How is PTSD treated, what are the signs of trauma and how was shell shock treated in WW1?

POST-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can seriously affect a person’s life.

Those suffering from this condition have nightmares and flashbacks and struggle to move forward.

PTSD can strike anytime after a traumatic event


PTSD can strike anytime after a traumatic eventPhoto credit: Getty

What is PTSD?

PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by intensely stressful, frightening, or stressful events.

People affected by the condition are often forced to relive a traumatic event from their past, such as through a series of nightmares and flashbacks.

They may also experience feelings of isolation, guilt, irritability, insomnia, and poor concentration.

In many cases, these symptoms have a serious impact on people’s daily lives.

It can also affect a person’s ability to drive – so sufferers should inform the DVLA of their conditions.

PTSD was officially recognized as a mental illness by American psychiatrists in 1980.

The first cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were documented during World War I, between 1914 and 1918.

Soldiers suffered “shell shock” from the horrifying conditions in the trenches and witnessing the horrors of war.

What are the signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

  • reliving: This is the most common symptom. It often takes the form of flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive and distressing images or sensations, sweating, pain, nausea, and tremors.
  • Avoidance: Avoid certain people and places that will remind the person of the experience. Many people avoid talking about the trauma—perhaps distracting themselves with work or hobbies. Some people try to completely numb their emotions, which can cause them to become isolated and withdrawn.
  • Hyperarousal: This leads to outbursts of anger, irritability, insomnia and poor concentration.
  • Other mental health issues: Including depression, anxiety or phobias.
  • Self-harm or drug/alcohol abuse.
  • Physical Symptoms: headache, dizziness, chest pain and abdominal pain.
  • In children: Re-enact bedwetting, separation anxiety, or traumatic events through their play.

PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a distressing event—but sometimes it doesn’t appear until weeks or years later.

Mental illness affects about a third of people who have had a traumatic experience – and it’s not exactly clear why some people develop the illness and others don’t.

How is it treated?

There are a number of ways to manage someone’s PTSD.

It’s often not a quick fix — it can take hours of painstaking work to process the trauma.

But eventually, patients can hope to see improvement and get their life back.

  • Watchful Waiting: Monitoring a person’s symptoms to see if they get better or worse without treatment.
  • Psychotherapy: Examples are trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
  • Group therapy: An opportunity to discuss PTSD with others who have experienced the same trauma. Examples of UK charities and support groups are Combat Stress (for ex-military personnel), Rape Crisis (for women who have experienced abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault), Victim Support (for victims or witnesses of crime) and CRUSE (for people who have experienced bereavement).
  • antidepressants

How can children with PTSD seek help?

Children, teens, and other young people struggling with PTSD are usually treated with CBT.

A course of eight to twelve sessions is organized according to the age of the child.

Where appropriate, family members may be invited.

Drug treatment is not recommended in young people. How is PTSD treated, what are the signs of trauma and how was shell shock treated in WW1?

Fry Electronics Team

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