PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) is a debilitating mental condition. PTSD sufferers may feel like they can never return to their normal self because of an inability to move past the distressing incident that triggered the trauma. Traumatized people whether affected by PTSD or not, have a higher tendency towards using alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and towards developing Eating Disorders, OCD, and Dissociative Disorders.
In earlier times, beginning with the Civil War, PTSD was known as “Da Costa’s syndrome.” The anxiety disorder has also been known by alternate terms such as “battle fatigue” or “shell shock” owing to its link with military service. Now, it is understood that PTSD is not just a wartime disorder but can develop in anyone who has experienced or witnessed a very traumatic event. Events of this nature include kidnapping, rape or sexual abuse, plane/car crash, medical procedures, or neglect in childhood.
C-PTSD (Complex post-traumatic disorder) arises from continued exposure to a traumatic happening or sequence of traumatic events. In this case, the patient experiences long-lasting issues in social and emotional functioning.
Symptoms of PTSD
Provided below are some of the symptoms of PTSD that help in diagnosing the disorder. From the symptoms, it is easy to understand how much the disorder can affect a person’s health and happiness.
• Avoiding places, feelings, thoughts or activities that remind the person of the traumatic event
• Frightening thoughts
• Outbursts of anger/irritability
• Hopelesness and/or severe depression
• Difficulty concentrating
• Emotional numbness
• Substance abuse
• Stomach problems, headaches, chest pain, dizziness
• Reduction in interest in life and usual activities
• Finding it difficult to fall asleep or to get back to sleep after waking up in between
• Detachment from people
Effective Treatment- Comprehensive and Individualized
Different kinds of treatment are available for post-traumatic stress disorder namely Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), trauma focused CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), family therapy, group therapy, attachment therapy, exposure therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy and medication management.
Treatment for PTSD which can be quite a debilitating condition should be comprehensive- involving the client’s support system, body, mind, and spirit and should be highly individualized.