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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, more often called PTSD, is a disorder that develops as a result of one or more traumatic experiences. A traumatic experience may involve physical danger, or an emotionally intense event, like the death of a child. Patients are often unaware of their condition before diagnosis, and they may notice the symptoms but attribute them to something other than traumatic events. Symptoms usually begin within three months of the initiating trauma. To qualify for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, an adult must experience core symptoms for at least a month.

This includes:

  • At least one avoidance symptom
  • One or more re-experiencing symptoms
  • At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
  • Two or more cognition and mood symptoms

PTSD affects about 3.6% of the U.S. adult population, and about 37% of them are classified as having symptoms. Women are more likely to experience PTSD than men. Symptoms usually begin within three months of an event but can sometimes appear years later.

Others may believe nothing can be done about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but our experience confirms this is untrue. Several effective, evidence-based care methods are proven to offer relief. It takes time to recover from PTSD, but with the right help from a trauma-informed mental health program and some willingness, you or your loved one can get your life back.

PTSD Symptoms May Include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Feeling emotionally numb or ‘dead inside.’
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory problems
  • Irritability, uncharacteristically aggressive behavior, or anger
  • Avoiding places and activities that remind you of the event
  • Nightmares and flashbacks and reliving the event
  • Recurring, distressing memories of traumatic events
  • Hopelessness about the future or things getting better
  • Trouble with emotional intimacy and relationships
  • Being easily startled, frightened/being on guard for danger
>PTSD Symptoms May Include:

What are Some Other Symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD often vary in intensity over time. You may have more symptoms when you are under stress or experience something that reminds you of the traumatic event(s). For example, you see someone who looks like someone who assaulted you, or you hear fireworks and are reminded of a traumatic experience in combat. PTSD takes over your life and makes it very difficult to relax and enjoy things as you used to.

PTSD can interfere with relationships, work, school, sleep, and physical health. The symptoms can be dramatic and appear when you least expect them. But you or your loved one do not have to face the effects of PTSD alone. We can do a great deal to help you overcome this condition and live a more peaceful and pleasurable life. By giving us a call and helping us better understand your specific symptoms, we can take a deeper dive into the root of the problem and help put the wheels in motion toward a better life.

The Value of Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma can make a person feel afraid, overwhelmed, and threatened and affects their ability to trust. It makes many feel helpless and can diminish their sense of self-worth.

Trauma-informed care is a mental health treatment focused on the needs of trauma survivors, and it recognizes trauma’s role in other conditions, such as substance use disorders. Trauma-informed care accepts that treating the effects of trauma is necessary for complete recovery. Trauma-aware treatment helps people become aware of trauma’s impact on their lives and helps them learn to trust again.

The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center is a trauma-informed mental health treatment program that leverages our collective knowledge of how the brain processes trauma. By understanding how trauma changes the brain, trauma-informed treatment can more effectively counteract its effects. In essence, we observe the impact of trauma and then utilize therapies that counter those effects.

Trauma-informed mental health treatment works to:

  • Make people feel physically safe
  • Help people learn to trust and feel in control
  • Show people their boundaries will be respected
  • Empower people with both choice and capabilities
  • Improve their self-esteem and confidence

Treatment for PTSD

There are a variety of evidence-based treatment methods that can help facilitate recovery from PTSD. They range from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to pharmacotherapy (medication) to EMDR and wellness approaches, including meditation, yoga, exercise, and nutrition. The most effective treatment plans tend to include several of these elements. In combination, they can have a synergistic effect, providing the patient with more relief and resolution than they might have otherwise experienced.

If you believe you or someone you love is living with PTSD, contact us.

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