Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatments
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an increasingly popular form of therapy that initially became well known in the 1980s. It blends the principles behind cognitive psychology and behavioral therapy to create a comprehensive treatment approach. The cognitive element focuses on the ways the human ability to problem-solve and think rationally can aid recovery. The behavioral element focuses on the ways in which the health of the mind manifests through human behavior. Most cognitive behavioral therapists will work on helping the PTSD sufferer come to terms with the traumatic event and then find ways to modify behavior to cope more efficiently.
Causes Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Ptsd
Now Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is something I have come across a lot in my work as a counsellor, coach, therapist, and healer. And believe me, PTSD has a wide spectrum of causes, symptoms, and challenges. Some of these clients developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after living in horrific events, some from worn-torn countries who saw their family being murdered. Others from the loss of a child, or a one-off event such a car accident. Others had been on the receiving end of some sort mental, physical, emotional or sexual abuse for years. Many things can trigger PTSD.
Every single person suffering from PTSD has their own unique experience. But the level of the abuse, shock or grief doesnt always equate to the level of Post Traumatic Stress they experienced. The decree of PTSD they suffer depends on many different factors e.g. resilience, their physical, mental, and emotional makeup. Very much how they viewed the situation at the time and what they believe about it today.
The common challenge with sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress is being trapped by the memories of those events, flashbacks, fears of a reoccurrence, or other harmful event.
The PTSD sufferer is in a constant state of hyperarousal, waiting for danger.
Dealing With Traumatic Stress
Just as it can often take time to clear the rubble and repair the damage following a disaster or traumatic event, it can also take time to recover your emotional equilibrium and rebuild your life. But there are specific things you can do to help yourself and your loved ones cope with the emotional aftermath of traumaand find a way to move on with your life.
Remember theres no right or wrong way to feel. People react in different ways to trauma, so dont tell yourself what you should be thinking, feeling, or doing.
Dont ignore your feelingsit will only slow recovery. It may seem better in the moment to avoid experiencing your emotions, but they exist whether youre paying attention to them or not. Even intense feelings will pass if you simply allow yourself to feel what you feel.
Avoid obsessively reliving the traumatic event. Repetitious thinking or viewing horrific images over and over can overwhelm your nervous system, making it harder to think clearly. Partake in activities that keep your mind occupied , so youre not dedicating all your energy and attention to the traumatic event.
Reestablish routine. There is comfort in the familiar. After a disaster, getting backas much as possibleto your normal routine, will help you minimize traumatic stress, anxiety, and hopelessness. Even if your work or school routine is disrupted, you can structure your day with regular times for eating, sleeping, spending time with family, and relaxing.
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Get Enough Quality Sleep
After experiencing a traumatic event, you may find it difficult to sleep. Worries and fears may keep you up at night or disturbing dreams may trouble you. Since a lack of sleep places considerable stress on your mind and bodyand makes it more difficult to maintain your emotional balancegetting quality rest after a disaster is essential.
The following strategies can help improve your sleep:
- Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon or evening and limit alcohol intake as it disrupts sleep.
- Do something relaxing before bed, like listening to soothing music, reading a book, or meditating.
- Make your bedroom as quiet, dark, and soothing as possible.
- Get regular exercisebut not too close to bedtime.
Who Is Affected By Ptsd
PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced harm. The harm or trauma that causes PTSD is very serious or life threatening, and may be physical or sexual. It is more likely to be present in scenarios with intentional trauma, rather than unintentional trauma. Statistically women are more likely to experience PTSD than men, with a quarter of people who are exposed to trauma likely to develop PTSD. It can affect people of all ages.
Serious car accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in Australia but it can be triggered through war experience, natural disasters or physical or sexual harm.
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Post Trauma Behavior And The Brain
Because the brains of people struggling with traumatic stress or post traumatic stress disorder have physically changed, they may exhibit an overactive stress response in their everyday lives even when there is no direct stressor present.
This means that they may have difficulty feeling comfortable, struggle with intrusive thoughts or memories, or turn to addictive substances to cope with past trauma.
These stress responses can include:
- Memory-related challenges, particularly difficulty in understanding or remembering words and language
- Higher than average levels of fear, anxiety, and substance abuse
- Difficulty relaxing or feeling at ease, as well as a higher likelihood of feeling tense or on edge even in normal situations
- Intense flashbacks, emotional triggers, or relived memories that are also accompanied by strong feelings of anxiety
- Difficulty talking about, thinking about, or analyzing past traumatic events, or sharing them with family, friends, or mental health professionals
- Related mental health challenges such as depression, suicidal thinking, compulsions, or intense and irrational fears
Continual stress can impact the body, too, as organs like the heart and lungs gradually wear down from recurring traumatic responses.
Physical impacts of traumatic stress can include:
Ultimately, traumatic stress not only reshapes the brain but also reshapes daily life for millions of Americans throughout their lifetimes.
After A Traumatic Event
Many trauma survivors, whether they are children, war veterans, or rescue workers, recover from traumatic events on their own with the help of family members, friends, and safe environments.
Others may experience psychological and physical reactions weeks, months, and even years later.
Reactions to trauma include depression, anxiety, flashbacks, disturbing and recurring dreams, irritability, anger, emotional numbing, guilt or shame about the event, and even thoughts of suicide.
Other reactions and symptoms can include headaches, stomach pain, sleeping or eating problems, drug or alcohol abuse, and being easily startled.
It’s important to know that reactions and symptoms are not a matter of will or weakness. Trauma can cause changes to how our brains function. These changes can lead to problems with thinking clearly, memory, and behavior.
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Next Steps For Ptsd Research
In the last decade, progress in research on the mental and biological foundations of PTSD has lead scientists to focus on better understanding the underlying causes of why people experience a range of reactions to trauma.
- NIMH-funded researchers are exploring trauma patients in acute care settings to better understand the changes that occur in individuals whose symptoms improve naturally.
- Other research is looking at how fear memories are affected by learning, changes in the body, or even sleep.
- Research on preventing the development of PTSD soon after trauma exposure is also under way.
- Other research is attempting to identify what factors determine whether someone with PTSD will respond well to one type of intervention or another, aiming to develop more personalized, effective, and efficient treatments.
- As gene research and brain imaging technologies continue to improve, scientists are more likely to be able to pinpoint when and where in the brain PTSD begins. This understanding may then lead to better targeted treatments to suit each persons own needs or even prevent the disorder before it causes harm.
How To Diagnose Ptsd
The first step in diagnosing trauma is making an appointment with a doctor, preferably someone trained in mental health disorders. The doctor will talk with the patient to determine their state of mind. The practitioner will have to determine whether the prerequisite symptoms for PTSD are present before deciding how to proceed. For a diagnosis of PTSD, the patient must have experienced the following for at least one month:
- At least one event in which they re-experience symptoms
- At least three avoidance symptoms
- At least two hyperarousal symptoms
- Symptoms that interfere with daily life activities
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Is There A Cure For Ptsd
As with most mental illnesses, no cure exists for PTSD, but the symptoms can be effectively managed to restore the affected individual to normal functioning. The best hope for treating PTSD is a combination of medication and therapy. By working with a healthcare professional, individuals with PTSD can resolve their triggering factors and learn new and effective ways of coping with the stress of the past trauma.
Why Do Some People Develop Ptsd And Other People Do Not
It is important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not develop the disorder.
Many factors play a part in whether a person will develop PTSD. Some examples are listed below. Risk factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD. Other factors, called resilience factors, can help reduce the risk of the disorder.
Some factors that increase risk for PTSD include:
- Living through dangerous events and traumas
- Getting hurt
- Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
- Having little or no social support after the event
- Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
- Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse
Some factors that may promote recovery after trauma include:
- Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
- Finding a support group after a traumatic event
- Learning to feel good about ones own actions in the face of danger
- Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
- Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear
Researchers are studying the importance of these and other risk and resilience factors, including genetics and neurobiology. With more research, someday it may be possible to predict who is likely to develop PTSD and to prevent it.
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Cognition And Mood Symptoms Include:
- Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
- Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
- Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
Cognition and mood symptoms can begin or worsen after the traumatic event, but are not due to injury or substance use. These symptoms can make the person feel alienated or detached from friends or family members.
It is natural to have some of these symptoms for a few weeks after a dangerous event. When the symptoms last more than a month, seriously affect ones ability to function, and are not due to substance use, medical illness, or anything except the event itself, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD dont show any symptoms for weeks or months. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.
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How To Recover From Ptsd Or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
At Sirius Health, our compassionate and experienced team is ready to help you with how to recover from PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety that can present after people experience a stressful event. With PTSD patients tend to feel very anxious and alert, and memories and re-runs of the trauma tend to take over the patients life. It is possible for people suffering from PTSD to make a full recovery with the appropriate professional care.
What Are The Treatments For Post
The main treatments for PTSD are talk therapy, medicines, or both. PTSD affects people differently, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. If you have PTSD, you need to work with a mental health professional to find the best treatment for your symptoms.
- Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, which can teach you about your symptoms. You will learn how to identify what triggers them and how to manage them. There are different types of talk therapy for PTSD.
- Medicines can help with the symptoms of PTSD. Antidepressants may help control symptoms such as sadness, worry, anger, and feeling numb inside. Other medicines can help with sleep problems and nightmares.
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Ask Yourself: Do I Really Want To Overcome Ptsd
If you really want to overcome the condition of PTSD you can, but it may very well feel like passing through the gates of hell many times throughout your recovery. There were times when I didnt care about getting things fixed and just wanted to give up and commit suicide.
Additionally, I am by no means guaranteeing that this will be a way for everybody to recover or get cured. Im just sharing what worked for me and what is possible for some individuals. I also realize that not everyone wants to re-visit the initial trauma because of the intense pain it is associated with. I reached a low point that made me wake up one day and just say screw it Im going to do all that I can to overcome this and if I dont, well at least Ill have tried.
I hit a point in life where my only option was suicide or try something to improve my situation. Even if you dont fully recover from your condition, I do think that what Ive listed here can help you get some joy back into your life and at the very least reduce some of the stress you are experiencing. Full recovery involves changing from a fight or flight, fear based state of being back to homeostasis how you felt before the stress ever occurred this is a long journey.
Tip : Support Ptsd Treatment With A Healthy Lifestyle
The symptoms of PTSD can be hard on your body so its important to take care of yourself and develop some healthy lifestyle habits.
Take time to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, massage, or yoga can activate the bodys relaxation response and ease symptoms of PTSD.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. When youre struggling with difficult emotions and traumatic memories, you may be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. But substance use worsens many symptoms of PTSD, interferes with treatment, and can add to problems in your relationships.
Eata healthy diet. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. Omega-3s play a vital role in emotional health so incorporate foods such as fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts into your diet. Limit processed food, fried food, refined starches, and sugars, which can exacerbate mood swings and cause fluctuations in your energy.
Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can trigger anger, irritability, and moodiness. Aim for somewhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Develop a relaxing bedtime ritual and make your bedroom as quiet, dark, and soothing as possible.
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Key Points About Posttraumatic Stress Disorder In Children
PTSD is a mental health problem. A child with PTSD has constant, scary thoughts and memories of a past event.
A traumatic event, such as a car crash, natural disaster, or physical abuse, can cause PTSD.
Children with PTSD may relive the trauma over and over again. They may have nightmares or flashbacks.
PTSD is diagnosed only if symptoms keep occurring for more than 1 month and are negatively affecting the childs life.
A child with PTSD may need therapy and medicine. They are at higher risk for other mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts
Arousal And Reactivity Symptoms Include:
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or on edge
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Having angry outbursts
Arousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic events. These symptoms can make the person feel stressed and angry. They may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
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Ways To Cope With Symptoms Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post traumatic stress disorder can be a very debilitating disorder. In fact, many cases of PTSD require post traumatic stress disorder treatment at a PTSD treatment center. Symptoms of this condition include sleep loss, excessive worry, drug abuse , and loneliness. How can you overcome this disorder? The following are 10 steps used to manage post traumatic stress disorder.