Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What Does Ptsd Look Like

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What Events Cause Ptsd In Children

What PTSD Is Really Like

Any life threatening event or event that threatens physical harm can cause PTSD. These events may include:

  • sexual abuse or violence
  • physical abuse
  • natural or man made disasters, such as fires, hurricanes, or floods
  • violent crimes such as kidnapping or school shootings
  • motor vehicle accidents such as automobile and plane crashes

PTSD can also occur after witnessing violence. These events may include exposure to:

  • community violence
  • domestic violence
  • war

Finally, in some cases learning about these events happening to someone close to you can cause PTSD.

In This Article

How many children and adolescents experience traumatic events?

The best information on very young children comes from annual statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services on child abuse. These rates underestimate traumatic exposure given that they address abuse only and not other types of traumatic events. Also, they underestimate abuse because not all abuse is reported.

In 2011, child protective services in the United States received 3.4 million referrals, representing 6.2 million children. Of those cases referred, about 19% were substantiated and occurred in the following frequencies .

  • 8% experienced sexual assault

Helping A Veteran With Ptsd

When a loved one returns from military service with PTSD, it can take a heavy toll on your relationship and family life. You may have to take on a bigger share of household tasks, deal with the frustration of a loved one who wont open up, or even deal with anger or other disturbing behavior.

Dont take the symptoms of PTSD personally. If your loved one seems distant, irritable, angry, or closed off, remember that this may not have anything to do with you or your relationship.

Dont pressure your loved one into talking. Many veterans with PTSD find it difficult to talk about their experiences. Never try to force your loved one to open up but let them know that youre there if they want to talk. Its your understanding that provides comfort, not anything you say.

Be patient and understanding. Feeling better takes time so be patient with the pace of recovery. Offer support but dont try to direct your loved one.

Try to anticipate and prepare for PTSD triggers such as certain sounds, sights, or smells. If you are aware of what causes an upsetting reaction, youll be in a better position to help your loved one calm down.

Take care of yourself. Letting your loved ones PTSD dominate your life while ignoring your own needs is a surefire recipe for burnout. Make time for yourself and learn to manage stress. The more calm, relaxed, and focused you are, the better youll be able to help your loved one.

Get more help

What Can I Do To Look After Myself If I Have C

  • Take good care of your basic needs, such as sleep, exercise, healthy eating and quiet time.
  • Tell your friends and family/whnau they can support you.
  • Some people feel that they benefit from writing about or drawing what happened while others heal better by letting these memories fade for a while
  • Write about or draw what happened and how you feel.
  • Do things that help you feel calm, such as taking a walk or a bath, reading a good book or listening to soothing music.

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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.

Living In Fear And Uncertainty

This Is What PTSD Really Looks Like

Candice Owrey, a licensed professional counselor who works with individuals affected by PTSD every single day, says that its different for everybody. One can present any number or combination of symptoms , but there is a common experience: hypervigilance. These individuals feel like they are constantly looking over their shoulder. I have men who fought overseas for the military and even though they are now safe on American soil, they still have to sit facing the door, ready to fight if needed.

Similarly, Owreys clients who were victims of rape feel the same need to guard the door and remain on high alert. They also generally do not feel comfortable sitting with their back to a door. These individuals are constantly alert. We call this being hypervigilant, she explains. Heres how one of her clients described it:

Have you ever been to one of those haunted houses set up at Halloween? You know that fear as you are waiting in line? You know people are going to jump out at you. You know they arent really killers. Its fake but you still scream. I feel that way every single day I have to leave my house. I shake, sweat, and I feel petrified. Imagine having the feelings you have while going through a haunted house. Thats my life every day. I tell myself the experience isnt real but the feelings I have are real.

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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.

What Kinds Of Trauma Lead To Ptsd

There are many different types of traumas that can later lead to PTSD in children and teens, but what they all have in common is:

  • The trauma was life-threatening or lead to potential or actual serious injury.

  • The child or teen reacted to the trauma with intense fear, helplessness, or horror.

  • Children and teens can develop PTSD if they have been directly involved, or witnessed a serious traumatic event. Some common traumas include:

    • Being involved in, or witnessing, a car accident.

    • Undergoing major surgery .

    • Experiencing or witnessing natural disasters .

    • Violent crimes .

    • Community violence .

    • Chronic physical or sexual abuse.

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    What Can I Do To Help Myself

    It is important to know that, although it may take some time, you can get better with treatment. Here are some things you can do to help yourself:

    • Talk with your health care provider about treatment options, and follow your treatment plan.
    • Engage in exercise, mindfulness, or other activities that help reduce stress.
    • Try to maintain routines for meals, exercise, and sleep.
    • Set realistic goals and do what you can as you are able.
    • Spend time with trusted friends or relatives, and tell them about things that may trigger symptoms.
    • Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately.
    • Avoid use of alcohol or drugs.

    What Should I Know About Participating In Clinical Research


    Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.

    Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you. For more information, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.

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    Where To Get Help

    • Your doctor
    • Mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker, with experience in treatment of PTSD
    • Community health centre
    • Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, 2013, Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health. More information here.

    Changes In Physical And Emotional Reactions

    Sometimes referred to as arousal symptoms, these symptoms emerge in reaction to the trauma and include things like:

    • Easily startled
    • Feelings of detachment from friends and family
    • No interest in things that once brought you joy
    • Inability to experience positive emotions
    • Emotional numbness
    • Memory problemseven difficulty remembering key details of your trauma

    PTSD symptoms may come and go over time. Seeking treatment can help you recognize certain triggers so that you can manage the emotions they bring about if you cant avoid these triggers.

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    Causes And Risk Factors Of Ptsd

    When traumatic events and revictimizations are controlled for, women are still diagnosed with PTSD more often than men, which suggests there may be a genetic factor at play, says Obianuju Berry, MD, a psychiatry instructor at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. In fact, women are estimated to be twice as likely to develop PTSD as men.

    Intergenerational transmission of trauma is an idea that the effects of trauma can be passed down to survivors children and grandchildren through their DNA or when fetal DNA is affected with exposure to risk factors, such as altered maternal care in utero, Dr. Pole says.

    In fact, according to a study published in July 2017 in the journal Psychiatry Research, Jewish Israelis who were in Israel during the wave of terrorist attacks between 2015 and 2016, experienced trauma, and had all four grandparents who survived the Holocaust, saw a higher level of anxiety about ISIS anxiety than other groups.

    The risk for intergenerational transmission of trauma is also greater on a persons maternal side. If the mother has PTSD, upon exposure to a traumatic event, the likelihood that the child would develop PTSD is greater when compared with the general population, says Arielle Schwartz, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Boulder, Colorado, and author of The Complex PTSD Workbook.

    Learn More About the Causes of PTSD: Rick Factors, Genetics, and More

    What Does Ptsd Look Like

    This Is What Complex PTSD Looks Like !

    Post-traumatic stress disorder, often shortened to PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that impacts an estimated 6.8% of Americans at some point in their lives. Degrees of impairment range from mild to serious, meaning that a person may function well or struggle a significant portion of the time. Today, in recognition of PTSD Awareness Month, we would like to discuss this disorder and its treatment.

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    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.

    How Is Ptsd Treated In Children And Teens

    For many children, PTSD symptoms go away on their own after a few months. Yet some children show symptoms for years if they do not get treatment. There are many treatment options, described below:

    Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

    CBT is the most effective approach for treating children. One type of CBT is called Trauma-Focused CBT . In TF-CBT, the child may talk about his or her memory of the trauma. TF-CBT also includes techniques to help lower worry and stress. The child may learn how to assert himself or herself. The therapy may involve learning to change thoughts or beliefs about the trauma that are not correct or true. For example, after a trauma, a child may start thinking, “the world is totally unsafe.”

    Some may question whether children should be asked to think about and remember events that scared them. However, this type of treatment approach is useful when children are distressed by memories of the trauma. The child can be taught at his or her own pace to relax while they are thinking about the trauma. That way, they learn that they do not have to be afraid of their memories. Research shows that TF-CBT is safe and effective for children with PTSD.

    CBT often uses training for parents and caregivers as well. It is important for caregivers to understand the effects of PTSD. Parents need to learn coping skills that will help them help their children.

    Psychological first aid/crisis management

    Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

    Other treatments

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    Ptsd And Trauma Treatment In Tennessee

    At Cumberland Heights, weve been changing lives since 1966. We understand the connection between trauma, mental illness and addiction. It is our mission to help people to fully recover for life thats why weve created a curriculum rooted in proven, evidence-based modalities. Contact us for more information about our approach to trauma treatment.

    What Is A Ptsd Flashback Like

    What Does a PTSD Flashback Feel Like?

    Posttraumatic stress disorder flashbacks are examples of a re-experiencing of the trauma that caused the PTSD. Because of this, the details of the flashback tend to be impacted by the person who experienced the trauma as well as the type of trauma he or she experienced. What can be said for what happens during most PTSD flashbacks is that it is scary for those experiencing it and even for those around them.

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    Where Can I Find More Information On Ptsd

    The National Center for PTSD, a program of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is the leading federal center for research and education on PTSD and traumatic stress. You can find information about PTSD, treatment options, and getting help, as well as additional resources for families, friends, and providers.

    How Is Ptsd Diagnosed

    A psychiatrist will diagnose PTSD through a mental health assessment. Your GP should carry out an initial assessment to decide what care you need. Your assessment should include information about:

    • your physical needs,
    • your social needs, and
    • risk.

    As part of the assessment they will decide if you need to be referred to the community mental health team . You should be referred to the CMHT if you have had symptoms for more than 4 weeks. Or your symptoms are very bad. A CMHT is part of the NHS. They are a team of mental health professionals.

    Doctors use the following manuals to help to diagnose you:

    • International Classification of Diseases produced by the World Health Organisation , and
    • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual produced by the American Psychiatric Association.

    The manuals are guides which explain different mental health conditions.

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    Cognition And Mood Symptoms

    • Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
    • Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
    • Distorted thoughts about the event that cause feelings of blame
    • Ongoing negative emotions, such as fear, anger, guilt, or shame
    • Loss of interest in previous activities
    • Feelings of social isolation
    • Difficulty feeling positive emotions, such as happiness or satisfaction

    Cognition and mood symptoms can begin or worsen after the traumatic event and can lead a person to feel detached from friends or family members.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Ptsd

    What Your Brain Looks Like with PTSD

    Some of the symptoms are PTSD and complex PTSD are:

    • reliving the experience through flashbacks, dreams or nightmares,
    • not being able to feel emotions,
    • dissociation. This could include disconnecting from yourself or other people,
    • negative alternations in mood,
    • negative self-perception such as feeling worthless or defeated,
    • hyperarousal such as anger, irritability or sleep issues,
    • hypervigilance such as feeling on constant alert. Or being overly sensory to stimulus such as smell and noise, and
    • avoidance. This could mean that you try to distract your thought from thinking about the trauma. Or you avoid situations that remind you of your trauma.

    Is psychosis a symptom of PTSD?

    There is a link between PTSD and psychosis. But it is not known if psychosis is a symptom of PTSD. Or a separate mental health condition.

    You can find more information about psychosis by clicking here.

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    Prevention Of Ptsd In The Military

    Military servicemen and -women and veterans can develop PTSD as a result of the events they experienced or witnessed. These can include trauma that occurred during combat or military sexual trauma , which includes sexual harassment and sexual assault that occurs during training, combat, or peacetime.

    The estimated percentage of veterans affected by PTSD varies by war, as outlined by the VA:

    • Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom : between 11 and 20 percent
    • Gulf War: 12 percent
    • Vietnam War: between 15 and 30 percent

    Nevertheless, a study published in June 2017 in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that PTSD affects veterans and active-duty military service members in similar ways.

    The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have invested time and money on research and providing programs to help prevent military personnel from developing PTSD. These efforts include training civilians and veterans to tolerate stress more effectively, instituting treatment protocols after a diagnosis, and treating chronic PTSD, Dr. Berry says.

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