What modern medical science refers to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not a recently discovered condition brought about by wartime actions. In fact, military veterans with a history of active duty are not the only ones to experience PTSD. Anyone who experiences trauma serious enough to have a life-changing impact can experience PTSD as a result.
People living with PTSD can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. We still don’t know as much about the condition as we would like, but we do have enough knowledge to help most patients. We encourage you to contact Aspire Psychological if you or someone you love is struggling with PTSD.
What PTSD Actually Is
PTSD is considered a mental health condition resulting from the experience of significant trauma. Oftentimes, the trauma is related to something that is life-threatening in the moment. This is why PTSD is commonly associated with war veterans. Combat is life threatening; it is traumatic and intense.
Combat aside, other traumatic experiences that can lead to PTSD are:
- Physical or sexual assault.
- Serious accidents (car accidents, etc.).
- Natural disasters resulting in harm.
- Terrorist attacks.
- Violent crimes.
- Abuse, neglect, etc.
Again, PTSD is rooted in trauma. A dramatic experience that significantly impacts a person’s thoughts and emotions can lead directly to PTSD. And unfortunately, serious cases of PTSD can completely change the way a person lives from day to day.
How PTSD Manifests Itself
PTSD can manifest itself in a variety of ways. We call these manifestations symptoms, but they are more behaviors rather than physical things like pain and perspiration. Here are some of the more common ways PTSD symptoms are manifested:
- Repeated Experiences – One of the most frightening symptoms of PTSD is repeated experiences. In other words, a person routinely relives the original trauma in their mind. Repeated experiences mean the trauma never really goes away.
- Chronic Negativity – Some PTSD sufferers also experience chronic negativity. They think and feel negatively about themselves, those around them, and the world in general. Persistent negative thoughts about the future are also fairly common.
- Mood Changes – PTSD patients often exhibit noticeable mood changes. Anger, frustration, and irritability are all fairly normal. Some patients also experience insomnia and difficulty concentrating, which only exacerbates the negativity.
- Hypervigilance – Some PTSD patients, especially those who have experienced some sort of violence, are hypervigilant about their surroundings. They are always on high alert in anticipation of some danger.
- Avoidance – In hopes of preventing additional experiences that will only make things worse, PTSD patients often avoid certain places, people, or activities that remind them of the original trauma.
When you combine all these things together, the implications for daily life are remarkable. It is not unheard of for a PTSD patient to be completely unable to function in society due to the symptoms of their condition. Thankfully, such severe cases are not the norm.
It Can Be Life Altering
The most serious cases notwithstanding, PTSD can still be life altering. It often is. Sufferers need to be very careful about what they expose themselves to. They must be careful about how they interact with other people. In short, living a ‘normal’ life while dealing with PTSD is not easy.
Aspire Psychological clinicians can treat PTSD regardless of patient age or the original trauma that led to the condition. We utilize a variety of scientifically proven treatments that have been helping PTSD patients for years. If you or someone you know suffers with PTSD, we would love the opportunity to help.