How Is PTSD Diagnosed?

How Is PTSD Diagnosed?

Many people think post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a problem that’s only associated with military service, but the fact is that PTSD can affect anyone. In fact, it’s a fairly widespread problem, affecting about 6% of Americans.

As a top-ranked psychiatry practice in Beverly Hills, California, Bowman Medical Group helps women and men overcome PTSD and its symptoms with treatments attuned to their needs. Here, our team reviews the criteria used to diagnose PTSD, along with an overview of therapies that can improve your health and your well-being.

PTSD: The basics

As its name implies, PTSD is a mental health condition that develops after exposure to a traumatic or life-threatening event. That exposure can be something you experience or witness personally and directly, or something you heard about that happened to a loved one. PTSD can also plague police and other first responders who are exposed to trauma through their jobs.

Lots of traumatic events can trigger PTSD, including:

Not everyone who experiences trauma develops PTSD, but for those who do, the symptoms can be devastating.

Like other mental health issues, PTSD responds well to therapy, including talk therapies and medication. The key is to seek treatment early and to work with a provider experienced in PTSD treatment.

Diagnosing PTSD

Before recommending a treatment for PTSD, our team evaluates to determine if you have PTSD or another issue, like anxiety or depression. 

To be diagnosed with PTSD, you must meet specific criteria set forth by the American Psychiatric Association. These include:

For a diagnosis of PTSD, your symptoms must have been present for at least a month, and the symptoms must be serious enough to interfere with your daily life, activities, or well-being. PTSD symptoms can be present immediately after an event, or they may be delayed, not appearing until months or even years afterward.

PTSD treatment options

PTSD responds best to prompt treatment and regular follow-up to ensure therapies stay on target with each person’s unique and evolving needs. Most people benefit from a custom combination of psychotherapy, medications, and lifestyle changes focused on improved coping skills and other changes designed to support optimal wellness.

Our team uses a variety of therapies and medications to help with PTSD, including:

These treatments can be used alone or combined, based on your specific needs. When therapy and medications fall short of achieving the level of symptom relief you’re looking for, we may recommend transcranial magnetic stimulation. 

This noninvasive therapy uses magnetic currents to optimize neural activity and communication in your brain, helping manage moods and aberrant reactions that drive PTSD.

Find a solution for your PTSD

PTSD is a serious mental health disorder that can dramatically alter your quality of life — but fortunately, therapy can help. To learn more about PTSD treatment, call 310-276-4003 to book an appointment with Bowman Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, today.

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