Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be triggered by many different factors. While PTSD can be debilitating and stressful, it is treatable. Seeking PTSD therapy online through a dedicated PTSD treatment center can help you get your life back.
PTSD is a mental health disorder. It often develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. The event can be life-threatening, such as combat, sexual assault, a car accident, or a natural disaster. However, the sudden death of a loved one can also cause PTSD.
Feeling afraid during and after traumatic events is normal. Fear triggers the “fight-or-flight” response, which helps protect you from possible harm. It causes changes within the body, such as releasing certain hormones and increasing alertness, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing.
Most people recover from this naturally over time. But other people don’t recover and develop PTSD. The stress and fear last long after the traumatic event is over. In some people, PTSD doesn’t develop till months or years after the event.
PTSD can develop after a distressing, frightening, highly stressful event or prolonged trauma. The following are examples of events that can cause PTSD.
About 1 in 3 people who experience any of the above events develop PTSD. While it’s not fully understood why some people develop PTSD, and others don’t, certain factors increase the likelihood of developing PTSD.
While not everyone develops PTSD after a traumatic event, certain risk factors increase the likelihood PTSD symptoms will occur. These risk factors include the following.
Experiencing a previous trauma such as rape, an act of violence, or a car accident increases the chances of developing PTSD. The stress of traumatic events can have cumulative effects, and new events can exacerbate the effects of previous traumas. This is especially true in those with early childhood trauma.
People with a family history of PTSD or depression are more susceptible to developing PTSD. Various other mental health disorders may also increase the risk of developing PTSD.
If a person has a history of substance abuse, it may increase their chance of developing PTSD. Drugs and alcohol may interfere with the ability to cope and process the added stress of traumatic events.
A person’s mental health and coping skills play a role in developing PTSD. People with unhealthy coping skills and untreated mental health issues are more susceptible to developing PTSD. They often blame themselves and feel like they have little control over their circumstances.
Positive family and social support can lessen the effects of stress and trauma. On the other hand, those without supportive relationships and environments are more vulnerable to stress and more likely to develop PTSD. Environments that produce shame, guilt, or self-hatred also increase the risk of developing PTSD.
PTSD symptoms are categorized into the following four categories.
In addition to the above symptoms, there are physical symptoms not outlined in the DSM-5. These symptoms include:
Usually, PTSD symptoms develop within three months of the event. However, this isn’t a fixed length of time, and symptoms can present sooner or later.
Besides the above symptoms of PTSD, this disorder can cause problems in the following areas:
PTSD may also co-occur with depression disorders, anxiety, dissociative disorders, suicidal ideations, and self-harm.
There are many reasons we don’t have exact numbers of people struggling with PTSD. For instance, there isn’t a single study that asks everyone about PTSD. Furthermore, if a study did ask, people may have forgotten or never talked to a doctor and received a diagnosis.
For these reasons, we only have the best estimates on people with PTSD.
During traumatic events, the body goes into flight-or-fight mode. It releases stress hormones. The heart beats faster. The brain puts normal tasks on pause.
PTSD causes the brain to get stuck in danger mode. After the danger has ended, the brain stays on high alert and continues sending the body stress signals leading to PTSD. The amygdala, the part of the brain that handles fear and emotion, is more active in people struggling with PTSD.
Over time, PTSD causes changes in the brain. The hippocampus, which controls your memory, for example, becomes smaller. This is one reason seeking PTSD therapy online early is recommended.
A diagnosis of PTSD doesn’t happen until at least one month has passed since the event. If PTSD symptoms are present, your doctor will complete a medical history and physical exam. While there aren’t any blood tests to diagnose PTSD, blood work will be done to rule out any physical cause for the symptoms.
If there aren’t any physical reasons for the symptoms, you will be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or any other mental health professional. These professionals use specialized tools and interviews to evaluate you for PTSD and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Their diagnosis of PTSD is based on the following:
Once you receive a PTSD diagnosis, it is crucial to seek help from a PTSD treatment center. PTSD therapy online allows you to get help from the privacy and safety of your own home and learn healthy coping skills to improve your future.
If you experience or witness a traumatic event and have symptoms like crying anxiety, or trouble focusing, it is normal and doesn’t automatically mean you have PTSD. If you believe you are struggling with PTSD, getting treatment right away can minimize symptoms and increase lifelong recovery.
PTSD treatment is strongly recommended if the following apply to you:
Because PTSD affects every person differently, it’s crucial to find a treatment facility that focuses on PTSD. PTSD therapy online can help your specific trauma while also considering your situation.
Medication-assisted treatment and psychotherapy are the most effective forms of PTSD treatment. However, not everyone needs medication-assisted treatment.
Antidepressants are commonly used due to their effectiveness on PTSD symptoms. They can help manage the most stressful symptoms, such as worry, numbness, depression, and anger. If you struggle with nightmares and trouble sleeping, you may also be prescribed other medications.
Psychotherapy is often called talk therapy or individual therapy. It is very effective in treating symptoms of PTSD. Many different forms of psychotherapy are beneficial in treating PTSD. Some forms of therapy focus on the symptoms of PTSD, while others focus on social issues or work-related problems.
For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps manage PTSD symptoms. It helps people learn to identify triggers that bring back memories of the event. It also teaches people to use healthy coping skills to minimize distress.
Exposure therapy gradually and gently exposes people to their trauma. Therapists may have people write about their trauma or even have them visualize the event while in a safe space. With time, therapy may even involve visiting the scene of the event.
By using cognitive restructuring, a person can reframe the trauma and lessen its hold on them.
While PTSD affects each person differently, the goals of PTSD therapy online are technically the same. The first goal of therapy is removing any ongoing trauma in your life, such as an abusive relationship. Other ongoing problems include:
Besides addressing ongoing issues, the broad goals of PTSD therapy include the following goals.
Are you or a loved one struggling with recent or past traumatic events? If so, PTSD therapy online at Evolve Wellness Inc in California can help. Our telehealth PTSD therapy and all of our treatment programs are personalized to meet your personal and mental health needs.
Don’t live in fear of something triggering your PTSD any longer. Contact us today and start taking back control of your life.