What Is the Meaning of PTSD and Trauma?
PTSD is a type of mental disorder that affects so many people yearly irrespective of their age. It commonly happens after a person has gone through either of the following psychological or physical stressing situations:
- Involved road accidents
- Has been sexually assaulted or abused
- Has experienced domestic violence
- Been to war
- Experienced a natural disaster
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that picks up different forms and affects those who have witnessed or gone through traumatic experiences such as natural disasters or personal tragedies. It arises in people from different ethnicities, gender, and backgrounds immediately after a traumatic experience or years later. The most common psychological reaction to such an event is shock or severe stress.
Additionally, persons with PTSD have deep, disturbing thoughts and feelings connected to these events that continue haunting them even after the traumatic event. These individuals recall these experiences through memories and dreams. These persons may also feel angry, numb, sad, afraid, and also have feelings of detachment or wanting to stay away from people around them.
PTSD brings about a lot of emotional pain to those living with it, and they struggle to avoid factors that remind them of the trauma they have gone through. In severe cases of emotional challenges, the overall health of the person is affected negatively. PTSD is treatable. Hence, it is crucial to quickly address the issue and find an effective cure and treatment method. A common symptom of PTSD in a person involves being confused and not understanding the things going on around them.
Nonetheless, as soon as the brain begins reliving the traumatic event, the symptoms become less severe and begin to disappear slowly. Unfortunately, it is possible for someone who has PTSD to stay in a mental shock state for an extended period. When this occurs, there is a high chance that the symptoms will worsen.
Fortunately, not everyone struggling with a traumatic experience will eventually suffer from PTSD. Because it is likely for people to get PTSD years later after trauma, some cases have been reported of patients who developed severe symptoms after several days or after some years. Research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health shows that PTSD affects many and happens to all ages, not excluding early childhood.
Studies also show that women are more at risk of developing PTSD compared to men. There is also substantial proof that this disorder may be inherited. In other words, if there is someone with PTSD in your family, you are more likely to develop it at some point.
Finally, most medical practitioners are worried that PTSD is similar to other mental disorders in that it may bring about drug abuse, anxiety disorders, and depression. Therefore, it is crucial to cure and manage all related conditions before negatively affecting one’s quality of life.
The symptoms of PTSD bring about major problems to the personal life of an individual. Those who have PTSD may start seeing particular images, smelling a specific scent, or hearing loud sounds that remind them of the incident. These symptoms typically occur suddenly or unexpectedly. The following are some of the symptoms that are common to people who have PTSD:
- Feeling stressed or afraid whenever they are reminded of a traumatic event. It may cause them to have panic attacks.
- Recalling the experiences as flashbacks that occur at any time, whether day or night.
- Having nightmares about the traumatic event.
- Being constantly afraid and worried. It affects one’s ability to finish daily duties, keep a job, or take care of their family.
- Shunning certain situations linked to the trauma.
- Finding it hard to enjoy life the way you did before the trauma and frequently having feelings of detachment and emotional numbness.
- Having constant concentration issues at work or doing chores around the house and being easily startled now and then.
- Expressing a lack of self-control, anger, and violence.
- Always being ready and expecting danger.
- Isolating yourself because you are afraid of leaving the comfort of your home to get out into the world.
- Undergoing physical pain worsens throughout the day, such as dizziness, difficulties when you breathe, headache, racing heart, nausea, chest pains, and migraines.
- You are not taking part in activities that you initially considered enjoyable and improved the quality of your life.
- Causing harm to other people.
- A lack of appetite brings about weight loss.
- Lacking interest in taking care of your body and overall health.
Finding Treatment for PTSD or Trauma
Those who have PTSD have a great response to treatment. To get back the normal life you once had, you must use the most effective treatment methods. The most common methods used to treat PTSD are medication or psychotherapy.
There are various types of medication to choose from. It would be wise to have a specialist who will guide you on the drug that best suits you. The types of medications used in treating PTSD include:
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Sleep medications
PTSD is commonly accompanied by anxiety and depression, and prescription pills are generally given to patients since they help fight symptoms of this disorder. It is important to note that PTSD is not entirely relieved by any medication you take. The most efficient method of treating PTSD is using both medication and therapy. However, finding the best prescription drug to help you better manage PTSD is not easy since it requires trial and error.
The three main types of psychotherapy that have been proven to be exceedingly useful in overcoming PTSD include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
This is the most efficient method of coping with negative thoughts that typically accompany PTSD. CBT encourages a patient to change their thinking process from a negative to a more positive one. After a while, this will help enhance good moods and lower the number of PTSD symptoms. If you want to get the best results and gain a lot from CBT, you should consider enrolling for a 12-week treatment program. The therapy sessions range from 60-90 minutes. Therefore, it’s essential to plan your schedules well to commit fully to your treatment.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET):
PET helps you work on facing whatever issue that has been disturbing you due to the traumatic event. Using this to relieve your symptoms will enable you to lead a happy and healthy life. During a PET session, your therapist will ask you to make a list of situations that you fear, and they are mostly situations that remind you of the traumatic experience.
You will eventually start to face your fears slowly as your therapist guides you. You will also be encouraged to concentrate on how you breathe to cope better when facing your fears.
Stress Inoculation Training (SIT):
It’s a type of psychotherapy that may take some months and is very efficient. In most cases, SIT is done with a group of persons who also have PTSD. This makes it easy for you to open up as little or as much as you want on whatever you’ve gone through during a traumatic event. SIT will explain and show you a strategy or technique like breathing methods and massage to relieve stress.
Self-Help Strategies for Life
You can use various strategies to fight PTSD own your own. Integrating a daily systematic strategy is essential to help you feel better and cope with your situation in the long or short run. Below are some of the self-care strategies that you can include in your life:
Eat Healthy Foods
Any food you eat has a significant effect on your overall health and wellness. Taking nutritious meals that have low sugar and fat content is essential in reducing anxiety and depression. Make it a routine to only select a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. Try as much as possible to avoid adding sweets and highly processed foodstuffs to your diet.
Enroll in a Support Group
Being part of a group of people who have been through similar experiences gives you the confidence to share your story and assurance that you are not alone in the healing process. The human connection is essential when a person is struggling with something. Look for a community or group that you can easily reach out to and have daily communication.
Begin a Workout Routine
Staying active is one of the best and most important things you can practice for your mental and physical wellness. Endorphins are released when going for long walks or regularly visiting the gym. When these hormones are released, they help develop and maintain a good mood throughout the day. Ensure you choose a workout routine that is fun and will enable you to remain active.
Keep a Diary
Living with PTSD requires you to recognize your feelings and find out what things cause negative emotions. Having a diary will help you figure out all these when you write down and go through whatever new thing you have learned about your condition.
Make Daily Affirmations
Prepare a list of positive and encouraging statements that you can loudly declare every day. This will help you gain the strength and ability you need to cope with PTSD symptoms. It is important to keep repeating these affirmations to yourself throughout the day. Although it may initially seem weird, it will get more comfortable with time.
Finding a Therapist for PTSD or Trauma
Finally, you can live life to the fullest and achieve your desired goals even though you have PTSD. This highly depends on working with a licensed and experienced professional. You can quickly and efficiently find a qualified therapist on our website. There are countless therapists online with the essential qualifications to learn the practical methods and coping strategies that enable you to lead a good life with PTSD.
The accessibility of therapeutic services online enables you to get the desired PTSD help effortlessly. You only need a few tips to act as a guide when picking the right therapist and therapeutic services.
Fortunately, the website offers this guide to perfection. The site contains relevant tips, guides, and solutions for those who want to learn about the process of getting therapy online. In other words, the platform eases your decision-making process and equips you with the info you need to make an informed and non-regrettable decision in life.