By Jenna Chiavelli
Today is National PTSD Awareness Day. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a trauma and stress-related disorder that can form after exposure to a traumatic event. PTSD is characterized by stress symptoms that have continued for over a month after the traumatic experience. The stress-related disorder can impact those of any age, including children that may experience childhood abuse. PTSD is most strongly associated with people in the military.
However, PTSD affects more lives than just veterans. The trauma that triggers PTSD can derive from physical or sexual assault, as well as abuse. Additionally, those involved in dangerous car accidents or natural disasters can also experience PTSD from these stressful situations. Recently, there have been reports of PTSD generated from survivors and witnesses of mass shootings. The risk for PTSD relates to the traumatic degree of the event. It’s important to note that women are more prone to developing PTSD than men are.
Symptoms that are common with PTSD are nightmares or distressing dreams about the traumatic event and loss of connection to your present situation. Another common symptom is having reoccurring flashbacks of the traumatic event that disrupt reality. Reminders of the traumatic event can also trigger strong emotional and physical reactions. As a defense mechanism, those struggling with PTSD may avoid conversations or feelings about the event altogether, this could even include avoiding people or places associated with the incident of trauma. Other common symptoms include being easily frightened, lack of interest in social activities, feelings of irritability, and weakened concentration.
The main treatments for PTSD are therapy, medications, or a mix of both. Because of the unique traumatic experience of each PTSD patient, treatment varies and is tailored to the needs of the individual. Treatment is vital for those struggling with PTSD especially because 80% of patients with PTSD have at least one comorbid disorder. Most commonly, PTSD is accompanied by depression, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders. Therefore, it is imperative PTSD patients receive treatment for not only PTSD but other comorbid disorders.
If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/