May 3, 2019
Posted by: cbtkeadmin
Post-traumatic stress disorder – CBT Kenya
People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD. A diagnosis of PTSD requires exposure to an upsetting traumatic event. However, exposure could be indirect rather than first hand.
DSM-5 PTSD Diagnostic Criteria
Compared to DSM-IV, the diagnostic criteria for DSM-5 draw a clearer line when detailing what constitutes a traumatic event. DSM-5 pays more attention to the behavioural symptoms that accompany PTSD and proposes four distinct diagnostics.
- The person was exposed to one or more events that involved death, serious injury or sexual violation. They might have witnessed the event as it occurred to someone else. Experienced repeated exposure to distressing details of an event, such as a police officer repeatedly hearing details about child sexual abuse.
- Strong bodily reactions, for example, increased heart rate upon exposure to a reminder of the traumatic event. Unexpected or expected reoccurring, involuntary, and intrusive upsetting memories of the traumatic event. Repeated upsetting dreams where the content of the dreams is related to the traumatic event.
- Negative changes in thoughts and mood that occurred or worsened following the experience of the traumatic event. The inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event. Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy and feeling detached from others.
How Common Is PTSD?
Trauma is a shocking and dangerous event that you see or that happens to you. PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will develop PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control.
A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will develop PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault and child sexual abuse. When you are in the military, you may see combat. You may have been on missions that exposed you to horrible and life-threatening experiences. PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness.
Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. It’s possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event or events occurred, which means it’s never too late to seek help.
Psychological therapies – If you have PTSD that requires treatment, psychological therapies are usually recommended first. There are three main types of psychological therapies used to treat people with PTSD.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems. During this process, your therapist helps you cope with any distress you feel while identifying any unhelpful thoughts you have about the experience. Your therapist may ask you to confront your traumatic memories by thinking about your experience in detail. You may be encouraged to gradually restart any activities you have avoided since your experience. For example, beginning to driving a car after you had an accident.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing involve making side-to-side eye movements, usually by following the movement of your therapist’s finger, while recalling the traumatic incident. While keeping the memory of a painful or traumatic event in mind, you will follow the therapist’s back-and-forth finger movements with your eyes. The goal of EMDR is to fully process past experiences and sort out the emotions attached to those experiences.
- Group therapy – Some people find it helpful to speak about their experiences with other people who also have PTSD. Group therapy can help you find ways to manage your symptoms and understand the condition. Successful groups allow individuals to share as they feel comfortable.
How can you benefit from PTSD treatment?
- A major benefit of group therapy is validation. By being in a group with a number of people struggling with the same problem, you can see that you are not alone in your struggles.
- Everyday stresses take a toll over time if not dealt with, and can lead to complete burnout. There’s no need to wait until you feel completely overwhelmed to do something about it, however. Having the occasional EMDR therapy session can help you unburden yourself from all the stresses you have been carrying.
- A mental health professional helps people with these conditions objectively examine their behaviours. They reveal an individual’s negative thought patterns and offer productive alternatives to the compulsions. With help, individuals can break the cycle of their distress.
At CBT Kenya we have a professional team that will walk with you through the therapy and treatment. We are located Kims Court, Theta Lane Off Lenana Road Kilimani. You can visit our website or call 0739 935 333/ 0756454585 for any further information.