Learn About PTSD
PTSD is a disorder that sometimes arises in persons who have been exposed to an intense traumatic event. It only has to be one event (though it can be multiple), but the event must be very intense. Some example of common traumatic events include:
Other accidents involving injury or death
Seeing or being the victim of a serious crime
It can be diagnosed when a person meets certain criteria for at least a month, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with their daily life.
The first criteria required in order to be diagnosed with PTSD is that the person was exposed to death, serious injury, sexual violence, or the threat of one of those. The event must have either happened to or been witnessed by the person, or someone close to them, or occurred in a professional setting (such as a police officer or firefighter).
The second criteria requires that the person respond to the trauma by re-experiencing it in some way. This includes intrusive unwanted thoughts and memories of the event, nightmares, flashbacks (where the person believes they are reliving the event), or by strong emotional or physical reactions to reminders of the event.
The third criteria requires that the person avoids anything that reminds them of the event. This includes even thinking about the event. This helps the person to avoid negative feelings, but it also perpetuates suffering by blocking the person from learning that the danger no longer exists.
The fourth criteria involves the emotional effects of trauma. Some people with PTSD develop overly negative views about themselves, or about the world. They may display flat or negative emotions. They often feel isolated, and have a deceased interest in activities. Some have strong feelings of guilt, and blame themselves for the traumatic event.
Finally, persons with PTSD have changes to their arousal system. This means they may be irritable or aggressive, or engage in risky behavior. Many persons with PTSD are hypervigilant, meaning they are always on the lookout for threats. They may startle easily, and sleep trouble is very common.
At FRTC, we are experienced in treating PTSD. Contact us to see if we can help with PTSD therapy.