PTSD: Signs, Risk Factors, and Treatment

I still have hospital nightmares that have me being rolled onto hospital beds or transport, with me running away from a criminal, only to be trapped in ICU. Not joshing with you.

I have sudden thoughts and feelings when put into a specific circumstance that closely identifies with my hospital trauma, I feel like I am physically and mentally back in Emory University hospital the summer of 2012. IVs, tubes, Physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, labs 4 times a day,, new IVs every 2-3 days. You know I really think the hospital likes needles and tape.

The last time I felt PTSD extremely serious was Christmastime 2015 when our niece, MJ, was in ICU due to a horrible car accident. I had prayed and taken 1mg of Ativan (needed more), I felt the cold air (to keep the germs away, the sounds of the non stopping beeps, and the sound of her ventilator. A ventilator has a specific sound that I will never forget because I had been on them many times.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms can include:

    Persistent re-experiencing of the trauma
    Reoccurring dreams or nightmares
    “Flashbacks” or “deja vu” (sensing that the traumatic trauma is happening in the present)
    Sleeping disturbances
    Increased avoidance of general social situations

These symptoms are certainly not all, but some of the most common symptoms to describe the official definition of the PTSD. They disturb the quality of life starting with lost sleep, decreased mental capacity to focus on the present , and declining having meaningful friendships.

Risk Factors can include:

People who have experienced a natural disaster, catastrophic illnesses, combat exposure, incest, rape, assault, losing a loved one.

Types Of PTSD – Clinical Presentation Acute (less than three months) and Chronic (More than 3 months in duration).

Psychological origins and consequences of severe trauma

Attachment and Repetition: Severe stress experienced in childhood and infancy is Attachment and Protection. They experienced in-utero, at birth, or sometime early childhood. These children or infants will seek out attachment, even to an abusing parent, developing into a lifetime of perusing attachments with abusing friends or spouses.

Hyperarousal : Inescapable shock, depression, and a depletion of norepinephrine. This leads to a receptor sensitivity in parts of the brain Their nervous systems may be permanently altered so people are unable to reduce the excessive emotional arousal.

Since PTSD often comes out of nowhere, at an instant, how should we get treatment?

Most professionals and most people would recommend psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, or Behavioral therapy.

Secondary, but much less recommended – medications to help certain aspects, but won’t completely heal.

If you don’t know where to get help and you’re in trouble, call 9-1-1.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

Call a friend, call a pastor, counselor, priest, Rabbi, or someone you admire with spiritual leadership.

PTSD and any other mental illness doesn’t get bettor on its own. “Time Heal All Wounds” is not true.

Sources include : Handbook of Clinical PSchopharmacology for Therapist; Susan Tankersly Therapy; Greenville Psychology and personal experience.

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