/Mental Health Column – PTSD

Mental Health Column – PTSD

As rightly stated, ‘There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds’. Post-traumatic stress disorder, also commonly known as ‘PTSD’, is a common mental health condition which is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or terrifying event. This condition may be evident when the patient relives a certain event, through flashbacks and nightmares. Such incidences establish a sense of sadness, fear or anger and may lead to them feeling detached or estranged from other people. In accordance with recent data collected, PTSD impacts almost 3.5% of the United States adults every year and an estimate of 1 in every 11 people are diagnosed with this condition in their lifetime. Not only that, in primary care settings, patients that have post traumatic disorder are often generally not diagnosed and acknowledged while fewer than half of these patients with PTSD receive treatment for this mental disorder.

Written by Diya Mehra (MYP 3B)

As rightfully said by Mandy Antoniacci, “When you can remember your trauma without reliving it, that is the day you are freed.” Life is full of events, right? We are told that these events are what make life interesting. Those ups and downs, those highs and lows, that rollercoaster of a ride, all of it. Though for each event, there comes a response that does not only affect the situation but affects the way we handle our own selves.

Trauma is characterized as an emotional response to a rather disturbing event often resulting in a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/ or PTSD. PTSD has been regarded as a psychiatric disorder that may occur in individuals experiencing a “traumatic” event such as a natural disaster, terrorist act, sexual violence, serious injury, etc. Such psychological trauma is shown to frequently result in a detachment from one’s own self with interpersonal repercussions linking the sufferer to the perpetrator in order to harm one’s sense of humanity. Even when they are aware of the exaggerated nature of their reactions, individuals with PTSD feel a loss of control, as if they are unconsciously reliving the event. Regulating the sensory imprints linked with trauma is one of the most difficult aspects of the psychotherapy approach. The main problem in treating trauma patients is that some sensory impressions associated with the traumatic memories do not dissipate with time.

If the challenge exists, so must the solution. If you or a known one starts to experience the aforementioned signs/ symptoms, there are a variety of treatments that could enable one to overcome the disorder. PTSD therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Stress Inoculation, etc. are just about a few of the solutions that you could opt for. This disorder has no evident symptoms, no runny nose, just a head full of darkness. There is no fever, no rash, no fractures or sprains, just a longing for something that one is unable to explain. Psychiatric disorders are hard to overcome, but it doesn’t make you any different from normal. Always remember that there is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are 7 billion versions of normal on this planet. Mental health is a process, not a destination. Take your time, forget about the world. Do it for yourself.

Written by Sanaa Suneja (MYP 3B)