Around 70% of Americans experience a traumatic event at some point during their lives, and up to 20% of them develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’re living with PTSD, contact Fredesvinda Jacobs-Alvarez, MD, at Esperanza Behavioral Health and Services in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Jacobs-Alvarez uses her years of experience to offer compassionate psychiatric care to help you regain your quality of life. Call Esperanza Behavioral Health and Services or schedule a consultation online today.
Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition that develops after you experience a traumatic event such as an active shooter situation, personal assault, or a terrorist attack.
The condition was initially identified in military veterans returning from the battlefields and trenches of World War I. Today, psychiatrists know that anyone can develop PTSD and that any potentially life-threatening situation can trigger the disorder.
Almost everyone who lives through a traumatic event reacts in some way. PTSD occurs when your symptoms persist and become more intense instead of fading over time.
PTSD causes four distinct categories of symptoms: intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviors, negative feelings, and reactive.
Flashbacks and nightmares are the most well-known types of PTSD-related intrusive thoughts. They’re often so vivid and realistic that you feel like you’re reliving the event. You might also have distressing memories that people or places that remind you of your trauma trigger. Your memories and flashbacks also might not have an identifiable trigger.
Many patients with PTSD go out of their way to avoid people and places that remind them of their traumatic experiences or trigger their intrusive thoughts. When left untreated, these avoidance behaviors can become more restrictive and severely disrupt your life.
PTSD can also cause persistent distorted thoughts about yourself or others. For example, you might have ongoing feelings of anger, horror, guilt, or shame. You might lose interest in previously enjoyed activities or feel detached from your friends or family.
PTSD also often heightens your reactivity. You might be easily startled or have increased irritability. PTSD can cause angry outbursts and reckless behavior. You might also develop insomnia or struggle with reduced concentration or decision-making skills.
Esperanza Behavioral Health and Services provides customized treatment plans to help you recover from PTSD. Providers often combine medication and counseling to relieve symptoms and help patients learn strategies for coping with their memories, thoughts, and feelings.
Depending on your needs, your provider can use a variety of therapeutic approaches to help you explore and resolve your traumatic experience and related symptoms. They might also recommend a combination of individual and group therapy.
If you’ve lived through a traumatic event and are experiencing PTSD symptoms, call Esperanza Behavioral Health and Services, or make an appointment online today for help.