What Specialists Treat Ptsd
- Most specialists who treat mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety also have experience in treating PTSD, particularly since it is a relatively common disorder.
- You may find that some professional therapists and counselors will specialize in trauma-related disorders and have certification with some of the specific therapies, such as EMDR.
- Medication treatment of PTSD is best managed by psychiatrists who have extensive training in assessing and treating these disorders.
- Nurse practitioners with certification in psychiatry also have experience with PTSD treatment and work with psychiatrists.
Causes Of Complex Ptsd
Any long-term trauma that causes severe interpersonal stress can result in developing complex PTSD. Typically, it involves circumstances where the victim has little chance of escape, such as:
- childhood physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
- enslavement, enforced labor, or sex trafficking
- long-term imprisonment and torture
- exposure to long-term crisis situations
- long-term objectification
Impact Of Ptsd On Relationships And Day
PTSD can affect a persons ability to work, perform day-to-day activities or relate to their family and friends. A person with PTSD can often seem disinterested or distant as they try not to think or feel in order to block out painful memories. They may stop them from participating in family life or ignore offers of help. This can lead to loved ones feeling shut out.
It is important to remember that these behaviours are part of the problem. People with PTSD need the support of family and friends, but may not think that they need help.
It is not unusual for people with PTSD to experience other mental health problems at the same time. In fact, up to 80 per cent of people who have long-standing PTSD develop additional problems – most commonly depression, anxiety, and alcohol or othersubstance misuse. These may have developed directly in response to the traumatic event or have developed sometime after the onset of PTSD.
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How Ptsd And Physical Health Are Related
There is something unique to having PTSD that puts people at risk for developing physical health problems. A number of theories have been proposed to explain this connection. It has been suggested that a variety of factors interact to increase the risk for physical health problems among people with PTSD.
People with PTSD may engage in more risky and health-compromising behaviors, such as alcohol and drug use. The hyperarousal symptoms of PTSD may also put someone in a constant state of stress and anxiety. Factors like these combine to put tremendous strain and stress on a person’s body, increasing the risk for physical health problems and illness.
What Can I Do If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- ask a relative, friend or advocate to help you speak your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.
You dont have a legal right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.
You can find out more about:
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International Classification Of Diseases
The International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10 classifies PTSD under “Reaction to severe stress, and adjustment disorders.” The ICD-10 criteria for PTSD include re-experiencing, avoidance, and either increased reactivity or inability to recall certain details related to the event.
The ICD-11 diagnostic description for PTSD contains three components or symptom groups re-experiencing, avoidance, and heightened sense of threat. ICD-11 no longer includes verbal thoughts about the traumatic event as a symptom. There is a predicted lower rate of diagnosed PTSD using ICD-11 compared to ICD10 or DSM-5. ICD-11 also proposes identifying a distinct group with complex post-traumatic stress disorder , who have more often experienced several or sustained traumas and have greater functional impairment than those with PTSD.
Do Children React Differently Than Adults
Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but some of their symptoms may not be the same as adults. Symptoms sometimes seen in very young children , these symptoms can include:
- Wetting the bed after having learned to use the toilet
- Forgetting how to 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 are more likely to show symptoms similar to those seen in adults. They may also develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They may also have thoughts of revenge.
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Ptsd Drugs: Possible Options
Doctors may prescribe medications other that Zoloft and Paxil, especially if comorbid disorders exist. According the NIH, benzodiazepines are used to aid relaxation and sleep. The side effects include problems with memory and the risk of drug dependency. Antipsychotics may be prescribed. They are typically given to patients with coexisting conditions, such as schizophrenia. Some side effects of antipsychotics are weight gain and a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, other antidepressants may be used as PTSD drugs. Possible options are fluoxetine and citalopram .
The Physical Health Consequences Of Posttraumatic Stress
The relation between posttraumatic stress and physical health is a fascinating one. On my talent hunt at the ISTSS conference, I met , who is currently completing her doctoral degree in Health Psychology at Kent State University, Ohio, USA. She examines the relation between traumatic stress and the development of mental and physical health problems in adults. Some fresh new findings below!
The following research describes a recent meta-analysis synthesizing the literature regarding PTSD/PTSD symptoms and comorbid physical health complaints. Related research conducted with samples of motor vehicle accident victims and people living with HIV is also discussed. For more information about our ongoing research studies, please see the Delahanty Stress and Health Lab website.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Ptsd
Symptoms of PTSD usually begin within 3 months of the traumatic incident, but they sometimes emerge later. To meet the criteria for PTSD, symptoms must last longer than 1 month, and they must be severe enough to interfere with aspects of daily life, such as relationships or work. The symptoms also must be unrelated to medication, substance use, or other illness.
The course of the illness varies: Although some people recover within 6 months, others have symptoms that last for a year or longer. People with PTSD often have co-occurring conditions, such as depression, substance use, or one or more anxiety disorders.
After a dangerous event, it is natural to have some symptoms or even to feel detached from the experience, as though you are observing things rather than experiencing them. A health care providersuch as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social workerwho has experience helping people with mental illnesses can determine whether symptoms meet the criteria for PTSD.
To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have all of the following for at least 1 month:
- At least one re-experiencing symptom
- At least one avoidance symptom
- At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
- At least two cognition and mood symptoms
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Ethics And Survey Design
This study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committees for the University of New South Wales and ratified by St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. All participants provided written informed consent.
The survey comprised of 76 items broken into four sections addressing: 1) Demographics, psychological distress and disability 2) PTSD symptoms and trauma experiences 3) treatment history and barriers to treatment , and 4) acceptability of internet treatment . See for treatment definitions used in the survey. The questions and functionality of the survey were pilot tested on two occasions, and questions were subsequently modified to improve comprehension. No formal analyses of internal consistency or validity were conducted.
Acceptability of internet treatment was assessed by asking Internet respondents if they would try Internet-therapy for PTSD. Respondents were also asked about their preference for face-to-face therapy compared with Internet-based therapy on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from Very definitely prefer face-to-face to Very definitely prefer Internet treatment plus an option for those not seeking treatment.
Ptsd Causes And Risk Factors
Everyone reacts to traumatic events differently. Each person is unique in their ability to manage fear, stress and the threat posed by a traumatic event or situation. For that reason, not everyone who has a trauma will develop PTSD. Also, the type of help and support a person receives from friends, family members, and professionals following the trauma may impact the development of PTSD or the severity of symptoms.
PTSD was first brought to the attention of the medical community by war veterans hence the names shell shock and battle fatigue syndrome. However, anyone who has had a traumatic event can develop PTSD. People who were abused as children or who have been repeatedly exposed to life-threatening situations are at risk for developing PTSD. Victims of trauma related to physical and sexual assault face the greatest risk for PTSD.
You may be more likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic event if you have a history of other mental health problems, have blood relatives with mental health problems, or have a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
How common is PTSD?
About 3.6% of adult Americans — about 5.2 million people — have PTSD during the course of a year, and an estimated 7.8 million Americans will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. PTSD can develop at any age, including childhood. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men. This may be due to the fact that women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, abuse, and rape.
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Ptsdpost Traumatic Stress Disorder
definition-â a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.â
âWhat might be physical/noticeable characteristics of this disorder? âThere are other associated symptoms of PTSD: Panic attacks: a feeling of intense fear, which can be accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, nausea, and a racing heart. Physical symptoms: chronic pain, headaches, stomach pain, diarrhea, tightness or burning in the chest, muscle cramps, or low back pain.â A Physical charactristic of PTSD could be depression and
What are potential risk factors that may lead to this illness – âcausesâ of the disorder? âExperiencing intense or long-lasting trauma, Having experienced other trauma earlier in life, including childhood abuse or neglect, Having a job that increases your risk of being exposed to traumatic events, such as military personnel and first responders, Having other mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, Lacking a good support system of family and friends, Having biological relatives with mental health problems, including PTSD or depression â
How can you help a friend who may be suffering from this disorder? Is there a way to âhelpâ yourself?
â1. Don’t pressure your loved one into talking. …
4. Be patient. …
The Full Disorder Need Not Be Present To Experience The Associated Physical Health Consequences Of Ptsd Symptoms
We also found that the presence of PTSD symptoms is sufficient to experience the physical health consequences of trauma. More specifically, as compared to individuals with lower levels of PTSS, those with higher levels of PTSS also reported worse physical health complaints in all of the domains assessed.
Further, independent of the presence of PTSD, trauma history also impacts the experience of physical health complaints. To this end, research from our lab has revealed that in a sample of motor vehicle accident victims, individuals with a more severe trauma history experienced greater physical health complaints 6-months post-MVA than those with a less severe trauma history.
In sum, these findings highlight the importance of assessing PTSS in individuals with a trauma history, as individuals with subthreshold PTSS suffer from similar physical health consequences as those who meet criteria for full PTSD.
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Living With Someone With Ptsd
PTSD doesnt only affect the person who has it. Its effects can affect those around them.
The anger, fear, or other emotions that people with PTSD are often challenged with can strain even the strongest relationships.
Learning all you can about PTSD can help you be a better advocate and supporter for your loved one. Joining a support group for family members of people living with PTSD can give you access to helpful tips from people whove been or are currently in your shoes.
Try to make sure that your loved one is getting proper treatment which can include therapy, medication, or a combination of the two.
Also, try to recognize and accept that living with someone who has PTSD isnt easy. There are challenges. Reach out for caregiver support if you feel the need to do so. Therapy is available to help you work through your personal challenges like frustration and worry.
Support Is Important For Recovery
Many people experience some of the symptoms of PTSD in the first two weeks after a traumatic event, but most recover on their own or with the help of family and friends. For this reason, formal treatment for PTSD does not usually start for at least two or more weeks after a traumatic experience.
It is important during the first few days and weeks after a traumatic event to get whatever help is needed. This may include accessing information, people and resources that can help you to recover. Support from family and friends may be all that is needed. Otherwise, a doctor is the best place to start to get further help.
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When To Get Help For Ptsd
If youre experiencing symptoms of PTSD, understand that youre not alone. According to the National Center for PTSD, 8 million adults have PTSD in any given year.
If you have frequent upsetting thoughts, are unable to control your actions, or fear that you might hurt yourself or others, seek help right away.
See your healthcare provider or a mental health professional immediately.
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 .
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Whats Your 2021 Ptsd Battle Plan
If youre a PTSD survivor like me, concern about depression is likely always in the back of your mind. Theres no guarantee that my PTSD battle plan will be 100% effective but it gives me a sense of control, along with knowing that Im putting my body and mind in the best possible shape.
I would love to hear about your PTSD battle plan and well post it here on the website if you choose to share.