PTSD Treatment in Phoenix
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people after experiencing a dangerous, life threatening or shocking event.
A great way to understand PTSD is to imagine that you are in a forest being hunted by a bear. How would you feel? It would be difficult to concentrate and you would feel on edge. Your appetite would be nonexistent and you might as well forget about sleeping. It would be difficult to develop any type of meaningful relationships, or really to just feel comfortable in general. In this scenario, all of these feelings would seem appropriate and necessary for survival. Now imagine the bear is gone and you are no longer in the forest, but you continue to experience all of the same symptoms. That is how you can understand PTSD.
People often experience feelings of fear, stress and anxiety following a traumatic event. Some people also experience depression, flashbacks and insomnia. In fact, it is normal to experience these feelings shortly after going through something traumatic, and most traumatized people do not go on to experience long term (chronic) symptoms of PTSD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is diagnosed when these symptoms last longer than a month following the traumatic event and are severe enough to interfere with parts of daily life, including relationships or work. It is important that the symptoms are not due to substance use, medical illness, or anything except the event itself.
Symptoms of PTSD
Sometimes these symptoms resolve after a few months; however, some people will continue to experience these symptoms chronically. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include:
- Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
- Bad dreams
- Frightening thoughts
- Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience
- Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or “on edge”
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Having angry outbursts
- Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
- Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
- Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often respond well to treatment with medication, psychotherapy, or both. Medications can be especially effective in treating insomnia associated with PTSD.
Everyone is different, and PTSD affects people differently, so the same treatment approach may not work for each individual. The most important first step is obtaining a comprehensive assessment in order to determine the best treatment approach. At Uptown Psychiatry, we will start with a full evaluation to learn about your symptoms and how they have been affecting you. We offer both in-person and virtual appointment options ensuring that you feel comfortable and safe as you begin recovery.