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You survived a traumatic experience, and now, after several months, you’ve suddenly begun having trouble sleeping, eating, and your personal relationships are sputtering out of control. What’s going on? There could be an undiagnosed medical problem, or you may be experiencing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Fortunately, treatment can help.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”
If you survive a trauma, you could have short-term problems adjusting and managing but will likely get better over time with self-care. Worsening symptoms lasting months or years and interfering with daily life could mean you have PTSD.
If you have PTSD, there are other ways you can begin to recover besides therapy, including:
Almost everyone who’s been traumatized experiences symptoms that don’t last very long, but most people don’t get chronic or long-term PTSD. Not everyone who experiences PTSD has lived through a scary event. Some events you wouldn’t think of, like the abrupt, unexpected death of someone you’re close to, can also trigger PTSD. Symptoms typically begin early, likely within three months of what happened, but sometimes they might not surface until years later. For clinical diagnosis, symptoms must persist greater than a month and be serious enough to impede relationships, work, or other facets of your life, to be confirmed with PTSD. The progress of the illness fluctuates. Some of us recover within six months, while others suffer from symptoms that linger much longer. Unfortunately, the condition becomes chronic for some people.
There is no single cause for post-traumatic stress disorder, but decades of research have identified the kinds of trauma which may trigger it. The most common events that can lead to PTSD include:
Diagnosing PTSD – or any mental illness – is never easy because symptoms often overlap and are different for each person. A medical doctor or mental healthcare professional who specializes in PTSD or anxiety disorders is best able to diagnose your illness. You may undergo a physical examination to discover or rule out an underlying medical condition or have to see a mental health specialist for further diagnosis. In either case, the goal is to find a cause for your symptoms, either a medical or psychiatric reason.
After diagnosis, you may find relief with treatments like psychotherapy, self-help, medicine, or newer therapy like ketamine.
If you suffer from PTSD, symptoms may develop within three months of trauma, or could even take years to become full-blown. In either case, they shouldn’t be ignored. Contact us today to learn more about our ketamine treatments for PSTD.