Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Home Psychiatry Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

In this age of mass media and internet, we see, hear, and read about horrific and traumatic incidents every other day. A mental trauma often leaves long-lasting effects on the mind. Living with Post-Traumatic Stress Order is not easy and considering PTSD treatment is necessary. Please continue reading to learn more about PTSD.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

It is a mental condition apparently caused by a terrifying event. The person suffering from it is not able to live a normal life due to the deep effects of that traumatic incident. Timely diagnosis and treatment can help the person return to the routine life.

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Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of this mental disorder start occurring one month after the traumatic incident. Sometimes, it takes years for the symptoms of PTSD to occur. Though symptoms vary from person to person, some common ones are enlisted below:

Intrusive Memories

  • Nightmares
  • Repeated memories of the traumatic incident
  • Severe physical/emotional reactions when something reminds of that incident

Changes in thinking and mood

  • Being emotionally numb
  • No hope about the future
  • Inability to maintain close relationships
  • Inability to experience positive emotions
  • Losing interest in activities once cherished
  • Not feeling connected to the family and friends

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Being easily frightened
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Being much shameful or guilty

Causes of PTSD

Researchers are still finding the factors that cause post-traumatic stress disorder. However, PTSD has links with traumatic events. If a person sees, goes through, or learn about an event that involves actual/threatened death, sexual violation, and serious injury.

The following contribute to the development of PTSD:

  • Some personality features
  • 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 events can also cause post-traumatic stress disorder:

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

Risk Factors of PTSD

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

  • 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
  • Having experienced a trauma before this new trauma
  • Working at a place that increases the risk of witnessing trauma

Complications of PTSD

The life of a person with post-traumatic stress disorder can badly affect due to this mental illness. 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?

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.

It is not always possible for the person suffering from a trauma to avoid post-traumatic stress disorder. However, it is possible to recover from it gradually. Support from friends and family members play an important role in handling this mental illness.

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)

Generally, PTSD occurs due to the following four reasons:

  • A person directly suffers from a traumatic event.
  • A person sees or listens to graphic details of a traumatic event.
  • A person witnesses a traumatic event happening to another person(s).
  • A person’s close friend or a family member suffers from a traumatic event.

A person may have PTSD if the symptoms of PTSD keep occurring for more than a month after the traumatic incident thereby affecting the social and work life of the person.

Treatment for PTSD

The people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder should consult a professional for a proper treatment. Primarily, the psychiatrists use psychotherapy to cure PTSD; combining it with medication can deliver better results.

The main purpose of performing psychotherapy coupled with medication aims at the following:

  • To teach the personal skills to handle symptoms
  • To learn the ways to manage if a symptom occurs again
  • To help the person think positively about oneself and others
  • To make a person avoid anxiety, substance abuse, and more

Here are the common types of psychotherapies and medications for PTSD.


Different types of psychotherapy or talk therapies are used including but not limited to:

  • Exposure therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)


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

  • Prazosin
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications

What You Can Do

Consulting a professional is always helpful but there are things that the person should try. The following should be followed by a PTSD patient:

  • Break the cycle
  • Stay connected
  • Take great care
  • Learn about PTSD
  • Do not self-medicate
  • Consider a support group
  • Follow your treatment plan

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

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What are the symptoms of PTSD?

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

How long after trauma does PTSD start?

PTSD usually starts within the first six months of the traumatic event. PTSD symptoms mostly appear immediately or after a week.

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. You can also feel physical sensations of pian, nausea and trembling.

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?

Book your appointment and ask your questions to one of our experts if you need to learn more about it.

Book an Appointment Now

If you are interested in the PSTD treatment, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Euromed Clinic Center Dubai anytime. One of our psychiatrists will explain the details to you. So call us or fill the short online form now to book your appointment.


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Dr. Bahjat Balbous

Specialist Psychiatrist
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