Being the victim of a crime or assault, enduring the horrors of war, and witnessing violence in the home as a child can all lead to PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that can emerge shortly after a traumatic event or many years later.
Sadly, PTSD isn’t rare. Over 8 million Americans of all ages suffer from it. Its symptoms are varied and manifest differently in each sufferer, but the effects of the disorder can intrude upon your work, school, and personal relationships and experiences.
A clinical diagnosis of PTSD means that you’ve experienced symptoms for at least a month, but some patients’ struggles are long-term. This is one reason why it’s critical to seek professional help for PTSD, and not to suffer in silence.
There’s progressive treatment available in your community, however. The compassionate team of clinicians at LifeStance Health employs a diverse menu of advanced PTSD treatments to build a personalized treatment plan for you.
What are the risk factors and symptoms of PTSD?
The biggest risk factor for PTSD is suffering a traumatic incident at any time during your life, but you’re more likely to develop PTSD if you suffer from anxiety and depression, have a family history of mental health issues, and are female.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as having an incarcerated parent or growing up in poverty, raise your PTSD risk. Emergency medical technicians, police or firefighters, and military soldiers are also exposed to serious accidents, crimes, and battle experiences that many others aren’t.
It’s also important to recognize that PTSD can develop as a result of experiencing something that’s more universal, too, such as the death of a family member or parental divorce.
The symptoms of PTSD, which can be both mental and physical, include:
- Invasive thought patterns
- Negative thought loops
- Avoiding places and things that are reminders of the trauma
- Feeling constantly “on edge”
- Sweating, a jump in heart rate, or nausea
- Developmental delays and regression in children
These symptoms manifest differently in each individual. For example, you might feel guilt or self-loathing about surviving an accident while someone else didn’t, or you may blame yourself for not reacting differently as the traumatic situation unfolded. In addition, you may experience haunting flashbacks and nightmares.
Feeling unsettled and irritable, as well as misusing substances, can also indicate PTSD.
Is help available for my PTSD?
There absolutely are clinicians who are specifically trained to help you heal and learn ways to effectively treat your PTSD. Our caring team at LifeStance Health not only studies the latest research on PTSD, but they’re also receptive to the newest treatments for it.
We design your treatment plan around your specific PTSD-related experiences, challenges, and needs. Often your care will include a combination of interactive therapy, prescription medication, and progressive therapeutic approaches, with the central goal of helping you change how you react to PTSD stress.
In terms of self-care, research shows that strong social support networks help to alleviate PTSD symptoms, so family and friends can also be important keys to recovery.
Free yourself from the powerful grip of PTSD
At LifeStance Health, you’ll find clinicians who are dedicated to helping you overcome your PTSD symptoms and enhancing your overall health. The results of our care are powerful, and you’ll feel them within yourself, your relationships, and your work.
Contact one of our three conveniently located offices to initiate your recovery process. You can call to make an appointment or book one online.