Some facts about

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you’ve seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death.


Causes, Incidence, and Risk factors

PTSD can occur at any age. It can follow a natural disaster such as flood or fire, or even events such as:

Assault

Domestic abuse

Prison stay

Rape

Terrorism

War

For example, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 may have caused PTSD in some people who were involved, in people who saw the disaster, and in people who lost relatives or friends.

Veterans returning home from a war often have PTSD.

The cause of PTSD is unknown. Psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors are involved. PTSD changes the body’s response to stress. It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the nerves (neurotransmitters).

It is not known why traumatic events cause PTSD in some people and not in others. Having a history of trauma may increase your risk for getting PTSD after a recent traumatic event.


Symptoms

Symptoms fall into three main categories

1. Reliving the event, which disturbs day to day activity.

Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again

Repeated upsetting memories of the event

Repeated nightmares of the event

Strong uncomfortable reactions to situations that remind you of the event

2. Avoidance

Emotional “numbing” or feeling as though you don’t care about anything

Feeling detached

Being unable to remember important aspects of the trauma

Having a lack of interest in normal activities

Showing less of your moods

Avoiding places, people, or thoughts that remind you of the event

Feeling like you have no future

3. Arousal

Difficulty concentrating

Startling easily

Having an exaggerated response to things that startle you

Feeling more aware (hyper vigilance)

Feeling irritable or having outbursts of anger

Having trouble falling or staying asleep

You might feel guilt about the event (including “survivor guilt“) You might also have some of the following symptoms which are typical of anxiety, stress, and tension:

Agitation or excitability

Dizziness/ Fainting

Feeling your heart beat in your chest


Signs and Tests

There are no tests that can be done to diagnose PTSD. The diagnoses is made based on certain symptoms.

Your health care provider may ask for how long you have had symptoms. This will help your health care provider know if you have PTSD or a similar condition called Acute Stress Disorder (ASD).

In PTSD, symptoms are present for at least 30 days.

In ASD, symptoms will be present for a shorter period of time.

Your health care provider may also do mental health exams, and blood tests to look for other illnesses that are similar to PTSD.


Treatment

Treatment can help prevent PTSD from developing after a trauma. A good social support system may also help protect against PTSD.

If PTSD does occur, a form of “desensitization” may be used.

This treatment helps reduce symptoms by encouraging you to remember the traumatic event and express your feelings about it.

Over time memories of the event should become less frightening.

Support groups, where people who have had similar experiences share their feelings, may also be helpful.

People with PTSD may also have problems with:

Alcohol or other substance abuse

Depression

Related medical conditions


Expectations (prognosis)

You can increase the chance of a good outcome with

Early diagnosis

Prompt treatment

Strong social support

Calling your healthcare provider

Although traumatic events can cause distress, not all feelings of distress are symptoms of PTSD. Talk about your feelings with friends and relatives. If your symptoms do not improve soon or are making you very upset, contact your health care provider.

Seek help right away if:

You feel overwhelmed

You are thinking of hurting yourself or anybody else

You are unable to control your behavior

You have other very upsetting symptoms of PTSD

You can also contact your health care provider for help with problems such as repeated or upsetting thoughts, irritability, and problems with sleep.


References

1. Bisson J, Andrew M. Psychological treatment of post traumatic stress disorder Cochrane Database syst,. Rev. 2007;(3):CD0073388

2. Hetrick SE, Purcell R, GarnerB, Parslow B. Combined Pharmachotherapy and psychological therapies for PTSD Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(7)CD007316

3. Roberts NP, Kitchner NJ, Kenardy J, Bisson Jl. Early psychological interventions to treat ACS symptoms. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(3):CD007944

4. Gilbertson MW, Orr SP, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008 chap 34

How you can help

 

Our Soldiers -n- Saddles program is funded on a donation basis. Our ability to keep this program free of charge to our veterans is by the support we receive from caring people like you. No amount is too small to show that you care.  Thank you!

Some facts about 

Equine Assisted Therapy

Using horses in therapy is a recognized method of treating many mental, physical and psychological issues. Interaction  with horses such as grooming and riding is used to treat these conditions without it feeling like therapy. Horses are versatile, giving a program the ability to custom tailor to the needs of the individual and/or group. Horses are also intuitive, they have the ability to mirror human emotion which can provide a starting point for discussion or help the individual become more aware of how they are feeling.

 

Some benefits include:

  • Boots self esteem; confidence; feeling of general well being
  • Builds trust; concentration and attention
  • Breaks down feelings of isolation
  • Provides a sense of purpose; fullfillment; companionship; accomplishment and pleasure
  • Reconnects an individual through rebuilding trust in a stress free environment
  • Gives an individual new focus
  • Learning new skills keeps an individual engaged
  • Improves balance; coordination; mobility; flexibility and muscle tone 
  • Exercise releases endorphins-the feel good chemicals in the brain
  • Proper breathing techniques promote relaxation

They fought for us, now we are fighting for them.

Wise Way Training Stables is proud to offer an Equine Assisted Therapy program for our veterans and their families. One of the leading diagnoses of returning troops is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are suffering with PTSD. Our goal is to help any emotionally, physically, mentally challenged or disabled veterans and their families to transition into stable family and societal relationships and achieve an improved quality of life through the application of natural and classical horsemanship methods.