Experiencing a harrowing event can sometimes cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to develop, a debilitating mental health condition that prevents you from coming to terms with your trauma. Americas TMS Center, in Irvine, California, specializes in treating patients who have PTSD using a combination of therapies, including cutting edge transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Find out more about PTSD therapy by calling Americas TMS Center today, or book an appointment online.
PTSD is short for post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a form of anxiety disorder typically triggered by a traumatic experience. The trauma could be anything from a serious accident to being a victim of an assault; or living in a highly stressful environment for extended periods, like a war zone or a home where there’s abuse. Sometimes PTSD develops soon after the trigger; in other cases, it takes years for the symptoms to show.
Feelings of fear, grief, and shock are normal when you’ve experienced a trauma, but with time, these feelings subside, and you recover from the experience. If you don’t improve but instead become haunted by the event, it can have a severe impact on your life and ability to cope.
PTSD is a result of unhealed trauma to your mind. When you sustain a physical injury, your body needs to undergo a period of repair and regeneration to heal the wound. Your mind has to do the same after a traumatic experience, but sometimes it doesn’t heal as well as it should, and PTSD can be the consequence.
Most people go through a series of emotions when recovering from a traumatic experience, typically denial, grief, anger, guilt, and depression. Eventually, you reach the acceptance stage and can move on, which could take weeks, months, or sometimes years, depending on the situation and the support you receive. When you have PTSD, your mind doesn’t reach acceptance but gets stuck at the earlier stages.
As a result, you might keep on reliving the trauma, having vivid flashbacks as if you were back in the same situation, disturbing nightmares, and physical symptoms like the shakes and palpitations. Flashbacks often occur because of a trigger like a smell or a noise that brings back the traumatic event, and your brain responds as though you were in the traumatic situation again.
Understandably, if you have flashbacks, you do whatever you can to avoid them, but in some cases, these avoidance tactics interfere with your ability to function. For instance, if you’re involved in a serious auto accident, you might not be able to drive afterward, or you might even find it difficult to leave your home.
The stress of living with PTSD causes additional physical and psychological problems, so you might have heightened emotions, find it hard to relax, and become jumpy, frustrated, or angry. As your physical health deteriorates because of the stress, it makes the PTSD symptoms worse, trapping you in a spiral of ill health.
Counseling is a key treatment for people who have PTSD. With the appropriate talking therapies, you can express your feelings about the trauma and release the emotions safely, helping your mind to start healing again. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), for example, is proven to help patients come to terms with their experiences.
Therapies to help with issues like anger management, depression, and stress are also vital, and Americas TMS Center creates a treatment plan tailored to your requirements. Some patients who have PTSD also benefit from TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) therapy, a specialty at Americas TMS Center.
Find out more about recovery from PTSD by calling Americas TMS Center today, or book an appointment using the online tool.