Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can develop after experiencing any kind of shocking event. Often times, people associate PTSD with members of the armed forces. While there are people in the military who do develop this disorder after a traumatic event, it can also occur in people who are involved in car accidents, have undergone a surgery or who have experienced a loved one passing away.
According to auto accident attorneys at Millar and Mixon, if you have been in a motor vehicle accident of any kind, you could be at risk of developing PTSD. If you start to notice signs or symptoms, it’s important that you speak with your doctor right away.
Symptoms of PTSD typically begin early – within 3 months of the incident – though there are situations where they can start to arise years later. Because each individual’s situation is so different, the course of the disorder will always vary. Some people recover after 6 months, while for others it can take years to heal.
There are several different types of symptoms that can be seen in PTSD. Re-experiencing symptoms include flashbacks, bad dreams and frightening thoughts. Avoidance symptoms are things such as not visiting certain places and avoiding feelings or thoughts that trigger certain memories. Arousal and reactivity symptoms include the feeling of constantly being on edge or tense. Negative thoughts and loss of interest in enjoyable activities are cognition and mood symptoms.
If you have PTSD, what kinds of treatments are out there that might help? What can you do to stop PTSD from taking a hold of your life?
Your therapist will help you understand how to change your thoughts and ideas about your trauma and its aftermath. Your goal is to understand how your negative thoughts are bringing on more stress and ultimately worsening your symptoms. Replacing these thoughts with less destructive ones is key as well as learning to cope with feelings of guilt, fear and anger.
Having less fear regarding your memories is the goal with exposure therapy. You’ll learn to take charge of your memories and ultimately show them you’re not afraid or overwhelmed by them anymore.
For many people, it can help to talk your situation out with others in similar circumstances. Simply knowing you’re not the only person experiencing these thoughts and emotions can help immensely. Sharing your issues can also help build trust and confidence in yourself.
Involving your whole family is important, especially if your situation has lead to a lack of communication between you and the people you love. Everyone will have the chance to express their feelings open and honestly. This can also help your family be better equipped to support you.
The most important thing is to not lose faith. Stay positive and know that with perseverance, you’ll come out of this a stronger person.