Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that occurs very commonly amongst youngsters and the elderly alike, which deeply affects both men and women.
It is instigated due to either personally experiencing a very disturbing or terrifying event, or simply being a witness to one such horrifying incident such as a gruesome car crash or any kind of persistent physical or mental abuse.
Causes And Complications
The main causative factors for PTSD include watching someone die, going through some form of abuse like domestic violence or sexual exploitation, childhood physical torture, being assaulted with a weapon or a scarring accident.
However, certain other aspects also tend to trigger PTSD in an individual such as a family history of anxiety or depression, the brain response to stress and chemical changes and even a very sensitive temperament.
Post-traumatic stress disorder could result in grave consequences if left untreated, such as severe depression and anxiety with unpredictable mood swings, addiction to tobacco, alcohol and dangerous drugs, serious eating disorders affecting normal growth, development and metabolism and even contemplating suicide, to end one’s past misery and bad memories. Also Read: Depression: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
It is hence strictly advised to seek professional medical help from a certified mental health expert, in order to help the individual affected with PTSD deal with the extreme symptoms and aid in their recovery.
The distinguishing symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder comprises:
- Repeated thoughts of the distressing event
- Reliving the instance as if it were happening now, otherwise called a flashback
- Coming across troubling nightmares
- Avoiding places or people who bring memories of the traumatic event
- Losing hope in oneself
- Challenges in managing interpersonal relationships, even with close friends and family
- Complete lack of positive emotions
- Being easily alarmed or scared, even in trivial situations
- Angry and aggressive behaviour
- Experiencing guilt and shame over the distressing event
- Difficulty in sleeping normally, as well as with memory and concentration
Diagnosis And Treatment
The mental health expert, also known as a psychologist or a psychiatrist, will first thoroughly analyse the external physical features as well as to conduct a complete psychological evaluation of the patient. These help to determine if any underlying medical problems are triggering trauma in the individual and also find out what kind of events lead to them experiencing trauma and suffering.
Once the diagnosis of PTSD is confirmed in the patient, the healthcare provider initiates pertinent treatment measures.
The main remedial protocol consists of psychotherapy, which involves cognitive talk therapy to help the person forget the stressful memories of the past as well as exposure therapy, to assist the patient in regaining confidence about themselves to boldly face the outside world and any challenging situations once again. Also Read: World Trauma Day: 5 Simple Ways To Cope-Up With The Crisis
In addition, prescription drugs such antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are also given to the patient, to be taken following a stringent regimen regularly, in order to alleviate signs of depression and anxiety and aid in the prompt recovery of the individual, restoring a normal life with increased productivity for the affected individual.