PTSD Counseling – Therapists and Counselors in Hanover, VA

The PTSD Misconception

Post-traumatic stress syndrome is a serious illness that develops in individuals after experiencing a traumatic event. It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Being afraid triggers many split-second reactions in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. Many describe this response as “fight-or-flight” which is how the body reacts in effort to guard against danger. Everyone will experience a range of reactions if they encounter trauma, however, most individuals can deal with the emotions on their own. Individuals who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. These symptoms can be triggered in non-threatening situations and can induce stress outside of harm or danger.

Misconception

PTSD has been associated with many who are discharged from the military who have experienced some time in combat. However, PTSD can occur in individuals who have never been in the military and have experienced traumatic events such as death, car accidents, divorce, or rape.

PTSD symptoms

  • Re-experiencing
  • Avoidance
  • Arousal and reactivity
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Fearful thoughts

PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You may have more PTSD symptoms when you’re stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through. These reminders are often referred to as triggers and they can occur at any given time and be difficult to manage for those who encounter them. Triggers can be mild to severe, but certainly play a role in the method of treatment that is needed to make sure the disorder remains under control. It is not uncommon for PTSD patients to suffer from other mental health disorders. Medical professionals aren’t sure why some people get PTSD. As with most mental health problems, PTSD is probably caused by a complex mix of: Stressful experiences or Genetic mental health risks, such as a family history of anxiety and depression.

Risk factors:

  • Experiencing intense or long-lasting trauma
  • Childhood abuse
  • Military Personnel
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Substance or alcohol abuse
  • Poor support system
  • Combat exposure
  • Childhood physical abuse
  • Sexual violence
  • Physical assault
  • Being threatened with a weapon
  • An accident
  • Natural Disaster
  • Experiencing death

PTSD can disrupt your entire life. It can alter the relationships with those around and impede your ability to live life in a peaceful manner. If you have disturbing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event for more than a month, if they’re severe, or if you feel you’re having trouble getting your life back under control, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. Getting treatment as soon as possible can help prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse.

While treatment may vary depending on the individual, the most prevalent treatments for people with PTSD are medications, psychotherapy or both. PTSD impacts people differently so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. PTSD should always be treated by a professional. It may take time to find a solution, but help is available. If you or anyone you know suffers from the above symptoms, please seek help as soon as possible from your nearest mental health professional.

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