Whether you’re still on active duty or trying to adjust to life as a veteran, you may be all too familiar with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But no matter what symptoms you experience, you’re not alone.
The US Veteran’s Administration reports that PTSD is diagnosed in 11%-20% of all veterans from Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Desert Storm, and the Vietnam War. Additionally, 8% of adults who have never been in the military also have PTSD.
Though PTSD is a challenging mental health condition, the MindSet team can help you overcome your symptoms and get back to the life you want to live. As a Veteran Owned Business, we understand the challenges you face (or still face) as a member of the military and we specialize in techniques like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) that often achieve fast results.
We wrote this blog to give you a quick look at PTSD’s causes, symptoms, and treatments. If you have any questions or you’re worried about your symptoms, just call the office in San Diego, California. We’re here to listen and help.
PTSD is a condition that begins after a traumatic event. Though it’s commonly associated with combat duty, you can develop PTSD from other types of trauma or any event you find disturbing or frightening.
Beyond active combat, members of the military often develop PTSD after the death of another soldier or a sexual or physical assault. The constant stress of never knowing when you might be attacked also leads to PTSD.
You may be surprised to learn that you don’t have to personally experience trauma. You can develop PTSD after witnessing or hearing about trauma that affected someone else.
Everyone suffers mental fallout after a traumatic event. It’s natural to feel fearful, shocked, anxious, or devastated, for example. Over time, these feelings should mellow. If your feelings persist and cause symptoms, you may have PTSD.
PTSD causes a range of symptoms that can sneak up on you at any time. You may experience four types of symptoms:
Unwanted and intrusive memories
You may keep reliving the event in nightmares or you might have recurring memories (flashbacks). Flashbacks are often triggered by sights, sounds, or smells that remind you of the trauma. Then you experience emotional and physical symptoms such as distress, anxiety, a rapid heartbeat, or shortness of breath.
You may avoid people and places that remind you of the traumatic event. Avoidance can become so severe that it interferes with your ability to work or socialize.
Changes in mood and thoughts
Many people with PTSD become depressed or negative. You may blame yourself for not stopping the traumatic event or lose interest in activities you once enjoyed. Or you may feel generally anxious for no apparent reason.
Changes in emotional and physical reactions
PTSD typically makes people more reactive. For example, you may be easily startled or stay constantly on the lookout for danger. Many people struggle with flashes of anger and aggression. Or you may start to engage in destructive behavior like heavy drinking or drugs.
Whatever reactions you experience, they’re different from the way you were before PTSD developed.
In most cases, PTSD treatment begins with psychotherapy and medication. While we don’t have medication for PTSD, you may benefit from drugs that target symptoms like depression, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
Trauma-focused psychotherapy includes techniques such as exposure therapy, cognitive restructuring, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). The one that’s best depends on each person’s unique symptoms and psychological needs.
If you’ve already tried medication and therapy and you still have PTSD symptoms, or your symptoms are severe, you may be a good candidate for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
TMS for PTSD
After you develop PTSD, nerve activity changes in specific areas of your brain. We target those areas with TMS. The TMS device sends safe magnetic pulses into your brain that boost electrical transmissions between nerves and balance brain chemicals. As a result, your symptoms improve.
Most people experience rapid improvement with a few TMS treatments. A series of treatments produces long-lasting results.
If you need help with PTSD, call MindSet or schedule an appointment online today.