Three Things Patients With PTSD Struggle With
A traumatic event can change a person's life, affecting their coping mechanisms, relationships, mood, and self-care. At Blue Elk Family Clinic in Nashville, IN, licensed mental health counselor associate Misty Sanchez offers trauma-focused therapy to help patients recover from traumatic experiences that cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Keep reading to learn more about PTSD and the struggles people face after a traumatic event.
What is post-traumatic stress disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people of any age who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events, such as:
War or combat
Rape and other sexual violence
At Blue Elk Family Clinic, Misty Sanchez uses a subset of cognitive behavioral therapy called trauma-focused therapy to treat PTSD.
What does PTSD feel like?
PTSD can occur in anyone, and in the U.S. alone, it affects 3.5% of people each year. It causes disturbing and intrusive thoughts and feelings that force people to relive the experience long after it's over. PTSD can cause nightmares, depression, fear, anger, detachment, and exaggerated reactions to everyday events that trigger memories of the event, such as loud noises.
While a traumatic event is part of a PTSD diagnosis, a person doesn't have to experience it firsthand for symptoms to occur. Hearing or reading about traumatic events can also cause PTSD symptoms. This can occur in crisis counselors, police officers, or other investigators of violent events.
What are the three main struggles faced by people with PTSD?
PTSD looks different in everyone and can result in everything from vivid nightmares to self-isolation. Three significant struggles faced by people with post-traumatic stress disorder include:
1. Feelings of fear and powerlessness
PTSD results from an event during which the sufferer had no control over what was happening. It's normal to feel fearful long after the event as our bodies more easily go into fight-or-flight mode. This may lead to flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts that cause us to dwell on the traumatic event and revisit that feeling of fear and powerlessness. This can lead to emotional and physiological reactions that affect overall health and relationships with others, and cause sufferers to avoid anything that might trigger these feelings.
2. Changes in eating and sleeping patterns that lead to health issues
When reacting to traumatic memories and flashbacks, people with PTSD may self-soothe with food or avoid eating altogether. They may also be exhausted if nightmares have interrupted their sleep or avoid sleeping altogether to prevent nightmares. A lack of sleep and good nutrition can lead to other health issues, from high blood pressure to addiction.
3. Mood disorders and feelings of alienation and isolation
PTSD symptoms can lead to feelings of helplessness, sadness, anxiety, and depression. They may feel like no one wants to be around them, that they are a burden, or that isolating from loved ones is best for everyone. However, social systems are crucial.
Trauma-focused therapy for PTSD
There's no single treatment for PTSD that will work for everyone. However, there's evidence that trauma-focused therapy can help people living with PTSD confront their suffering, share their trauma, and start to heal from traumatic events and get their lives and health back.
At Blue Elk Family Clinic, trauma-focused therapy may involve conversation-based counseling, exposure therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy to identify unhealthy behaviors and patterns and attempt to control them. In addition to CBT, we offer eye movement desensitization reprogramming to diminish the intensity and frequency of traumatic flashbacks and exposure-based psychotherapy to help patients reduce their tendency to avoid thoughts, memories, feelings, people, and places.
Find trauma-focused therapy for PTSD in Nashville, IN
If you've experienced a traumatic event and live in southern Indiana, including Indianapolis, Bloomington, or Columbus, visit Misty Sanchez at Blue Elk Family Clinic in Nashville, IN to learn more about how trauma-focused can help you recover from PTSD.
Schedule a consultation to get started on your healing journey.