How to Detect the Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
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Experiencing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be painful. If you are experiencing symptoms and are unsure if they are related to PTSD, it can be a confusing process. Some symptoms of PTSD are hard to detect because they can coincide with other mental health disorders.
PTSD is a serious mental health disorder. Knowing the symptoms behind this disorder can help you find the most appropriate treatment plan for you. By identifying the symptoms, you can choose a path that’s right for you to get help.
PTSD develops in a person when they have experienced an event that is shocking or traumatic. It is normal to feel frightened after experiencing a traumatic situation. Those who experience this situation mentally after it’s over can develop PTSD and other mental health conditions.
Symptoms of PTSD
Despite experiencing a traumatic event, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop PTSD or chronic PTSD. In fact, there are a few warning signs that can help you identify if you are experiencing this disorder. These signs include:
- Re-experiencing symptoms
- Avoidance symptoms
- Arousal and reactivity symptoms
- Cognition and mood symptoms
Your life could be turned upside down if every day you flashback to the scene where the traumatic event took place. If you experience physical symptoms, like sweating, this is a sign that you are reliving the event mentally. Bad dreams and thoughts that are scary or feel harmful can also be a sign of PTSD.
It is never easy experiencing a memory only to experience through places you’ve been to and people you know. When you begin to avoid certain places, events, or objects, this could be a sign you are avoiding being taken back to the past traumatic moment.
Avoiding thoughts that feel harmful or as though you are being taken back to the event can also indicate PTSD. We can’t always avoid a flashback, so it can be a struggle if you feel like your thoughts center around the event of trauma.
Reactivity and Arousal PTSD Symptoms
If you are experiencing changes in how you handle day-to-day life, this may indicate PTSD. Acting out of anger or getting startled easily could make your symptoms worsen over time. Other reactivity and arousal symptoms include insomnia and feeling tense or on edge.
Cognitive and Mood Symptoms
After a traumatic event takes place, it is likely that cognition and mood symptoms will worsen. This is because the event could make you feel on edge and tired at the same time. Some of the symptoms that can show up months after the trauma took place include:
- Trouble with the memory of the traumatic event
- Feeling shame or guilt because you went through something harmful
- Negative thoughts, including thoughts of suicide
- Loss of interest in daily activities or things that used to make you happy
PTSD can also bring on depression, anxiety, and other conditions that may worsen if left untreated. Talking to your doctor or mental health professional is the first step when seeking treatment.
Treatment for PTSD
If you are looking for a treatment plan that works for you, there are plenty of treatment options that treat PTSD. These programs can also help treat other mental health disorders and conditions you may be experiencing because of PTSD.
Experiencing PTSD isn’t easy, but cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) therapy could work for you. Outpatient programs work well with this kind of treatment because it requires you to challenge faulty thinking. This kind of therapy dives deep into thoughts that are no longer serving you. It also helps you recognize thoughts so you can understand how they impact your actions.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
In dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), you will learn a skill set that will help you gain more perspective on your situation. Four basic skill sets are taught through this therapy, which include:
- Emotional regulation
- Distress tolerance
- Interpersonal effectiveness
Trauma-Focused Therapy for PTSD
DBT therapy can help those experiencing PTSD because it can bring them back to the present moment through mindfulness. It can also help you if you are experiencing other mental health conditions along with PTSD, such as schizophrenia and depression.
Programs that offer trauma-based therapy also treat PTSD because they focus on you and the trauma itself. Typical trauma-based therapy includes CBT and DBT therapy. Both can be offered as outpatient options if you are interested in programs with this option.
This isn’t an easy experience to go through. But you are not alone in this battle. It is important to recognize the first signs and symptoms of PTSD before being treated. If you feel you have any of the above symptoms mentioned, reaching out to a medical professional is the first step in getting the help you deserve.
Never be ashamed to take the first step in getting the care you need. Trauma is not easy to experience, and by getting treated, you can help provide yourself with a better future. Alter Wellness Care offers various outpatient programs that help ease even the worst symptoms of PTSD and other mental health conditions. Our programs include CBT, DBT, psycho-educational groups, and other forms of therapy that can provide you with the help you need. We encourage you to live a better life. Please reach out to us at (866) 311-3510, and our trained mental health professionals will provide you with more information on our programs. We look forward to helping you reach your highest potential!
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