Post –Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

After an exposure to a terrifying event, either having watched or experienced it, some people develop a condition wherein they face difficulty in adjusting or coming to terms with the danger, scare and trauma of the event. They experience nightmares, stress and flashbacks that fail to leave their memory and interferes with the day-to-day life. PTSD can be quite serious in certain cases, debilitating people of the natural reactions and behaviours, more often for those who have witnessed a natural disaster or experienced repeated episodes of abuse.

Causes

PTSD is manifested as a complex mix when people go through, witness or learn of extreme events concerning death, despicable injury, violence or large-scale disaster. Though scientifically, it is unclear to completely explain the phenomenon of PTSD; however, it can be caused due to:

  • Repeated stressful experiences wherein the severity and degree of trauma is beyond manageable proportion and the mind fails to accept
  • Familial history of depression and anxiety
  • Innate nature of temperament to easily get perturbed
  • Co-ordination of biochemistry of brain, hormones and body’s response to stressful situations

People of all ages can develop PTSD, but some are at a higher risk of being easily affected by the traumatic events: – those with long-term trauma, have a stressful job, complicated relationship, other mental problems, lack self-esteem and social support.

Symptoms

PTSD is triggered within weeks of the exposure to the event, yet the signs can go unnoticed reasonably for a long time. The symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Recurrence of unwanted memories in a loop, distressing and traumatic
  • Flashbacks of the events wherein the person relives those events again and again
  • Acute distress and discomfort with place and things that remind of the events
  • Avoid discussing the matter that remind of the events, visiting places nor indulge in any social activities that reminiscence of the trauma
  • Develop pessimism of oneself and about people around
  • Hopelessness, detachment and difficulty to balance family bonding and relationships
  • Disinterest in socialising or enjoy any of social gatherings
  • Emotionally void and face difficulty in emulating positivity

Treatment

Psychotherapy is the most effective way for people to share the experience and let the outburst. Admitting to the trauma and talking about it provides a way to let out the bottled up emotions and develop positivity. Exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring are some of the helpful ways to change a victim’s behaviour. Medication is prescribed to control stress, anger and depression while undergoing the treatment.

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