Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that results from seeing or experiencing trauma. Most people with PTSD experience nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, and reminders of trauma as well as suicidal thoughts. PTSD is not something you can ignore. If you experience some of the symptoms mentioned and you live in and around California, you should visit America’s TMS Center that specializes in treating PTSD in Irvine.
Approximately 9 million adults living in the US have PTSD. 37% of those diagnosed are classified as those exhibiting severe symptoms. It’s challenging to diagnose PTSD due to the diverse manifestation of this disorder. Additionally, patients with PTSD are afraid to seek help for the trauma.
Regular screening for PTSD is recommended for soldiers and veterans and should be coupled with other mental health services. Patients who present signs of PTSD should undergo a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation before making a diagnosis.
Each patient exhibits particular symptoms that determine which type of PTSD they may be experiencing. Read on to see the various types of PTSD.
Acute Stress Disorder
Acute stress disorder (ASD) is a stress-related disorder that was first introduced by the American Psychiatric Association in 1994 to classify symptoms that presented in the early stages after a traumatic period and also to detect people that were at risk of later experiencing PTSD.
People with ASD exhibit five significant symptoms. The first one being intrusion symptoms which are characterized by recurrent intrusive memories, flashbacks, and dreams. The other four are arousal, avoidance, dissociative and negative symptoms.
Treatment options for ASD include removal from the scene of the trauma, medication as well as psychotherapy.
Uncomplicated PTSD is an independent condition that is characterized by reliving the traumatic event, increased arousal, avoiding the stimuli, and emotional numbing. It’s a rare form of PTSD that can be treated using cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic and pharmacological approaches.
Comorbid PTSD is a condition to experience PTSD while at the same time suffering from another mental disorder; the most common being depression. Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mood disorder that disrupts normal functioning.
MDD is characterized by anxiety, insomnia, sadness, and intrusive thoughts. People suffering from PTSD and depression may undergo cognitive behavioral therapy or receive medication that contains serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Delayed-onset PTSD is a form of PTSD that does not occur immediately after trauma. Diagnosis is made after six months or even more of experiencing PTSD. This is mostly because the patient does not exhibit enough symptoms at the early stages hence unable to qualify for the disease.
Delayed-onset PTSD has mostly been seen among senior patients who experienced trauma when they were younger and are only beginning to exhibit the symptoms of PTSD. Additionally, a study conducted on world war II veterans revealed that delayed-onset PTSD symptoms would be triggered after a sudden life change such as loss of a loved one or a job.
The standard treatment options include psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and medication such as Zoloft.
Complex PTSD is the most severe form caused by prolonged re-experiencing of a traumatic event. This disorder is an enhanced PTSD characterized by feelings of shame, hostility, threat, despair, inability to form and maintain relationships, and feeling damaged.
Treatment for complex PTSD has to go beyond the standard treatment of all the other types of PTSD. It’s an iterative process that entails eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), psychotherapy as well as alternative therapies such as yoga and acupuncture.
PTSD is a disorder that requires treatment from highly specialized doctors. If you begin to notice some of the symptoms mentioned in this article, it’s best to visit skilled doctors such as the team at Americas TMS Center who utilize innovative and compassionate treatment techniques.