As is the case with countless other mental health challenges, we have learned a lot about PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, in recent years. What was once thought by many to be a condition limited to people who had survived military combat is now recognized as a disease that can affect almost anyone at any time. Fortunately, the quality of PTSD treatment has improved immensely in recent years as well, and that has prevented a large number of potential tragedies.
Despite the fact that more people than combat veterans encounter the need for PTSD treatment, the world got a reminder of that original problem in recent weeks when Russia invaded Ukraine and a military conflict erupted. All of the people in Ukraine – military members and civilians alike – could face the need for PTSD treatment in the future based on what’s happening now. In addition, people around the world may have been confronted with PTSD symptoms based on their observations of what is happening.
SoCal Empowered is an Orange County mental healthcare provider that works with people who suffer from severe PTSD every day. We’ve already spent time laying out some particulars with regards to PTSD, including an overview, PTSD symptoms, and how PTSD related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below we’re going to delve into who PTSD affects, potential PTSD triggers that likely arose in recent weeks for many and different forms of PTSD treatment.
Who May Need PTSD Treatment?
PTSD affects everyone and anyone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 3.6 percent of American adults suffered from PTSD during the previous year in which the statistics were analyzed. That broke down as follows:
- 5.2 percent of females had suffered from PTSD.
- 1.8 percent of males had experienced some level of PTSD.
- The lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 6.8 percent.
Aside from the gender breakdown, there appeared to be a relatively even split in terms of the severity of PTSD suffered:
- 30.2 percent of PTSD sufferers encountered mild symptoms.
- 33.1 percent of PTSD sufferers encountered moderate symptoms.
- 36.6 percent of PTSD sufferers encountered serious symptoms.
In addition, the NIH states that PTSD “can develop after exposure to a potentially traumatic event that is beyond a typical stressor.” Certainly military combat would qualify as such, but so would any harmful event that includes violence, disasters or anything else that could arise that inflicts psychological pain on a person. Therefore, the need for PTSD treatment extends far beyond combat veterans.
PTSD Triggers and Symptoms
PTSD triggers are generally described as anything that revives the memory of the trauma that led to PTSD in the first place. There are biological responses to triggering situations that stimulate the “fight or flight” instinct in a person. According to the Mayo Clinic, these responses can include any number of common PTSD symptoms can be grouped into four categories that include:
- Intrusive memories
- Negative changes in thinking and mood
- Changes in physical and emotional reactions
With respect to the current situation in Ukraine, those who have experienced combat or any type of similar trauma may feel the development of PTSD symptoms that include:
- Wanting to avoid any news of the war
- Hopeless feelings about the future
- Negative thoughts and emotions
- Intense fear
- Agitation and anger
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Engagement in destructive behavior
- An inability to communicate on a functional level
There is no one, overriding set of PTSD symptoms that can arise. This is a very challenging condition that affects everyone a bit differently. That’s one of the reasons that diagnosing it and in some cases treating it can be so difficult.
Examples of PTSD Treatment Approaches
Fortunately, the growing prevalence of PTSD has led to the emergence of several promising and successful forms of PTSD treatment. These treatments generally involve different types of psychotherapy. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, some examples of potential types of PTSD treatment include:
- Prolonged Exposure (PE) – PE exposes people to what triggers negative responses in some way and helps them learn how to manage and/or control those responses over time.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) – CPT digs into the foundation of a person’s thoughts and helps them reprogram them such that they can be reframed into something less damaging and potentially dangerous.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – EMDR works by way of prompting your eyes to move with an object and/or a sound while recalling troubling memories in order to help a person overcome those learned responses.
There are other forms of PTSD treatment that are available to those who need it, but the best way to find out what works for you or for someone you love is to seek the help of a therapist who can work with you to identify the best path forward.
How SoCal Empowered Can Help
As war erupts in Europe, it’s quite possible if not probable that seeing it unfold is triggering symptoms and negative reactions in people across the entire planet. If this includes you or someone you love, we hope you’ll watch for warning signs and, if necessary, look into the possibility of PTSD treatment. The sooner you take action, the better your chances likely are to ultimately learn to manage this condition and regain control of your emotions and your life.
SoCal Empowered is here to help. If you’re either concerned about the possibility of needing PTSD treatment or you’re not sure if it’s necessary, you can always contact us to talk with one of our experienced professionals. We’ll help you decide on what to do next, and if a stay with us is advisable, we’ll even deal directly with your insurance company so you can be fully aware of what’s in front of you before you commit to anything.
Contact us today to get this process started.