What is PTSD?
PTSD stands for post traumatic stress disorder. It is a serious mental health condition that requires expert treatment and care. Exposure to death, the threat of death, experienced or threatened violence; or serious injury can result in PTSD symptoms. Any race, age, or gender can experience PTSD. A survivor of a natural disaster or sexual assault or even serving time in the military can leave someone with PTSD.
This can happen during peacetime, training, or war. An estimated 11-20% of Operation Iraqi Freedom soldiers have PTSD. Additionally, 12% of Gulf War veterans and 30 % of Vietnam survivors. The most common symptoms vary.
Life combined with the stressors and trauma of living in the pandemic can reinforce this condition.
We detail the 4 signs of PTSD that you need to know.
Active military members in combat.
4 Signs A Veteran May Have PTSD
Obsessive-compulsive thoughts & re-experiencing the devastating event. This manifests with nightmares and flashbacks. And the emotions on display are panic attacks, uncontrollable shaking, and heart racing.
A person with PTSD avoids people, places, thoughts, and situations that remind them of the trauma. It’s common for them to withdraw from family. They often have conflicting views about the world. These negative thoughts could also be accompanied by survivors' guilt if they've lost someone close to them.
Their family may observe their loved one is no longer able to reflect positive emotions. Or they may become overwhelmed by emotions and don't handle stress very well.
Other possible behaviors a Veteran with PTSD might display include: being easily irritated or having angry outbursts. And then there's the risk of depression, substance abuse, or memory lapses. Veterans may be unable to keep a job, have marital problems, or have troubles with family members.
Now you understand some of the symptoms, there is more to the picture. The survivor of the traumatic event may be especially agitated. They might display aggressive behavior, difficulty sleeping and problems concentrating. When there are trauma triggers, Veterans may become preoccupied with negative or destructive thoughts. Based on past experiences, they may become hypervigilant.
Treatments For Veterans With PTSD
The good news is there are evidence-based treatments for a better quality of life. The sooner a trauma survivor gets treatment the sooner they can heal from the past. PTSD may get worse if left untreated. PTSD is best resolved with professional help and support. Abandon the thought that it’s too late to improve your or your loved ones mental health. Survivors should ask a therapist or doctor who will help them choose an effective PTSD treatment.
Psychotherapy is frontline PTSD treatment. There are several effective ways to treat PTSD. It is recommended that Veterans obtain trauma focused therapies to transform their relationship with suffering. During Prolonged Exposure Therapy, a therapist works with the Veteran to confront the traumatic situations that may be terrifying them. Be aware that the therapist will ask them about their trauma.
Other therapies include Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). A well studied therapy to heal past wounds is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). In EMDR Veterans are given tools to help them cope with the distress of PTSD and resolve their unsettling traumatic memories. Trauma resolution is possible with EMDR therapy.
There are also support groups to encourage them to talk about daily life. It’s a good addition to psychotherapy.
Trauma Recovery Serves Those With PTSD
Here at Trauma Recovery Services of Arizona, we have trauma trained therapists and several EMDR trained providers who are capable of helping you or your loved one resolve their PTSD. EMDR is considered one of the best treatments for PTSD.
If you think may harm yourself or someone else, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you'd like to begin your recovery from PTSD, contact us to schedule an intake for PTSD therapy. We have served adults, adolescents and Veterans in Arizona with mental health issues since 2017.