A single traumatic or horrifying event can completely change someone’s life. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop following a traumatic, life-threatening or extremely stressful event experienced or witnessed by an individual.
The numbers associated with this disorder are staggering. PTSD United estimates 70% of adults have experienced some sort of traumatic event. 20% of them go on to develop PTSD.
While PTSD is often times associated with soldiers who have experienced extreme combat, it also commonly develops in individuals who are victims of physical, psychological or sexual assault as well as those who have experienced a natural disaster, motor vehicle crash or even the sudden loss of a loved one.
These events can cause individuals to experience nightmares, flashbacks of the event, feelings of anxiety, fear shame or guilt as well as having troubles sleeping and participating in once normal daily activities. These issues can become extremely disruptive to not only those suffering but those who love and care for them.
Just as there is no one cause of PTSD, there are many ways those with PTSD can find help.
There are several different methods of therapy offered to manage and treat their PTSD. Regardless of the approach, therapy is meant to help improve PTSD symptoms, restore self-esteem, confidence and teach them how to deal, accept and move on from the experience.
Common approaches to therapy include Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) which is aimed at helping to verbally work through the trauma with your therapist. Working through the trauma with another and going through the exercises of CPT can help patients learn how to challenge and modify unhelpful beliefs related to the trauma.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy is another common therapy approach to managing PTSD. This method teaches techniques on how to deal with their anxiety and slowly moving patients towards confronting the issues related to their trauma head-on.
Many with PTSD opt to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to make themselves feel better. They are in such agony that they want to escape it at almost any cost, and therefore can end up with two problems: the original PTSD and the resultant abuse or depend on drugs or alcohol.
There are many more adaptive strategies. It is possible to treat PTSD with medication in conjunction with therapy. As well, certain nutritional supplementation and correction of nutrient deficiencies can radically improve the person’s mental wellbeing. Anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication, as well as some nutritional supplements, works by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain. These more adapt9ve strategies, coupled with therapy, can reduce the “fight or flight” impulse that causes feelings of jumpiness and anxiety, helping bring more of a sense of calm for the patient.
Because people often respond differently to medication, it’s important to talk to a doctor or physician before considering medication for PTSD.
If you or someone you love have experienced a traumatic life event and the aftereffects are interfering with your everyday life, we strongly encourage you to visit Cady Wellness Institute in Newburgh, IN to learn more information about EMDR therapy. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.