Sunday, March 13, 2011

Diagnosing and Coping with PTSD

A friend posted this summary on his Facebook page about post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The source for the information is:

The following three groups of symptom criteria are required to assign the diagnosis of PTSD:

Recurrent re-experiencing of the trauma (for example, troublesome memories, flashbacks that are usually caused by reminders of the traumatic events, recurring nightmares about the trauma and/or dissociative reliving of the trauma)

Avoidance to the point of having a phobia of places, people, and experiences that remind the sufferer of the trauma or a general numbing of emotional responsiveness

Chronic physical signs of hyperarousal, including sleep problems, trouble concentrating, irritability, anger, poor concentration, blackouts or difficulty remembering things, increased tendency and reaction to being startled, and hypervigilance (excessive watchfulness) to threat.

How can people cope with PTSD?

Some ways that are often suggested for PTSD patients to cope with this illness include:

learning more about the disorder as well as

talking to friends, family, professionals, and PTSD survivors for support. Joining a support group may be helpful.

Other tips include

reducing stress by using relaxation techniques (for example, breathing exercises, positive imagery), actively participating in treatment as recommended by professionals, increasing positive lifestyle practices (for example,

exercise, healthy eating, distracting oneself through keeping a healthy work schedule if employed, volunteering whether employed or not), and

minimizing negative lifestyle practices like substance abuse, social isolation, working to excess, and self-destructive or suicidal behaviors.

[Thanks, Steven!]

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