Emotional and Mental Health

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Reliving the Trauma

Written by
Dr. Vasantha K S
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Mar 31, 2018 and last reviewed on Dec 13, 2018   -  2 min read

Abstract

Abstract

PTSD is a mental health condition where the person who undergoes an extremely stressful condition, develops disturbing thoughts and emotions such as being frantic, panic-stricken, and distraught for a very long time after the incident.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Reliving the Trauma

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder, which is triggered after encountering traumatic events in one's life. However, not everyone who undergoes a negative experience has PTSD. Also, it may settle by itself in some with the help of one's natural coping mechanism. In others, it can stay on and continue to cause more struggles.

Symptoms:

Symptoms may start soon after the traumatic event. So, it is important to wait for four weeks to observe if symptoms subside by themselves. The symptoms can be classified into four characteristic types. The intensity of each varies in every individual depending on the type and extent of the trauma endured.

Type I - Intrusive Thoughts:

  • Having repeated uncontrollable memories of the episode (flashback).
  • Nightmares relating to the trauma experienced.
  • Being always fearful.
  • Being reminded of the bitter experience as a response to other triggers.

Type II - Avoidance:

  • Avoiding or trying to avoid thoughts about the event.
  • Abstaining from situations, people or things they relate to the event.

Type III - Mood Changes:

  • Constant negative thoughts.
  • A cynical outlook on the world and people.
  • Misplaced anger.
  • Feeling of hopelessness.
  • Lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed.
  • Emotional numbness.
  • Feeling shameful and guilty.

Type IV - Arousal:

  • Easily startled.
  • Being alert always (perceiving a non-existing danger).
  • Trouble falling asleep.
  • A difficulty with focus and concentration.
  • Reckless and self-harming behavior.
  • Overly aggressive.
  • Explosive anger outbursts.

Risk Factors:

  1. Undergoing severe emotional trauma.
  2. A familial tendency for mental health issues.
  3. History of assault or abuse during the early years.
  4. Existing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
  5. Seeing first-hand someone dying.
  6. Resorting to alcohol or drug abuse to cope with trauma.
  7. Not having a support system to fall back on.
  8. Some types of personalities are more prone to mental health disorders due to the way their body responds to stress.

Common Trauma:

  1. Living in abusive environments.
  2. First-hand exposure to war, combat or mortal danger.
  3. Natural calamities such as flood, fire, etc.
  4. Being a victim of sexual abuse, assault or rape.
  5. Experiencing terrorist attacks at close range.
  6. Sudden loss of a loved one.
  7. Early childhood trauma or abuse.
  8. Being in or witnessing a major road accident or plane crash.

Complications:

  1. PTSD can mess up the victim's health.
  2. It can ruin relationships with family and friends.
  3. It can lead to isolation and lack of social life as peers fail to understand their reactions.
  4. This can cause trouble keeping a steady job.
  5. It also increases the risk of other mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts.

Treatment:

  1. Monitoring: In the initial days, watching without starting official treatment to observe if symptoms subside on their own.
  2. Seeking support from friends, family, support groups, and faith healing in the community.
  3. Psychotherapy including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, and alternative therapy.
  4. Medications such as antidepressants and others may be prescribed and used in adjunct to therapy.

When to See a Doctor?

Constantly recalling the horrifying experience after going through one, is a natural human tendency. But, it is not normal for the behavior changes to linger on for a long time afterward. See a doctor if it:

  • Persists for weeks to months afterward.
  • Affects daily routine and social life.
  • Causes behavioral changes.
  • Causes other health issues.
  • Leads to drug dependence.

For more information consult an anxiety disorders counseling specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychologist-counsellor/anxiety-disorders-counseling

Last reviewed at:
13 Dec 2018  -  2 min read

RATING

15

Tags:

Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers


What is the treatment for PTSD, depression and anxiety?

Query: Hello doctor,What is your recommendation for someone with PTSD, depression, and anxiety?  Read Full »

Introduction to Mental Health Primary Care

Article Overview: In a country like ours where access to basic primary health care resources is still very poor, in such a scenario expert mental health services are very difficult to provide. Promotion of awareness then becomes increasingly necessary in such situations. Read Article


Dr. Ravi M Soni
Psychiatrist

The reason behind giving first aid is to give initial treatment before the patient is able to receive adequate medical attention at higher centers. The same is true in case of mental health first aid. The mental health first aid is given to a person having some mental illness or mental health crisi...  Read Article

Taking 5mg lorazapam for anxiety disorder gives poor response. Is it safe to take one more tablet?

Query: Dear Doctor, I have panic/anxiety disorder and was prescribed with 5mg lorazepam. I took one tablet at 8 PM but still l would wake up anxious in the morning. Is it safe to take one more tablet?  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Mental Health Problems or Anxiety Disorder?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
Enter Your Health Query
You can upload files and images in the next step.

Fee:  

 


Disclaimer: All health articles published on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.