Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, often called PTSD, does not only affect people that have been in wars or have been held as hostages; it has also been diagnosed in victims of dysfunctional families, people coping with the loss of a loved one (either death or separation in relationships/divorce) or abusive relationships in general.
As the name of the disorder already implies, those suffering from post-traumatic stress is living with the consequences of a bad incident long after the actual event has happened; they may re-live the threatening situation over and over again. These flashbacks happen either in conscious or unconscious state (e.g. when sleeping) and can have a severe impact on the person’s ability to function in his day-to-day life. PSTD is often linked to other mental problems such as depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, self-harm, drug abuse or alcoholism. In may cases, substance abuse is used as a coping strategy.
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The disease encompasses a variety of symptoms. Generally, a person suffering from PTSD will suffer from frequent nightmares, flashbacks triggered by seemingly harmless situations, people or objects, panic attacks, angry outbursts, general lack of trust, thoughts of self-harm/suicidal thoughts, thoughts of harming others, isolation, feeling guilty, sad or worthless, a constant and extreme need to feel “in control,” constant fear of “things falling apart”/feeling on edge most of the time, and consequently, disturbed interpersonal relationships.
In many cases, a person suffering from PTSD will have big problems attaching to those around him, fearing they may leave forever or being overly suspicious of others. Therefore, in an attempt to regulate their feelings, people suffering from this disease may come across as “cold” or may seem as if they lack emotion.
One reason for PTSD is the fact that the person suffering from the disease was in a “fight or flight” situation when the traumatic incident(s) happened; he feels completely powerless since he could not help himself or the others involved. This is why PSTD is often diagnosed in children growing up in dysfunctional families. For instance, a child growing up in a problematic family does not have the chance to help his mother when his father is physically abusing her. A very young child can neither fight nor run away, so he is stuck in the moment, which is the root for PTSD.
Ways to Cope With Post-Traumatic Stress
There are many methods and therapies to help people with PSTD. While for those who are under drugs, methamphetamine centers miami is the place to go. A very important part of it is “talk therapy” with an experienced psychologist. Some people may also benefit from additional therapies such as therapeutic painting, or the so-called “wing-wave” method, in which both areas of the brain are stimulated to encourage the brain to process the unreleased information causing the flashbacks. In severe cases, medication may be prescribed by the therapist to improve the effects of the talk therapy.
Apart from these treatments, individuals with this disorder can do a lot for themselves to feel better. These include picking up a sport they like to feel in control of their body and build up their self-esteem, staying away from drugs and alcohol, engaging in activities to make them feel more “alive” and “real” such as taking cold and hot showers, listening to music, massages or meditation as a means to re-connect body and soul.
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