Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric disorder, can occur in the people who have witnessed or experienced a traumatic incident like a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist act, rape / violent assault or war/combat, etc. PTSD continues to create disturbing intense feelings and thoughts even after the traumatic has ended. People of all ethnicity, nationality, culture and age brackets are found having Posttraumatic stress disorder. Moreover, 3.5 % of U.S. adults are found having PTSD effects. Women are likely to have PTSD almost two times more than men.
Symptoms of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
PTSD symptoms are categorized into four types: avoidance, intrusive memories, negative thinking & mood, and changes in emotional & physical reactions.
|Avoidance||Intrusive Memories||Negative Thinking & Mood||Changes In Emotional & Physical Reactions|
|Avoiding People, Places, And Activities That Remind The Traumatic Event; Trying To Avoid Thinking Or Talking About The Traumatic Incident
|Recurrent Unwanted Distressing Memories Of Traumatic Event;
Reliving The Same Traumatic Event (Flashbacks);
Nightmares; Emotional Distress; Physical Reaction To Anything That Reminds The Traumatic Incident
|Negative Thoughts, hopelessness; Memory Problems, Relationship Problem; Feeling Detached; Lack Of Interest In Activities; Not Having Positive Emotions; Feeling Numb Emotionally||Being Startled /Frightened; Feeling On The Edge Of Danger; Self-Destructive Behavior, Trouble Sleeping; Trouble Concentrating; Irritability; Angry Outbursts; Aggressive Behavior; Feel Of Shame
Most of the symptoms last for more than a month. Sometimes, PTSD symptoms persist even for the months and years. Normally, high-intensity symptoms appear within three months after the traumatic incident but mild intensity symptoms may appear later also. The significant distress and problem in normal functioning are the key disturbing factors that make PTSD diagnose importantly and must have at the earliest.
Diagnosis of PTSD:
PTSD diagnosis has three stages:
Physical examination – To check the medical problem causing the detected symptoms
Psychological evaluation – Discussion of symptoms and the event causing them
Mapping the problem statistically – Psychotherapist and medical practitioner follow the DSM-5 rules to understanding the treatment needs
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Treatment- 5 PTSD Treating Psychotherapy Techniques:
With PTSD brain doesn’t tackle the trauma in the right way. The memory of the traumatic incident is not registered as happening of past, as a result, you feel frightened, unsecured, weak and stressed despite knowing you are safe. SSRIs and SNRI category medicines are commonly used to reduce the intensity of PTSD symptoms but the prescription depends upon the medical history. The psychotherapy emerges as the safest and ‘fit for all’ PTSD treatment; it is a permanent, practical and affordable solution. Following five psychotherapy techniques are used often to treat PTSD:
Cognitive therapy: It helps you recognize the thinking pattern/s that keeps you stuck; for example, you might be having negative beliefs about yourself or you might have worried for the risk of a traumatic incident happening again. Cognitive therapy is often used in parallel to exposure therapy to treat PTSD.
Exposure therapy: It helps you face the frightening memories; as a result, you cope with the disturbing thoughts effectively. Exposure therapy is highly effective to control nightmare and flashback problem. Virtual reality program is also made the part of exposure therapy that allows you to re-experience the incident.
Eye movement desensitization & reprocessing (EMDR): It is combined with exposure therapy. It trains you for the guided eye movements to process the disturbing traumatic memories; as a result, you react to those memories differently.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy is highly effective to treat the symptom of avoiding talks, person or places that remind you about the traumatic event. PE helps you confront the induced feelings. It is planned for 8 to 15 sessions; each session is scheduled for 90 minutes. It includes breathing techniques also. During PE you share your traumatic experience with the therapist and listen to the recording of your statements at home. Over time, you notice significant comfort.
Stress Inoculation Training (SIT): It is a CBT stream that allows you to take psychotherapy session individually or in a group. During the sessions, focus in not on knowing what happened but the focus is to develop the changes in your response management for stresses from the traumatic incident memories. You might learn to block all the negative thoughts. The minimum period required to get psychological health benefits is about 3 months.
Early intervention to control the PTSD symptoms must be your approach. Psychotherapy is the most valuable PTSD treatment. It is never too late to treat your trauma. As more and more PTSD patients are coming forward to treat PTSD by psychotherapy, Psychotherapists are also innovating more effective ways to comfort their patients. You need just to identify the possible PTSD symptom and approach the PTSD specialist psychotherapist.
Have faith in Psychotherapist and follow the PTSD psychotherapy guidelines with commitment.