Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
PTSD occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatizing event such as a serious accident, rape or violent assault, combat or natural disaster. PTSD is considered to be a psychiatric disorder, but there is a treatment to help.
Most people are of the belief that PTSD only occurs to combat veterans, but this is not the case. PTSD can happen to anyone, of any nationality, race, culture or age. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 % of adults in the United States and it’s estimated that one in 11 people will be diagnosed in their lifetime. Woman are 2X as likely as men to be diagnosed PTSD.
People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people. People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as a loud noise or an accidental touch.
Mental Health Professionals use a categorical system to diagnose PTSD. Symptoms may fall under any of the following four categories:
- Flashbacks or reliving the traumatic event
- Nightmares about the event
- Recurring memories about the event
- Severe distress when reminded of the event
- Avoiding talking or thinking about the traumatic event
- Avoiding people, places or things that are reminders of the traumatic event
Arousal and Reactivity Symptoms
- Being easily startled or frightened
- Feeling tense
- Angry outbursts
Cognition and Mood Symptoms
- Difficulty remember details about the traumatic event
- Negative thoughts
- Loss of interest
- Overwhelming guilt or shame
For someone to be diagnosed PTSD, the symptoms have to last for more than a month and be consistent for 3 months. These symptoms can last for years sometimes. For people with PTSD the symptoms cause significant distress or problems functioning. PTSD often occurs with other related conditions, such as depression, substance use, memory problems and other physical and mental health problems.
Treatments and Therapies
The main treatments for people with PTSD are medications and psychotherapy. Everyone is different, and PTSD affects people differently so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. At Hira Health we provide equine therapy, neurofeedback, and trauma therapy for persons suffering from PTSD.
Other ongoing problems can include panic disorder, depression, substance abuse, and feeling suicidal.