Sep 5, 2019

Understand PTSD

←Older revision Revision as of 00:05, 6 September 2019
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An accident, loss of a loved one, or other traumas can all trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition that can cause anxiety, depression, mood swings, and even nightmares. However, there is always hope for improvement. If you are suffering from PTSD, working with a therapist and taking prescription medications can help to minimize PTSD symptoms. If you are trying to support someone with PTSD, it’s important to listen and simply be present for them.<ref>https://ift.tt/2zWHDV8>
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An accident, loss of a loved one, or other traumas can all trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition that can cause anxiety, depression, mood swings, and even nightmares. However, there is always hope for improvement. If you are suffering from PTSD, working with a therapist and taking prescription medications can help to minimize PTSD symptoms. If you are trying to support someone with PTSD, it's important to listen and simply be present for them.<ref>https://ift.tt/2zWHDV8>
 
[[Category:Post Traumatic Stress Disorder]]
 
[[Category:Post Traumatic Stress Disorder]]
   
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#Get evaluated for PTSD if you are anxious or depressed for more than a month. Feelings of anxiety and depression that last this long can often be indicators of PTSD, especially if they are tied to a traumatic event. Your primary care physician will likely ask you questions about your mindset and daily activities. Then, if they believe PTSD is a possibility, they will give you a referral to a licensed therapist.<ref>https://www.bbrfoundation.org/ask-an-expert/how-long-does-ptsd-last</ref>[[Image:Diagnose-Carcinoid-Syndrome-Step-9.jpg|center]]
 
#Get evaluated for PTSD if you are anxious or depressed for more than a month. Feelings of anxiety and depression that last this long can often be indicators of PTSD, especially if they are tied to a traumatic event. Your primary care physician will likely ask you questions about your mindset and daily activities. Then, if they believe PTSD is a possibility, they will give you a referral to a licensed therapist.<ref>https://www.bbrfoundation.org/ask-an-expert/how-long-does-ptsd-last</ref>[[Image:Diagnose-Carcinoid-Syndrome-Step-9.jpg|center]]
 
#*PTSD is a mental health condition that's triggered by either experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the triggering event.<ref>https://ift.tt/2POFJAw>  
 
#*PTSD is a mental health condition that's triggered by either experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the triggering event.<ref>https://ift.tt/2POFJAw>  
#*It’s important to get professional medical attention to PTSD because it’s not likely to go away without treatment.  
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#*It's important to get professional medical attention to PTSD because it's not likely to go away without treatment.  
 
#*If you suspect that you have PTSD, but your doctor disagrees, there is nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion. You must be your own best mental health advocate, as not all general practitioners will be familiar with diagnosing or treating PTSD.  
 
#*If you suspect that you have PTSD, but your doctor disagrees, there is nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion. You must be your own best mental health advocate, as not all general practitioners will be familiar with diagnosing or treating PTSD.  
#Discuss possible PTSD risk factors with your doctor or therapist. Although many people experience traumas throughout their lives, not everyone will develop PTSD. This is why it’s so important to candidly answer all of your doctor’s questions regarding your personal and medical background. Be as detailed as you can with your answers, too.<ref>https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/why-some-soldiers-develop-ptsd-while-others-dont.html</ref>[[Image:Earn-Money-when-You-Have-Social-Anxiety-Step-9-Version-2.jpg|center]]
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#Discuss possible PTSD risk factors with your doctor or therapist. Although many people experience traumas throughout their lives, not everyone will develop PTSD. This is why it's so important to candidly answer all of your doctor's questions regarding your personal and medical background. Be as detailed as you can with your answers, too.<ref>https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/why-some-soldiers-develop-ptsd-while-others-dont.html</ref>[[Image:Earn-Money-when-You-Have-Social-Anxiety-Step-9-Version-2.jpg|center]]
 
#*For example, people younger than 25 have a higher likelihood of developing PTSD when exposed to traumatic events.  
 
#*For example, people younger than 25 have a higher likelihood of developing PTSD when exposed to traumatic events.  
 
#*A past history of abuse or mistreatment also makes a person more susceptible to PTSD. A prior mental health condition increases the likelihood as well.  
 
#*A past history of abuse or mistreatment also makes a person more susceptible to PTSD. A prior mental health condition increases the likelihood as well.  
#Plan out what you’ll do if/when a flashback occurs. Many people with PTSD experience vivid flashbacks, essentially taking them back to a disturbing event or moment. If you’ve had a flashback and are concerned about another one, talk with your doctor about what actions to take. If you are around people, you might plan to ask for help. If you are alone, sometimes simply sitting down (in a safe location) and repeating a calming mantra can help.<ref>https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/symptoms_of_ptsd.asp</ref>[[Image:Deal-with-Comorbid-Anxiety-and-ADHD-Step-11.jpg|center]]
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#Plan out what you'll do if/when a flashback occurs. Many people with PTSD experience vivid flashbacks, essentially taking them back to a disturbing event or moment. If you've had a flashback and are concerned about another one, talk with your doctor about what actions to take. If you are around people, you might plan to ask for help. If you are alone, sometimes simply sitting down (in a safe location) and repeating a calming mantra can help.<ref>https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/symptoms_of_ptsd.asp</ref>[[Image:Deal-with-Comorbid-Anxiety-and-ADHD-Step-11.jpg|center]]
 
#* Vivid flashbacks can occur while someone is awake or asleep. They are often triggered by a sensation of some sort, such as an image or sound. For example, a person with PTSD due to a car accident might suffer a flashback after seeing headlights at night.  
 
#* Vivid flashbacks can occur while someone is awake or asleep. They are often triggered by a sensation of some sort, such as an image or sound. For example, a person with PTSD due to a car accident might suffer a flashback after seeing headlights at night.  
 
#*Reliving moments can also be triggered by contact with someone who was present at the trauma or who looks similar. These types of flashbacks are not only disturbing. They are also problematic due to the fact that they often distract a sufferer from everyday life or activities.  
 
#*Reliving moments can also be triggered by contact with someone who was present at the trauma or who looks similar. These types of flashbacks are not only disturbing. They are also problematic due to the fact that they often distract a sufferer from everyday life or activities.  
#Perform at least 1 spontaneous action each day. As a PTSD sufferer, you likely prefer a regimented schedule that minimizes your chances of exposure to potential triggers. However, try to break a bit away from your schedule on a daily basis. Make an extra errand that you didn’t totally plan out. Call a friend or family member spontaneously.<ref>https://ift.tt/2zSjU8u> [[Image:Travel-the-World-As-an-Introvert-Step-19.jpg|center]]
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#Perform at least 1 spontaneous action each day. As a PTSD sufferer, you likely prefer a regimented schedule that minimizes your chances of exposure to potential triggers. However, try to break a bit away from your schedule on a daily basis. Make an extra errand that you didn't totally plan out. Call a friend or family member spontaneously.<ref>https://ift.tt/2zSjU8u> [[Image:Travel-the-World-As-an-Introvert-Step-19.jpg|center]]
 
#*For example, if you are heading out to dinner, you might try out a new restaurant.  
 
#*For example, if you are heading out to dinner, you might try out a new restaurant.  
#*Being spontaneous comes with some risk of exposing yourself to triggers. However, working with a therapist to develop a plan of ‘exposure’ can help to lessen some of these concerns.  
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#*Being spontaneous comes with some risk of exposing yourself to triggers. However, working with a therapist to develop a plan of 'exposure' can help to lessen some of these concerns.  
 
#Express your emotions at least once daily. If you are experiencing difficulties expressing your negative or positive emotions, you are not alone. Give yourself a goal of making a single statement focusing on your emotional state each day. You might tell a loved one that you are proud of them. Or, you could tell a coworker that they did a good job.<ref>https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/symptoms_of_ptsd.asp</ref>[[Image:Be-a-Happy-Person-Without-Religion-Step-11.jpg|center]]
 
#Express your emotions at least once daily. If you are experiencing difficulties expressing your negative or positive emotions, you are not alone. Give yourself a goal of making a single statement focusing on your emotional state each day. You might tell a loved one that you are proud of them. Or, you could tell a coworker that they did a good job.<ref>https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/symptoms_of_ptsd.asp</ref>[[Image:Be-a-Happy-Person-Without-Religion-Step-11.jpg|center]]
#*Don’t push yourself too far. It’s not necessary to go around telling everyone that you love them. However, saying, “I love you,” to someone close to you is a good goal to have.  
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#*Don't push yourself too far. It's not necessary to go around telling everyone that you love them. However, saying, “I love you,” to someone close to you is a good goal to have.  
 
#*Verbalizing your emotions is also important because it can help you to avoid withdrawing from relationships or activities, which is a common problem for people with PTSD  
 
#*Verbalizing your emotions is also important because it can help you to avoid withdrawing from relationships or activities, which is a common problem for people with PTSD  
 
#Practice breathing or meditative techniques if you get hyperaroused. Take a meditation class at your local community center or watch sample videos online. Work on breathing slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth when stressed. Visualize all of your muscles tightening and then relaxing completely.<ref>https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/symptoms_of_ptsd.asp</ref>[[Image:Be-Comfortable-with-the-Fact-that-You-Blush-Easily-Step-9.jpg|center]]
 
#Practice breathing or meditative techniques if you get hyperaroused. Take a meditation class at your local community center or watch sample videos online. Work on breathing slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth when stressed. Visualize all of your muscles tightening and then relaxing completely.<ref>https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/symptoms_of_ptsd.asp</ref>[[Image:Be-Comfortable-with-the-Fact-that-You-Blush-Easily-Step-9.jpg|center]]
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#*For example, Prazosin is sometimes prescribed to PTSD patients to lessen the impact and presence of nightmares.  
 
#*For example, Prazosin is sometimes prescribed to PTSD patients to lessen the impact and presence of nightmares.  
 
#*Antidepressants, such as Zoloft and Paxil, can reduce anxiety symptoms and even boost concentration.
 
#*Antidepressants, such as Zoloft and Paxil, can reduce anxiety symptoms and even boost concentration.
#Attend group therapy. Talk with your therapist about the possibility of going to a therapy group in your area. You can likely find a group that meets to discuss PTSD in general, if not the exact type of experience you’ve had. Another benefit of these groups is that they usually do not require participation. You can simply attend and listen.<ref>https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355973</ref>[[Image:Work-when-You-Have-PTSD-Step-11.jpg|center]]
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#Attend group therapy. Talk with your therapist about the possibility of going to a therapy group in your area. You can likely find a group that meets to discuss PTSD in general, if not the exact type of experience you've had. Another benefit of these groups is that they usually do not require participation. You can simply attend and listen.<ref>https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355973</ref>[[Image:Work-when-You-Have-PTSD-Step-11.jpg|center]]
 
#*This is an especially good option for anyone who fears being judged by their family or friends. Group therapy focuses on support and building trust amongst strangers.
 
#*This is an especially good option for anyone who fears being judged by their family or friends. Group therapy focuses on support and building trust amongst strangers.
#Expect your PTSD to possibly last for an extended period. Once you’ve developed PTSD, it is very difficult to control or eliminate it without professional medical assistance. Even then, many people live with PTSD for years. They key is to work with professionals to manage your PTSD and to minimize its interference with your daily life.<ref>https://www.bbrfoundation.org/ask-an-expert/how-long-does-ptsd-last</ref>[[Image:Be-an-Independent-Woman-Step-1-Version-3.jpg|center]]
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#Expect your PTSD to possibly last for an extended period. Once you've developed PTSD, it is very difficult to control or eliminate it without professional medical assistance. Even then, many people live with PTSD for years. They key is to work with professionals to manage your PTSD and to minimize its interference with your daily life.<ref>https://www.bbrfoundation.org/ask-an-expert/how-long-does-ptsd-last</ref>[[Image:Be-an-Independent-Woman-Step-1-Version-3.jpg|center]]
 
#*PTSD symptoms are not always consistent in severity or nature either. You may have a very good month followed by a very difficult one.  
 
#*PTSD symptoms are not always consistent in severity or nature either. You may have a very good month followed by a very difficult one.  
 
#*Special dates, such as anniversaries, connected to traumatic events are often especially troublesome times for anyone with PTSD.  
 
#*Special dates, such as anniversaries, connected to traumatic events are often especially troublesome times for anyone with PTSD.  
 
===Providing Support to Someone with PTSD===
 
===Providing Support to Someone with PTSD===
#Offer to listen to anything that they’d like to say. People with PTSD sometimes just want to talk about the mundane things that they are experiencing or doing in everyday life. Not every conversation needs to be about the disorder or how they are feeling. When they speak, actively listen and ask questions.<ref>https://themighty.com/2017/06/how-to-love-someone-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/</ref>[[Image:Feel-Connected-Step-3.jpg|center]]
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#Offer to listen to anything that they'd like to say. People with PTSD sometimes just want to talk about the mundane things that they are experiencing or doing in everyday life. Not every conversation needs to be about the disorder or how they are feeling. When they speak, actively listen and ask questions.<ref>https://themighty.com/2017/06/how-to-love-someone-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/</ref>[[Image:Feel-Connected-Step-3.jpg|center]]
 
#*Listening also shows a person that you are willing to invest time in them.
 
#*Listening also shows a person that you are willing to invest time in them.
 
#Recognize it as a normal response taken to an extreme level. Put simply, people with PTSD are not flawed or abnormal in some way. They are simply responding to a traumatic event through normal stress reactions, as most people would. The difference is that people suffering from PTSD experience more extreme and disruptive symptoms of trauma.<ref>https://ct.counseling.org/2014/06/promoting-understanding-of-ptsd/</ref>[[Image:Fall-Asleep-when-You-Are-Worried-About-Not-Falling-Asleep-Step-5.jpg|center]]
 
#Recognize it as a normal response taken to an extreme level. Put simply, people with PTSD are not flawed or abnormal in some way. They are simply responding to a traumatic event through normal stress reactions, as most people would. The difference is that people suffering from PTSD experience more extreme and disruptive symptoms of trauma.<ref>https://ct.counseling.org/2014/06/promoting-understanding-of-ptsd/</ref>[[Image:Fall-Asleep-when-You-Are-Worried-About-Not-Falling-Asleep-Step-5.jpg|center]]
 
#*For example, most people would be shaken up following a severe auto accident. However, someone with PTSD might refuse to drive entirely and for the foreseeable future.  
 
#*For example, most people would be shaken up following a severe auto accident. However, someone with PTSD might refuse to drive entirely and for the foreseeable future.  
#*Part of the real challenge in understanding PTSD is moving away from the stigma of the ‘damaged person’ and seeing sufferers as normal people working their way through an abnormal event.
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#*Part of the real challenge in understanding PTSD is moving away from the stigma of the 'damaged person' and seeing sufferers as normal people working their way through an abnormal event.
#Continue to plan outings and activities. Go to a movie and invite your friend with PTSD along. Keep up your family traditions, even if you have a family member with PTSD. Recognize that withdrawal is potentially a symptom of the disorder and may make someone with PTSD less likely to interact, but don’t give up on them.<ref>https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355973</ref>[[Image:Fight-Summer-Depression-Step-13.jpg|center]]
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#Continue to plan outings and activities. Go to a movie and invite your friend with PTSD along. Keep up your family traditions, even if you have a family member with PTSD. Recognize that withdrawal is potentially a symptom of the disorder and may make someone with PTSD less likely to interact, but don't give up on them.<ref>https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355973</ref>[[Image:Fight-Summer-Depression-Step-13.jpg|center]]
#*For example, you might say, “I know you haven’t been able to make our move nights, but our group will always go out on Thursday nights if you are ever interested.”
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#*For example, you might say, “I know you haven't been able to make our move nights, but our group will always go out on Thursday nights if you are ever interested.”
   
 
== Tips ==
 
== Tips ==
*Treating the symptoms of PTSD doesn’t occur overnight. Expect that treatment will take a long time and be patient with yourself, or with anyone struggling with PTSD.
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*Treating the symptoms of PTSD doesn't occur overnight. Expect that treatment will take a long time and be patient with yourself, or with anyone struggling with PTSD.
*It’s easy to neglect your health if you have PTSD. Make sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.<ref>https://ift.tt/2zWHDV8>
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*It's easy to neglect your health if you have PTSD. Make sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.<ref>https://ift.tt/2zWHDV8>
   
 
==Warnings==
 
==Warnings==


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