Those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are affected on many physical and emotional levels and may struggle with flashbacks, insomnia, and severe reactions. Lori Jenkins, APN, PMHNP-BC, FNP-BC, at Mind and Body Healthcare offers telepsychiatry services to patients throughout Tennessee and Kentucky. If you or a loved one are experiencing the effects of PTSD, book an appointment online or email Mind and Body Healthcare today.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can develop in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Events that may cause PTSD include natural disasters, terrorist attacks, war or combat, or other acts of violence.
PTSD can develop when some people suffer from various forms of abuse. Personally experiencing or witnessing a loved one have a sudden accident or dangerous encounter may also trigger PTSD.
In the past, PTSD was mainly associated with soldiers who had experienced combat, and it was referred to as “shell shock” or “combat fatigue.” However, we now know that PTSD does not only happen to war veterans, but it can occur with anyone who experiences a traumatic event.
There are four main categories of PTSD symptoms. Those are:
This includes distressing dreams, involuntary memories, or uncontrollable flashbacks related to the traumatizing event. Patients experiencing flashbacks may find them so real that it feels as though they are living through the incident all over again.
To avoid remembering the event that caused their PTSD, patients may go out of their way to dodge people, places, activities, or situations that serve as reminders.
Feelings of hopelessness, memory problems — especially related to the traumatic event, numbness or emotional distance, and a lack of interest in once enjoyable activities all can be associated with PTSD.
Constantly feeling on guard, having trouble sleeping and concentrating, experiencing angry or violent outbursts, and feeling overwhelming guilt or shame can all be caused by a trauma that led to PTSD.
With proper treatment, people affected by PTSD can live happy, productive lives. The cornerstone of effective treatment is psychotherapy.
Medication can help address depression, anxiety, and insomnia that often accompanies PTSD. Medication is also available to provide relief from terrifying nightmares. Lori at Mind and Body Healthcare utilizes a holistic approach to the identification and management of symptoms.
Trauma-focused psychotherapies are the most well-researched and recommended. PTSD is when the brain does not properly process the traumatic event and store it as a past memory.
These treatments concentrate on the reprocessing of the traumatic event so it can be removed from the brain's center of current events into the center for past events. Three proven therapies are:
With prolonged exposure (PE) therapy, patients are taught to gain control by facing their negative feelings.
In cognitive processing therapy (CPT), patients reframe their negative thoughts about the trauma by working with their provider and writing about their experiences.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy involves patients recalling their trauma while paying attention to a back-and-forth movement or sound, allowing the brain to process those memories in a new way.
Lori works specifically with adults suffering from PTSD. Email Mind and Body Healthcare or book an appointment online today to get relief from the debilitating symptoms of PTSD.