Ever had episodes of recurring memories (flashbacks) of a particularly traumatic event, nightmares, disturbed sleep after experiencing a stressful event? Yup the issue is real and as the name implies we are said to suffer from a condition called, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”.
What is PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
“PTSD is a protracted response to a stressful event of an exceptionally threatening or catastrophic nature”.
This may be a result of the sudden death of a loved one, natural calamities, assaults (mental and physical), accidents, etc.
Symptoms of PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Recurrent memories through which the person tends to imagine the traumatic event vividly.
- Sudden anxiety.
- Feelings of guilt.
- Avoiding situations that tend to bring back memories of the trauma.
- These patients might even develop anxiety and depression which further complicates the scenario.
PTSD could be treated well if it is diagnosed at an early stage, promptly without much delay. But this condition is gradual and might even take a month after the traumatic event to show up.
This condition is usually handled by psychiatrists, psychoanalysts. They come to a diagnosis based upon our medical history, recent events in our lives, etc.
People who show up early to their mental health professional after experiencing a major traumatic event have had better outcomes.
Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Counseling is one major mode of treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It mainly revolves around the idea of giving mental support to the patient and the opportunity to open up after a crisis.
- Stress management, cognitive behavioral therapy – mainly involves giving emotional support, changing unhelpful behavior, developing coping strategies, and helping them solve their own issues.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), a treatment modality for treating problems like phobias are used.
- Another treatment is making the patient face the trauma or the anxiety in a safe and controlled environment.
- Therapies and a calming environment with meditation might serve as a great help.
- Apart from these, our doctors might prescribe some anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, drugs to relieve elevated blood pressure, etc.
The major drawback with this condition is that they have a very gradual onset and might take some time to expose themselves and the path to recovery is also not a bed of roses.
In a majority of the population with PTSD, the condition resolves by itself or might go away within certain months or years. In some rare cases, this might turn out chronic.
Always remember it is wise to consult the psychiatrist if you have signs of depression or suicidal thoughts.
Try to be supportive to your loved ones after a traumatic event and constantly check up on them and always look out for these symptoms and provide them with the needed help.