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Post-traumatic stress disordeAr (PTSD) is a complex mental health condition affecting thousands of Americans yearly. Recently, this condition has become more prominent in the public eye as a growing number of celebrities have started to open up about their struggles in hopes of decreasing the stigma that’s frequently associated with mental health issues. Unfortunately, many people still don’t understand this condition and its treatment.
This condition arises from either a single traumatic event or a prolonged series of such events (e.g., a car accident, living with domestic violence, working in an active combat zone). In the past, many people believed that only soldiers returning from active combat zones could suffer from this condition. This is an inaccurate and harmful stigma that stands in the way of a lot of people getting the help they need. The fact is that anyone who’s been through traumatic events can develop this condition.
Although PTSD is a complex condition, there are some common signs and symptoms associated with it. This is because whenever you’re exposed to a traumatic situation, your brain will switch into what’s known as “fight or flight” mode. When this happens, your adrenaline increases so that you can react quickly to survive danger. Unfortunately, some people are unable to control this switch, so they’re hyper-vigilant or paranoid even when the threat is no longer present. This results in depression and high levels of anxiety. When someone is exposed to a traumatic trigger, they’ll experience intense memories or flashbacks of the traumatic event.
This mental health condition is similar to others in that its treatment must be personalized for the patient. A “one size fits all” treatment modality doesn’t exist. However, the most common and successful treatments are a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Brain scans are also emerging as another highly promising PTSD modality. Although they can’t be used in diagnosing this condition, they can be beneficial in developing future treatment modalities. This is because they show the structural changes that occur in a person’s brain when they have this condition.
If you or someone you love is suffering from PTSD, it’s important to seek professional help. At TMS Advantage in Clearwater and Pinellas County, Florida, we have therapists who care about your wellbeing. Although it can be challenging to seek help, it can also make all the difference in the recovery process so contact us today.