Some people, after facing an episode in his life or physical integrity were exposed to a dangerous situation can develop the disorder posttraumatic stress.

Although it is completely normal for an unforeseen event in which physical or emotional safety is compromised generates high levels of stress, in general, most people recover and continue with their normal lives.

However, in certain cases, the individual does not experience a recovery after the incident or manage to overcome what happened, on the contrary, the fact as such is installed on a psychic level and is constantly invaded by intrusive thoughts and nightmares, in addition to other symptoms that diminish your tranquility and unbalance you emotionally.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress?

It is an anxiety disorder that usually occurs in people who have had direct or indirect contact with a stimulus that represents a risk to their life or that of other people and manifests itself through the following symptoms:

On a physical level

Symptoms associated with Anxiety may occur when remembering the event that triggered the disorder such as:

  • Palpitations or tachycardia.
  • Insomnia.
  • Difficulty breathing, feeling of suffocation or choking.
  • Increased perspiration.

At a cognitive level

  • Difficult to focus.
  • Frequent reminders of the event:

People with Post-Traumatic Stress relive over and over the events that triggered the disorder through recurring, intrusive, and terrifying thoughts or through continual nightmares.

On a psychological level

  • Hallucinations:

Based on the idea that the traumatic event is being experienced again.

  • Difficulty accurately remembering the details of the traumatic episode the individual went through.
  • Disconnection with Pleasure: It manifests itself through disinterest in those activities that were pleasant, the tendency is to remain isolated.
  • Constant Nervousness: Individuals are often stressed, tense, startled, and scared all the time.
  • Irritability: It is associated in many cases with guilt or loss of control.
  • Isolation: Evasive behaviors occur with respect to places, people or things that can activate the memory of the traumatic event.

Some of the facts that can cause Post-Traumatic Stress are the following:

  • Being in the middle of violent events as a victim such as: Robberies, robberies, armed confrontations, domestic violence, rape or sexual abuse.
  • Deprivation of liberty: Through imprisonment or kidnapping.
  • Survive a natural disaster.
  • Being in the middle of a war, among others.

How to treat Post Traumatic Stress?

If the symptoms described above persist for at least a period of one month and any other physical illness that is triggering this discomfort is ruled out, the mental health specialist should make the diagnosis.

Treatment is generally a combination of medications and psychotherapy. Antidepressants or Anxiolytics are usually prescribed, of course this is carried out by prior agreement between the specialist and the patient, respectively.

At the level of Psychotherapy, the following are used:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

It has been successful in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, through the use of techniques aimed at working on the cognitive processes that regulate thought. It consists of training individuals to transform their thoughts (influence feelings and behaviors), the way of conceiving reality, and provide them with the necessary tools to face events in a satisfactory way.

Exposure Therapy:

It is about recreating a situation similar to the traumatic event (through imagination or virtually) in a safe environment (office) to strengthen the person and teach them to deal with this or any other episode properly.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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