What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that occurs to people who have experienced any traumatic event in their past times. The traumatic event might be any natural disaster, physical or sexual abuse, serious accident, sudden injury, or a terror attack.

PTSD is also considered a type of anxiety disorder, as the symptoms are similar except the traumatic events. The individual suffering from PTSD avoids situations or people that remind them of the previous traumatic event.

Moreover, People who have PTSD often face difficulties in sharing their feelings with anyone. They are hyper-vigilant and get disturbing thoughts relating to their past experiences. The constant sense of detachment leads to extreme sadness.

Symptoms:

  • Nightmares and flashbacks
  • Heightened reaction to any situations
  • Hypervigilance and irritation
  • Severe anxiety or depression
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Loneliness leading to the unwanted thought
  • Emotional Detachment
  • Physical sensations or trembling

Types:

  • Uncomplicated PTSD: In this type of PTSD, the individual will persistently experience traumatic events. They will get emotionally numb and would show several symptoms of increased arousal.
  • Complex PTSD: In this situation, the person will experience extreme stress when exposed to traumatic events for a prolonged time. It mainly happens to those who have ever faced sexual or physical abuse during childhood. They become more antisocial and get impulsive. It takes more time to treat Complex PTSD, as compared to other ones. The self-destructive behavior and extreme emotional difficulties get severe to handle.
  • Comorbid PTSD: When a person faces PTSD along with more than one psychiatric disorder, then it's stated as Comorbid PTSD. It's normal to have one psychiatric illness and PTSD like substance abuse, alcohol addiction, and depression.

Treatment:

Different psychotherapists and medications are used to treat PTSD, depending on the severity of the situation. The therapies for PTSD work on achieving three main goals, like helping you deal with flashbacks by restoring your self-esteem.

The core idea is to change the thought patterns that are making disturbances in your life. All these are usually done by talking about the trauma and concentrating on the triggers or fears. Depending on the situation, your therapist will use the following therapies:

  • CBT
  • EFT
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Self-help tips for overcoming Post-traumatic Stress Disorder:

Flashbacks often make the situation more distressing while in PTSD. You will get sudden feelings of fear or panic, and affect the breathing level adversely. However, you can try these self-help tips for PTSD to regain a sense of control effectively

  • Set boundaries: It's challenging for an individual to be in a relationship while in PTSD, as they have many personal struggles. However, if you are suffering the same, you need to set boundaries for yourself. Someone who has suffered from a natural disaster or sexual assault often feel violated around people. There are lots of triggers of PTSD. Hence it would be best if you spoke about your problems, to your partner or friend.
  • Stay active as much as you can: It would be best if you stay physically active during PTSD, as it will boost your mood and would help you get over the irritation or anxiety. Physical activities act as a source of happiness and provide relaxation from traumatic events. You can also get social support by joining a gym, fitness center, or group exercise class, as you can talk about your problems without any barriers.
  • Explore your creative side: If you don't desire to go for regular therapy sessions, you can go for art or music therapy as it significantly impacts the brain. If you like crafting or writing, then do it to get relief from anxiety or irritation. Doing several art projects like quilting also gives comfort from the severity of PTSD.
  • Join or build a support network: Try building a PTSD support network, as it will benefit you from coping with the symptoms. If you have friends, coworkers, or family, who are well aware of your PTSD, then talk to them about your problems and recovery areas. Sometimes, people who have faced or were exposed to multiple traumatic events find it difficult to join social groups.
  • Seek counseling: You will require professional assistance even after trying several self-help methods. Through regular therapy sessions, you will learn ways to manage PTSD effectively. You can also get over the feelings of self-blame or negative thoughts through CBT and EFT.

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