing the past and move on. Instead, offer to talk as many times as they need.
Some of the things your loved one tells you might be very hard to listen to. Its okay to dislike what you hear, but its important to respect their feelings and reactions. If you come across as disapproving, horrified, or judgmental, they are unlikely to open up to you again.
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What Can Trigger A Ptsd Episode
PTSD triggers may be internal, external, or both. Thoughts, feelings, and memories can trigger an episode involving severe PTSD symptoms. External triggers may involve places, situations, or even people. A bodily sensation can trigger an episode. Some common triggers for a PTSD episode include:
- Negative emotions
Where To Get Professional Help For Flashbacks
Self-care techniques for flashbacks can be useful but might not be enough. You may need to get professional help. Speak with your healthcare provider about your flashbacks. They can refer you to the appropriate specialist such as a psychiatrist or psychotherapist to help you get the best treatment.
Another option is to contact SAMHSAs National Helpline. The helpline can provide referrals to support groups, local treatment centers, and community organizations. If youre a member of the military or a veteran experiencing PTSD flashbacks, you can also contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance.
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Get Your Daily Routines And Rituals In Place
Most people who experience a crisis lose that ability to get up, eat, care for themselves, and then move about their day. The sooner you re-establish your daily routine the better.
When children are involved the recommendation is the sooner you can resume family rituals the better. Get back to your spiritual home. Remember to have some sort of ritual in your life birthdays, Christmas, or any other familiar activity makes everyone feel better.
Returning to a job or other activity can be a great way to begin your recovery. If you cant work at a paid job consider volunteering. Having a reason to get up and out of the house can jump-start your recovery.
A regular and consistent amount of sleep is important. So is some form of exercise. Be as consistent as possible with mealtimes and bedtimes. Include time for relaxation and positive activities.