By Kimberly Brown, MD, Psychiatrist at Lido Wellness Center
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that often occurs in patients who have witnessed or experienced a traumatic incident. The incident can be anything from a natural disaster, an act of war, a criminal or terrorist act, or a personal assault, be it mental, emotional, or physical. High quality PTSD treatment in Newport Beach is the bridge to healing for many individuals.
There are answers for patients and families seeking psychiatric care for trauma treatment. Orange County mental health treatment center, Lido Wellness Center, answers the top questions related to PTSD psychiatry and trauma treatment.
How is Someone Diagnosed with PTSD?
For an adult to be diagnosed with PTSD, they must consistently exhibit all the following symptoms for at least one month. Any or all of these symptoms can affect the patient’s ability to conduct routine tasks.
- One or more re-experiencing symptom
- One or more avoidance symptom
- Two or more arousal and reactivity symptoms
- Two or more cognition and mood symptoms
Re-experiencing symptoms include trauma flashbacks that may or may not include physical symptoms such as racing heart, nightmares, and startling thoughts.
Avoidance symptoms include avoiding places, people, objects, conversations, and thoughts that remind them of the traumatic event. If the event was a natural disaster, the patient might be triggered by any type of weather event.
Arousal and reactivity symptoms include feeling “on edge,” being easily startled, having trouble sleeping, and having angry outbursts.
Arousal symptoms are usually constant instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic events. These symptoms can make the person feel stressed and angry.
Cognition and mood symptoms include foggy memory of the initial traumatic event, negative thinking, distorted assignment of shame or guilt, and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. They may feel alienated from family or friends.
Some of the symptoms are normal after someone experiences trauma. However, if symptoms continue or intensify after a month or if the symptoms hinder one’s ability to function as usual before the event, it could be a strong indicator that professional PTSD treatment is needed.
What Are the Different Types of Therapies and Treatments For PTSD?
PTSD treatment in Newport Beach will vary depending on the patient’s needs and disorder severity. Either a psychiatrist or a therapist trained in trauma can be the primary mental health provider for trauma treatment.
For severe symptoms, medication and therapy combine for the best outcome. Orange County patients and patients across the county have succeeded with various psychological methods.
Some of the most effective interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder are medications that only a licensed psychiatrist (MD or DO) can prescribe. Other non-prescription methods that professionals employ include “talk therapy,” exposure therapy, and cognitive restructuring.
Why Some People Develop PTSD After a Traumatic Event and Others Don’t
Post-traumatic stress disorder affects everyone differently; most people do not develop the condition. The frequency of PTSD in the United States is 8% to 9% and affects roughly 25% to 30% of victims who experienced a significant traumatic event.
Certain risk factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD than others. Common risk factors include injuries, witnessing another person’s injury or death, buried or repeated childhood traumas, history of substance abuse, extreme fear and helplessness, a history of mental illness, and lack of support after the traumatic event.
Are There Physical Problems Associated with PTSD?
Adults who have been diagnosed with PTSD may experience elevated rates of several physical health conditions, including:
- Chronic aging disorders
- Reduced physical functions
- Radiating chest pain
Can You Prevent PTSD?
One cannot prevent trauma or the symptoms that may follow. However, studies have shown that several supporting factors aid in resilience and recovery following a traumatic event and can help prevent long-term PTSD symptoms.
Remaining in continual contact with a support network and sharing their trauma experience can be beneficial. Identifying oneself in the survivor role instead of a victim will give a stronger sense of empowerment.
Finding ways to experience positive emotions such as laughter and looking for positive meaning in the experience can shift the perspective. Helping other survivors navigate their own healing process and believing in their ability to cope can positively affect post-traumatic events.
Consult Lido Wellness Center: PTSD Treatment in Newport Beach
If you or a loved one are struggling with symptoms of PTSD, we can help. At Lido Wellness Center, we’re dedicated to providing whole-person, patient-first PTSD treatment. Contact our offices today.