Bringing together those
who are living with Fibromyalgia
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an illness that you might get after a serious and frightening experience, including:
The illness makes you re-live the event, which causes distress and difficulty in your day-to-day life. Your symptoms may become worse if you see, hear or smell something that reminds you of the trauma.
What are the symptoms of PTSD and how is it diagnosed?
Some of the symptoms are:
You can get symptoms of PTSD in the hours or days after a traumatic event. For a lot of people, these symptoms become less severe as they come to terms with what has happened. When these symptoms do not go away, there is a possibility you might have PTSD.
If you experience a traumatic event, it is important to get support as soon as you can. Your doctor might not think you need treatment straight away. If you have mild symptoms and you see your doctor within 4 weeks of the trauma, they may ask you to wait a month to see how things go. This is called ‘watch and wait’.
What causes PTSD?
PTSD is caused by traumatic experiences, like the following.
Not everyone who experiences these things develops PTSD. The risk of getting PTSD depends on how the experience affects you. PTSD is more likely if the traumatic event:
How is PTSD treated?
There are several different treatment options that you may find helpful.
Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps you deal with your symptoms by making changes to how you think and act. The therapist may ask you to do activities or remember things that you find difficult to try to help you deal with your symptoms.
This helps you to develop skills such as:
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR helps the symptoms of PTSD. You will make eye movements while thinking about the traumatic event. Therapists think that this works by making your brain deal with painful memories in a different way.
Medication is not helpful for most people with PTSD. But your doctor might offer you medication if: