Are You a Florida Resident? Do You Suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?
Understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is an intense mental and emotional stress disorder. It is an extreme, long-term emotional reaction to life-threatening situations that a person either experiences or witnesses.
People who have experienced some of these traumatic events are at a high risk of developing PTSD:
- Rape or other sexual assault
- Beatings or other physical assault
- Car accidents leading to severe injury or death of a loved one
- Sudden, unexpected death of a loved one
- Active duty military in a combat zone
People with PTSD in Florida
Emotional and physical symptoms that severely impact daily life, including:
- Flashbacks, nightmares, and other mental images of the trauma that pop into the mind, causing the sufferer to experience extreme negative emotions such as unexplained irritability or intense anger.
- Disassociation from everyday life; disengaging from people and formerly enjoyed activities.
- Inability to move on emotionally past the terrible experience.
- Physical symptoms of extreme stress such as unexplained pain, trouble sleeping, startles easily, poor digestion.
- PTSD can lead to self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse, reckless driving, unsafe sexual behaviors, and even suicide.
Diagnosing and Treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Florida
You don’t have to suffer alone. There are many treatment options available to Florida residents suffering from this serious, yet common, health issue.
Your first step is to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor and tell them your concerns. Your doctor will give you a thorough screening to check for PTSD risk factors, and then refer you to a licensed mental health provider or therapist. Depending on your symptoms, you may be prescribed an SSRI (antidepressant) to manage your symptoms.
PTSD care goes beyond simply managing symptoms, however. PTSD is completely treatable, but it is going to take a lot of hard work with a qualified therapist.
Helping Your Loved One
If you believe that your loved one has PTSD, it can be very difficult to talk to them about going to a doctor. Their personality may have drastically changed, or they may have turned to drug or alcohol abuse to deal with their emotional pain. Either way, talking to your loved one about PTSD is hard.
You can encourage your loved one to start therapy if they are reticent by showing them the benefits of therapy. Make sure you have these conversations when you are both calm. Never insinuate that you think they are crazy, or that you think they should just “get over it.” Give them a supportive, consistent routine and create a low stress environment. Above all, take care of your own mental and emotional well-being: living with someone with PTSD is challenging!
The road to recovery can start today! If you need help finding a qualified provider in Florida, find one using the resources provided by the PTSD Alliance.