Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month

What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD?

PTSD is a mental disorder that develops after a person experiences a traumatic event. Examples of traumatic events include sexual assault, warfare, and traffic collisions. Symptoms can range from disturbing thoughts, feelings, or dreams, to mental and physical distress.

How is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosed?

There are several screening instruments that can be used to diagnose PTSD. These include UCLA PTSD Index for DSM-IV., The Primary Care PTSD Screen, PTSD Checklist, GAD-7, Child PTSD Symptom Scale, and M3 Checklist.

How is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treated?

Therapy is the common way to help treat someone that suffers from PTSD. Some psychotherapy programs include cognitive behavioral treatments, exposure therapy, mindfulness-based meditation, and combinations of each. Medication can also be prescribed, such as anti-depressants, benzodiazepines, glucocorticoids, or cannabinoids. Other natural forms of therapy include exercise, sports, and any form of physical activity that helps one stay engaged, distracted from emotions, and in control of their body/mind.