Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Home Psychiatry Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

In this age of mass media and the internet, we see, hear, and read about horrific and traumatic incidents every other day. Mental trauma can leave long-lasting effects on the mind, often transforming into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not easy and considering PTSD treatment is crucial. Luckily, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatments in Dubai are available to help individuals manage PTSD symptoms and lead a healthy life. Continue reading to learn more about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and its treatments.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder apparently caused by experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Such events may include natural disasters, deadly accidents, terrorist activities, wars, physical or sexual abuse, death threats, fatal injuries, etc.

A person may have PTSD if the symptoms keep occurring for more than a month after the traumatic incident, thereby affecting the social and work-life of the person. Such people cannot live healthy life due to the severe psychological effects of that traumatic incident.

Generally, PTSD occurs due to the following four reasons, including:

  • Directly experiencing a traumatic event
  • Seeing or listening to graphic details of a traumatic event
  • Witnessing a traumatic event happening to another person(s)
  • Having a close friend or a family member suffer from a traumatic event

Symptoms

Generally, the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder start occurring about one to three months after the traumatic incident. However, sometimes, it takes years for the symptoms of PTSD to occur. Though symptoms vary from person to person, some common ones are as follows:

Intrusive Memories Changes in Thoughts and Mood Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions
Nightmares Being emotionally numb Irritability and aggressive behavior
Repeated memories of the traumatic incident Hopelessness about the future Trouble sleeping
Severe physical/emotional reactions when something reminds of that incident Inability to maintain close relationships Trouble concentrating
  Inability to experience positive emotions Being easily frightened
  Losing interest in activities once cherished Self-destructive behavior
  Not feeling connected to the family and friends Being shameful or guilty

Causes

Researchers are still trying to find the exact factors that cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, generally, PTSD has links with traumatic events.

The following contribute to the development of PTSD:

  • Some personality traits
  • A family history of depression and anxiety
  • Experiencing stressful and traumatic events
  • The release of hormones due to stress or trauma

The following events often result in the development of PTSD:

  • An accident
  • Sexual violence
  • Physical assault
  • Combat exposure
  • Childhood physical abuse
  • Being threatened with a weapon

Observing the following life-threatening events can also cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

  • Fire
  • Torture
  • Robbery
  • Mugging
  • Kidnapping
  • Plane crash
  • Terrorist attack
  • Natural disaster
  • Life-threatening medical diagnosis

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Risk Factors of PTSD

Though this psychiatric disorder can happen at any age, the following factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD:

  • Having substance abuse problems
  • Having a family history of health problems
  • Experiencing long-lasting or intense trauma
  • Having no support from the family and friends
  • Having depression, anxiety, or a similar mental illness
  • Working at a place that increases the risk of witnessing trauma
  • Having experienced past trauma before new trauma

Complications of PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can badly affect an individual’s life. If not treated timely, the person can develop different complications such as:

  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Suicidal actions and thoughts
  • Issues with alcohol use and drugs

How to prevent PTSD?

Having PTSD-like symptoms right after a traumatic event does not mean that person has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. If a person keeps having reactions to trauma such as guilt, anger, depression, and anxiety for a long time, it might be due to PTSD.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible for the person suffering from trauma to avoid Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, it is possible to gradually recover from it with the support of friends, family members, and professionals handling mental disorders.

Diagnosing PTSD

The following can be performed to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder:

  • Physical Exam
  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)

Treatment Techniques

People having PTSD should consult a professional for proper treatment. Primarily, psychiatrists use psychotherapy to treat PTSD. However, combining psychotherapy with medication can deliver better results. It aims to:

  • Teach personal skills to handle symptoms
  • Teach how to handle triggers
  • Help individuals think positively about themselves and others
  • Make individuals avoid anxiety, substance abuse, and other related addictions

Here are the common Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatments in Dubai:

Psychotherapy

Different types of psychotherapy or talking therapies are used for treating PTSD, including but not limited to:

  • Exposure therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Medications

Some medications can also help improve symptoms of PTSD, including but not limited to:

  • Prazosin
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications

Preparing for the Appointment

If you have the symptoms discussed above, you should consult one of our psychiatrists. Before you visit us, it is good to document the symptoms and medical history. If possible, take a friend or family member with you. Making a list of the following will help:

  • Any symptoms
  • Questions to ask
  • Key personal information
  • Your medical information
  • Things you have stopped doing or are avoiding

Questions to Ask the Professional

Asking the following questions will help you understand the condition well and treat it properly:

  • What is causing the symptoms?
  • What are the diagnosis methods?
  • Is it necessary to try a treatment?
  • What are the options to treat the condition?
  • Are there any side effects of the recommended treatment?

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder FAQs

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

The most common symptoms of PTSD are vivid flashbacks, nightmares, intense distress, intense emotions, concentration trouble, and physical sensations.

What are the four types of PTSD?

Four major types of PTSD are acute stress disorder (ASD), complex stress disorder, uncomplicated PTSD, and comorbid PTSD.

What does PTSD do to a person?

People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts, usually linked with the traumatic event. PTSD also causes feelings of anger, fear, social detachment, and extreme sadness.

How long after trauma does PTSD start?

PTSD usually starts within the first six months of the traumatic event. The symptoms mostly appear immediately or after a week. However, in some cases, PTSD can occur after months or even years of the traumatic incident due to any triggering situation.

What does a PTSD attack feel like?

In a PTSD panic attack, a person feels a surge of overwhelming panic, losing control, and going crazy. Some patients can also feel physical sensations of pain, nausea, and trembling.

Consult an Expert

If you are seeking Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment in Dubai, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Euromed® Clinic Center. We have some of the best psychiatrists on board with us who will discuss details of different treatment options. So, call us or fill the short online form to book your appointment.

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    Dr. Bahjat Balbous is a DHA-licensed psychiatrist having more than 25 years of experience. He uses the latest Neurofeedback therapy in treating ADHD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other related disorders.

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