Experiencing, witnessing, or learning about a traumatic event can cause a wide range of reactions, including stress, anxiety, and nightmares. These responses are completely natural as you adjust and process the trauma. However, if your symptoms persist, worsen, or become chronic, it could be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — a mental health condition that may benefit from professional treatment.
Signs of PTSD include:
- Feeling numb or emotionally empty
- Severe emotional distress or anxiety
- Disturbing nightmares or dreams
- Negative thoughts about the world or yourself
- Persistent and upsetting unwanted memories
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Being easily startled or frightened
- Problems maintaining close relationships
At Compass Mental Health & Wellness in Houston, our team offers integrated psychiatric and family medicine services. And, while any traumatic event can trigger PTSD, our team also has military experience, which provides a unique perspective when working with and treating veterans.
There may not be a cure for PTSD, but there are numerous treatments that can help minimize — and even eliminate — its symptoms. The most effective approaches often include a combination of therapies outlined below.
There are several medications — especially antidepressants and antianxiety medications — that can significantly improve PTSD symptoms. These drugs can help control specific symptoms, such as:
- Depression or sadness
- Anxiety or worry
- Feeling emotionally numb
Our team can also provide medications that address sleep problems and nightmares.
People often refer to psychotherapy as “talk therapy,” because it involves talking through your emotional distress.
This process can help you learn to identify specific thought patterns and issues causing your symptoms. We also provide coping strategies and stress management techniques to help you manage difficult situations and stressors in your life.
Talk therapy is appropriate for people of all ages, including children. You can undergo psychotherapy in one-on-one sessions, as part of a group, or both.
Our team takes a holistic, integrative approach to PTSD treatment, which includes lifestyle changes to improve your overall health. These strategies often include:
- Following your personalized PTSD treatment plan
- Getting enough rest
- Eating a healthy diet
- Making time to exercise and relax
- Avoiding substances that can worsen anxiety, such as caffeine and nicotine
- Refocusing your mind when you feel anxious
- Staying connected with supportive friends, families, or others you trust
- Joining a support group
It’s also crucial to avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms or “self-medicating” with drugs or alcohol. These substances may seem like a tempting way to manage your emotions, but they can cause more problems in the long term and interfere with the healing process.
These are just a few ways we can help treat your PTSD. For expert care and a personalized treatment strategy based on your unique needs, book an appointment online or over the phone with Compass Mental Health & Wellness today.