PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger. There usually four different types of symptoms that range from re-experiencing, avoidance, arousal and reactivity, and cognition and mood.
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Types of PTSD Symptoms
Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. The symptoms can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing symptoms.
- Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
- Bad dreams
- Frightening thoughts
Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.
- Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience
- Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
Arousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic events. These symptoms can make the person feel stressed and angry. They may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or “on edge”
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Having angry outbursts
Cognition and mood symptoms can begin or worsen after the traumatic event, but are not due to injury or substance use. These symptoms can make the person feel alienated or detached from friends or family members.
- Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
- Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
- Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
Risk or Resilience Factors for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Many factors play a part in whether a person will develop PTSD. Some examples are listed below. Risk factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD. Other factors, called resilience factors, can help reduce the risk of the disorder.
- Living through dangerous events and traumas
- Getting hurt
- Seeing another person hurt, or seeing a dead body
- Childhood trauma
- Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
- Having little or no social support after the event
- Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
- Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse
- Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
- Finding a support group after a traumatic event
- Learning to feel good about one’s own actions in the face of danger
- Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
- Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear
Scientific Backing of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Key Benefits of Treatment at Exult
The main treatments for people with PTSD are medications, psychotherapy (“talk” therapy), or both. Everyone is different, and PTSD affects people differently so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health provider who is experienced with PTSD. Some people with PTSD need to try different treatments to find what works for their symptoms.
- Medications – Mood stabilizers, atypical anti-psychotics, and antidepressants
- Group therapy
- Access to on-site psychiatrist
- Providers working together
- Tailored programs to fit your needs
Some anxiety is normal, but see your doctor if:
- You feel like you’re worrying too much, and it’s interfering with your work, relationships or other parts of your life
- You feel depressed or irritable, have trouble with drinking or drugs, or you have other mental health concerns along with anxiety
- You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors — seek emergency treatment immediately
Our therapists help you with impulse control, compulsion control, emotional adjustments, and social adjustments.
We do take multiple insurances such as United, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare but we suggest you discuss any major medical decisions with your insurance provider.
We offer medication management but we try to keep an open discussion between the client, therapist, and psychiatrist as to the needs of the client.