PTSD

Happy  Veteran’s Day!

  

In Honor of Veterans Day, I wanted to give some   helpful information on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
 
Stats:
  • In the past year alone the number of diagnosed cases in the military   jumped 50% – and that’s just diagnosed   cases.   
  • Studies estimate that 1 in every 5   military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has PTSD.   
  • 20% of the soldiers who’ve been   deployed in the past 6 years have PTSD. That’s over 300,000.
 
But remember, not only solider’s have PTSD.
 
PTSD 

PTSD develops after being involved in a terrifying/life threatening   ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. It can also   be from seeing physical harm done to others and there was nothing you could   do. About 7.7 million adults suffer from PTSD.  Women are more likely to develop PTSD   then men. All ages can get PTSD including animals. Police and military dogs   get PTSD. Not everyone who goes thru a traumatic event gets PTSD.

 

Risk factors for getting PTSD:

Dealing with extra stress after the event

Very little or no support

Being in chronic pain, an injury or loss of home, job, loved one,   etc

Extreme feelings of horror, helplessness, or fear

 

Signs/symptoms

 

1. Re-experiencing flashbacks – you keep relieving the trauma over and   over again. This includes the physical symptoms caused by fear like racing   heartbeat, dizziness, shock, sweating, hot and cold flashes, shakes, etc.   

There can also be triggers that can cause flashbacks.

 

2. Avoidance – staying away from places, events, objects or anything   that reminds them of the event. Feeling emotionally numb, isolation, social   withdrawal, loss of interest in activities or socialization.

 

3. Feeling numb, strong guilt, depression, anger or worry

 

4. Hyper arousal – being easily startled, feeling tense, edgy,   difficulty sleeping, easily irritated     and ready to snap. Angry outbursts can become   violent/aggressive.

 

Children symptoms include: some of the same as adults, bed wetting,   forgetting how to use the toilet even thought they have been potty trained,   forgetting how to talk, acting out scary events, acting out behaviors, change   in sleeping or eating, change in grades at school, being clingy to parent..   

Some acting out behaviors for teens: Disrespectful, disruptive or   destructive behaviors. Thoughts of revenge.

 

Diagnosis

 

Symptoms begin within 3 months of the incident but can occur years   later but less likely.

Recovery is different for everyone. Some heal in 6 months, others a   year and for some it becomes chronic issue.

  

PTSD is usually accompanied by depression, anxiety, substance abuse or   self-medicating of some type.

 

Treatments

 

Counseling/meds or both

Exposure therapy- expose the client to the trauma in a safe way. You   can use mental imagery, writing it out, visiting the scene.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Stress training – teaching clients how to reduce symptoms of   stress

Anger management – How to deal with anger

 

Coping with anxiety

1. Challenge the negative thoughts – ask yourself: is this a productive   thought? Is my fear/anxiety realistic? Is my thought irrational?

2. Relaxation techniques- deep breathing, massage, walking, nature,   what self-soothes you? music, art or reading?

3. Eliminate anxiety inducing foods such as caffeine, sugar,   alcohol

4. Exercise

5. meditation

6. Journal writing

7. Natural remedies- chamomile tea  or ginseng tea reduce stress and give   a calming effect

8. Eliminate the negative/toxic from your life – this includes toxic   people

9. Cope with painful memories- Talk it out, grieve the loss, accept   what has happened

And consider what you have learned from the event.

10. If a situation causes anxiety and you can prepare for it then   prepare, practice and prepare again.

11. Visualize success

12. Work on overall health and happiness – the more optimistic you are,   the more resilient you are.

13. Every situation is temporary.

 
 
November Workshops
 
Monday, November 11, 7pm – Living Your Best   Life Westfield Adult School, NJ Telephone –   908-232-4050 
  Tuesday, November 12, – Creating Balance   & Finding Happiness Life Coaching Event at Burlington County College www.bcc.edu
  Wednesday, November 13, 7pm –    Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress Morris Hills Adult  School, NJ Telephone – 973-664–2295  
Thursday, November 14,   6:30pm – Letting Go of Anger Hofstra University, Long  Island Telephone – 516-463-7200   Friday, November 15,   1pm- Living your best lifeA Free   workshop Oakville Senior Center, CT Telephone –   860-945-5250  
Saturday, November, 16 – Happiness – Living   an Optimistic Lifestyle Brookdale Community College,   NJ Telephone – 732-224-2303  
Monday, November 18, 7pm –    Retrain Your Brain for Success Morris Hills Adult School, NJ Telephone – 973-664-2295  
Wednesday, November 20, 9am –    Releasing Your Fear Janet Pfeiffer – Anger 911 Radio   Show www.anger911.net   Thursday, November 21, 6:30pm –    Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress Hofstra University  Long Island, NY Telephone – 516-463-7200  
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About Finding your happiness

Diane Lang is a Therapist, educator, author and life coach. Diane has two books: Baby steps the path from motherhood to Career and Creating balance & finding happiness. Diane works as a Therapist and also is an adjunct at Montclair State University. This blog will help educate and empower you to live your best life! For more information please visit her website: www.dlcounseling.com
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