Understanding PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A traumatic experience can lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health disease. According to estimates, 7-8% of people will suffer PTSD at some point. For other populations, such as military veterans and victims of sexual assault or abuse, the prevalence of PTSD is significantly higher. The quality of a person's life can be substantially impacted by PTSD, which can damage their relationships, productivity at work, and general well-being.
In this blog, we'll examine PTSD in more detail, looking at its signs, causes, and available therapies. We'll also go over the value of consulting a counselling psychologist and how to help a loved one who could be dealing with PTSD. We hope that this resource will offer insightful analysis and knowledge, whether you have directly experienced PTSD or are just curious.
What is PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that appears after experiencing or witnessing a stressful event. It can happen following exposure to a single traumatic event, such as a severe accident, natural disaster, or physical or sexual assault, or it can happen with recurrent trauma exposure, like combat or chronic abuse. A wide range of symptoms, including intrusive thoughts or memories of the traumatic event, avoiding triggers connected to the trauma, unfavourable changes in mood or thought, and hyperarousal, which can include feeling easily startled or constantly on guard, can all be signs of PTSD. It can affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. A person's everyday functioning and quality of life may be greatly impacted by the severe and protracted symptoms of PTSD.
The prevalence of PTSD in India was discovered to be 32% in the year 2020 by the Indian Journal of Psychiatry. Anyone of various ages, genders, professions and socioeconomic backgrounds can be affected by PTSD; it is not specific to any one group. It is also important to note that not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD, and the severity and duration of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person.
Symptoms of PTSD
Symptoms of PTSD can be grouped into four categories: re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal.
Flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts or memories of the traumatic experience are examples of re-experiencing symptoms. These include disturbing flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive memories of the traumatic experience. Reminders of the trauma, such as a specific sound, smell, or sight, can set off these symptoms. When exposed to these reminders, people with PTSD may also feel physical sensations like sweating or trembling.
Re-experiencing symptoms can be extremely upsetting and make it challenging for people with PTSD to function in daily life. They might make an effort to stay away from events or stimuli that trigger memories of the trauma, which can result in social isolation and problems at work or school. Recurring symptoms can last for years without therapy and may get worse with time. Yet, those who have PTSD can acquire coping mechanisms to control their symptoms and enhance their quality of life with the assistance of a mental health expert.
Attempts to avoid people, places, or activities that bring up memories of the traumatic incident are known as avoidance symptoms. The traumatic incident may serve as a trigger for PTSD sufferers, who may attempt to avoid these memories. They may avoid conversations about the trauma altogether as well as persons, places, and situations that bring up the trauma. Social exclusion and difficulty sustaining close connections may result from this. Other avoidance symptoms include feeling emotionally numb or detached, losing interest in once-enjoyable hobbies, and feeling detached from people. These symptoms can be stressful and impair daily functioning, making it challenging for many who have PTSD to lead regular lives. It's critical to get professional assistance if you're dealing with any of these PTSD symptoms.
Feeling constantly on edge, impatient, and easily startled are some symptoms of hyperarousal. Moreover, they could have trouble falling asleep, become overly alert, and struggle to concentrate.
When there is no real threat, the body's natural "fight or flight" response is triggered, resulting in these symptoms. People may feel on guard all the time as a result, which can produce chronic stress and anxiety.
If you are having symptoms of hyperarousal, you should get help right away because they can have a big impact on your functioning and daily life. You can improve your general quality of life and manage these symptoms with the assistance of a mental health expert.
Cause of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be caused by various factors including:
Traumatic events: Experiencing or witnessing a traumatic incident, such as a physical or sexual assault, exposure to combat, a natural disaster, an accident, or the untimely death of a loved one, frequently leads to PTSD. Traumatic experiences can result in severe emotional anguish and PTSD.
Biological components: Including genetics, brain chemistry, and hormone control can make PTSD more likely to occur. Because of variations in the structure and function of the brain, certain people may be more susceptible to PTSD.
Psychological factors: PTSD risk may be increased by pre-existing mental health problems including anxiety or depression. The way a person views and handles a distressing experience might also affect how likely they are to acquire PTSD. Individuals who have the propensity to suppress or numb their emotions may be more susceptible to PTSD.
Knowing the causes of PTSD can help people identify their risk factors and take the appropriate precautions to avoid the disease or seek treatment for it. Everyone uniquely responds to trauma, and not everyone who experiences a terrible event will go on to acquire PTSD. However, people who do experience PTSD can learn to manage their symptoms and enhance their general quality of life by getting support and treatment offered by a counselling psychologist...
Seeking Counselling for PTSD
For people who have been impacted by trauma, getting PTSD counselling therapy is crucial. One's quality of life can be severely impacted by PTSD, making it challenging to carry on with daily activities normally. Together with intense flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts about their tragedy, people with PTSD may struggle with anxiety, sadness, and sleep problems. Maintaining healthy relationships, performing effectively at work or school, and carrying out daily tasks may be difficult when these symptoms are present.
Individuals with PTSD can acquire coping mechanisms to control their symptoms and advance towards recovery by seeking treatment. Therapy, medicine, or a combination of the two may be used as treatments. PTSD can be successfully treated with therapies including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE). Antidepressants and anxiety drugs, for example, can aid with symptom management.
In general, getting PTSD treatment can help people take back control of their lives, lessen symptoms, and enhance their general well-being. It's critical to consult a professional counselling psychologist if you or someone you know is dealing with PTSD.
At Skooc, we are aware of the challenges PTSD survivors may face. It's crucial to realise that assistance is accessible and that getting therapy can significantly enhance your quality of life. Our team of mental health specialists is here to accompany you every step of the journey, whether you prefer counselling, drugs, or complementary therapies.
Anybody dealing with PTSD is urged to seek out assistance. Keep in mind that you are not alone and that asking for help is OK. It is possible to manage PTSD symptoms and lead a full life with the correct treatment.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you or a loved one is exhibiting PTSD symptoms. We are here to listen to you and support you as you travel the road to recovery.