Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
It is a continuous challenge living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and I've suffered from it for most of my life. I can look back now and gently laugh at all the people who thought I had the perfect life. I was young, beautiful, and talented, but unbeknownst to them, I was terrorized by an undiagnosed debilitating mental illness.Read
Researchers have developed a 12-session treatment for veterans suffering from comorbid chronic pain and PTSD. The results of a pilot study found that several soldiers no longer met diagnostic criteria for PTSD and had reduced symptoms of chronic pain.
Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder face an increased risk for dying after surgery (non-cardiac, non-emergency), even if the surgery is performed years after they have completed their service, according to researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. One year after surgery, the death rate among men with PTSD was 25 percent higher than for those without PTSD, highlighting the need to consider treatments to help reduce risk in the veteran PTSD population.
If you suspect that you might suffer from PTSD, answer the questions below, print out the results and share them with your health care professional.
Are you troubled by the following?
My struggles with emotional and mental problems began at age 12, when I experienced my first nervous breakdown. At age 20 I was diagnosed with major depression. By the time I was 30 that diagnosis had changed to chronic major depression with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Later, ADHD and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were added to my diagnoses. At age 40, and after three suicide attempts within two years, my therapist began to suspect that I suffered from bipolar disorder.Read
The main treatments for people with PTSD are psychotherapy (often called talk therapy), medications, or both. Everyone is different, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another.
It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health care professional who is experienced with PTSD. Some people will need to try different treatments to find what works for their symptoms.
PTSD is diagnosed after a person experiences symptoms for at least one month following a traumatic event. However symptoms may not appear until several months or even years later. The disorder is characterized by three main types of symptoms:
D-cycloserine Enhances PTSD Psychotherapy
Researchers found that D-cycloserine enhanced the effects of exposure therapy in a specific subgroup of patients with PTSD. In addition, those with more severe PTSD had a greater reduction in symptoms when they received DCS. (Biological Psychiatry, 71(11): 962-968) Read more.
Reacting to a Traumatic Event
It’s not unusual for people who have experienced traumatic events to have flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive memories when something terrible happens -- like the explosions at the Boston Marathon.
Be tolerant of your nervous system: It’s having a normal reaction. Try not to get hooked to news reports, which may seem particularly compelling. Spend time with loved ones in favorite activities or outside in nature, and avoid alcohol.
Learn more below, including how to help children.