Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day Is June 27
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects a lot of people around the world. PTSD is caused by trauma or a life-threating event. Most people have reactions after the event that can cause them to have memories that upset them, increased jumpiness, and trouble sleeping. When these reactions don’t go away over time or if they get worse, you might have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
There are four types of PTSD symptoms that may occur according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- You may feel like you’re reliving the event through nightmares, flashbacks or you might hear, smell, or see something that causes you to relive the event; this is called a trigger.
- You might avoid people, places, or things that make you think of the event.
- The event can cause a negative change, such as the way you feel about yourself, how you feel in certain situations, and you might forget parts of the event.
- You may become jittery or always on the lookout for danger, which can cause you to become angry or irritable. This is also known as hyperarousal.
Symptoms Of PTSD For Children
Symptoms for children vary depending on how old they are.
- Children from birth to 6 years old may become upset if the parent isn’t close by, have trouble sleeping, or suddenly have trouble with toilet training or going to the bathroom.
- Children 7 to 11 years old may act out trauma through play, drawings, or stories. Some children might have nightmares or become irritable or aggressive. They might want to avoid school or have a hard time doing school work.
- Children 12 to 18 years old have symptoms that are similar to adults. They might develop depression, anxiety, or reckless behavior such as substance abuse.
Treatments For PTSD
People who have PTSD might keep those feelings bottled up instead of telling others how they feel. Getting treatment might help overcome this disorder. They type of treatment that has been most effective is psychotherapy, also known as counseling. It involves meeting with a therapist a few times a week or just once a week. The main types of therapy are cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization (EMDR), and reprocessing.
- There are two types of cognitive behavioral therapy: cognitive processing therapy, and prolonged exposure therapy. Cognitive processing therapy is where you learn skills to understand how the particular event changed your thoughts and feelings, and prolonged exposure therapy this is where you talk about the event repeatedly until the event is no longer upsetting.
- Eye movement desensitization is another type of therapy that helps you change how you react to your memories of your trauma. So as you are talking about your memories you focus on other things such as: eye movement, hand taps, and sounds.
- Some people find it too difficult to talk about the event so they would rather have medication to treat it. There are two types of medications that are most used it treating PTSD. These medications are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and Prazosin.
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