Monday, April 22 2019
Health

Know Important Facts About PTSD

PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that is triggered by a traumatic event, either by experiencing it or witnessing it. Most people who experience traumatic events will face difficulties in living it, but with good time and self-care, difficulties will decrease. If this does not disappear and actually worsens and lasts for months or even years, maybe someone has had PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD symptoms can appear within 1 month after the event, but in some cases symptoms can appear years after a traumatic event. Symptoms of PTSD are generally divided into 4 types: intrusive memory, avoidance or avoidance, negative changes in thinking, mood, changes in physical and emotional reactions.

1. Intrusive memory symptoms:

  • Unwanted memories, which are disturbing ones that come repeatedly.
  • Live the traumatic event as if the event happened again (flashback).
  • Nightmare about the event.
  • Emotional distress is heavy on something that reminds the sufferer of a traumatic event.

2. Avoidance:

  • Try to avoid thinking or talking about traumatic events.
  • Avoid places, activities or people who remind someone of a traumatic event.

3. Negative changes in thinking and mood:

  • Negative thoughts about yourself, others, or the world.
  • Desperate about the future.
  • Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of a traumatic event.
  • Difficulty maintaining close relations.
  • Feeling apart from family and friends.
  • Lack of interest in activities that have been enjoyed.
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions.
  • Feel emotionally numb.

4. Changes in emotional or physical reactions:

  • Being easily shocked or scared.
  • Always be aware of danger.
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Fragility, outbursts of anger or aggressive behavior.
  • Extraordinary guilt or shame.

Causes and Risk Factors of PTSD

A person can develop posttraumatic stress disorder when he experiences, sees or learns about an event involving death or the threat of an actual death, serious injury or sexual violation. Doctors are not sure why some people get PTSD. Like most mental health problems, PTSD may be caused by a combination of several complex factors:

  • Scary experience, including the amount and severity of the trauma that has been experienced in life.
  • Inheriting mental health risks, such as a history of anxiety and depression in the family.
  • Personality traits - like temperamental tendencies.
  • The way the brain regulates chemicals and hormones released by the body in response to stress.

Everyone of all ages can experience posttraumatic stress disorder. However, several factors can make a person more likely to develop PTSD, such as:

  • Experience intense trauma.
  • Have experienced other trauma early in life, such as childhood abuse.
  • Having a job that increases the risk of being exposed to traumatic events, such as military personnel and first responders.
  • Have other mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression
  • Having problems with substance abuse, such as excessive drinking or drug use.
  • Lack of a good support system from family and friends.
  • Have blood relatives with mental health problems, including anxiety or depression.

Diagnosis of PTSD

How to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder, the doctor will likely do some of these things, namely:

  • Perform a physical examination to check for medical problems that might cause PTSD symptoms.
  • conduct a psychological evaluation that includes a discussion of signs and symptoms and events or events that lead to a diagnosis of PTSD.
  • Use criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Handling of PTSD

Management of PTSD basically consists of psychotherapy and drug therapy.


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1. Psychotherapy

  • Cognitive therapy. Helps sufferers to recognize ways of thinking (cognitive patterns) that cause obstruction of the person in the process through these traumatic events.
  • Exposure therapy. This therapy helps sufferers to deal with situations and memories that are considered frightening so that the sufferer can deal with them effectively. This therapy is efficient especially in cases where the sufferer experiences flashbacks or nightmares.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

EMDR combines exposure therapy and a series of directed eye movements to help the sufferer process a traumatic event and the doctor will observe the reaction of the sufferer.

2. Medicine

  • This medication helps relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and concentration disorders.
  • Anti-anxiety. This medication helps relieve severe anxiety disorders.
  • The effectiveness of prazosin in alleviating symptoms and suppressing nightmares is still under debate.

Prevention of PTSD

After surviving a traumatic event, many people experience PTSD-like symptoms at first, such as not being able to stop thinking about what happened. Fear, anxiety, anger, depression, guilt - all are common reactions to trauma. However, the majority of people who experience trauma do not develop long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.

Getting timely help and support can prevent a normal stress reaction getting worse and developing into PTSD. This can mean turning to family and friends who will listen and offer comfort. This could mean finding a mental health expert for short therapy. Some people may also find it useful to turn to their community of faith. Support from others can also help prevent someone from turning to ways to deal with unhealthy trauma, such as alcohol or drug abuse.

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