Our focus at BetterHelp is try to provide more information about what exactly PTSD is, some of the signs and symptoms, and how online counseling can help throughout this entire process.
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA
PTSD Isn’t Only About Coming Back From War
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects individuals who have been through traumatic life events. Whether that’s a natural disaster, sexual or physical assault, or anything that causes significant lasting traumatic memories. People who have Post-traumatic stress disorder can have flashbacks, nightmares, explosive episodes of anger and persistent worries that the event might happen again. They may also suffer from panic attacks, which usually triggered by something that reminds them of their trauma.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of PTSD can occur soon after an event or years later. It depends on the person, the trauma and the specific circumstances. Here are some common symptoms of PTSD:
- Intrusive thoughts or memories of the event
- Flashbacks - feeling as if the traumatic event is happening all over again
- Nightmares - scary dreams about the trauma
- Avoiding places that remind the person of their trauma
- Depression - Some people who have PTSD have a sense of hopelessness after trauma
- Isolation - A person, might retreat from friends and family after experiencing a traumatic event
- Irritability - Feeling irritable is common for survivors of trauma
- Angry outbursts - Someone who has suffered a traumatic event may feel out of control at times and lash out at others as a result.
Healing from PTSD
Many people who go through traumatic events have trouble healing — your brain changes after you’ve been through a traumatic event. You may not know how to cope with what you’ve experienced, but you can learn over time. Try to be patient while you work through your emotions, and understand that you didn’t bring trauma on yourself. You can get better if you’re dedicated to working through your trauma. It’s crucial to address the symptoms of PTSD, because you don’t want your condition to worsen. That’s why counseling or therapy is vital.
Counseling and PTSD
There are many different kinds of therapy or counseling that can treat PTSD. Some of them include EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). In EMDR, the patient is exposed to stimuli associated with their trauma. They learn to tolerate distress, and eventually their PTSD symptoms, triggers, flashbacks, and nightmares, decrease. There is also Cognitive Behavior Therapy, where the client learns to reframe their thoughts, and as a result their emotions change. Someone with PTSD may have a lot of anxiety because of their trauma. When they learn how to improve their negative thought patterns, it can become easier to learn to be at peace. Exposure therapy is another standard treatment for people with PTSD. The person is either gradually or rapidly exposed to something that they’re afraid of (similar to EMDR) and learns that they’re not in danger. These are a few treatment options for people living with PTSD, however there are many more.
Online Counseling Helps PTSD
An excellent option for treating PTSD is online counseling. Many people with the condition have anxiety. It can be hard to get to a local therapist’s office when you live with chronic panic attacks. When you see an online counselor to treat PTSD, you’re in the privacy of your home or wherever you feel comfortable receiving therapy. You deserve the chance to get treatment on your terms in a way where you can get well. You can choose an online counselor who specializes in treating survivors of trauma. They’ll understand your symptoms and help you learn coping techniques. You can tell them what you’d like to work on, and they’ll develop a way for you to gain the skills you need to live a good quality of life. PTSD is a real condition, and it can be severe. But there are treatment options to help you live a great life.
Although the above articles are not intended to be the only or primary source of information to help you better understand post-traumatic stress disorder, hopefully, some of what has been mentioned will help you better understand it. If you would like to speak to one of our online counselors about your PTSD concerns, or any questions about what you've read, feel free to sign-up today.