Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that affects individuals who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events. These events can range from accidents to the loss of a loved one. Dr Siddhika Ayyer explains in an interview that the underlying cause of PTSD lies in the brain’s response to trauma. The brain may perceive a traumatic event as a threat to survival, triggering the body’s “fight or flight” response. In some cases, this response may persist even after the danger has passed, leading to the development of PTSD.
Dr Girishchandra emphasizes that any traumatic event can lead to PTSD, causing individuals to feel helpless, scared, and shocked. This can result in anxiety attacks, sleep problems, and flashbacks. Dr Harsha GT adds that PTSD can arise from a wide range of traumatic events, both big and small. Even witnessing a traumatic event can have a lasting impact on a person’s mental well-being.
The symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person. Dr Siddhika Ayyer lists some common symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance behavior, hyperarousal, emotional numbness, and negative thoughts and mood. Dr Girishchandra adds that symptoms in adults may include inability to focus, mood swings, social withdrawal, and substance abuse. Children and teens may exhibit symptoms such as bedwetting and excessive clinging to loved ones.
Diagnosing PTSD requires the expertise of qualified mental health professionals. Dr Siddhika Ayyer explains that a thorough assessment is necessary to evaluate the individual’s symptoms and the impact of the traumatic event on their daily life. Treatment for PTSD usually involves a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and support from loved ones. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has shown to be effective in reframing negative thought patterns and developing healthier coping mechanisms. Medications such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) may also be prescribed to manage associated symptoms.
Dr Girishchandra emphasizes the multidimensional nature of PTSD treatment, which may include counseling sessions, medication, exercise, and complementary therapies like yoga and meditation. Dr Harsha GT mentions that therapies like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) can be effective in reducing intrusive memories and desensitizing patients to traumatic events. Alternative approaches like play therapy for children and yoga for symptom reduction are also mentioned.
Overall, PTSD is a complex disorder that requires thorough diagnosis and a multidimensional treatment approach. With proper support and treatment, individuals with PTSD can learn to manage their symptoms and regain control of their lives.