Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a traumatic, frightening, or dangerous event. According to a number of studies, CBD has been shown to help relieve these symptoms.
PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder, what is it?
It is natural to feel fear during and after a traumatic situation. Fear causes many changes in the body for fractions of a second to protect itself from danger or to avoid it.
This "fight or flight" response is a natural reaction to protect yourself from injury.
Almost everyone experiences different reactions after an injury, but most people recover from the first symptoms naturally.
Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. People with PTSD may feel stressed or scared, even when they are not at risk.
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
Although most, but not all, traumatized people experience short-term symptoms, the majority do not develop persistent (chronic) PTSD.
Not everyone with PTSD has experienced a dangerous event.
Certain experiences, such as the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one, can also cause PTSD.
Symptoms usually begin early, within 3 months of the traumatic event, but sometimes begin years later.
Symptoms should last more than a month and be severe enough to interfere with the relationship or work to be considered PTSD.
The course of the disease is different. Some people recover within 6 months, while in others the symptoms last much longer. In some people, the disease becomes chronic .
A doctor who has experience helping people with mental illness, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can diagnose PTSD.
To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have had all of the following symptoms for at least 1 month :
- at least one symptom of relapse
- at least one avoidance symptom
- at least two symptoms of restlessness and reactivity
- at least two symptoms of cognition and mood
Symptoms of relapse include:
experience trauma over and over again, including physical symptoms such as palpitations or sweating
Re-experience symptoms can cause problems in a person's daily life.
Symptoms can start with a person's thoughts and feelings.
Words, objects, or situations that recall the event can also cause symptoms to relive.
Avoidance symptoms include:
- Moving away from places, events, or objects that are reminiscent of a traumatic experience
- Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
- Things that remind of a traumatic person or event
- These symptoms may cause a person to change their personal diet. For example, after a serious car accident, a person who normally drives may avoid driving or driving a car.
Symptoms of irritability and reactivity include:
- The fear
- Feeling tense or "on edge"
- Difficulty sleeping
- Surge of anger
These symptoms can make a person feel stressed and angry. They can make it difficult to perform daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
It is natural to have some of these symptoms for a few weeks after a major event.
When symptoms last longer than a month , seriously affect a person's ability to function, and are not due to substance use, illness, or anything other than the event itself , it may be post-traumatic stress disorder.
PTSD is often accompanied by depression , substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.
Treatment and therapies
The main treatment methods for people with post-traumatic stress disorder are medication, psychotherapy (“conversational” therapy) or both.
Everyone is different and PTSD affects people differently, so the treatment that works for one person may not work for another.
It is important that everyone with PTSD is treated by a mental health professional who has experience with this type of condition.
Some people with PTSD may need to try different treatments to find out what works for their pain.
If a person with post-traumatic stress disorder experiences ongoing trauma, such as being involved in violence, both issues need to be addressed.
Other lingering issues may include panic disorder, depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation.
Medication for PTSD
The most studied type of medication for PTSD are antidepressants, which can help control the symptoms of PTSD, such as sadness, anxiety, anger...
Other medications may be helpful in treating specific symptoms of PTSD, such as sleep problems and nightmares.
Doctors and patients can work together to find the best drug or combination of drugs and the right dose.
Psychotherapy (sometimes called “talking therapy”) involves talking to a mental health professional to treat a mental illness. Psychotherapy can be conducted individually or in a group.
Conversational therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder usually lasts 6 to 12 weeks, but can last longer.
Research shows that support from family and friends can be an important part of recovery.
Other therapies focus on social, family, or work-related issues. The doctor or therapist can combine different therapies according to the needs of each person.
Effective psychotherapies typically emphasize several key elements, including symptom training, teaching skills that help identify symptom triggers, and symptom management skills.
Behavioral and cognitive therapies, or CBT.
Behavioral and cognitive therapies are recommended during psychological suffering. of CBT considers maladaptive behavior [for example a phobia] as the result of learning related to experiences lived in identical situations.
The therapy will therefore try, through new learning, to replace the maladaptive behavior with a more adapted one.
Below are some of the possible therapies:
It helps people to face and control their fear.
She gradually exposes them to the trauma she experienced safely. It appeals to the imagination, to writing or to visiting the place where the event took place. The therapist uses these tools to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder deal with their feelings.
It helps people make sense of bad memories. Sometimes people remember the event differently from how it happened.
They may feel guilty or ashamed of something that is not their fault. The therapist helps people with post-traumatic stress disorder to look at what happened realistically.
There are other treatments that can help. People with post-traumatic stress disorder should discuss all treatment options with a therapist.
Treatment should give people the skills to manage symptoms and help them participate in activities they enjoyed before they developed PTSD.
How Conversational Therapies Help People Overcome PTSD
Conversational therapies teach people helpful ways to respond to frightening events that cause PTSD symptoms. Based on this common goal, different types of therapy can:
- teaching information about trauma and its consequences
- Use skills to relax and control anger
- Advise on better sleeping, eating and exercise habits
- Help people identify and deal with guilt, shame and other feelings related to the event
It aims to change the way people react to the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. For example, therapy helps people deal with reminders of trauma.
Beyond treatment: How can I help myself?
It can be very difficult to take the first step to help yourself. He is
important to realize that although it may take some time, you can improve with treatment.
If you don't know where to go for help, ask your family doctor.
You can also search the Internet for “mental health care providers”, “social services”, “hotlines” or “doctors” for phone numbers and addresses.
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