The world is just beginning to understand the avenues of trauma and how these have led to unbalanced mental and social development in adults. Roughly about 8 million adults suffer from PTSD and this number is expected to rise given the high rates of poverty, crime and other social stresses that continue to exist in society.
What is PTSD?
People who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape, or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence, or serious injury, may be at risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a psychiatric disorder. PTSD is a term that was first coined in 1980 by psychiatrists, but previously the phenomenon was referred to as "Shell shock" and later "Combat fatigue."
PTSD can also happen within close families caused as a result of violence and domestic strife. Partner abuse or even child slavery can cause family related PTSD resulting in devastating mental and social retardation.
Precursors to PTSD
It is necessary to bring the person back to a period when they felt powerless, angry, or guilty for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to arise. These sentiments tend to make an individual repeat the moments they were unable to avert the horrific incident and may produce conflict with how they see themselves and how they see the world around them. Adrenaline is created in greater quantities during stressful experiences, and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to do so even when things are quiet. As a result of the constant adrenaline state they have despite the risk, aroused emotions and sentiments go numb.
People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) typically have brain abnormalities. As the hippocampus shrinks, the brain loses the ability to integrate emotions and memories. As a result, memory is distorted, and anxiety levels rise over time as a result.
PTSD Risk Factors
PTSD may occur to anyone and there are no genetic precursors to PTSD. However, research indicates that nurture has a lot to do with normalizing stress than nature. Therefore, the way someone has been brought up will likely affect how they react to their nature. Where the surrounding is stressful but the individual has developed coping mechanisms then the stress is minimal. A lack of support from family and friends can contribute to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially during and following a traumatic event.
PTSD Signs and Symptoms
PTSD may be easy to identify by simple observation of an individual’s behavior and mannerisms. These behaviors may not occur all the time, but when a trigger occurs they may react abnormally and this may indicate PTSD.
People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may exhibit the following symptoms:
Anxiety is a common symptom in PTSD because the body is constantly in a fight or flight pose. The individual may look irritated and tense. Some physical sensations may include nausea or increase heart palpitations.
* Bringing up memories of the event
Painful flashbacks and hallucinations tend to recur in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially around the dates and months when the incident happened. This may be a coping mechanism as their brains have either blocked a part of that painful memory or they are clinging to something positive that may have happened around the painful memory. For example, someone may remember who was there for them at the time of a great pain, but not exactly remember the events properly.
* Apathy and indifference
An inability to relate with other people’s pain is another symptom of PTSD. People and settings that try to remind them of their trauma might cause people to numb their emotions.
PTSD Treatment Options
Different age groups have differing needs when it comes to dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For example, therapy for toddlers, adolescents, and adults varies depending on the severity of their trauma. A six-year-old youngster who witnessed their mother's death will demand a different approach from a combat veteran. Counseling people of different ages comes with a unique set of therapy methods that must be followed precisely. According on stated symptoms, a psychiatrist or mental health expert creates an individual treatment plan for each patient.
Psychotherapy is a common treatment method for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goal of cognitive processing therapy is to look at how a person thinks and feels when they are processing information. Trauma-informed therapists may use cognitive processing therapy, which encourages the individual to communicate and think about how the trauma has affected their lives. As a result, the patient learns to cope with their trauma in a different way, one that doesn't take precedence over their day-to-day activities. Cognitive processing treatment takes, on average, twelve weeks to complete, but this varies from person to person.
A further therapeutic method called prolonged exposure therapy (PET) is aimed at ensuring that an individual confronts the issue head-on. For those with PTSD who prefer to avoid situations or persons that trigger their traumatic memories, extended exposure treatment might help alleviate anxiety by adding relaxation techniques like deep breathing and massage. This helps the individual identify what they're avoiding and then learn to tackle it one at a time, therefore lowering tension and anxiety.
Therapy and antidepressant medication are used in situations of severe depression. Because PTSD disrupts the brain's neurotransmitters, medical treatment focuses on balancing the brain's chemical components and preventing the sufferer from ruminating on the trauma they've experienced. As a result, PTSD sufferers are less likely to suffer from sleeplessness and nightmares. Before using any medicine to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, it is critical to visit a mental health specialist. In order to avoid dependence and identify probable adverse effects, a specialist will conduct the appropriate tests.
To summarize, PTSD is a gradual process that necessitates a person to enhance their mood and attitude by taking constructive action to lessen feelings of powerlessness. The nervous system may be shifted out of stress response mode by doing activities that improve mobility, even if expert guidance is sought. Individuals in family or group therapy might benefit from reducing their stress levels and improving their communication by engaging in physical interactions. The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be eased by following a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and practicing relaxation methods.