What is PTSD?

PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of mental health condition caused by a past traumatic event. It can lead to unpleasant symptoms and feel crippling in some cases. If you struggle with PTSD and want symptom relief, the experts at Karma Doctors & Associates are here for you.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

The symptoms you could develop because of PTSD include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Intrusive memories
  • Emotional distress
  • Avoiding certain people or situations
  • Always being on guard
  • Getting startled easily
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Memory problems
  • Social isolation
  • Detachment from family and friends
  • Lack of interest in favorite activities
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping or concentrating
  • Alcohol or drug misuse
  • Irritability
  • Angry outbursts
  • Guilt or shame
  • Thoughts of suicide

Your symptoms might be mild or severe. They could result because of military combat, physical or sexual abuse, a natural disaster, or being a first responder.

What are the risk factors for PTSD?

While the cause of PTSD is a traumatic or stressful situation, certain factors increase your risk of developing the condition. Examples include:

  • Long-lasting trauma
  • Severe trauma
  • Traumatic childhood events
  • Experiencing trauma regularly
  • Mental health disorders
  • Lack of a strong social support network
  • Family history of mental health disorders
  • Substance misuse

You can’t prevent PTSD if you’re at risk of developing it, but seeking treatment at the first sign of a problem may reduce your chance of experiencing debilitating symptoms.

How is PTSD diagnosed?

To determine if you have PTSD and develop a treatment plan, the experts at Karma Doctors & Associates discuss your medical history, lifestyle habits, and symptoms. They complete a psychiatric assessment by asking a series of questions about past traumatic experiences and your mood, thoughts, and behavior patterns. The Karma Doctors & Associates team could use blood tests or saliva samples during pharmacogenetic testing to determine which medications, if any, best suit you.

How is PTSD treated?

To treat PTSD, improve your mood, and restore your quality of life, the Karma Doctors & Associates team may recommend a combination of treatments. They might choose medication management, lifestyle changes, meditation, dietary supplements, or transcranial magnetic stimulation (noninvasive electromagnetic nerve stimulation).

Your specialist helps match you with a psychotherapist who offers cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and other types of therapy designed to minimize PTSD symptoms. The Karma Doctors & Associates team personalizes a treatment plan and can make changes to it if necessary to ensure highly effective results.