PTSD – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

PTSD causes symptoms and treatments

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological disorder that many people experience following a traumatic event in their lives. Patients with PTSD frequently find it difficult to function in daily life.
Fortunately, with the correct therapy and persistence, this psychiatric disorder can be alleviated and totally cured. Let’s take a look at the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for PTSD in the article below. Follow PowerPAC plus to learn more!!!

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Causes of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most commonly associated with those who have been in the military and, as a result, are more likely to have observed a traumatic occurrence on the battlefield.

PTSD, on the other hand, can be a natural response to a wide range of traumatic events, including sexual abuse, physical assault, accidents, or any sort of violence. Even if you are only a witness to the terrible occurrence, PTDS can have a significant impact on your mental health.

Symptoms

symptoms of PTSD

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can occur as soon as a month after a stressful experience, but they can also take years to appear. These symptoms pose serious issues in social and work circumstances, as well as in relationships and your mental health. They can also make it difficult for you to carry out your routine everyday activities.

Intrusive memories, avoidance, unfavorable changes in thought and attitude, and changes in bodily and emotional reactions are the four forms of PTSD symptoms. Symptoms can change over time or from one person to the next.

Intrusive memories

Intrusive recollections can cause the following symptoms:

  • Unwanted, upsetting recollections of the terrible occurrence resurface on a regular basis.
  • Re-enacting the terrible incident as if it were happening for the first time (flashbacks)
  • Dreams or nightmares regarding the incident that are disturbing or frightening
  • Physical or mental reactions to something that reminds you of the horrific incident

Avoidance

The following are examples of avoidance symptoms:

  • Attempting to avoid thinking about or discussing the trauma
  • Avoiding situations, activities, or people that bring up memories of the terrible occurrence

Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:

  • Negative feelings against oneself, others, or the world
  • Uncertainty about the future
  • Memory issues, such as forgetting essential details of unpleasant memories
  • Maintaining tight relationships is difficult.
  • Distancing yourself from family and friends
  • Lack of enthusiasm for activities you used to like
  • Positive emotions are difficult to come by.
  • I’m experiencing emotional numbness.

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Changes in physical and emotional reactions (also known as arousal symptoms) can cause the following symptoms:

  • Being easily frightened or startled
  • Always on the lookout for danger
  • Self-destructive behavior such as binge drinking or speeding are examples of self-destructive behavior.
  • Problems with sleep
  • Concentration issues
  • Irritability, furious outbursts, or aggressive behavior are all signs of irritability.
  • Guilt or humiliation that is overwhelming

For children 6 years old and younger, signs and symptoms may also include:

  • Frightening dreams that may or may not involve components of the traumatic incident Re-enacting the horrific event or aspects of the event through play
  • Guilt or humiliation that is overwhelming

Intensity of symptoms

The severity of PTSD symptoms might change over time. When you’re stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you’ve been through, you may have greater PTSD symptoms.

You might, for example, hear a car backfire and revisit combat memories. Alternatively, you can witness a news broadcast about a sexual attack and be struck by recollections of your own assault.

Healthy PTSD treatment options

“Living like a regular person” is sometimes challenging and stressful for PTSD patients. As a result, individuals frequently seek “escape” through unhealthy means such as drinking, drug abuse, self-isolation, or other addictions.

There are a variety of healthy strategies to cope with anxiety, fortunately. These techniques may help to minimize the severity of anxiety, reduce its frequency, and/or make it more bearable.

Practice deep breathing techniques

Many people do not breathe properly, which may seem foolish. Your diaphragm, a huge muscle in your abdomen, is involved in natural breathing. Your belly should expand as you breathe in. When you exhale, your stomach should drop. People lose how to breathe in this manner over time and instead rely on their chest and shoulders. Short, shallow breaths result, which can exacerbate tension and anxiety.

Fortunately, you can re-learn how to breathe deeply from your diaphragm and protect yourself from stress by doing so. To enhance your breathing and reduce anxiety, do basic deep breathing exercises.

Causes of PTSD

Mindfulness meditation

Meditation and mindfulness-based relaxation techniques are increasingly being used to treat a variety of ailments. According to a review of mindfulness-based PTSD treatments, a few therapies have been proven to be beneficial in lowering avoidance and self-blame in patients with the disease. These are the following:

Using relaxation exercises can be an effective way to reduce your stress and anxiety.

  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an intense 8-week program centered on the practice of mindfulness meditation that seeks to teach people how to focus their attention on their breath and avoid becoming distracted by distracting thoughts.
  • The structure of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), which is classified as “an adaptation of MBSR,” is quite similar to that of MBSR, but it is designed to specifically address depressive moods and negative thoughts.
  • mindfulness-based exposure therapy (MBET), which consists of a 16-week non-trauma-focused approach that incorporates MBCT principles and emphasizes safe and controlled exposure to avoided stimuli, with a focus on self-compassion training.
  • meditation-relaxation techniques, such as loving-kindness meditation Meditation was also found to be useful in improving self-compassion and lowering PTSD-related depressed symptoms.

Muscles relaxing exercises

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves alternating between tensing and releasing various muscle groups all over the body. This method of relaxation is comparable to that of a pendulum. By initially going to the other extreme, you can achieve complete muscle relaxation (that is, by tensing your muscles).
Furthermore, by tensing and instantly relaxing your muscles (a common indication of worry), the symptom of muscle tension may become a signal to relax over time.

Involve more physical activity

Many people who have been diagnosed with PTSD claim that finding a fun physical activity that they can do on a regular basis has helped them manage with their symptoms and lessen their stress levels.

Exercising is beneficial not just to your physical health, but it also aids in the release of endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that make us feel calm, happy, and relieve pain. Furthermore, when you exercise, the hormone dopamine is released, which helps you feel energized and motivated.

Art therapy

Art therapy is a sort of PTSD therapy that has gained popularity in recent years. This sort of therapy, which is led by specialists trained to work with people who have been through traumatic experiences, tries to help people externalize their feelings and learn to cope with upsetting memories via art, such as painting or sculpture.

Using art projects strategically, one case study reveals how art therapy can assist persons diagnosed with PTSD and traumatic brain injury overcome their symptoms and begin to leave their terrible experiences behind.

Keep track with your thoughts and emotions

Journaling (also known as expressive writing) can help you cope with anxiety by allowing you to express and cope with your thoughts and feelings. Expressive writing has been shown to benefit both physical and mental health.

In the case of PTSD, expressive writing has been shown to increase coping, post-traumatic growth (the ability to find meaning in and make positive life changes in the aftermath of a traumatic incident), and lessen PTSD symptoms, stress, and rage.

Pets help PTSD

Adopting a pet that is particularly taught to recognize and prevent — or interrupt — the beginning of disruptive symptoms of PTSD is another option that has been reported to be successful in helping people cope with the disruptive symptoms of PTSD. A number of studies have indicated that adopting a trained animal can help patients manage PTSD-related despair and anxiety, as well as other symptoms including nightmares, at least in the near term.

According to a study released last year, spending just one week with a specially trained dog reduced PTSD symptoms by 82 percent.

Distraction

Distraction strategies, when used strategically, can help people cope with powerful and unpleasant emotions like worry and dread. Anything you do to momentarily divert your focus away from a powerful feeling is referred to as distraction.

Concentrating on a powerful feeling can sometimes make it feel even greater and out of control. As a result, temporarily distracting yourself may allow the emotion to lessen in intensity, making it simpler to control.

Be your own best friend

It’s critical to have coping mechanisms in place while you’re dealing with anxiety. Seeking out social support, for example, can be a great way to lift your spirits. However, the anxiety that comes with PTSD symptoms can strike at any time, and social support may not be easily available.

As a result, it’s critical to acquire self-help coping skills. These coping tactics are sometimes referred to as self-soothing or self-care coping strategies since they aim to improve your mood and reduce worry.

Treatment

PTSD treatment

When you have PTSD, it’s tempting to believe that you’ll never be able to reclaim your life. However, the truth is that it is treatable.

Psychotherapy and pharmacological treatments for both short and extended periods of time can be successfully applied. When two types of treatment work together, the results are often bigger and more potent.

Therapy

The three major goals of PTSD therapy are:

  • Symptoms will improve.
  • Educate yourself on how to deal with it.
  • Regain your self-confidence.

The majority of PTSD treatments are classified as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The goal is to alter the negative thought patterns that are interfering with your life. This could happen via talking about your trauma or focusing on the source of your anxieties.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

CPT is a 12-week treatment program with 60-90 minute weekly sessions.
To begin, you and your therapist will discuss the traumatic experience and how your ideas about it have influenced your life. Then you’ll go into great detail about what occurred. This method allows you to explore how you think about your trauma and come up with fresh methods to cope.

Perhaps you’ve been criticizing yourself for some reason. Your therapist will assist you in considering all of the factors outside your control so that you may move ahead with the knowledge and acceptance that, deep down, it wasn’t your fault, regardless of what you did or didn’t do.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

PE will assist you in confronting items that remind you of the traumatic incident if you’ve been avoiding them. It consists of eight to fifteen 90-minute sessions.

Your therapist will teach you breathing methods early on in treatment to help you relax when you’re thinking about what happened. You’ll later build a list of the things you’ve been avoiding and learn how to confront them one by one. You’ll tell your therapist about the terrible episode in another appointment, then go home and listen to a recording of yourself. Over time, using this as “homework” may help to alleviate your discomfort.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

You may not have to inform your therapist about your experience if you use EMDR. Rather, you focus on it while seeing or listening to something they’re doing, such as moving their hand, flashing a light, or making a sound. The idea is to be able to think of anything pleasant when recalling your traumatic experience. It takes three months of weekly sessions to complete.

Stress Inoculation Training

SIT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy. It can be done alone or in a group. You are not need to go into great detail about what occurred. The emphasis is on altering how you deal with the stress caused by the occurrence. You could learn massage and breathing methods, as well as other ways to relax your mind and body and stop negative thoughts. After around three months, you should be able to cope with the additional stress in your life.

Medications

Because the balance of chemicals called neurotransmitters is out of whack in the brains of persons with PTSD, they experience “threats” differently. They have an easily activated “fight or flight” response, which causes you to feel jittery and uneasy. Trying to shut that down all the time can leave you feeling emotionally cold and distant.

Medications might help you avoid thinking about and reacting to what happened, which can include nightmares and flashbacks. They can also assist you in regaining a more optimistic attitude on life and a sense of “normalcy.” Only paroxetine and sertraline have been approved by the FDA to treat PTSD.

Summary

Those who suffer from PTSD have several mental health challenges and difficulties, including in the worst cases, suicide ideation. However, this is a psychiatric condition that can be treated if caught early enough. To avoid unpleasant outcomes, contact medical authorities or the police if you feel your loved one has PTSD and is showing signs of suicide.

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