Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you have gone through a traumatic experience, it is normal to feels lots of emotions, such as distress, fear, guilt or anger. You may start to feel better after days or weeks, but sometimes, these feelings do not go away. If the symptoms last for more than a month, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a traumatic event. A traumatic event is a life-threatening event such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or children.
PTSD is a real problem and can happen at any age. If you have PTSD, you are not alone. It affects nearly eight million American adults.
Anyone can get PTSD: anyone who was a victim, witnessed or has been exposed to a life-threatening situation; survivors of violent acts, such as domestic violence, rape, sexual, physical and/or verbal abused or physical attacks; combat veterans or civilians exposed to war; people who have learned of or experienced an unexpected and sudden death of a friend or relative; emergency responders who help victims during traumatic events; children who are neglected and/or abused (physically, sexually, or verbally).
For many people, symptoms begin almost right away after the trauma happens. For other, the symptoms may not begin or may not become a problem until years later. Symptoms are: repeatedly thinking about the trauma: being constantly alert or on guard; avoiding reminders of the trauma; panic attacks, physical symptoms (chronic pain, headaches, stomach pain, diarrhea, tightness or burning in the chest, muscle cramps or low back pain); feelings of mistrust; problems in daily living; substance abuse; relationship problems; depression, suicidal thoughts.
PTSD can be treated with some success. Treatment and support are critical to your recovery. Although your memories won’t go away, you can learn how to manage your response to these memories and the feelings they bring up. You can reduce the frequency and intensity of your reactions. Psychotherapy, although it may seem painful to face the trauma you went through, doing it with the help of a mental health professional can help you get better. There are different types of therapy.
Medicines can help lower anxiety and depression and help with other symptoms. Sedatives can help with sleep problems, anti-anxiety medicine may also help.
Support groups lead by a mental health professional of 4 -12 people with similar issues to talk about can be a form of therapy. Talking to other survivors of trauma can be a helpful step in recovery. You can share your thoughts to help resolve your feelings, gain confidence in coping with your memories and symptoms and find comfort in knowing you are not alone.
Recovering from PTSD is an on-going process. But there are healthy steps you can take to help you recover and stay well: connect with friend and family, isolation can make things worse; relax what make you feel relax is it music, reading a book or taking a walk; exercise can relieve your tense muscles, improves your mood, and sleep and boosts your energy and strength; getting enough rest helps you cope with your problems better; keep a journal , writing down your thoughts can be great way to work through issues; refrain from using drugs and alcohol, they can make your symptoms worse; volunteer, it will help build social networks, improves self-esteem and can provide a sense of purpose and achievement; limit TV watching some programs might bother you.
PTSD is problem many face. If you believe you have some of the symptoms, please contact a mental health professional that can begin diagnosing the problem and provide treatment.
For more information visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net.