Mental Illness And Ptsd
Traumatic life events are common among people living with severe mental illnesses. There has been growing awareness in recent years about trauma and how it shapes peoples lives. PTSD plays a crucial role in the adverse effects on mental illnesses and can exacerbate these mental illnesses. While the evidence shows that PTSD can make schizophrenia worse, other evidence suggests it can also impact other diseases like bipolar disorder and depression. With high rates of trauma across these disorders, it is essential to realize PTSDs impact on these illnesses.
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Women With Addiction Are At Increased Risk For Ptsd
Women with addictions have often had traumatic experiences that involve men. Women with addictions may have been victims of physical or sexual violence by a male partner. In a traditional treatment program, where both men and women occupy the same spaces, it can be challenging for women to feel safe expressing themselves. Women who are struggling with PTSD or related symptoms may want to consider a gender-specific treatment program.
Women deserve to feel comfortable openly speaking about their personal experiences in a receptive and open environment. Studies show the importance of peer support in successful treatment and lasting recovery. Providing a safe space in group therapy sessions as well as general addiction treatment and recovery situations is an important aspect for ensuring that women can focus on themselves and thrive in sober life.
A woman who has experienced traumatic events and experiences as a result of her addiction may feel more comfortable working with a female therapist. Trauma-focused therapy works best when clients feel they have a positive and receptive relationship with their counselor. Providing a comfortable and secure setting for women to undergo addiction treatment and therapy helps provide more opportunities for a successful recovery and long-term sobriety.
Talk To Others With Ptsd
If you know other people with PTSD, talk to them to see how they disclosed their diagnosis to loved ones. What worked well for them? What would they do differently if they had to do it again? You can gain some valuable information from the experiences of others with PTSD or who are recovering from PTSD.
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Next Steps For Ptsd Research
In the last decade, progress in research on the mental and biological foundations of PTSD has lead scientists to focus on better understanding the underlying causes of why people experience a range of reactions to trauma.
- NIMH-funded researchers are exploring trauma patients in acute care settings to better understand the changes that occur in individuals whose symptoms improve naturally.
- Other research is looking at how fear memories are affected by learning, changes in the body, or even sleep.
- Research on preventing the development of PTSD soon after trauma exposure is also under way.
- Other research is attempting to identify what factors determine whether someone with PTSD will respond well to one type of intervention or another, aiming to develop more personalized, effective, and efficient treatments.
- As gene research and brain imaging technologies continue to improve, scientists are more likely to be able to pinpoint when and where in the brain PTSD begins. This understanding may then lead to better targeted treatments to suit each persons own needs or even prevent the disorder before it causes harm.
What Are The Signs Of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
A wide variety of symptoms may be signs that you are experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder. The following are some of the most common symptoms of PTSD that you or those around you may have noticed:
- Feeling upset by things that remind you of what happened
- Having nightmares, vivid memories, or flashbacks of the event that make you feel like its happening all over again
- Feeling emotionally cut off from others
- Feeling numb or losing interest in things you used to care about
- Feeling constantly on guard
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What Are The Symptoms Of Post
There are four types of PTSD symptoms, but they may not be the same for everyone. Each person experiences symptoms in their own way. The types are:
- Re-experiencing symptoms, where something reminds you of the trauma and you feel that fear again. Examples include
- Flashbacks, which cause you to feel like you are going through the event again
- Frightening thoughts
The symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event. But sometimes they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years.
Physical Changes In The Brain
In those suffering from complex PTSD, parts of the brain involved in emotional processing appear different in brain scans. With PTSD, the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and emotions, appears smaller in size. It’s thought that changes in this part of the brain may be related to fear and anxiety, memory problems and flashbacks. A malfunctioning hippocampus may prevent flashbacks and nightmares from being properly processed, so the anxiety they generate does not reduce over time. Treatment of PTSD results in proper processing of the memories so, over time, the flashbacks and nightmares gradually disappear.
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When To See A Doctor
Many people experience symptoms after a traumatic event, such as crying, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating, but this is not necessarily PTSD.
Prompt treatment with a qualified professional can help prevent the symptoms from getting worse.
This should be considered if:
- symptoms persist for more than a month
- symptoms are severe enough to prevent the person returning to normal life
- the person considers harming themselves
Treatment usually involves psychotherapy and counseling, medication, or a combination.
Options for psychotherapy will be specially tailored for managing trauma.
Cognitive processing therapy : Also known as cognitive restructuring, the individual learns how to think about things in a new way. Mental imagery of the traumatic event may help them work through the trauma, to gain control of the fear and distress.
Exposure therapy: Talking repeatedly about the event or confronting the cause of the fear in a safe and controlled environment may help the person feel they have more control over their thoughts and feelings. The effectiveness of this treatment has been questioned, however, and it must be carried out with care, or there may be a risk of worsening of the symptoms.
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Does Everyone Who Experiences Or Witnesses A Traumatic Event Go On To Develop Ptsd
Not everyone who experiences a dangerous or scary event goes on to develop PTSD. Resilience factors that decrease the likelihood that you will develop PTSD include having a coping strategy for getting through and learning from a traumatic event, seeking out support from loved ones and support groups, and being prepared to respond to upsetting events, in spite of feeling fear.1
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You Answered Yes To Question
If you answered No to Question 1, you most likely do not have PTSD. If you have concerns about anxiety, stress, depression, or other mental health issues, speak with a licensed professional.
Based on the answers you provided, it is unlikely you meet the criteria for PTSD. However, if you are struggling with the symptoms you are experiencing, you are encouraged to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.
Based on the answers you provided, it is possible you meet the criteria for PTSD. If you are struggling to cope with the symptoms you identified, you are encouraged to seek additional assessment from a qualified mental health professional.
Based on your answers, it is likely you meet the criteria for PTSD. If these are symptoms you have been experiencing for longer than 6 months you are strongly encouraged to seek assistance from a qualified mental health professional.
Some resources to find a licensed professional include:
What Is A Trauma
A trauma is a stressful event that makes a person fear for their or other people’s life or safety.
Trauma events that can lead to PTSD include:
- physical or sexual abuse, or assault
- school or neighborhood violence
- sudden or forceful loss of a parent
- arrests, evictions
- being the target of hate, or threats of harm
An event can be a trauma for someone even if they dont go through the danger themselves. For example, seeing someone else be hurt or die from violence can be a trauma.
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How Does Therapy Help
Trauma therapy gives people a way to safely share their feelings, tell their story, and get support. In therapy, they learn coping and calming skills to help them deal with anxiety after a trauma. This makes it easier to talk about what they have been through.
In therapy, people learn how trauma can affect their thoughts, feelings, and actions. They learn ways to adjust some of the difficult thoughts about the trauma. They learn to let go of any guilt or shame about what happened.
Slowly, people learn to face things they used to avoid. Therapy helps them gain courage and confidence. They use their strengths to cope and move forward.
Identify People That You Trust And Who Can Provide Support
You do not need to tell everyone about your PTSD. Who should you tell? There are a number of characteristics that you should look for in establishing a source of social support. Share the information with those people who are going to be understanding, trustworthy, and supportive. In deciding who to tell about your PTSD diagnosis, try to see who in your life has a number of these characteristics.
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Beyond Treatment: How Can I Help Myself
It may be very hard to take that first step to help yourself. It is important to realize that although it may take some time, with treatment, you can get better. If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your family doctor. You can also check NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses page or search online for mental health providers, social services, hotlines, or physicians for phone numbers and addresses. An emergency room doctor can also provide temporary help and can tell you where and how to get further help.
To help yourself while in treatment:
- Talk with your doctor about treatment options
- 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 as you can
- Try to spend time with other people, and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Tell others about things that may trigger symptoms.
- Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately
- Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people
Caring for yourself and others is especially important when large numbers of people are exposed to traumatic events .
What Is The Treatment For Ptsd Stress
Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for PTSD. However, like most mental health disorders, the all-important first step to healing is making the decision to get treatment. Its not uncommon for people with PTSD to live in denial until the situation worsens and results in physical or mental harm.
The actual treatment will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the disorder and the risk factors that the patient deals with every day. In some cases, just talking about the traumatic event can break the cycle and get you on the path to recovery. The medical professional may also prescribe antidepressants to manage symptoms like anger, anxiety, and perpetual worry. They can also prescribe medication to help with insomnia and nightmares.
Are you suffering from any of the aforementioned PTSD symptoms? Professional help from the experts at Roots Through Recovery is just one call away. Let us help you get over your PTSD today and show you how to manage stress better to manage your triggers and avoid relapses. Call us now at 562-247-3520 or reach us via email at .
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Finding A Therapist For Ptsd
When looking for a therapist, seek out mental health professionals who specialize in the treatment of trauma and PTSD. You can ask your doctor or other trauma survivors for a referral, call a local mental health clinic, psychiatric hospital, or counseling center.
Beyond credentials and experience, its important to find a PTSD therapist who makes you feel comfortable and safe. Trust your gut if a therapist doesnt feel right, look for someone else. For therapy to work, you need to feel comfortable and understood.
How Is It Diagnosed
CPTSD is still a relatively new condition, so some doctors arent aware of it. This can make it hard to get an official diagnosis, and you might be diagnosed with PTSD instead of CPTSD. Theres no specific test for determining whether you have CPTSD, but keeping a detailed log of your symptoms can help your doctor make a more accurate diagnosis. Try to keep track of when your symptoms started as well as any changes in them over time.
Once you find a doctor, theyll start by asking about your symptoms, as well as any traumatic events in your past. For the initial diagnosis, you likely wont need to go into too much detail if it makes you uncomfortable.
Next, they may ask about any family history of mental illness or other risk factors. Make sure to tell them about any medications or supplements you take, as well as any recreational drugs you use. Try to be as honest as you can with them so they can make the best recommendations for you.
If youve had symptoms of post-traumatic stress for at least a month and they interfere with your daily life, your doctor will likely start with a diagnosis of PTSD. Depending on the traumatic event and whether you have additional symptoms, such as ongoing relationship problems or trouble controlling your emotions, they may diagnose you with CPTSD.
Keep in mind that you may need to see a few doctors before you find someone you feel comfortable with. This is very normal, especially for people dealing with post-traumatic stress.
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Ptsd Rates By Theater Of Conflict
Veterans with PTSD vary by the era of service. In the Vietnam War era, about 15 out of every 100 Veterans were diagnosed with PTSD. In the Gulf War-era, about 12 of every 100 Veterans were diagnosed with PTSD. During Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, about 11 to 20 of every 100 Veterans were diagnosed with PTSD.
Causes Symptoms And Risks
PTSD is caused by experiencing or witnessing single, repeated or multiple events. For example:
- serious accidents
- physical and sexual assault abuse. This could include childhood or domestic abuse
- work-related exposure to trauma. Such as being in the army
- trauma related to serious health problems or childbirth
- war and conflict torture
Not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD.
The risk of getting PTSD depends on how the experience affects you. PTSD is more likely to develop if the traumatic event:
- is unexpected,
- Self help
How can the NHS help me?
You can speak to your GP about your concerns. They will be able to talk to you about treatment options and coping strategies. You dont have to do what your GP thinks that you should do. But you should listen to them.
Make sure that you understand the pros and cons of your treatment options before you make a decision.
Your treatment with be managed by your GP or the community mental health team . In some cases, your treatment maybe shared between both primary and secondary care. Healthcare professionals will agree who will monitor you.
Some people will get care under the Care Programme Approach . This means that you will have a care plan and care coordinator to make sure that you get the support that you need.
Look at the following section for more information on NHS treatment.
Adult social services
What other help is available?
There may be a different service available, such as employment or isolation support.
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Talk With Someone You Trust
After a traumatic event, it’s normal to think, act, and feel differently than usual. Most people will start to feel better after a few weeks. If your symptoms last longer than a few months, are very upsetting, and disrupt your daily life, you should get help. Whether or not you have PTSD, treatment can help if thoughts and feelings from the trauma are bothering you. Take a first step by talking with:
- Your family doctor.
- A mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor.
- Someone who works at your local VA facility or Vet Center, if you are a Veteran
- A close friend or family member who can support you while finding help
- A clergy member
Another option is for you to fill out a PTSD questionnaire or screen . You can use this to help you talk about what you are feeling with someone you trust.