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Post traumatic stress disorder

Video transcript

so post-traumatic stress disorder which is often shortened to PTSD is this serious anxiety problem that can develop after your safety or even your life has been threatened in some way or after you've seen some kind of traumatic event even though when you hear PTSD you might think of trauma from fighting in a war it's also very possible though to experience PTSD from other traumatic events like natural disaster car crashes rape and others so when you're posed with this potential traumatic event or serious danger like one of those though your body gets into this mode where it's ready to either defend against the danger or avoid it and this is called the fight-or-flight response think about it if you're hiking along in the woods and all of a sudden this huge grizzly bear comes into view your body's natural reaction is going to be either to get ready to fight back if you´d attacks you or get out of there and this response is completely normal and actually helps protect us from harm in many cases with PTSD though this reaction has changed or damaged or dysfunctional in some way and people with PTSD might feel anxiety stress or even frightened when they're no longer in danger now most people after a traumatic fight-or-flight type event will be affected in some way and coping or adjusting afterward can be hard for everyone with time and care though most people typically get better and are considered to have PTSD people that don't get better though and develop PTSD have issues coping with this anxiety for months or even years after the event and when someone has PTSD there are a couple different types of symptoms that might present themselves and the first type is intrusive memories and these involve experiencing the trauma again through your thoughts and memories of the event and these might cause problems with the person's everyday routine and might be triggered by that person's own thoughts or they can also be triggered by other outside words objects or situations that remind them of the event so for example if you had PTSD from fighting in a war anxiety might be triggered by you spontaneously thinking about a gun or it might also be triggered by you seeing a police officer with a gun on their belt now a second type of symptom is called a voi and this is where patients with PTSD start to avoid places or particular situations because they think going to these places are doing these things will lead them to thinking or talking about the event and cause anxiety and this can often have a major impact on their normal daily routine for example if you survived a traumatic car crash you might now avoid driving or riding in a car to work everyday even if it meant taking way longer you can imagine how this might impact your day-to-day life and the third symptom of PTSD is negative thinking and mood which is pretty self-explanatory and it's where patients have negative feelings about themselves or others and have a hard time experiencing positive feelings they might feel emotionally numb and lack interest in things they used to enjoy doing this can make it especially hard to keep close relationships like you used to finally there are hyper arousal symptoms which have to do with you being overly alert intense so you might be easily startled or feel on edge and have difficulty sleeping this state of hyper arousal can be present constantly even when you're not thinking of the particular stressful event and can make it very difficult to perform normal daily tasks like sleeping eating or concentrating and treatment of PTSD is completely dependent on each patient but is usually composed of either psychotherapy or medication or both cognitive behavior therapy is a form of psychotherapy and two types of therapies within that that have been shown to be effective our exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring now exposure therapy helps people control and face their fears and even expose them to trauma they experienced but obviously in a safe and controlled way this could be with mental imagery or writing or even visits to the place where the event happened cognitive restructuring on the other hand is where we try to help patients make sense of their bad memories sometimes patients have inaccurate memories or perceptions of what happened and might feel shameful or guilty and we want to help them think about these events in their memories in a more realistic positive and healthy way apart from psychotherapy medications can also be prescribed and there have been two types of aunt Ida that have been approved by the FDA for treatment of PTSD and the first is called sertraline but maybe more commonly known as Zoloft and the other is called paroxetine aka paxil these are both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or for short SSRIs and are also used to treat depression they can especially help treat negative emotional symptoms like anxiety sadness worry and anger and might also help in going through with psychotherapy besides antidepressants though in some cases anti-anxiety medications will be prescribed like benzodiazepines which help you relax and sleep the only thing though is that these medications are more likely to lead to dependence and so they'll likely not be taken for the long term both psychotherapy and medications can be effective in helping patients recover from PTSD and this recovery can be improved even more so by the support of family and friends who will listen and offer comfort