Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
About one in four people who have experienced traumatic events in their lives develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Events including being involved in a natural disaster like a flood or bushfire, a bad car accident, experiencing a serious physical or sexual assault or the horrors of war, can all be triggers.
For many, the feelings of fear, sadness, anger, horror and hopelessness will recede during the normal process of working through these emotions and being able to talk about these feelings with family and friends.
For those who find that the symptoms just do not go away and begin to impact on their daily lives, work and relationships, it is vital to get help from a healthcare professional in order to effectively deal with the symptoms and get on with enjoying life again.
If this sounds like the problem you are experiencing, help is at hand at Your Health Hub, call us today on 03 6122 0150 to book an appointment and discuss the treatment options our multidisciplinary healthcare team can offer.
What Are The Symptoms?
Symptoms generally fall into three main groups:
- Constantly feeling anxious and ‘on edge’. This can lead to problems with concentration and mood changes leading to irritability.
- Feeling emotionally numb or experiencing feelings of ‘dissociation’ where the person feels as if they are watching events unfold like a spectator, rather than being involved. Trying to avoid any situation that could be a reminder of the trauma can result in disinterest in the normal activities of daily life and emotional detachment from family and friends.
- Experiencing flashbacks during the daytime or nightmares at night: during these flashbacks, sufferers experience powerful emotions and physical symptoms including panic attacks, sweating and palpitations.
For those affected by PTSD, other disorders often develop. At Your Health Hub, we can also help clients who have additional problems that might include depression, problems with drug or alcohol abuse and a range of anxiety disorders including social anxiety and phobias.
Treatment for PTSD at Your Health Hub
It is not possible in this short article to detail all the therapies available for the treatment of PTSD. The guidelines of the National Health and Medical Research Council recommend Psychotherapy as the ‘first-line’ treatment and recommend trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy. Clinical research and our own results show that this is extremely effective in reducing anxiety levels.
There are a number of other therapies that our Psychologists can use as well, for example, EMDR, a therapy that involves working through memories of the traumatic experience while going through a series of eye movements. Anti-depressants can reduce the symptoms of anger, fear, anxiety and depression. Each person is different and some treatments work better for some people than for others.
For children with PTSD, our Psychologists can use therapies including techniques for managing depression, anxiety and anger, cognitive therapy and play therapy.
At Your Health Hub, our treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder usually begin with talking therapy between Psychologist and the person affected, and sometimes, to their families and partners. For anyone affected, the sooner a diagnosis is made and appropriate treatment begun, the sooner recovery starts.
Research has shown that support from close family, friends and colleagues can be a big help in the recovery process. However, PTSD affects the relationships of the person affected, so help for family and friends such as couple or family therapy can help in restoring relationships. In some cases, other family members may seek support from the team here for themselves. With the right help, support and treatment, the symptoms of PTSD can diminish and the affected person and their family can return to living life to the full again.