PTSD Articles

There are a variety of reasons a person can develop PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), but this mental health concern is one that can be best treated when it's clearly understood.

With that said, our focus here at BetterHelp is try to provide more information about what exactly PTSD is, some of the signs and symptoms, how treatment can help, and how online counseling can help throughout this entire process.

Coping With Being Hypervigilant

Have you experienced one or more traumas, like a serious car accident, natural disaster, or the unexpected death of someone close to you? Since then, have you felt like you are...

Finding The Right PTSD Medication For You

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects millions of Americans with symptoms that dramatically impact jobs, relationships, and other crucial aspects of day-to-day life...

Do You Suffer From Survivor’s Guilt?

The world today is full of news about various catastrophic experiences and events, from natural disasters to intense violence from one human to another. Many of these events...

Complex PTSD Symptoms And Treatment

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, complex PTSD or C PTSD is a psychological disorder that results from chronic exposure to trauma over a long period of time. It involves...

Common Treatments For PTSD Nightmares

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a disorder that develops after being exposed to traumatic events. An individual may have taken part in the traumatic event, been...

Things To Keep In Mind when Dating Someone with PTSD

Romantic relationships are inherently complicated. When you’re dating someone with PTSD, more emotional baggage is involved in the relationship. In fact, one of the most...

How To Fade Scars Of The Past

If you have had surgery you will have scars, there is no way around it. It is the same way with traumatic experiences. Anyone who goes through any kind of abuse (psychological...

Finding The Right Therapist For Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder requires a therapist with whom a bond of trust can be established. Of course, everyone should have a bond of trust with their...

Should I Take A PTSD Test?

Roughly 7 – 8% or 7 to 8 out of every 100 people in the United States will suffer from PTSD in their lifetime, according to ptsd.gov. Some estimates suggest that the percentage...

Counseling Therapy And PTSD

As described by the American Phycological Association (APA), Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed...

What Is Complex PTSD?

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (Complex PTSD) is a mental condition that results from ongoing or repetitive exposure to traumatizing, highly stressful situations. Its...

Possible Signs Of PTSD: Why Do I Avoid….?

Most associate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with war. In fact, the first known studies of PTSD were conducted on WWII veterans and the phenomenon was then called shell shock. To date most of the research conducted on PTSD has been on veterans (“Post Traumatic Stress...

PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was initially called “shellshock.” It is in the category of anxiety disorders, and its onset occurs after a traumatic event — for example, sexual assault, military combat, or witnessing physical violence or a natural disaster. Any survivor of trauma can develop PTSD, and it’s imperative for the person to get treatment. PTSD is an after effect of trauma. The condition wasn’t recognized as a mental health disorder until 1980 in the DSM 3. In the united states alone, 10% of people develop PTSD at some point in their lives. Women typically develop it more than men, but there are treatments available. What is PTSD? PTSD is a mental health issue that develops following a traumatic event. The individual relives the event over and over again, experiencing disturbed sleep, flashbacks, memories, and often, insomnia or panic attacks. It can occur after many kinds of traumatic events, but the most important thing to do is to get help. PTSD can come with some upsetting, troubling symptoms, and treatment can help you manage them. It affects 3.5% of adults in North America, so if you live with PTSD, know that you’re not alone and that help is available. 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, these are examples of what can cause PTSD. 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 are seemingly brought on by nothing in particular, although they are being triggered by something that reminds them of their trauma. Signs of PTSD The signs of PTSD can occur after the event happens or affect an individual years later. It depends on the person, the trauma and the specific circumstances. Here are some common signs 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 Disturbing thoughts Thoughts that follow a traumatic event can interfere with a person’s everyday life and functioning. Those with PTSD experience intrusive or disturbing thoughts related to their traumatic event and they often have symptoms of uncontrolled anger. They might feel depressed and isolate from the people around them, and they may also react in an anxious or frightened way when they hear loud noises or when they’re touched, depending on the nature of the event they experienced and how it affected them. It’s a challenging condition to live with, especially if you don’t get treatment. Symptoms PTSD has many symptoms. These symptoms affect a person's emotional and social lives and can affect individuals functioning in their work or school environment. When your life becomes unmanageable due to the after-effects of trauma, it’s essential to seek help. The symptoms of PTSD are grouped into four categories: intrusive thoughts, avoidance, negative thinking and mood, and changes in a person's physical and emotional reactions. How a person experiences symptoms of PTSD depends on the individual. The four symptoms of PTSD Reliving the traumatic event (reliving experiences through memories or flashbacks) Avoidance (avoid places they once went) Increased arousal (hypervigilance and trouble falling asleep due to fear) Negative cognitions and mood (self-blame and feeling that they did something wrong) Symptoms of flashbacks, intrusive thoughts or memories include: Distressing, recurring memories that plague the individual surrounding the traumatic event. Feeling as if you’re reliving the event in the present (also called “flashbacks.”) Nightmares or disturbing dreams about the event. Experiencing emotional distress and physical reactions. Surrounding reminders of the event. Symptoms of avoidance include: Actively thinking about ways to stop thinking about or talking about the event Isolating from people, places, or things that remind someone of the event Symptoms of negative thinking and mood include: Negative thoughts about yourself or the people around you Hopelessness Not remembering certain things associated with the trauma Difficulty maintaining intimate relationships Experiences of dissociation or detachment from friends and loved ones Lack of interest in activities you once loved Difficulty concentrating Emotional numbness Changes in physical or emotional reactivity (otherwise known as “arousal symptoms”) Being easily startled Hypervigilance or being on guard for danger Self-sabotage or reckless behavior such as reckless driving or substance abuse Trouble sleeping Angry outbursts or aggressive behavior Feelings of guilt and shame Children who experience PTSD might reenact the event in a play setting or have nightmares about the trauma. When to see a medical professional When you’re experiencing intrusive or disturbing thoughts about your traumatic event for over a month, it’s time to see a mental health professional. You can speak to your doctor or talk to a therapist. Get treatment for PTSD as soon as you identify what’s happening because symptoms will get worse if left untreated. If you have suicidal thoughts There are specific symptoms of PTSD that can be dangerous. If you are suicidal, that deserves immediate attention. Being suicidal includes having thoughts of ending your life. If you have suicidal ideation, or you have a plan to end your life, it’s critical to call 911 or reach out to a mental health professional, a friend, or a loved one who can help you seek immediate treatment. Military PTSD When you think of PTSD, you might imagine a soldier coming back from war. And many members of the military have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The incidence of military PTSD affects up to 30% of women or men in warzones. Statistics vary depending on the branch of the military the individual was enlisted in and if they experienced sexual assault during their time in the military. Guilt People that have PTSD may experience depression or anxiety, but they may also feel guilt regarding the trauma as if they caused it to happen themselves. Feelings of guilt are reasonable, but they must be addressed in therapy. You didn’t cause your traumatic event to happen, and it’s important to understand that you’re not alone. Fight or flight A fight, flight, or freeze response is extremely common when it comes to PTSD. When someone has PTSD, they’re inclined to fight to deal with the potential harm, flight (run away or avoid situations) or freeze (literally freeze at the moment.) These responses are widespread for those with PTSD, and what response(s) you experience depend on who you are as a person and the traumatic event(s) that you’ve experienced. Seeking help: therapy and treatment Conventional treatment for PTSD is EMDR, which seeks to desensitize a person from the trauma by confronting it. EMDR can be extremely useful, as can talk therapy. In talk therapy, you’ll talk about your experiences surrounding a traumatic event and life after the event. The most vital thing to remember is that you can get help and that different forms of therapy help different people. Whether you work with an online therapist or someone in your local area, there’s hope for PTSD. Healing from PTSD Many people who go through traumatic events have trouble healing — your life changes after you’ve been through a traumatic event. You may not know how to cope with what you’ve experienced, but you’ll learn over time. Try to be patient while you work through your emotions, and understand that you didn’t bring trauma on yourself. You will get better if you’re dedicated to working through your trauma. However, 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 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, such as triggers, flashbacks, and nightmares, decrease. There’s 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 will become easier to cope with their panic or anxiety and 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.
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