Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
What is post traumatic stress disorder? Post traumatic stress disorder is also called PTSD, and it is a mental health disorder that can affect any age. This disorder is the response to a trauma that is severe, and can be either psychological or physical in nature. People who suffer from this condition have experienced or witnessed extreme acts of violence or destruction, such as war, sexual assault, and even severe domestic violence in the home. The actual origin and cause of post traumatic stress disorder is not fully known, but the symptoms and effects of this condition can last for an extended time, months or even years at times.
Post traumatic stress disorder is diagnosed as acute or chronic. The acute stage of this mental health disorder can last for up to six months following the trauma trigger, and this may be a sign of a higher risk for chronic post traumatic stress disorder. The acute stage is a short term response of the brain to the trauma suffered. The signs can include temporary amnesia, disconnecting emotionally, and the inability to experience pleasure in a normal way. Chronic post traumatic stress disorder is diagnosed if the symptoms last longer than six months, and anyone with this type of condition may experience the traumatic event over and over in their mind. This can cause nightmares, agitation, and even physical responses.
Post traumatic stress disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder, and this condition affects more than seven million people in the United States each year. Post traumatic stress disorder sufferers may avoid situations or environments that remind them of the trauma. This behavior can impact the family and social life of the individual, as well as work and normal daily activities. Feelings experienced with this condition include fear, sadness, grief, guilt, and anger.
Substance abuse and addiction are a common problem for individuals who have post traumatic stress disorder, and this factor just complicates the treatment and makes the symptoms grow worse over time. Having both of these conditions requires a dual diagnosis, and the drug or alcohol use may make it more difficult to accurately diagnose and treat the post traumatic stress disorder effectively. Substance abuse can cause some mental health disorders, and this makes it more difficult to diagnose the underlying mental illness. More than half of those seeking substance abuse help have some type of mental health disorder, and a facility that specializes in dual diagnosis treatment will offer the best results for both conditions.
Treatment for post traumatic stress disorder can include cognitive therapy, Eye Movement Decentisitive Reprocessing, prolonged exposure therapy, Rapid Trauma Resolution Therapy, family counseling, and medications and drug management. It can take some time for this type of treatment to be effective, but treatment is critical for both the substance abuse and post traumatic stress disorder components.
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