There was a time in the not-so-distant past when post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was associated solely with military personnel who’d experienced trauma during battle. In fact, just decades ago, PTSD was known by nicknames like “battle fatigue” and “shell shock.”
Today, we know that while service members can certainly be affected by PTSD, the condition can affect other people, too. And this includes not only people who’ve experienced trauma directly, but even people who’ve heard about traumatic events secondhand.
Our providers at Bowman Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, are dedicated to offering each patient the individualized, compassionate care they need to manage PTSD symptoms. In this post, they offer five encouraging facts that may help you feel more positive about yourself, your therapy, and your future.
1. You’re not alone
When you’re dealing with a mental health issue, it’s easy to feel like you’re all alone. But even though PTSD can make you feel isolated, it may help to know that your struggle is shared by many others who can relate to what you’re going through.
In fact, millions of Americans — roughly 5% — suffer from PTSD in any given year. Over an average lifetime, about 6% of Americans — 8% of women and 4% of men — are affected by the disorder. Of course, just because PTSD is common doesn’t mean it’s not serious. But, it just might help you feel a bit less alone and a bit more optimistic about your journey toward healing.
2. Our understanding of PTSD is evolving
Once considered an anxiety disorder, PTSD was recently reclassified as a “trauma and stressor-related disorder” to encompass its broad variety of symptoms beyond anxiety — symptoms such as guilt, anger, and shame.
As we gain a deeper insight into PTSD and the many ways it can affect different people, we’re able to provide a wider array of treatment options. Today, people suffering from PTSD benefit from new technology and therapeutic techniques that focus on helping them overcome their triggers, relieve their symptoms, and enjoy healthier, more fulfilling lives.
3. It’s absolutely treatable
Symptoms of PTSD may seem overwhelming, but like other mental health issues, it can be treated. Our team offers several options, including medications that can help control anxiety, manage depression, and help prevent flashbacks and panic responses. Most people benefit from a combination of medication and psychotherapy, which could include individual counseling, group sessions, or both.
4. You don’t always need prolonged courses of medication
While medication can certainly play an important role in managing PTSD, many people find they’re helped through other types of therapies. In addition to psychotherapy, our team is skilled in helping patients explore mindfulness activities, such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.
We also offer transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a noninvasive treatment that can help “recalibrate” your neural connections associated with your mood.
5. There can be positive “side effects”
The symptoms of PTSD can be debilitating, but there are some potentially positive outcomes. Many people who survive a traumatic experience report a greater appreciation for life along with an awareness of new possibilities for themselves.
Perhaps most importantly, living through a traumatic event can leave you feeling stronger and more able to withstand challenges and overcome obstacles in the future. This phenomenon is called post-traumatic growth, and research shows it’s more common than many realize.
Without treatment, the fear, anxiety and other effects of PTSD can wreak havoc on every aspect of your life and health. Treatment is your key to feeling better now and in the future. To learn how we can help, call 310-276-4003 to book an appointment with Bowman Medical Group today.