Do I Have PTSD? Behind the Scenes with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you’ve experienced a traumatic event, or witnessed multiple trauma, you may ask yourself “do I have PTSD?” on the regular.
If you feel you aren’t sleeping, having flashbacks, intrusive thoughts about trauma, and / or you wonder “do I have PTSD?” more than once a week, it would be good to see a therapist.
Many people who have PTSD have had to deal with life-threatening situations like accidents, war, natural disaster, assault, sexual coercion, and / or any other event that gets stuck in the body triggers and responses.
Generally, the fear and shock that comes with experiencing any of these events does fade over time. However, when you have PTSD, it gets replaced by constant flashbacks, shock, and fear… to name a few symptoms.
How to Answer “Do I have PTSD?”
You can tell if you have PTSD when you notice the following:
- You must have had a serious injury, sexual violence, near-death experience, been threatened with death, or experience rape. It could be a first-hand experience, or you might have witnessed a friend or family member go through such an experience.
- You’re experiencing trauma in the form of nightmares, emotional distress, flashbacks, and other thoughts or symptoms that show when you’re thinking about the event.
- You try as much as you can to avoid situations, thoughts, or feelings that will make you remember the trauma. For instance, if the event happened in a particular place, you try to avoid going to such a place.
- You start having frequent negative thoughts or feelings that get worse by the day. You can not remember how the whole event unfolded, and you blame others or even yourself for the trauma even when you’re not at fault. Your favorite activities no longer interest you, and you feel lonely and alone.
- Find it hard to see positivity in situations.
- You become unreasonably angry and very irritable. You also engage in dangerous activities just to harm yourself or even have suicidal thoughts. Cannot enjoy sleeping like before, and staying focused becomes a problem.
Treatment for Symptoms of PTSD
Psychology therapies and medication are the common treatments for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
These methods are used because they help you come to terms with your feelings and seek professional help. There’s a treatment for PTSD regardless of how long you’ve been suffering from it so it’s not too late!
Before a professional recommends any type of treatment for PTSD, you will have to go through the assessment and watchful waiting process.
- Assessment: Your doctor or a mental health professional will carry out a thorough assessment of your symptoms and the right treatment will be recommended. After that, you will meet a mental specialist for more assessment and treatments if your symptoms are severe or you’ve been experiencing it for over four weeks.
- Watchful waiting: Your psychiatrist or APRN may recommend watchful waiting if you’ve only been experiencing the symptoms in less than four weeks. The process involves careful monitoring of your symptoms to know if it will improve or become worse. You will likely then be asked to do a follow-up appointment within 90 days.
If your PTSD will require treatment, the first treatment that your doctor or professional will recommend is the psychological therapies. If it’s a severe or persistent case of PTSD, a medication will be recommended alongside the psychological therapies.
Three types of psychological therapies used in treating people with PTSD include:
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
- It helps you deal with PTSD by helping you to change your thinking and how you act.
- For example, your therapist can help you face your fear and change what you think about what happened. You might have been blaming yourself for something that wasn’t your fault, and your therapist will help you see that.
- Your therapist will also encourage you to start doing the things you’ve avoided since you had the traumatic experience.
- For instance, driving (if you’ve had a car accident), or other things you’ve avoided depending on your experience. The general period for Tf-CBT may be between 12 weeks or more.
- Each session usually lasts for 53-60 minutes.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- This is a new treatment for PTSD that involves tracing your therapists’ finger by making side to side eye movement while remembering the traumatic incident. Also, therapists use theratappers, the light bar, or butterfly hugs and taps to get through.
- This method has been proven to reduce PTSD symptoms. It is a long and methodical process with amazing outcomes. Seek an https://www.emdria.org/ specialist today.
- Group Therapy for PTSD
- Group therapy has shown to be helpful as people can easily speak about their experiences with other people regarding their PTSD symptoms.
- It can help you understand your condition better and find ways of managing it.
- Many charity organizations provide counseling and support to people with PTSD
If You Answered Yes to “Do I have PTSD?” Consider Medication
Medications are recommended in severe cases or when psychology therapies seem not to work.
- You can choose medication if you do not want to undergo the psychological therapies or if it hasn’t been effective.
- If you also have an underlying condition like depression, you may not get the needed results from psychological treatment.
- Medication is usually used for a minimum of one year before it will be gradually withdrawn.
- Your doctor will inform you of the possible side effects of taking any medication, and they’ll let you know if you have to continue or stop it at a point if the symptoms reduce or when there’s no improvement.
Why Treating PTSD is Important
Many people that leave PTSD untreated do so because of many reasons:
- They may not be aware that they have the condition.
- They may feel it’s a temporary feeling that will wear off with time.
- They may be scared of undergoing the treatment due to the fear of their traumatic experience.
- They may fear being labeled with a “mental health diagnosis”
PTSD affects people of all ages, including in vitro babies whose parents are under constant emotional stress during pregnancy.
PTSD can have devastating effects on those who have it and the people around them.
It affects the relationship with your friends, family, and people around you. If you have asked yourself “do I have PTSD?” chances are that you can seek an intake appointment with a therapist.
Don’t suffer any longer, as PTSD can also lead to severe emotional problems and health issues that may arise over time. Seek assistance today.
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