After a traumatic event, you experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, and anger, but these negative feelings fade over time. However, if they linger for several months and affect your quality of life, you may have PTSD. If you are looking for relief from PTSD symptoms, a Park Slope forensic and addiction psychiatrist can help.
What you should learn about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder that occurs after witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event. Many people undergo traumatic events in their lives and may experience trouble adjusting but eventually, with therapy and good self-care, they get over it. However, sometimes sadness, severe anxiety, and frequent flashbacks may linger for several months. If your symptoms don’t get better with time, you may need therapy. If not treated, it may worsen, interfering with your performance at school or work and your general quality of life. Seeking treatment may reduce the severity of these symptoms, enabling you to recover your fun and peaceful life.
Available PTSD treatments
PTSD can lead to unpleasant emotions, low-self of esteem, loss of memory, and insomnia. When you have PTSD, you may feel like you will never recover your life. However, the following treatments can help you:
1. Cognitive processing therapy
This treatment involves a 12-week treatment plan, with each weekly session running for about 90 minutes. At first, your provider may encourage you to discuss the details of the traumatic event and its impact on your life. Afterward, you may need to write down these details to help you process the trauma and learn to live with it. For instance, if you have thought you are to blame for something, your doctor will help you realize that sometimes things can be out of your control. This treatment sheds light on your life, helping you accept whatever happened, knowing it was not your fault.
2. Prolonged exposure therapy
If you tend to avoid places or objects that remind you of the terrifying event, this treatment will help you confront and overcome them. During your appointment, your provider may teach you a few breathing techniques to improve your anxiety. With time you may need to write down the places and objects you avoid and figure out how to face them individually. One session may involve narrating the ordeal to your therapist and listening to the recording once you get home.
3. Stress inoculation training
You can choose to take this treatment in a group or by yourself. This treatment focuses on how you handle the stress associated with the ordeal. Your therapist may recommend massaging your temples and breathing techniques to stop the negative thoughts from invading your brain. Within three months, you will be able to release trauma-related stress healthily and safely.
People with PTSD tend to shut out most of their emotions in an attempt to fight the disorder, which can cause them to become cold and unattached. Your provider may prescribe specific medications to stop the flashbacks and nightmares, helping you live a normal life again.
If you struggle with PTSD, call Dr. Salvage or book your appointment online for therapy.