Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Wylie, TX
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that is often seen in individuals who have been through a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, automobile accident, abuse, or war. This disorder typically causes vivid flashbacks or nightmares centered around the time and place where the person’s trauma occurred, which can make daily tasks or activities difficult if their PTSD remains untreated.
Online Treatment Options for PTSD
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Gardner now offers telepsychiatry to benefit you from the comfort of your own home. Learn more about our telepsychiatry services!
4 Categories of PTSD Symptoms
Symptoms of PTSD most often appear in the first few months after a traumatic event, though it is also possible for these effects to remain dormant until years later. It can be difficult to predict exactly will trigger a person’s symptoms, as each individual with PTSD is uniquely different.
There are four primary categories that symptoms of PTSD can fall into. These include:
- Intrusive thoughts: Involuntary memories of the traumatic event that forces the person to relive their experience. These may occur as conscious flashbacks, or during sleep.
- Avoidance: Individuals with PTSD often try to avoid situations that they believe will trigger a distressing memory of their past trauma. For example, a person who was involved in a serious car accident may try to avoid driving or riding in a car.
- Negative thoughts and feelings: These often pertain to the individuals themselves, as many believe that they are bad or broken in some way, or have difficulty believing seeing the world as “good” or “safe.”
- Changes in physical or emotional reactions: People with PTSD are generally more easily startled and “on edge,” which causes many to react more intensely to certain stimuli around them.
PTSD is diagnosed when an individual experiences the symptoms listed above for longer than one month’s time. Many individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder will also develop related psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety disorders or depressive disorders.
Risk Factors to Consider
There are a few known factors that can increase an individual’s risk for developing this disorder, including:
- Added stress after a traumatic event
- Feelings of helplessness or intense fear
- A history of mental illness or substance abuse
- Not having adequate support from friends and/or loved ones after a traumatic event
The best way to mitigate these risk factors and the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder is to seek help from those around you as soon as possible. Establishing healthy coping mechanisms can be done both before or after a dangerous event, and leaning on others for much-needed support is vital.
Treatment for PTSD in Wylie, TX
For those who experience more intense symptoms of PTSD that are affecting their daily life, Dr. Ashley Gardner is here to help. The most common methods used universally to treat PTSD include prescribed medications and psychotherapy.
Medications for PTSD Management
While medication cannot always cure PTSD, it can certainly help to improve symptoms of the disorder. As previously noted, individuals with PTSD often experience sudden mood changes that can leave them feeling hopelessly sad or incredibly angry. Problems with sleep are also extremely common, and can also be managed using different types of medication as prescribed by Dr. Gardner.
Types of Psychotherapy Used for PTSD
Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy can be very beneficial in treating a wide range of mental illnesses. For those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring via CBT are typically regarded as the most effective methods.
As its name would suggest, this form of psychotherapy is based on exposing the individual to their fears in order to relive the event in a safe environment that will not cause them any kind of harm. After experiencing the event in a safe and controlled space, many patients are able to realize that their avoided situations are not likely to cause a dangerous outcome, which can allow them to begin immersing themselves in previously enjoyed activities once again.
It is common for individuals with PTSD to remember the event in a more serious and dramatic way than how it actually occurred. This can lead to feelings of shame or guilt that the trauma was the person’s own fault, even though this is often untrue. Cognitive restructuring focuses on reliving the event in a more realistic way and reframing negative or distorted thoughts about the event or yourself.