The process begins with awareness. Although information about PTSD is readily available on the web, many people have never heard of the disorder. Therefore, it is not uncommon for PTSD sufferers to live with the condition years before they are properly diagnosed by a physician. An awareness of the fact that traumatic experiences can trigger a psychological disorder is enough to cause friends, family, and trauma victims to want to educate themselves.
How to Identify PTSD SymptomsEducation is the second most important step in the process toward healing from PTSD and it begins with learning about the symptoms. The United States Department of Veteran Affairs developed the National Center for PTSD as a resource for veterans and the general public. Four of the most commonly recognized symptoms described in their pamphlet, “What is PTSD?” include the following:
- Hyperarousal – The feeling of being on constant edge, as if something bad is about to happen.
- Reliving the trauma – Reliving can include intrusive flashbacks of the traumatic event.
- Avoidance – Avoiding events or circumstances that serve as reminders of the trauma.
- Commitment Problems – The inability to commit to relationships or jobs.
PTSD Treatment MethodsOnce PTSD is diagnosed, it’s time to take action. The good news is that people can and do heal from PTSD.
Certified Professional Coach Michele Rosenthal discusses the healing process in depth on her website Heal My PTSD. Its pages contain a wealth of knowledge from scientific research on PTSD to stories of survival. Rosenthal educates the visitor about various forms of treatment, three of which are outlined below.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This is a chain reaction that begins with changing the way that someone thinks about their trauma. The technique employs the theory that thought affects emotions and emotions affect behavior. Thus, changing the way one thinks ultimately changes behavior.
- Group Therapy – Group therapy typically involves attending support groups and group therapy sessions with other PTSD survivors.
- Talk Therapy – The client and the therapist will talk about the trauma at length to uncover associated problems and find solutions.
It goes without saying that someone who suffers from a disorder such as PTSD should speak with a doctor who can confirm the diagnosis and recommend a good therapist. Whether self-help techniques are emphasized, a therapist, or a combination of both, PTSD should not go untreated.
Disclaimer" This article is meant to increase awareness of PTSD and is not a substitute for medical consultation.