If you are struggling with severe PTSD, you may feel like there is no way out. You may feel like life is not worth living anymore. You are not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 7.7 million American adults suffer from PTSD in a given year. However, there is help available. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss all of the best ways to deal with severe PTSD. We will cover everything from therapy to medication to self-care tips. Keep reading for more information!
- 1 Defining Severe PTSD
- 2 Symptoms of Severe PTSD
- 3 Causes of Severe PTSD
- 4 How To Deal With Severe PTSD?
- 5 Conclusion
Defining Severe PTSD
Severe PTSD is described as having symptoms that significantly interfere with one’s ability to function in day-to-day life. This can include work, school, and personal relationships. Moreover, this condition is actually a mental health disorder that can be diagnosed by a professional.
In simple words, PTSD is a reaction to a very stressful, frightening, or distressing event. It is natural to feel scared, helpless, or alone during and after a traumatic experience. However, for some people, this can be severe.
Severe PTSD can have a major impact on your life. It can make you feel constantly on edge, anxious, or scared. You may avoid situations that remind you of the trauma and start to withdraw from friends and family. It can be hard to cope with these symptoms, but there are treatments available that can help.
There are four different types of severe PTSD, each with its own set of symptoms:
- Type I: With Dissociative Symptoms
- Type II: Without Dissociative Symptoms
- Type III: With Delayed Expression
- Type IV: Chronic or Complex PTSD
Each type of severe PTSD will have different symptoms. Also, these types are not mutually exclusive, meaning that a person can have symptoms of more than one type.
According to studies, the most common type of severe PTSD is Type I, which is characterized by dissociative symptoms. This means that the individual experiences a disconnection from their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and physical sensations.
Other types of severe PTSD are defined as less common. This includes Type II, which is characterized by symptoms without dissociation; Type III, which is characterized by delayed expression of symptoms; and Type IV, which is chronic or complex PTSD.
It’s important to note that the type of severe PTSD does not necessarily predict the severity of the disorder. For example, someone with Type I PTSD may have mild symptoms, while someone with Type II PTSD may have severe symptoms.
Symptoms of Severe PTSD
There are a number of symptoms that are associated with severe PTSD. Some of the more common ones include:
- Intrusive thoughts or flashbacks of the traumatic event
- Avoidance of anything that reminds you of the trauma
- Negative changes in your mood and thinking
- Feelings of guilt, shame, or worthlessness
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability, anger, or aggression
- Overwhelming fear or anxiety
- Jumpiness or easily startled
- Difficulty sleeping
These are only some of the more common symptoms associated with severe PTSD. It’s important to remember that everyone experiences trauma differently and as a result, will experience PTSD differently as well.
PTSD can occur at any age, including childhood. It is important to remember that not everyone who goes through a traumatic event will develop PTSD. In fact, most people will not. But for those that do, it is vital to seek professional help in order to begin the healing process.
Causes of Severe PTSD
There are a number of different factors that can contribute to the development of severe PTSD. Some of the more common ones include:
Experiencing a long-lasting or repeated trauma
This is even more likely if the trauma is particularly severe, such as torture or anything that involves personal violation. More often, this type of trauma involves a sense of helplessness and being overpowered. In fact, studies have suggested that people who develop PTSD after a single event are more likely to have had a history of trauma than those who don’t.
History of mental illness
People who have a pre-existing mental health condition such as depression or anxiety are more likely to develop severe PTSD. This is especially true if they haven’t received treatment for their condition. Also, people who have a family history of mental illness are at an increased risk. Some specific mental disorders heighten the risk even more, such as:
These both are characterized by impulsivity, mood swings, and difficulty regulating emotions. People with these disorders are more likely to develop severe PTSD after a traumatic event.
Not having a strong support system can make it harder to recover from a traumatic event. This is especially true if you don’t have anyone to talk to about what you’re going through. People who lack social support are also more likely to develop PTSD. It is often believed that the more social support a person has, the better they will be able to cope with a traumatic event. And, if they lack social support, their condition is more likely to become severe.
Imbalance in the chemicals of the brain
Severe PTSD is believed to be caused by an imbalance in the chemicals of the brain. This can be due to a traumatic event that has happened, or it can be caused by an ongoing stressful situation. Either way, this imbalance can lead to a number of different symptoms, including:
The imbalance of chemicals is also believed to be the cause of other mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The main responsible chemicals for severe PTSD are serotonin and norepinephrine. If these chemicals are not in balance, it can lead to a number of different mental disorders.
If you are suffering from severe PTSD, it is important to seek professional help. There are a number of different treatments that can be effective, depending on the individual.
How To Deal With Severe PTSD?
When it comes to dealing with severe PTSD, you have numerous options. Also, some of the options work in combination effectively. Moreover, you can use the options depending on the level of your PTSD. Here are some ways to deal with severe PTSD:
This is the most commonly used method to deal with PTSD. You can go for either group therapy or individual therapy. In group therapy, you will be meeting other people who are dealing with PTSD. This will help you understand that you are not alone in this battle. Moreover, it will also give you an opportunity to share your experiences with others.
Individual therapy, on the other hand, will help you deal with your PTSD in a more personal way. You will be able to talk about your experiences and feelings in a safe and confidential environment. Let’s discuss some of the types of therapies that are used for severe cases of PTSD. These include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This therapy helps you change the way you think about your trauma. It will also help you change your behavior so that you can cope with your PTSD in a better way. The aim of CBT is to help you manage your symptoms and live a more normal life.
This therapy involves gradually exposing you to the things or situations that trigger your PTSD. This will help you deal with your fear and anxiety in a better way. The aim of exposure therapy is to help you become less afraid of the things that trigger your PTSD. In fact, it has been found to be one of the most effective treatments for PTSD.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
This therapy uses eye movements to help you process and heal your trauma. It works by helping you access and processes your memories in a more effective way. A therapist will provide you with a set of eye movements that you need to follow. This will help you deal with your PTSD in a more effective way.
These are some of the most common therapies that are used for treating severe PTSD. You can choose the one that suits you the best. However, it is important to remember that no single treatment is effective for everyone. You may need to try different treatments before you find the one that works for you.
This is often an important part of treatment, especially in the early stages. Antidepressants can help with some of the symptoms of PTSD, such as low mood and anxiety. Sleep medications may also be prescribed to help with insomnia. It’s important to work closely with a doctor when starting any new medication, as there can be side effects.
Some of the common medications may include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil)
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and duloxetine (Cymbalta)
- Atypical antidepressants, such as bupropion (Wellbutrin)
- Benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam (Ativan) and clonazepam (Klonopin)
It’s also important to note that it can take several weeks for these medications to start working. However, you need to discuss some of the major things with your doctor, such as:
- The severity of your symptoms
- Your medical history
- Any other medications you’re taking (including over-the-counter and herbal supplements)
- Other health conditions you have
- Your personal preferences
Before starting any medication, it is essential that you talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits.
Healthy coping mechanisms
Severe PTSD is really tough to deal with and can take a toll on your life. It’s important to have healthy coping mechanisms in place so that you can manage your symptoms and start to feel better. Here are some things that might help:
Talk to someone who understands
It can be helpful to talk to someone who has been through something similar or who knows a lot about PTSD. This can help you understand what you’re going through and give you some perspective.
Seek emotional support
This is really important. Find people who will listen to you and support you. These could be friends, family, or a therapist. It’s important to have someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through.
Challenge your negative thoughts
During PTSD it’s common to have negative and distorted thinking. This can make things seem much worse than they are. It’s important to challenge these thoughts so that you can start to see things more clearly. For example, if you’re thinking “I’m never going to get better,” try to come up with evidence that contradicts that.
Focus on self-care
This is so important. Make sure to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. This includes things like eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising. It’s also important to do things that make you happy and help you relax.
Healthy coping mechanisms are really important for dealing with severe PTSD. If you can focus on taking care of yourself and challenging your negative thoughts, you’ll be on the road to recovery.
It has been studied and confirmed that people who live a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop depression than those who don’t. And with severe PTSD, depression is a common comorbidity. To avoid this, it is important to make some lifestyle changes for a healthy mind and body.
Get regular exercise
Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. It also helps to improve sleep quality, another important factor in managing PTSD symptoms. In fact, you can just be active for about 30 minutes a day to see these benefits. You don’t have to go to the gym or start running marathons, though. Taking a brisk walk in your neighborhood or going for a light jog are all great exercises to try.
Eat a balanced diet
A healthy diet is essential for everyone, but it can be especially beneficial for those with PTSD. Eating nutritious foods helps to improve energy levels, mood, and overall well-being. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein in your diet. And limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol as much as possible.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is crucial for healing and recovery from PTSD. It gives your body and minds a chance to rest and repair. Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. But if you’re struggling with PTSD, you may need more. Make sure to create a calming bedtime routine and establish a regular sleep schedule as much as possible.
This is another important self-care measure for managing PTSD symptoms. Relaxation techniques can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, as well as improve sleep quality. Some great relaxation techniques to try include yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and aromatherapy.
Keep a journal
Journaling is a great way to process your thoughts and feelings. It can also be therapeutic to look back on your progress over time. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some time to write down what’s going on in your mind. You can also use journaling to track your symptoms and see how different self-care measures are affecting them.
These are just a few lifestyle changes that can help to ease the symptoms of PTSD. Of course, everyone is different and you may need to try a few different things before you find what works for you. But don’t give up – the journey to healing is worth it.
So, these are overall treatment options that are prominent when treating PTSD. It is important to remember that not every person will respond to the same type of treatment. And it may take some time to figure out what works for you. However, the treatment line is unstoppable. Various treatments are always under research and development, so there is hope for the future.
You just need to find the one that works for you. Till then, don’t give up. The journey to healing is worth it.
To conclude, severe PTSD is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know is suffering from severe PTSD, it’s important to seek professional help. There are many resources available to those suffering from this disorder, and with the right treatment, people can and do recover.
However, if you feel confused or need professional assistance, please contact Mantra Care. The team of expert mental health professionals will be more than happy to provide you with guidance and support. Mantra Care provides mental health services around the globe at convenient and affordable prices. You can also book a therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.