What is PTSD?

PTSD, which stands for Post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health issue that happens after someone goes through a traumatic or terrifying event. This could be something that hurts them emotionally or physically. Having PTSD can make you feel severe personal distress and anxiety, which can affect your well-being. If you have PTSD, it’s important to know that it’s not your fault, and there are ways to get help and recover.
What is considered a traumatic event?
Since PTSD is triggered after experiencing a traumatic event, it’s helpful to first know what a traumatic event means. A traumatic event can be any of the following:

  • Road accidents like a car or motorcycle accident
  • Physical or verbal abuse
  • War and military combat
  • A death of a loved one
  • Acts of violence
  • Being bullied
Subtypes of PTSD
Not everyone experiences the same type of PTSD. There are multiple variations of it, so here are just the main ones:

  • Normal Stress Response: Not all normal stress responses lead to PTSD, but sometimes it can start that way. Usually, at this stage, it doesn’t have long-lasting effects.
  • Acute Stress Disorder: Similar to PTSD but shorter-lasting. Symptoms show up a few days to a month after a traumatic event and usually goes away within one month.
  • Dissociative PTSD: Describes when someone feels detached from themselves or their surroundings after a traumatic event. This often happens as a way to cope with the trauma, and the duration of symptoms depends on the severity of the traumatic event.
  • Uncomplicated PTSD: Linked to just one single traumatic event, rather than multiple events. This could involve being in a car accident, experiencing a natural disaster, having a serious injury, or others.
  • Complex PTSD: This type of PTSD is connected to a series of intense traumatic events over time or one prolonged event. Symptoms are similar to the others, including difficulty with self-perception and controlling one’s own emotions.
  • Comorbid PTSD: Describes a person experiencing more than one mental health issue. This involves PTSD symptoms combined with those connected with anxiety disorders, physical health conditions, and depression.
Treatments for PTSD
Managing your PTSD can be challenging, but there are treatments available:

  • Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, helps you understand what happened, teaches you ways to handle and manage your feelings, and sets aside negative thoughts.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Concentrates on recognizing and confronting negative thought patterns and behaviors linked to the trauma while in a safe environment.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Helps you deal with traumatic memories by bringing them up while engaging in things like moving your eyes or tapping your hands, helping your brain sort through the trauma and feel better. Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Involves gradually addressing the trauma-related memories and emotions. The goal is to help you in confronting and processing the traumatic experience in a supportive environment.
Medications. Taking medications can help target PTSD-related symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or sleep problems. They help manage these symptoms and improve your overall well-being. It’s suggested to use medication with psychotherapy for a more effective treatment approach.
Remember, PTSD doesn’t have to be something you deal with alone. Help is out there and with a little outside support, you can find yourself on the journey to recovery. You can contact the Mental Health Hotline at 1-866-903-3787 or visit their website at https://mentalhealthhotline.org/ptsd-hotline/
Need Help? Reach out to us at 304.525.3334
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