What is PTSD?
PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is a psychological condition that could develop after an extremely stressful situation. These situations can be situations during a war, car accidents, natural disasters, etc. The body and brain is equipped with a system that lets us know if there is danger and with PTSD, this system is turned on easily with any stimuli that reminds us of that event. The stimuli doesn’t have to be threatening to throw an individual back into the memories of the event since people with PTSD tend to generalize stimuli. For example, if a person was in a horrible accident and heard loud alarms throughout the event, then any loud sound or alarm will trigger their symptoms of PTSD.
This disorder has been heavily researched and its treatment is extremely effective since it has biological components that can be treated with medication. Anyone can develop this disorder, even those who are very resilient and strong. It is heavily recommended to seek help for this condition as early as possible.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
- Intrusive thoughts or memories of the event(s)
- Repeating dreams related to the event
- Flashbacks to the event
- Severe distress towards stimuli reminding of the event
- Unusually intense emotional reactivity
- Feelings of numbness and detachment
- Avoidance of loved ones or the outside in general
When treating PTSD, methods used usually have to do with calming the sympathetic nervous system. These methods include: breathing techniques, relaxation training, mindfulness, and other cognitive skills to help the brain learn that the danger is not physically there. PTSD is a disorder that affects relationships and work aversely, so therapy also includes learning coping skills for these affected areas. Your mental health professional can help you with finding the medication that’s right for you if that’s an option you wish to take.