Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Usually, Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) comes after an unfortunate incident, occurrence or event. It manifests when a person experiences or witnesses death, sexual violence or severe injury. It can be as a result of something that happened to you or something you witnessed. For example, plane crash or a serious car accident, sexual harassment or rape, murder of a beloved one or suicide, witnessing natural disaster (earthquake, flood) and so on.
People with this disorder have disturbing memories of the event. This affects them physically, mentally, their day to day activities and relationships. It is diagnosed more in women than men.

What causes PTSD?

Psychiatrists think this disorder (PTSD) happens as a result of the brain laying down memories in the wrong place. It’s as if the brain gets overwhelmed during this horrible or traumatic event. The memories occupy the “immediate action” part of the brain instead of the usual place. Not everyone who witnesses a traumatic occurrence or event gets PTSD. For people who don’t, it’s believed that the brain gradually comes to term with these horrible memories and they are no longer as vivid or bright as before. As for those with this PTSD, these horrible memories are as stressing and immediate as when it first happened.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

  • People with PTSD experience it in different ways.
  • Some people with this disorder have suicidal feeling and always want to hurt themselves. In most cases, people with PTSD also suffer depression and anxiety, or get addicted to drugs or alcohol.
  • Flashback of the traumatic event
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Anger or emotional outburst
  • Pessimistic emotions
  • Distress when you see things that trigger your memory about the occurrence.

PTSD Treatment

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Trauma-focused therapy (CBT) is a type psychological treatment for PTSD. The aim is to help you deal with the horrible experiences, trauma or memories you have. It will help you recall and work through the feelings and sensations you felt when the event happened until they cause much less distress. The psychiatrists and other therapist are trained to be sensitive about what you can put up with or cope with and how fast you can go through treatment. If you think it’s too much, you can make it known to your therapist and not run away from treatment.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
During EMDR, your therapist will take you through a series of eye movements (moving your eye from one side to another side). At the same time, you will be instructed to concentrate or focus on a disturbing memory. It may sound strange, but, this is thought to “reprocess” the memory so they can move into the normal memory system.

Medications
The most commonly used medicine for PTSD is an antidepressant. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Fluoxetine is an example of SSRI. Sedatives (sleeping tablets) might be prescribed for a short time to enhance your sleep or make you sleep well.

Family Therapy
It comes to notice that OCD creates a problem in the family and affects social life; family therapy helps to promote understanding of this disorder and reduce family issues. It is used to motivate family members and teach them how to improve their loved ones with this disorder.

Group Therapy
Group therapy provides support and encouragement through interaction with the fellow sufferers and the feeling of isolation decreases.

Contact any of the team at PSI Balance for further information or make an appointment online today.