The Key Elements of Great Psychotherapy

A Guideline to Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a form of stress that results when someone faces or witnesses a traumatic event in their lives. Among the common causes of this disorder include someone experiencing or seeing a close person suffering a sexual attack, war, accidents, and other traumatic events. Some people have been sent to have PTSD after being involved in or seeing a close person and the sexual assault, car accidents, fires, violence and even traumatic childbirth. While it is okay for one to feel a level of stress after a traumatic event happens, there may be adverse effects to a person’s health when this anxiety goes on for more than a month. The estimated figure of the part of the population with PTSD is 4%. The diagnosis for PTSD is through a variety of approaches. Among the standard criteria for establishing whether one has PTSD are given below.

One of the criteria is whereby a person is exposed to an event or events that involved or caused a threat of serious injury, sexual abuse, or death. The situation may be something that occurred to you, or you saw it happen to someone else. A person may also have learned about an incident where a close relative or friend was the one facing the event. The case can also be that you have repeatedly been exposed to the painful details of an event.

Another of the criterion is whereby there are intrusive symptoms in one’s life that are associated with the traumatic event. These can be reoccurring memories, repeated upsetting dreams, and flashbacks that because you feel as though the event is happening again. You may also find that you have persistent distress when exposed to signals related to the event, or you have strong bodily reactions such as an increased heart rate when exposed to a reminder of the event.

The third criterion is that of avoidance of reminders that are associated with the traumatic event. The person may be avoiding the thoughts, sensations, and feelings that remind them of the event. One can also avoid any places, objects, actions, discussions, people, and situations that cause them to remember the traumatic event.

PTSD can also be determined by the presence of adverse changes in views and mood as a result of experiencing the traumatic event. A person may be in a general negative emotional state and will be unable to experience positive feelings, and they may also find themselves forgetting an important aspect of the event. Person may even feel detached from people, lacking in interest for activities that they used to enjoy, and high levels of self-blame or blaming others concerning the traumatic event.

Another way to establish the presence of PTSD is through the changes in arousal following the experience of the event. One may observe changes through having problems sleeping, having difficulty in forecasting, aggressive behavior, being impulsive, and increased startle response.

It is likely that one has PTSD when they have some of the mentioned symptoms for more than one month. It can also be determined that a person has PTSD when the symptoms they are experiencing have caused them considerable levels of difficulty or significant interference with some areas of their lives. The symptoms must not be as a result of substance use or a medical condition.

PTSD can only be diagnosed when one month has passed, and early intervention to help deal with the stress and anxiety can be helpful. Some of the procedures include desensitization, therapy, and medication.

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