Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that people develop after they have experienced or been exposed to a life-threatening situation, serious injuries, or are exposed to violence. People develop PTSD from many things including combat, physical or sexual assault, natural disasters, abuse, and health problems. PTSD can develop at any age and its effects can be long-lasting. Unfortunately, it is a common disease. Sixty percent of men and 50% of women have experienced trauma in their lives. That means 7-8% of the population will develop PTSD at least once in their lives.
What are the Symptoms of PTSD?
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Re-experiencing the event in the form of flashbacks or distressing thoughts
- Avoiding reminders of that experience and avoiding thoughts or feelings about the event
- Feeling “on edge” and being startled easily
- Sleep disturbances such as nightmares
- Mistrustfulness and emotional constrictions
- Irritability, anger, and aggression
PTSD can significantly impact several aspects of your life, but you do not have to suffer from it forever. Seeking treatment from a mental health professional can improve your quality of life. Working with a therapist will help reduce your symptoms and give you the tools you need to overcome the disease. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a method of treatment that focuses primarily on reconstructing your thought process and perceptions to help you identify distorted thoughts that cause impulsive emotional responses.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The goal of cognitive-behavioral therapy is to improve your overall mental and emotional well-being by exploring the relationship between thoughts and feelings and the behaviors that are a result of them. It is highly effective when treating PTSD. This is because it combines social cognition and emotional processing to equip you with the coping skills needed to improve functioning and lessen symptoms of PTSD. CBT teaches you how to effectively use positive self-dialog and thought-stopping techniques when you experience guilt, avoidance, anxiety, flashbacks, or paranoia.
People often associate PTSD with veterans who have served in wars, but it is much more widespread and can result from any traumatic experience. PTSD can be difficult to manage, but it is not a sign of weakness. Finding the right treatment program is one of the most important parts of overcoming this disorder and becoming a healthier you. Valiant Living provides a variety of services for men who are struggling with addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or would like more information on our services, call to speak to a caring, trained staff member at (303) 952-5035.