PTSD – What You Need to Know

Traumatic incidents leave their mark and can cause a considerable amount of distress to a patient. They can have lingering physical and mental health consequences on human beings. While the human mind is resilient, capable of recovering from severely traumatic situations, patients need support and treatment to get into a healthy state.

What is PTSD?

PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This mental health condition is caused by a traumatic experience, either seeing it happen or experiencing it personally. Many people recover before they can develop PTSD but some need help. If untreated, this disorder can cause a range of behavioral problems.

Incidences likely to cause PTSD

PTSD is more complex than most people realize. Many underestimate what can cause trauma to an individual and lead to intrusive symptoms. The most common causes of this disorder include:

  • Experiencing or witnessing a serious vehicular accident.
  • Industrial or workplace accidents.
  • Mugging or physical assault.
  • Sexual assault.
  • Experiencing long-term violent situations like war.
  • Sustained physical or sexual abuse (in domestic situations).
  • Complicated medical procedures and surgeries.

Your mind has the ability to recover from trauma with some time, effort, and self-care. Most people have some flashbacks and anxiety attacks after experiencing something traumatic but they overcome it after some time. If a person isn’t able to overcome the trauma and experiences PTSD symptom for a long time, they need professional help.

Symptoms of PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms can manifest in several ways. Every patient reacts differently to trauma and mental distress caused by it. The most common PTSD symptoms are mentioned below:

  • Intrusive memories of the event – Some people forget traumatic events while others remember them keenly. These memories can be intrusive and cause distress in everyday life. Patients experience flashbacks of the event as though they’re living through it again. They deal with recurring nightmares and sleeplessness caused by it. Patients can also become triggered by things that remind them of their trauma. For example, car accident victims might get triggered if they hear tires squealing.
  • Mood changes – PTSD victims often suffer from volatile mood and behavioral They experience low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, uncontrolled bouts of anger or frustration, lack of interest in interaction, entertainment or relationships, etc. Patients are likely to develop an aloof and distant personality while experiencing numbness. It’s common for PTSD victims to develop anger dysregulation or panic disorder.
  • Changes in reactions or responses – Physical and mental reactions can change significantly. Patients get startled easily and certain instances trigger their flight or fight response. They have trouble sleeping for longer periods of time or their sleep isn’t restful. Some experience survivor’s guilt or shame for their reaction to a trauma. Patients develop self-destructive behavior like alcoholism or drug abuse.

Instead of adopting unhealthy ways to deal with PTSD, patients can try Toronto CBT. Research suggests Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a highly effective and safe intervention option for patients with acute and chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.