PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. When it doesn’t get treated, PTSD can cause lasting negative effects on someone’s life including a lack of interest in everyday activities, trouble with relationships, anger and other mood changes and difficulty sleeping. Thankfully, PTSD can be treated with psychotherapy (sometimes called talk therapy) or medication. Some people find that a combination of treatments is most effective.

Symptoms of PTSD can include: difficulty remembering important parts of the trauma; feeling intense fear, horror or anger; ongoing thoughts about the traumatic event; feelings of guilt and shame; a sense of detachment or estrangement from family and friends; less interest in things that used to give you pleasure; an inability to experience positive emotions; and being startled easily. Children and adolescents can also suffer from PTSD and their symptoms will differ depending on their age, the severity of the trauma they’ve experienced and the impact it has had on their lives.

What causes PTSD isn’t always clear, but many researchers believe that the underlying factors are genetics and how the brain processes information. They are now focusing on developing genetic tests and brain imaging technologies that will help them pinpoint the time when PTSD starts, when it ends and what part of the brain is affected. This will enable them to develop more targeted and effective treatment approaches.

Avoiding PTSD-triggering memories is very common, but this can be difficult and restrictive as some people may stop going to work or leaving the house because of their fear. For example, if a person experiences PTSD after a car accident on the highway they will start to avoid driving anywhere as they no longer feel safe in cars. Other PTSD triggers can include going to specific places such as the scene of the crash, being around vehicles or even walking down the street where the accident took place.

Emotional numbness is another common symptom and can damage close relationships because it makes it impossible to show affection or express love. People with PTSD can also lose their appetites and have a hard time concentrating. Sleep problems are a big problem for people with PTSD and they often have nightmares, struggle to go to sleep or wake up during the night and don’t get enough sleep.

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat PTSD and it’s usually a good idea to seek treatment as soon as possible. PTSD can be treated with psychological therapies, such as prolonged exposure therapy or cognitive processing therapy, and sometimes medication. Medications such as antidepressants, sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs can all be used to ease the symptoms of PTSD. Some therapists have also developed alternative and complementary treatments that are being increasingly used with PTSD such as acupuncture, yoga and animal-assisted therapy. Talking therapies that focus on reprocessing the traumatic events and changing negative beliefs or self-talk are also very effective and can be done either alone or in combination with medication.

Should you wish to discuss your condition with an experienced Australian trained Doctor or expert in this area. Please book in for an online and Telehealth consultation. Phenix Health is always available when you need us 24/7. Contact