PTSD Awareness Month by Katelyn Millinor, LPC
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (known as PTSD) is when a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying or traumatic event. Most people experience short term symptoms associated with PTSD such as trouble sleeping and flashbacks. This is known as an acute stress reaction and these symptoms will typically subside within a few weeks. However, in some individuals these symptoms can last much longer, even years.
Long term symptoms of PTSD include:
- Reliving aspects of the event that happened.
- Feeling on edge or overly alert.
- Avoiding memories or feelings and difficult beliefs.
- Experience hyper vigilance.
- Physical symptoms.
- Difficulty with relationships, education, or employment.
A wide range of events can lead to symptoms of PTSD such as:
- Car crash.
- Assault or abuse.
- The death of a loved one.
- Surviving a natural disaster.
- Diagnosis of a life-changing medical condition or any other event where you fear for your life.
If you are an individual that may be experiencing PTSD, consider the following strategies:
- Get to know your triggers.
- Confide in a friend, family member, or professional when you are ready.
- Try peer support groups online or in person.
- Keep up with your physical health.
- Find specialist support such as a counselor or psychiatrist.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol to cope with difficulty feelings.
There are many behavioral health treatments available for individuals experiencing PTSD or PTSD symptoms such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). A behavioral health professional can help an individual process trauma in a healthy and effective way. There are also medication options to assist in alleviating symptoms. You and your behavioral health team can work together to decide which treatment will work best for you. NOAH has a team of medical and behavioral health professionals to support you on your journey to healing.