What is post traumatic stress disorder?
Post traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder. This disorder consists of reliving the traumatic event all over again. One can survive horrible things without ever having a post traumatic stress disorder however there are many cases that it is not so.
After having an emotional and physical trauma a person usually doesn’t develop this disorder right a way. Months or years can pass until post traumatic stress disorder takes place.
If you cut yourself you will need time to heal. It is the same with emotional trauma. The difference between physical trauma and emotional one is that physical trauma starts healing right a way and our body does it on its own. Emotional trauma is not that simple to cure. In this case our mind has to have a leading role in healing process.
Post traumatic stress disorder is not developed only by those that directly experienced a traumatic event but also by those that have witnessed it. Flashbacks (reliving episodes) can be very intense and filled with details. One can see, smell and hear things that are not really there and sometimes even lose touch with reality. During these flashbacks a person is terrified and can be aggressive.
Flashbacks can last from couple of second to couple of minutes. Many ordinary things can trigger flashbacks; things like crowded places or thunderstorm.
Flashbacks are very unpleasant and a person can be under their influence for a long time after they are over. This is because usually they feel as if they lived through their trauma once again. Flashbacks may also appear in sleep and thus cause the anxiety when ever it is time for bed.
Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
Being very alert
Lost of interest in sex
Wanting to escape
Avoidance of anything that is related to traumatic event
Losing the touch with reality during flashbacks
Overwhelming fear and tension
This list of symptoms is made only so you can have an overall idea what are the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
There are many other symptoms and they are differing from person to person. However one symptom is always present and that is flashbacks and fear they are causing.
Even though veterans are most often associated with post traumatic stress disorder many other people have this disorder without ever being in war.
Rape victims, people that survived a natural disaster, victims of violence and many others can develop this disorder.
Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Aside from behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy which are very successful in treating this disorder, there is also group therapy. Group therapy is very useful in treating post traumatic stress disorder.
In this therapy an individual can see that there are many others experiencing the same thing as he/she does. Also in group therapy one can learn how others coupe with post traumatic stress disorder and learn from their experience.
Medications are frequently used together with psychotherapy when treating this disorder. Antidepressants and/or anti anxiety medication can be prescribed.
What medication will be prescribed depends on the symptoms and their severity. Medications usually do not relieve the patient from flashbacks but they can help a lot with other symptoms such as insomnia or anxiety.
Post traumatic stress disorder is usually accompanied with some other anxiety disorder, alcohol abuse or depression. This is one of the reasons that symptoms differ from patient to patient.
Mixed anxiety and depression is very common even though these two disorders are quite different. When patient is depressed depression needs to be treated as well. Also if there is substance abuse counseling is mandatory.
. They either cause or nourish an illness. It is understandable that someone who is suffering from a post traumatic stress disorder may try to self-medicate. However that only makes things worse and if you want to get better you must stop consuming alcohol or drugs. Even the smallest amount of alcohol is considered as treat for the good outcome of treatment.
Say "no" to alcohol, say "no" to drugs and say "yes" to treatment because by saying that you are saying "goodbye" to post traumatic stress disorder.