PTSD treatment is gradually evolving with recent advances in medical science. There is wide range of options ranging from self-help technique to structured psychological therapies and to drug treatment. All these intervention work well.
Before moving toward treatment lets start with Overview of PTSD…
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
What kind of trauma can cause PTSD?
When the person has either experienced or witnesses life threatening situation such as road traffic accident,natural disaster, terrorist attack, physical assault, domestic violence that endangered death or physical injury, sexual assault, etc. It is important to note that witnessing the traumatic event through electronic media usually don’t cause PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Re-experiencing symptoms: These are the symptoms in which person feels as if traumatic event is occurring again, One of the most important Re-experiencing symptoms is Flash Back. Flash-backs- these are mental images about traumatic event that intrude into the mind again and again. Other symptoms are nightmares and frightening tho.
- Avoidance: Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience.For example if a person suffered road traffic accident on a bike, he may avoid driving bike, or avoid going to same place.
- Hyper arousal: It is a state of increased psychological and physical tension marked by reduced pain tolerance and exaggerated startle response. Other symptoms are anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and lack of concentration.
Some persons are more prone to develop PTSD
women, children and the persons who are isolated are more likely to develop PTSD in response to trauma. If the trauma has resulted in major loss such as physical disability or if there is loss of loved one, especially if the deceased was major support to family, then more chances of developing PTSD.
Sometimes the above mentioned symptoms recover spontaneously but sometimes don’t.
General measures to enhance to recovery
- Start the routine as soon as possible
- Talk to the family members and friends, avoid isolation
- Parents should ensure the sense of safety to their children
- Don’t avoid the reminders of incident, talk about the incident, although this practice may be painful
- Go to the place where the incident happened.
PTSD treatment; Role of Drugs
- There are certain drugs that help us to cope with traumatic situations, and enhance the process of recovery
- Drugs are used when:
- Above measures fails to relieve the symptoms.
- The person is not able to perform above measures.
- The symptoms are much severe
- These drugs have minimal side effects and should be given by trained professional
Note: Avoid using sleeping pills because these slow down the natural process of recovery.
There are some structured psychological treatments that are very helpful in this disorder and performed when general measures fail.
- Exposure therapy
- Stress inoculation training
- Cognitive restructuring
– Copyrights (c) Psychiatrist Dr. Farasat Ali