2015 Washington National PTSD Awareness Day: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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It is normal to feel fear, guilt, distress, shame, anger or helplessness after going through a traumatic experience. It will typically go away after several days or weeks. But if it still occurs after a month, then, it is most likely that you are experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The 2015 Washington National PTSD Awareness Day commemorates this happening.

Who Can Get PTSD?

  • Anyone who suffered or was exposed to life-threatening situations
  • Anyone who has survived from rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, physical abuse, and verbal abuse
  • Anyone who has survived events like a car accident, terrorist attack, or natural disaster
  • Anyone who was exposed to war
  • Anyone who has lost a loved one or a friend
  • Emergency responders
  • Abused or neglected children

What Are The Symptoms Of PTSD?

Not all people will experience the same symptoms of PTSD at the same time. But the common symptoms are usually as follow:

  • Constant thinking, flashbacks, and nightmares of the life-altering event
  • Always on the lookout and gets startled so easily
  • Avoid events that remind the stressful situation

Other symptoms of PTSD may include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Pain in the body of unknown origin
  • Trust issues
  • Unable to do activities of daily living
  • Substance abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
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How Can I Feel Better?

PTSD is treatable, and the treatment and the support of the family can contribute to success. Memories will not go away, but at least the feelings can be managed. The following are the common treatment done on patients with PTSD.

Psychotherapy. This type of therapy is done by a mental health professional, and there are as follows:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • Couples and family counseling

Medicine. SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors lower depression and anxiety and at the same time alleviate other symptoms. Other medications are Sedatives and Anti-anxiety drugs.

Support groups. This form of therapy involves 4 to 12 with the same issues in life. Talking to somebody who suffers the same experience will help you cope with the symptoms and memories more effectively.

Self-care.  PTSD is a continuous recovery process; hence you should look for steps that make you feel better such as:

  • Connect with friends and family
  • Relaxation  
  • Exercise
  • Rest
  • Journal writing
  • Avoiding the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • Limit caffeine
  • Help others
  • Limit TV watching