– PTSD –
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that can affect anyone, from young children to returning soldiers. The trauma can also vary from childhood abuse to excessive violence. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Let Garry Waterman help you on your path to understanding and recovery.
Symptoms of PTSD
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – like other mental health conditions – can affect people in different ways. However, there are some commonly occurring symptoms that can help you recognize if you or someone you care about is suffering from PTSD.
- Re-experiencing Thoughts
- Intrusive thoughts
- Avoidance of Issues
- Avoiding certain places, people, feelings or topics
- Unusual Bodily Reactions
- Easily startled
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling tense
- Changes in Mood
- Frequent outbursts of anger
- Excessive guilt or blame
- Loss of interest
- Negative emotions towards oneself or the world
- Difficulty remembering the traumatic event
- Changes in Mood
Therapy Treatment Options
When treating PTSD, there are two major types of therapies used.
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy
- As the name suggests, exposure therapy gradually exposes you to the places, people, sounds and thoughts that can trigger your PTSD in order to understand and better manage it.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy
- This therapy aims to understand any feelings of guilt or negative emotions surrounding the traumatic event(s) at the root of your PTSD. There is a focus on being mindful of unhealthy relationship habits such as fighting and arguing, or lifestyle issues such as substance abuse that may be hindering your ability to fully control your thoughts and emotions. The goal of this therapy is to help you gain control of your thoughts and memories to promote a more positive life view.
There are a wide variety of possible treatment options and methods that can help you understand and manage your PTSD.
- Talk through your trauma
- Utilize anger-controlling methods
- Identify your reaction to your PTSD and triggering events
- Identify any feelings of guilt and work gradually to understand and diminish those thoughts
Use provided tips to get a better night’s sleep and eat healthier foods
Not all soldiers return home with PTSD. For those who do, PTSD does not in any way reflect the person’s strength or suggest that they are weak. Rather, we are all individuals with different risk factors. Asking for help takes real courage!
Certain risk factors come into effect when understanding a person’s susceptibility to PTSD when placed in a stressful and potentially traumatizing situation.
- Has the person suffered from traumatic experiences before?
- Does the person abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol?
- Does seeing someone else hurt bring the person pain, even if they don’t know the individual?
- Does the person have a fear of helplessness?
- Has the person had difficulty dealing with painful events in the past?
- Does the person have a support base they can surround themselves with?
How YOU can help
Those struggling with PTSD often push others away and isolate themselves to continue their negative feelings of guilt and blame. By doing this, the person who is suffering risks losing social connections that provide them with moral support. However, it is crucial that you continue to be a source of support and help for the individual.