Psychiatry located in Financial District, San Francisco, CA
PTSD Q & A
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a specific type of anxiety disorder that develops after you live through a traumatic event. PTSD was initially diagnosed in veterans of the First and Second World Wars and referred to as shell shock or combat fatigue.
Today, PTSD is a common issue for service men and women, although psychiatrists understand that anyone can experience trauma. For example, active shooter situations, terrorist attacks, and violent personal or sexual assaults can trigger PTSD.
Many people who experience traumatic events have temporary difficulty coping with their experience and related memories and thoughts. However, with time and self-care, you may return to your usual self. Approximately 20% of people who live through a traumatic event develop PTSD.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD symptoms usually emerge within a month of your traumatic experience, although some people may not develop symptoms until something triggers their memories and fears.
PTSD symptoms usually develop in four distinct categories. Your symptoms may not be the same as another patient or may differ in severity.
Flashbacks and nightmares are common PTSD symptoms. Your intrusive memories may be so realistic that you believe you’re reliving the event. You may fixate on specific memories or details or be disrupted by repeated, intrusive thoughts or feelings.
You may go out of your way to avoid people, places, and other reminders of your traumatic event to limit your distressing memories. However, over time, these behaviors can escalate and stop you from going to work or participating in other regular activities. You may also refuse to talk about your experience or your feelings about your trauma.
Negative thoughts and feelings
After a traumatic experience, negative thoughts and emotions such as survivor’s guilt or deep feelings of distrust may plague you. You might suffer from ongoing feelings of horror, shame, or anger. These feelings may also reduce your interest in previously enjoyed activities or cause detachment from your friends and family.
You may experience irritability and become prone to angry outbursts. It’s also possible that you begin to behave in a reckless or self-destructive manner or be easily startled. You may also find that you have trouble concentrating or sleeping.
How is PTSD treated?
Dr. Goel prescribes medication to regulate your symptoms and medical advice to improve your overall health. If he thinks you’ll benefit from therapy, he refers you to a trusted psychologist who provides collaborative care with Dr. Goel.
If you’re living with PTSD, call Psychiatric Excellence or make an appointment online today to get relief from your symptoms.
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