on US orders over $100
on all US orders over $100
Every year on June 27, people come together to honor and bring community awareness to those suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Throughout the years, PTSD has become a more common type of anxiety disorder that can affect anyone of any age.
PTSD can occur to anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, specifically relating to death or violence. For example: people who may have been abused as children, have been sexually abused as children or adults, or people who have been repeatedly exposed to life-threatening situations, face the greatest risk for PTSD.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious, but common condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic of terrifying event. It is a lasting consequence of shell shocking ordeals that cause feelings of intense fear, helplessness, or horror.
Once called "Battle Fatigue Syndrome", doctors first developed this diagnosis in the 1980s as they began to work with war-zone Veterans from Vietnam. At the beginning, PTSD was only considered to affect those who experienced cataclysmic events, such as war, combat, and natural disasters.
In the present day, much has been studied and learned about PTSD, and it can be caused by several events - regardless of the severity, or how involved a person was with the actual event. Examples of a few of the causes of PTSD include:
People who are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder usually have symptoms that last longer than a month, and cannot function as well as before the event occurred. Symptoms typically begin within three months of the event, however; they can also begin years later. The duration and severity of the disorder vary. Some, see improvement and begin to recover in six months, while others can suffer much longer.
As stated above, anyone can experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That is because everyone reacts to traumatic events differently. Each person is unique in their ability to manage fear and stress, and each person has unique coping mechanisms. For that reason alone, not everyone will develop PTSD. However; the type of help or support one receives from family, friends, and professionals following the trauma may influence the development of the disorder, as well as the severity.
One month has to pass since the time of a traumatic event. If symptoms of PTSD are present, the doctor then will begin an evaluation by performing a physical exam that includes medical history. While there are no blood, or lab tests to specifically diagnose the disorder, the doctor may choose to run various tests to eliminate physical illness as the cause of the symptoms.
If no physical symptoms are found, the doctor may refer the patient to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professionals who are specifically trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists are equipped with the proper tools to evaluate the patient for the presence of PTSD or other psychiatric conditions.
The diagnosis of PTSD is based on reported symptoms, including any problems with functioning caused by those symptoms. PTSD is then diagnosed if the patient has had symptoms that have lasted for one month or more.
The prognosis for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is very well. Recovery is possible, but it is a gradual and ongoing process of treatments. The goal is to reduce the emotional and physical symptoms, to improve daily functioning, and to help the patient learn better coping skills with the event that triggered the disorder. Symptoms of PTSD rarely disappear completely, but with the following treatment options, patients can learn to cope more effectively, manage feelings, and reduce the intensity of the symptoms.
The most common types of medications that are used to treat PTSD are certain antidepressants that also help to manage anxiety. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors - or SSRI's - such as: Paxil, Celexa, Luvox, Prozac, and Zoloft are often used to elevate symptoms. Tricyclic antidepressants, such as Elavil and Doxepin may be used as well.
Some psychiatrists may choose to prescribe mood stabilizers, such as Depakote and Lamictal, or antipsychotics, such as Seroquel and Abilify to help stabilize symptoms.
Research has shown that some types of blood pressure medicines can control particular symptoms. For example, Prazosin may be used to eliminate nightmares, or Propranolol may be used to minimize the formation of traumatic memories.
Remember, before stopping or starting any medication, consult your physician, or psychiatrist as they will explain any and all side effects. Do not start or stop medication without the supervision of a medical professional.
In addition to medication, psychotherapy is often used as a way for the person to learn how to cope, and learn how to manage their symptoms. Therapy - a type of counseling - aims to teach the person, as well as their family about the disorder, and help them work through the fears associated with the traumatic event. A variety of approaches are used to treat people with PTSD, including: