Veterans Day is a time to honor the service and sacrifice of loved ones who have served in the military. One way that we at Families First honor veterans is by providing support for those who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.
When undiagnosed or untreated, PTSD can have far-reaching consequences both for those suffering from it and for their families. In many cases, it may not even be clear at first what’s happening—much less how to treat it. Unfortunately, PTSD is not something that will simply get better on its own. That’s why it’s critical to correctly diagnose the disorder and begin treatment.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
We’re still learning a lot about post-traumatic stress disorder and the ways in which it affects individuals. Not everyone experiences every symptom or shares the same triggers. In general, though, there are a few common symptoms that may indicate something serious. They include:
• Flashbacks, nightmares, and other intrusive memories that cause the sufferer to re-experience the traumatic event or situation.
• Emotional numbness, which can include difficulty feeling happiness or sadness in situations where such emotions are appropriate.
• Avoiding people, places, or situations that act as reminders of the traumatic event or situation, even if these people, places, or situations were once familiar or reassuring.
• Increased anxiety, which can result in problems sleeping, or feelings of irritability and inappropriate anger.
If you observe one or all of these symptoms in your loved one, they may be experiencing PTSD.
Can PTSD be treated?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very individual experience. As a result, not everyone will respond in the same way to the same kind of treatment. Because of this, multiple treatments have developed over time to help those suffering from PTSD. These treatments, either individually or in combination, may offer help to you or your loved one.
Generally, there are two ways that PTSD can be tackled: therapy and medication. Therapeutic solutions, such as cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are all focused on helping sufferers find ways to process their experiences. PTSD occurs when the brain is unable to move past a traumatic event and continues to react as though it were living through the negative experience. These therapies work to help the brain move forward and recognize that the traumatic event, as frightening as it was, is at an end.
In some ways, medications work similarly. Since the traumatized brain is easily triggered into engaging in a “fight or flight” response, medication can sometimes be effective to help ease the brain’s anxiety. It does this by focusing on the neurotransmitters that are signaling the brain to feel panic. By blocking these neurotransmitters, medications can create a physical change within the brain itself that relieves the feelings of fear and anxiety—which in turn can help sufferers better handle their day-to-day experiences.
Get Help Today
Post-traumatic stress disorder is common among veterans, but far too often goes untreated. When that happens, it can cause the sufferer to feel isolated, and families to feel fractured. Families First doesn’t want anyone to feel alone in this battle. That’s why we offer mental health services, including those tailored specifically to individuals returning from the military.
If you or your loved one could benefit from our services, then please: Contact us today.