Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Understanding Its Effects & Treatments

Post-Traumatic Stress

for Health

Living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be exceptionally difficult. This mental health condition is developed after a person experiences a traumatic event, such as an accident, assault, natural disaster, or a combat experience. PTSD can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and social consequences that can interfere with day to day activities. It is important to understand what PTSD is, its effects, and available treatments that can help manage and treat the condition.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an extreme stress response that a person develops after experiencing, witnessing, or being confronted with a traumatic event. It can also occur after a person is informed about the death or serious injury of someone close to them. As a result, the person can have a range of mental and physical symptoms that can last for weeks, months, or even years after their experience.

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The Effects Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Those living with PTSD often find themselves stuck in an emotional “loop”. This loop consists of flashbacks, frightening thoughts and images, depression, anxiety, and difficulty with emotions or sleep. As a result, people with PTSD may have an altered reality, remembering and interpreting events differently than they actually transpired. PTSD can also have physical impacts, such as headaches, chest pain, stomach pains, fatigue, and nausea.

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Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD can be treated and managed successfully with a twofold approach, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy combined with medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help patients manage their stress and deal with psychological symptoms. Additionally, pharmacological treatments for PTSD can include a range of medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. Not only can medications help reduce symptoms, but it can also help enhance the effects of psychotherapy.

Tips to Cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Apart from psychotherapy and medication, those living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can also practice the following tips to help cope with their condition:

  • Build a Support Network – Seeking out support is a great way to manage difficult emotions and distress. Reach out to family and friends who are understanding.
  • Practice Relaxation Techniques – It is important to destress and release tension. There are many relaxation techniques people can practice such as guided imagery, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Set Manageable Goals – Create realistic goals that can help establish a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
  • Stick to a Healthy Lifestyle – Adopting healthy habits such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep can greatly improve a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.
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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can have a major effect on a person’s life, but with the proper treatment and support, it is possible to manage the condition and find relief.

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