Working in rehab, as a therapist, means that we often meet people who have very recently gone through a life changing, shocking event – like an accident, stroke, Brain injury – or other scary, unplanned event. We may also meet people who have had chronic low-level trauma throughout their lives, or who are having to adjust to a new life or way of living.
And, although we are used to treating these clients for the symptoms of their stroke/TBI/multi-trauma accident -we may not always consider the implications that the trauma has on their psyche.
An awareness and sensitivity to PTSD is helpful to us therapists who are in acute and post-acute care. Not only can we be mindful of issues that we can pick up on quickly, we can also use the knowledge to enhance our treatments and our therapeutic rapport.
So with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at PTSD with this article guest written by the team at Take A Seat – therapy services.
What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological disorder that occurs in people who have undergone a traumatic event like an earthquake, terrorist attack, war or rape, etc. It was known as shell shock during the days of World War 1 and combat fatigue after World War 2. PTSD can occur in people of any ethnicity, religion, culture, or age.
However, PTSD does differ in males and females. Women are more susceptible to PTSD. People with PTSD have a pattern of thoughts related to the incident, which makes them anxious, fearful, and detached. They might go through the pain of the incident again through nightmares.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
In psychological terms, a condition has not termed a disorder unless it fulfills all the symptoms criteria and the period for them. Some prominent symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder are given below;
- Intrusions; the victims repeatedly see the same incidents in dreams or routine while sitting idle etc. The flashbacks are intense, like the incident plays in front of the patient’s eyes like a movie.
- Detachment; the patients tend to avoid people related to the incident even if the link is not direct. Looking at those familiar faces reminds them of their pain and misery.
- Change in mood; it would not be wrong if we say PTSD change the behavior and attitude of a person to a great degree. They forget some significant part of the tragedy and frequently have negative thoughts about themselves. In some extreme cases, the victims start blaming themselves and often wrongly accuse someone.
- Change in response; the victims have a 360-degree change in their behavior. They have irritable nature and might have anger outbursts over minor problems.
For a person to have PTSD, these symptoms must have an age of at least a month. We can only describe it as a disorder and start the treatment to improve the victim’s behavior.
As it is a psychological issue, PTSD are treated by psychotherapy, specifically CBT. Cognitive behavioral treatment involves the deepest secrets of unconscious and conscious memory. Hormonal imbalances may also be addressed prior to the initiation of psychotherapy, for best outcomes.
Psychotherapy prepares you to deal with life post-trauma with strength. However, completely getting over the therapy experience from familiar counselors can be very beneficial. They add positive energies inside you and help you escape the experience’s dark memories.
Nowadays, therapies are available online at the person’s convenience – although for inpatient rehab there may be a psychiatrist on board who may assist with adjustment and PTSD issues. Many therapy sessions are conducted online for people who have a problem stepping out of their homes or other issues. Finding an online therapist may be a suggestion that, as a clinician, you can make for your patients.
As mentioned earlier, if the PTSD has gone to an extreme level, a psychiatrist is referred for the hormones controlling brain activities to be kept under control. The psychiatrist prescribes certain medicines that would calm the mind and reduce the intensity of other psychological issues that might have damaged the patient’s mind.
Patients with PTSD are given antidepressants such as SNRIs and SSRIs. Other medications include a controlled dose of sleeping pills, antianxiety, and medicines to elevate peace so that the patient’s mind can rest from the constant worries and pressures.
Therapy for patients with PTSD
Patients with PTSD undergo a lot of pain that others cannot see or understand. The tragedy takes away the joys from their life and a part of their personality with it. They look for someone to whom they can rant their frustration, speak and cry their hearts out.
Psychologists do help them stabilize, but their profession does not allow them to be an emotional support to the patient. Specific therapy centers with alternative therapists can support patients with PTSD, and alternative therapists provide counseling outside the barrier of mental health sciences. Patients may find it much easier to connect to them than other health care professionals. You can find many online therapists in UK that have a commendable professional background and would help you move on from the trauma quickly.
Each therapy has its benefit for treating Post-traumatic stress disorder. Only if all three possible practices, psychotherapy, treatment from a psychiatrist, and alternative therapies, work together the treatment of the condition can be made 100% efficient.
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