Many people experience a variety of side effects that significantly impact their daily lives after experiencing a traumatic event. Others may experience symptoms like shakiness or difficulty maintaining connections with family and friends. Some people may experience recurrent bad memories or have trouble sleeping. If ignored, these trauma reactions can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder.
Thousands of people each year suffer from PTSD, a serious mental illness that is extremely difficult to identify. In reality, say Marketwatch’s specialists, PTSD is one of the most expensive disorders to treat.
The following section defines PTSD, offers a diagnosis, discusses risk factors, and highlights the role of counseling and therapy.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is triggered by seeing or experiencing a terrible incident. PTSD is often identified among soldiers. It is a problem that affects everyone who suffers trauma. The Mayo Clinic describes PTSD symptoms as physical and psychological problems, including flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and long-term, uncontrollable thoughts.
The disorder known as PTSD is common. Up to 20% of adults in the United States who have experienced a traumatic experience get PTSD. According to statistics from the National Center for PTSD, nearly 4% of males and 10% of women will experience PTSD.
What are the risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder?
People who are vulnerable to PTSD may have gone through the following:
- Violence against family or close partners
- Sexual assault or rape
- A physical attack
- Unexpected violent acts
- Unexpected occurrences such as car crashes, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or industrial failures
- Receiving a life-threatening disease diagnosis
- The unexpected death of a loved one
Additionally, PTSD treatment is more likely to occur in people with military experience, as well as those who have worked as medical personnel, police officers, firefighters, or members of search and rescue teams.
Data shows that people who experience serious physical abuse such as rape, violent assault, or other sexual trauma are 23.7 to 49 percent more likely to develop PTSD, even if experiencing these events does not guarantee that people will suffer from it. It is less likely that other traumatic events, including natural disasters or witnessing a sad occurrence or depression, may result in a PTSD diagnosis.
How Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosed?
PTSD In reality, a large number of PTSD symptoms are part of the body’s normal reaction to stress. Even though it’s common to experience stress following a traumatic occurrence, people should get help if their symptoms persist for more than three months, make them unhappy, or interfere with their ability to function at work or home.
The National Center for PTSD lists four categories of symptoms that people can use to determine whether they may be suffering from the disorder.
People who have had traumatic experiences may have nightmares or flashbacks all the time. People with PTSD may also have “triggering” situations in their daily lives, where noises, sights, or smells make them go back to their terrible experiences.
Avoiding situations that bring back memories of the experience or event: People who have experienced trauma may strive to stay away from situations that bring back memories of the experience. People with PTSD frequently stay busy to avoid talking to others about the event and to avoid crowds, driving, or taking public transit, particularly to movies or television shows.
Negative changes in beliefs and emotions: As a result of trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder may have the power to change how you feel about yourself and other people. Individuals may feel negative emotions toward people they once loved, which makes them distance themselves from meaningful relationships in their lives. Additionally, people could feel negatively about the world in general and think it’s unsafe and dangerous.
Experiencing Hyperarousal: Hyperarousal is a state in which one is nervous, awake, or constantly on the lookout for danger. Trauma victims may show this state. People may have trouble sleeping and paying attention and may be easily shocked.
If ignored, PTSD may be the reason for a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health problems. According to research, extreme trauma may also disrupt or change the chemical makeup of the brain permanently. People who experience any of these signs frequently should seek help from a trained therapist or mental health specialist.
What is a counselor’s role in PTSD treatment?
Counselors are crucial as early caregivers in PTSD treatment. People can choose which therapy will help them heal from trauma, even though each treatment differs from person to person. They can use a variety of treatments to help their patients, some of which are listed below.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy: One of the most successful types of psychotherapy for PTSD is cognitive-behavioral therapy. A counsellor assists patients in cognitive-behavioral therapy by “helping [patients] understand and change how [they] think about [their] experience and its consequences.” The ultimate goal is to assist patients in realizing how their thoughts about trauma increase PTSD symptoms and help them identify negative feelings and thoughts about the event. Individuals can also benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy for overcoming emotions like anxiety, guilt, and rage.
Exposure Therapy: Patients who are getting exposure therapy can get over their fear of reliving the traumatic event. In this type of treatment, the counselor learns how to help patients take control of their feelings and thoughts.
Virtual Reality Treatment: For almost 20 years, clients have used virtual reality therapy to successfully overcome mental health concerns.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: (EMDR) is a psychotherapy technique that was developed in the 1980s and is used to recover from any trauma. EMDR therapy has explained that the opposite is possible, contrary to the common belief that recovery from serious emotional pain takes a long time.
Each year, PTSD, a disorder brought on by a traumatic event, affects millions of people in the US. The effects of trauma differ from patient to patient, but many suffer from recovering flashbacks, fear, triggers, and other symptoms like stress and anxiety that make it hard for people to easily live in their daily lives. Patients can learn how to manage their PTSD and overcome their unpleasant experiences with the help of a competent counsellor, helping them to lead fulfilling lives.
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