Mind Matters

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

In a health individual the autonomic autonomic nervous system of the body, prepares an individual either to face a danger or avoid it. This happens in a split second. This “fight or flight” impulsive defence mechanism gets affected in patients with post traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD can occur to anybody, any time. There is no proof of age wise susceptibility.

Generally popels who are affected by PTSD include the veterans of war, the survivors of physical and sexual assault, the survivors of accidents, the survivors of natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes and the people who lost their kith and kin.

However PTSD is known to occur in individuals who did not go through any disaster.

Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:

Re-experiencing symptoms: In Some people a nightmare occurs constantly, in case of others a terrible incident that occurred in the past keeps on surfacing time and again in their mind and there are others who constantly get bogged down by a frightening thought or visual. In all these people limitations crop up in day to day functioning and thus the normal life gets affected.

Avoidance symptoms: Some people constantly avoid a place or a person whose presence they can hardly tolerate. Emotional void, lack of esteem, not taking any interest in things which he/she used to enjoy a great deal. The person who used to enjoy driving long distances, all of a sudden stops doing it the the aftermath of an accident. One can witness in thse individuals too much of “once bitten twice shy” sort of response.

Hyperarousal symptoms: Some people who have gone through a trauma or an accident or any other kind of personal tragedy experience sudden onset of alarming behaviour. In many of these people a sort of false alarm starts ringing. Startle bhavior, sudden arousal from the bed are some of the commonly noticed symptoms in thsese people. This sort of jittery responses occur in any individual who have gone through sudden, unexpected personal trauma. This is called acute traumatic disorder. But in these patients of PTSD it persists more than a week and even months together without any relief.

How to Treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Main treatment options for post traumatic disorder include the following:

The seretonergic anti depressants are the ones which are cleared first by Food and drug administration (FDA) of the USA for treating PTSD. The SSRIs are the most preferred to address the physical symptoms associated with illness.
In patients who suffer from agitation, dissociation, intense suspiciousness antipsychotic medicines are found to be most useful.
Individuals with PTSD are less likely to experience relapse of symptoms though some withdrawal of Bezodiazepines are found to be resulting in some relapsing symptoms.

What are the help services that are available for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The following referral and diagnostics details any help the individual affected by Post traumatic stress disorder:

Visit your family doctor.
Take the help of Mental health specialists( psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counsellors)
Use the services of Health maintenance organizations
Avail the facilities at nearby Community mental health center
Approach psychitry department of the nearby civic hospital or visit an outpatient clinic.
Access the facilities provided under a University- or a medical school-affiliated program.
Visit the nearby Social service agency
Make use of the close by Private clinics and facilities
Make use of the facilities provided under Employee assistance programs
Take the help of Local medical and/or psychiatric societies

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