You don’t have to be a military veteran to suffer from PTSD.
What is it PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health order that is triggered by a traumatic event, characterized by flashbacks, anxiety, nightmare, and loss of control over thoughts concerning the event. This event can be a personal experience or a witnessed experience, such as natural disasters, a deadly pandemic, physical abuse, sexual assault, refugee camps, terrorist attacks, witnessing of a death, traumatic accident or injury, or unexpected loss. Many people have difficulty coping with the ensuing fear and anxiety that arises. PTSD affects 8-10% of individuals in the United States through their lifetime, almost 7.7 million adults. Some symptoms that arise due to PTSD are repetitive distressing thoughts and memories about the traumatic event, traumatic flashbacks, nightmares about the event, avoidance of reminders of the event, difficulty maintaining relationships, feeling numb and being easily startled, difficulty sleeping and concentration, irritability or aggression, and increased arousal/hyper-vigilance. Complex PTSD (CPTSD) occurs when an individual has been exposed to repeated trauma, leading to symptoms such as inability to emotionally regulate, out of body experiences, emotional detachment, dissociation, feelings of guilt or shame, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, and distorted perception of the abuse that leads to obsessiveness or concentration for revenge. Individuals generally at risk for PTSD include war veterans, first responders, individuals with no support or poor coping mechanisms, individuals with co-occurring disorders or bipolar or dependent personality disorders, and individuals with low self-esteem.
How we might treat it.
We provide both medication management and psychotherapy approaches for PTSD. Some of the psychotherapy that we use include eye movement desensitization (EMDR), cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, play therapy, and prolonged exposure therapy, all with the objective of the patient eventually being able to remember the trauma with experiencing the accompanying emotional backlash. This allows the patients to live their life without fear, nightmares, or intrusive flashbacks and thoughts.