07 Aug Why You Need Professional Help In PTSD?
A lot of people experience a stressful event in their life. When an event, or successive events, causes an immense amount of stress, it turns into a traumatic event. Traumatic events lead to a sense of horror, helplessness, severe injury, or the possibility of death. Such events impact everyone: survivors, rescuer, friends, and relatives of the patient.
Every person responds differently to PTSD. These responses may include feelings of fear, depression, and grief. A person with PTSD may show physical and behavioral responses like nausea, dizziness, decreased appetite and lack of sleep, and losing interest in daily activities. PTSD symptoms may last for a few weeks to months before recovery kicks in. In the majority of cases, the recovery process beings within three months after the traumatic event. However, a person is diagnosed with PTSD when the problem grows worse or last longer than a few months after the event.
Data suggests that 8 million people in the United States are currently diagnosed with PTSD. There are treatments for PTSD. However, most people with PTSD don’t get the treatment they require.
Things you should know about PTSD –
An intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and scenes of a traumatic event lasting for a few weeks or months is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The effects of PTSD can be debilitating, and its symptoms can ruin your mental health, physical health, work, and relationships. People with PTSD keep themselves isolated, can’t focus on their job, unable to trust, and can’t show real emotions. PTSD symptoms can be divided into three types – re-living, increased arousal, and avoidance.
- Re-living symptoms may include nightmares, flashbacks, and intense emotional and physical response to reminders of the event. Emotional responses include guilt, intense fear, and numbness. On the other hand, physical reactions include shivering, feeling of palpitation, headache, and muscle pain.
- Avoidance symptoms in people include not participating in activities, staying away from places, thoughts, or feelings that could remind of the trauma.
- Arousal symptoms include freaking out or getting startled, insomnia, feeling irritation or outbursts of anger, and losing concentration.
Other PTSD symptoms include depression, panic attacks, suicidal tendencies and feelings, drug abuse, isolation, and not being able to focus on daily activities.
How can you help yourself?
You can resort to healthy means to cope with PTSD. A healthy diet and lifestyle can boost a sense of renewal, hope, and control in you. PTSD not only impacts our cognitive ability, but it also affects our bodies. Therefore, it’s important to focus on every aspect of a speedy recovery.
- Don’t panic when you see symptoms. It is normal to go through physical and mental changes immediately after the traumatic event.
- Follow a fixed daily routine.
- Take time to solve your day-to-day conflicts without taking stress.
- Try not to avoid situations, people, and places that may remind you of the trauma event.
- Rest after an exhausting day, and don’t go harsh on yourself.
- Reach out to your family and friends for support and discuss your feelings and what you are going through with them.
- Look out for leisure and recreational activities.
- Accept that not everything is in your control.
PTSD in children –
Every child may experience stressful events while growing that can impact the way they think and feel. In most cases, recovery takes place quickly and thoroughly. However, sometimes when a child experiences severe stress, such as an injury, or is affected by someone’s death or threat to their own life or violence, they are affected for a long time. The child could be traumatized due to personal loss or after witnessing something happening to their relatives or friends. On such occasions, when a child shows long term symptoms (longer than one month) due to stress or anxiety, they are diagnosed with PTSD. If a child is diagnosed with PTSD, the first thing one should do is make them feel safe by extending support and minimizing the possibility of another traumatic event.
- Try to make your child understand that it is normal to get upset if something unfortunate or scary happens.
- Help your child express what they feel or think, without any judgments.
- Make a routine for their day-to-day activities.
PTSD in the current scenario –
In the last few months, events taking place around the world have caused a tremendous amount of stress and fear. This has made people feel lost and isolated, creating a perfect storm for psychological disorders like PTSD. Once in life, almost everyone experiences psychological disturbances. Plus, the stress people have gone through in a short time because of the current pandemic may impact them in the coming years. While in most cases, symptoms may resolve voluntarily, it’s recommended that you take help from a professional behavioral health specialist to get over the anxiety or stress you are experiencing.
When Should You Contact An Expert?
Learning about PTSD and how to cope with it can improve your living. In severe cases, it is advisable to seek help from a health expert who can assist you in the recovery process. People with PTSD often isolate themselves and don’t want to discuss their problems with others. In fact, sometimes, a person may not realize they have PTSD until symptoms get unbearable. Acquiring knowledge of PTSD and talking about it to your closed ones or family is vital for fast recovery. It is important to know everything about your condition so you can clearly explain to others what is happening and ask for what you need.
The majority of people with PTSD recover within the first three months without undergoing major treatment. However, in some cases, symptoms do not recede away on their own or last for more than three months. This may happen because of the severity of the traumatic event, getting direct exposure to a threatening event, danger to life, the number of times an event takes place, previous medical conditions, and psychological problems before or after the event. You should seek professional help if you experience severe symptoms within the first few months of the event.