PTSD – How to Recognize It and Options for Treatment

Wang Yan
Wang Yan

Global Courant

Do You Have PTSD?

If you witnessed or experienced an intense traumatic experience such as an assault, natural disaster, combat, or a car accident, you may be at risk of developing PTSD. It is important to recognize early and address PTSD symptoms, so you can come to terms with a traumatic experience, start the healing process, and get your life back on the track.

How to Recognize PTSD?

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The most common symptoms of PTSD include anxiety and depression. However, they are by no means the whole picture. Along with anxiety and depression, you may be re-experiencing the trauma through flashbacks and nightmares, have difficulty sleeping and concentrating, experience impulsive or self-destructive behavior, and be easily irritated.

Nevertheless, sometimes the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can be subtle and hard to recognize. This can lead to being incorrectly diagnosed and not receiving the appropriate treatment while experiencing symptoms you don’t understand and suffering alone.

Emotional Withdrawal and Social Anxiety as Less Obvious PTSD Symptoms

Your fear of coming in contact with anything that will remind you of a trauma may result in difficulties in communicating and interacting with people. Also, feelings of detachment from others, social withdrawal, and isolation may be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Other atypical signs of PTSD may include drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, rapid weight loss, and severe migraines.

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These symptoms don’t have to occur right after you survived trauma. Sometimes, people develop PTSD symptoms weeks or even months after a traumatic experience.

PTSD Treatment

The main goal of PTSD therapy is to improve your symptoms, teach you skills to manage them, and restore your self-esteem. It is most likely that a combination of medication and psychological therapies will be used to treat your PTSD. The majority of PTSD treatment options stem from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), with the aim to change the upsetting thought patterns that are disturbing your day-to-day life.

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The most common CBT practices used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder involve prolonged exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive processing therapy, and stress inoculation training. EMDR therapy must be administered by someone who has received the proper training in this type of treatment. This is a more specialized treatment method and can be highly effective.

Severe trauma can stay with you throughout your life. It is like having your brain scarred by the event. Like most scars we endure, we learn to live with them and eventually ignore them and sometimes forget we even have them. Proper treatment puts the traumatic event where it belongs… in the past, so you aren’t constantly dealing with it in the present. This allows the individual to live a more normal, healthy, and productive life.

PTSD – How to Recognize It and Options for Treatment

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