Trauma is far too common, with 70% of Americans experiencing a traumatic event at some point and 20% of those people developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health in Newport Beach, California, Hadi Estakhri, MD, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, offers expert treatments to help you manage your symptoms and resolve the fears and anxieties that stem from your experience. Call Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health or make an appointment online today.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that results from experiencing trauma. While traditionally the trauma that triggers PTSD was recognized as horrific combat experiences, terrorist attacks, active shooter situations, violent assault, or natural disasters, trauma is an extremely personal experience. Circumstances that some people find traumatic others may not. For example, some people develop PTSD if someone close to them experiences trauma.
PTSD was initially identified during World War I as combat fatigue as service people returned from trench warfare with psychological symptoms called shell shock. Psychiatrists’ understanding of the condition continued to develop as a new wave of soldiers returned from World War II with combat fatigue.
Over the years, the psychiatric understanding of trauma and PTSD has continued to expand, and today Dr. Estakhri and other mental health professionals understand trauma in more detail than ever before.
PTSD causes four categories of symptoms: intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviors, negative thoughts and feelings, and reactive symptoms.
Intrusive thoughts include flashbacks, nightmares, and other repeated, distressing memories. Flashbacks are often so realistic that you feel like you are reliving or observing the trauma all over again.
PTSD can lead to avoiding people, places, and situations that remind you of your trauma to the extent where it interferes with your life and prevents you from your regular responsibilities.
You may also develop negative or distorted beliefs about yourself or others. For example, you may feel like you didn’t deserve to survive when others didn’t, or you may feel like no one can be trusted. You may also live with pervasive fear, anger, guilt, or shame.
Reactive symptoms include irritability, angry outbursts, and being easily startled. You may also struggle to concentrate or have insomnia.
Dr. Estakhri provides evidenced-based treatments for PTSD. While he tailors treatments to meet your individual needs, most patients benefit from a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle modifications.
Medicine can regulate your brain chemistry, which helps relieve your symptoms and provide some mental clarity and energy to focus on therapy. During therapy, you explore your memories, thoughts, and emotions in a safe environment and learn strategies to cope with them. For example, you may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy.
If PTSD interferes with your life, call Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health or schedule a consultation online today.