Many suffering from PTSD never understand their condition due to lack of awareness or may even sometimes not be able to deal with the symptoms without the help of a medical professional. Post-traumatic stress is extremely frightening for someone who goes through this. It not only leads to panic attacks or scary flashbacks but can even make a person incapable of performing his or her day to day tasks. It disrupts life and isolates one from his or her loved ones. Hence seeking help and support from professionals as well as family and friends becomes an important part in the treatment of PTSD.…
Traumatic events are not uncommon. In fact, about two-thirds of the general population suffers from trauma once or twice in a year. Many countries, not only the United States, have had the experience of witnessing terrorism attacks and shootings, domestic and sexual abuse and forced transfers. Other countries may even have a higher incidence of these traumatic events than the United States has.
Lately, however, Americans have been overwhelmed by the hurricanes that have been damaging their homes and destroying their lives. Most of the Texas and New Orleans residents have struggled to keep themselves together just to get through their challenges daily. Some of them were even advised to go into therapy, but of course, they would ask, “How much would therapy cost?” Some who were more knowledgeable of the web perhaps came across BetterHelp.com where they can chat or talk to an online therapist about mental health problems.
Natural Disasters Can Cause PTSD
The devastation that the past hurricanes have caused the American people has undoubtedly resulted in mental and emotional harm in the aftermath. Though there are ways that help us detect their coming, we have never been too expectant and ready for them, and their wrath has always left us with feelings of shock and fear. People are left with almost nothing but themselves – if the whole family survives, that is. They’ve lost their homes, their cars, and their jobs.
Most of these victims are also suffering from mental health issues such as posttraumatic stress disorder, a condition where individuals develop fears after witnessing traumatic events such as natural disasters. They often have nightmares and flashbacks that impede their daily activities at times. They have difficulty sleeping for fear that when they wake up, the horror of the past experience will haunt them again.
Cassie, 45, a survivor of the wrath of Katrina, recalled being literally alone, and she says the water was up to her chin. Her kids had gone out when the hurricane came, and she couldn’t move, didn’t know what to do.
“I saw people dropping dead, people getting beat up. I saw it all. I saw it all. Now, I don’t want to be left alone in the house. Wherever my daughter goes, I go.”
The fear of being left by yourself is one of the most common manifestations of PTSD. Researchers say that better support and management for these survivors can help prevent the incidence of people suffering from too much emotional damage.
Ken Turner couldn’t move when he saw water rushing into his home. He saw water everywhere – in his neighbor’s home and in everyone’s homes. It shocked him, leaving him psychologically challenged and speechless in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“Posttraumatic Stress Disorder got me,” he often says. “I’m suffering with it. I see a psychiatrist every month for it. I had to get help.”
PTSD from Natural Disasters – It Is Real
The effects of natural disasters in the mental and emotional state of survivors may not be very visible the way the hurricane has visibly destroyed homes and livelihoods and lives, but it is truly real. People suffer too much and they feel too much sadness and fear that most of them are still carrying that fear with them despite the fact that they have survived and lived again.
Like Turner, many more survivors have PTSD and are living with it, and probably will for the rest of their lives. They are regularly being treated with therapy and medications. But healing is possible through time. They just need all the support they can get from others, and of course from themselves too.
Based on statistics, at least one US military veteran kills himself every 72 minutes. In fact, the Department of Veterans Affairs revealed that in the year 2014, approximately 20 veterans committed suicide each day. This is the latest statistics available on the matter. PTSD and depression are some of the possible causes of this high suicide number, which is why companies like BetterHelp.com have put a lot of resources into educating people about the importance and seriousness of depression.
David Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, told The Hill (a political website in the US) that this is an unacceptable number. He said that that in order to cater to the problem, they are evaluating the factors and are looking into more researches and new treatments and therapies.
Defense Suicide Prevention Office shows the suicide report for the first quarter of 2017.
Sexual and physical abuse, violence or any stressful and frightening experiences are just some of the most common causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These are experiences you wouldn’t even wish on your worst enemy. And because these are so traumatizing it leaves a huge scar into people’s lives affecting their lives, haunting them like a very bad nightmare. If you are someone who is caring for someone who is suffering from PTSD, here are some helpful guidelines to remember when caring and supporting them.…
PTSD refers to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a mental health condition faced by someone who has experienced a traumatic event, both happening to him or someone else, and display the symptoms of PTSD for at least a month. The following symptoms are most commonly found in those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; they can be broadly categorized under four headings:
These involve the flashbacks or nightmares a person may have after the specific event. It may make the PTSD person lose track of reality for some time. He or she might feel as if everything is happening all over again. Sometimes events may be recreated differently through intrusive thoughts by the concerned person.
Someone who is suffering from PTSD would avoid any sort of trigger points such as the specific location where the event happened or a place linked to it, similar situations, sounds, and sometimes even people as well. They may try to isolate themselves from others as feelings of distrust, anxiety, depression, guilt or even revenge take charge of their emotions.
PTSD patients may usually become angry and irritable. They may also get increasingly concerned about their safety, feeling hyper-vigilant in even normal scenarios. This behavior can sometimes even progress to recklessness and self-harm if suitable help is not acquired.
Although the event had left an important mark on their lives, these people often find it hard to remember important details of it. Their memory regarding the event surrounds more around the feelings of fear rather than the actual details. They might even not have the same interest level in things they used to find enjoyable before and their habits will dramatically change post-trauma.
How can talk therapy help?
With several treatment options ranging from medical help to even yoga, talk therapy is also an effective way to help PTSD patients; and currently BetterHelp offers this type of support online via their website: https://www.betterhelp.com/start/. Talk therapy is basically a form of psychotherapy which caters to those with cognitive disorders. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is also a form of talk therapy. It focuses primarily on changing the thinking patterns of such people by replacing negative thoughts causing dysfunctional behavior with positive ones. In addition to CBT, PTSD patients can also undergo exposure therapy, also a type of talk therapy, which allows patients to face their fears in a secure way.
Why should you give it a try?
It has long-lasting positive effects
When you are taking part in a talk therapy, you are not only curing a mental health issue but are essentially building tools that will help you deal with similar problems in the future. It allows you to develop a reflective lens for everything to experience in life. You learn to think, express feelings about and learn from these events; moreover, you will have more control over your emotions if any similar traumatic situation occurs in the future.
It provides you with a new perspective about others
Instead of having feelings of anger and distrust for others, you will be better able to understand not only yourself but others, too after talk therapy. We generally tend to view the world and others in it through a single lens that is primarily based on the traumatic experience that we had. By talking about it and resolving internal conflicts, we would be able to get rid of the unnecessary assumptions about others, too.
It makes you feel less alone
After facing all the flashbacks and nightmares all alone, you can now feel less alone and more relieved by talking to a therapist. It will provide you the comfort of knowing that someone is there to help you. You can even join support groups and meet new people who support and honor your struggle with PTSD.
With decades long conflicts in the Middle East, a large number of military veterans are coming home with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).For the past years, a significant increase was seen in the number of Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans seeking professional help for PTSD. PTSD is not exclusively seen in military personnel and veterans, in fact, it affects about eight million Americans in a given year but the circumstances of military veterans hinders them for receiving the appropriate treatment.…
The hippocampus is the area of the brain that regulates happiness, joy, hunger, and it also regulates memories. Without the hippocampus, the brain would be unable to distinguish time frames for memories, as it aids in differentiating what memories took place in the past and what is happening in the present.
When PTSD occurs, the stress that takes place alters the hippocampus by killing cells, causing it to become less effective. In this weakened state, the hippocampus has trouble identifying what memories occurred in the past and which memories occur in the present. Because of this, flashbacks and memories that flood the brain cause the patient to believe that they are reliving their traumatic event.…
It’s important to remember that the behavior of someone who has PTSD is almost always plagued with symptoms that cause them to act much differently, often against their will. Remember to be patient and try your hardest not to become upset with a loved one who is experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Here are some symptoms and behaviors that are caused by PTSD that are commonly present and can alter your relationship with your loved one:
Triggers that cause flashbacks, nightmares, and unwanted memories of the traumatic event in question (It’s important to be sensitive to these triggers and to help your loved one avoid or cope with them)
Change in attitude towards you or someone they know, often caused by mistrust in others as the result of a traumatic event (Try and remember that it’s nothing personal, they simply have issues with trust after what they’ve been through)
Inability to talk about the traumatic event (Remember, try not to push them and wait until they’re ready to talk)
Extreme paranoia and loss of faith in the world (again, remember that it’s nothing personal)
Learning as much as you can about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can dramatically increase the chances of recovery. By reading about PTSD, you’ll know what to expect from symptoms and behaviors, how to recover, treatment plans, and much more useful information. Here are some books that would be beneficial to read:
I Can’t Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors, Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D. –A comprehensive guide to recovering from PTSD that includes coping mechanisms and helpful tips that aid in the road to recovery.…
Due to traumatic events, the onset of PTSD, and the possibility of co-occurring mental illnesses, PTSD patients are more susceptible to suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Studies have shown that the connection between PTSD and suicide is because of the guilt, sadness, shame, and other intense symptoms that come with PTSD and its possible coinciding conditions. Traumatic incidents are also the root of suicidal tendencies, especially when it causes the onset of PTSD. Many people don’t realize the severity of PTSD and how drastically it can increase the probability of suicide. Here are some statistics about PTSD related suicides.…