Mental Health Treatment, Boise, ID
According to the DSM-5, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when an individual is exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one or more of the following ways:
- Directly experiencing the traumatic event.
- Witnessing in person the event as it occurred to others.
- Learning that the traumatic occurred to a close family member or close friend.
- Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to adverse details of the traumatic event.
PTSD presents with one or more of the following intrusive symptoms associated with the traumatic event beginning after the traumatic event has occurred:
- Recurrent involuntary and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event.
- Dissociative reactions (flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event were reoccurring.
- Intense or prolonged psychological distress and exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
Persistent avoidance of stimuli with the traumatic event beginning after the traumatic event as evidenced by one or both of the following:
- Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings resembling the traumatic event or associated with the traumatic event.
- Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings associated with the traumatic event.
Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with traumatic events:
- Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event.
- Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself.
- Persistent distorted cognitions about the causes or consequences of the traumatic event.
- Persistent negative emotional state.
- Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
- Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
- Persistent inability to experience positive emotions.
Marked alterations and arousal in reactivity associated with the traumatic event:
- Irritable behavior and angry outbursts.
- Reckless or self-destructive behavior.
- Exaggerated startle response.
- Problems with concentration.
- Sleep disturbance.
A person suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may not present with all the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, but a majority of them are present every day, many days, throughout the patient’s life. There are many forms of successful treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes psychiatric medications are prescribed to help decrease anxiety, decrease irritability, improve sleep, and improve concentration and focus. An important part of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder includes some type of supportive and/or expressive psychotherapy process. Family therapy, group therapy, and other more specific therapies may also be beneficial to these patients.