Our Blog

Coping With PTSD: Finding the Support You Need

by Vanessa Valerio, June 09, 2019

Unfortunately, trauma is more common than most people realize. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs approximately 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women experience trauma at least once throughout their lives. Trauma comes in many forms, too. It may include an accident, physical assault, disaster, witness to injury or death, combat, child abuse or sexual assault.

 As a result, many individuals who have endured trauma experience PTSD, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can leave an individual feeling out of control, even what some deem as “shell shock,” that produces fear, anger and sadness as they are reliving the trauma through nightmares or flashbacks, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

 Finding the support needed for you – or a loved one – is essential, when suffering from PTSD. As a leading home care provider, Care Indeed can offer trained staff to help your loved ones diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as post-traumatic disorder. As we continue our series on Mental Health Awareness, our goal is to better educate our clients, caregivers and community and offer the support needed to cope with depression.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

While PTSD is commonly associated with veterans returning from combat, the reality is that this disorder affects far more individuals who have experienced significant trauma. Symptoms may not even surface until a month or even years after a person has endured trauma.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, there are three main types of symptoms for PTSD:

  •  Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares.
  • Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma.
  • Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered.

Children, adolescents and adults can experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Additional symptoms, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America include, but are not limited to:

  • An inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic events
  • Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world
  • Persistent, distorted blame of self or others about the cause or consequences of the traumatic events
  • Persistent fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame
  • Diminished interest or participation in significant activities
  • Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others
  • Inability to experience positive emotions
  • Irritable or aggressive behavior
  • Reckless or self-destructive behavior
  • Hypervigilance
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Problems with concentration
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep

 Treatment for PTSD

As with any type of mental health disorder, PTSD treatments vary based on the severity of the symptoms. Working with physicians, psychotherapists, family, friends and Care Indeed can help you to determine the best possible treatment options that may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Psychotherapy: Working with a qualified psychotherapists offers individuals with PTSD a chance to embrace therapeutic approaches. Many psychotherapists offer individualized and group sessions, in addition to the below.
    • Cognitive Processing Therapy
    • Exposure Therapy
    • Group Therapy
  • Medications: Medications such as antidepressants can help individuals cope better with the symptoms of PTSD. Many medications, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors are recommended, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Taking a mindful approach to treating PTSD has gained popularity. In fact, many individuals have adopted practices such as meditation, yoga, aqua therapy and acupuncture to minimize the symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Finding the Support and Care You Need

A mental health disorder can affect individuals at any stage of life and age. In some cases, the symptoms may be mild, but mental health disorders, such as PTSD can also be life threatening.

 This is why support and care is essential at the onset of a mental health disorder. It’s important to learn as much about the symptoms and care needed to help support your loved ones. Tap into resources from local and national organizations to boost your knowledge of how the disorder affects everyone involved and to also identify coping skills. In addition, lean on caregivers, such as the qualified staff from Care Indeed, to help with daily living.

 Life with any type of mental health disorder is challenging and learning how to accept the challenge is the first step in living life. While you may struggle with grief and loss when coping with the symptoms as a patient, caregiver or family member, the support you need is only a click away.

 Care Indeed is committed to providing you the support and in-home caregivers who understand your challenges and daily struggles at work and home. Learn more about how to get the support you need while living with Dementia today