Post-traumatic Stress Disorder—What Is It
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurs when an individual must have survived, or been exposed to a traumatic event. This kind of disorder was initially studied primarily in connection with military veterans, because many of them were usually affected after returning from wars. Based on their tragic experience in the battle field. Many people today who have experienced sexual or physical abuse, terrorist attacks, accidents, kidnapping, childhood neglect and wars have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Additionally, medical procedures or heart attacks have also triggered PTSD in some individuals. Many people diagnosed with PTSD usually have flashbacks, nightmares and fearful thoughts about the event that occurred. Regardless of the fact that the incident has passed, the memories and terrors of those moments or memories of what transpired, continues to take up permanent residence in the person’s mind.
You Are Not Alone
A 1992 study found that, one week after a rape, 94 percent of the survivors evaluated have PTSD. And even after twelve weeks 47 percent continued to do so. PTSD is a very common disorder today. Sadly, About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives. In addition, as of 2018, About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year.
People suffering from PTSD can be wounded in many ways. In body, mind, and spirit. It poses physical health problems to the sufferer, and consequently, to immediate family. On the other hand, the pain of living and suffering with PTSD is very hard to express. Therefore, If you have survived a trauma and are experiencing similar after-effects, it is important to know that you are not alone.
Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder includes
- Hyper alert to danger and fear it might happen again.
- Avoiding places, activities, or people that remind you of the traumatic event
- Flashbacks of the events
- Nightmares about the traumatic event
- Overwhelming guilt and feeling negatively about yourself and others
- Aggressive and self destructive behaviours
- Feeling detached from others
- Trust issues and always defensive
- emotional numbness, anxiety and anger
Post Traumatic Stress disorder diagnosis
There’s no specific test to diagnose PTSD. It can be difficult to diagnose because people with PTSD may not want to recall or discuss the trauma, or their symptoms. A mental health specialist is best qualified to diagnose PTSD.
Furthermore, ongoing research into the effects of trauma on the brain and body has led to the development of trauma-informed therapies and practices. To be diagnosed with PTSD, you must experience all of the following symptoms for 1 month or longer:
- Unwanted upsetting memories, nightmares and flashbacks
- Trauma-related arousal and reactivity that began or worsened after the trauma
- Negative thoughts or feelings that began or worsened after the trauma
- Symptoms create significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning not attributed to the direct physiological effects of medication, drugs, or alcohol.
- Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, serious accidents or sexual violation
- Persistent avoidance of distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic events or of external reminders.
4 Helpful Suggestions To Take Into Consideration
1. Consult with a competent health professional
There are effective therapies that exist which could help someone with PTSD. These include Talk Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. In addition, if you are receiving professional help. Be honest with that person and ask for help to overcome any of the above symptoms.
Moreover, It’s good to know that; when trauma survivors take direct action to cope with their stress reactions, they put themselves in a position of power. Importantly, learn about healthy coping strategies that you can use after a trauma.
2. Encouragement and Comfort.
An individual with PTSD needs a lot of encouragement and comfort from family and friends. That could go a long way to help such ones. Sometimes it may be difficult to try to help someone with PTSD. They can be very unresponsive to help because of the experience they have faced. It’s very vital to understand what these persons must have passed through. So, it’s normal to be unresponsive. Everyone has to keep trying to comfort the sufferer.
Furthermore, someone with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder should avoid illicit drugs and overindulgence in alcoholic beverages. Although alcohol and drugs may give promise of temporary relief, they will eventually make matters worse. Also, they could lead to social isolation, rejection of the people who want to help, workaholism, uncontrolled anger, self-destructive behaviour. etc.
3. Peer Support Groups
A lot of people have benefited from peer support groups. not just those with an experience of post-traumatic stress, but from all walks of life. Peer support groups can be safe. Also, they can be supportive and non-judgmental space to make friends, get current, break patterns of isolation, and to develop collective problem-solving skills.
However, a peer support group has the added potential of being facilitated by a person with the same interests or lived experiences as those of its members. This interest, or lived experience, is usually the reason for the group’s formation. In conclusion, locate and learn more about peer support groups to help those diagnosed with PTSD. Secondly, to care for someone with PTSD.
4. Tools to Help Manage Symptoms
- PTSD Coach: Mobile App This mobile app has self-assessments, symptom-tracking, and coping skills to help you address and monitor stress. Available for iOS and Android.
- PTSD Coach Online A series of online video coaches will guide you through 17 tools to help you manage stress. PTSD Coach Online is used on a computer, rather than a mobile device, and therefore can offer tools that involve writing.
See also: See also: The Complete Stress Management Guide