PTSD, the abbreviation for posttraumatic stress disorder, is a type of anxiety disorder that develops in response to one or more traumatic experiences. It is reported that about 70% of all Americans experience a traumatic event in their lives. Some examples of traumatic events include sexual abuse, natural disasters, physical abuse, and the sudden loss of a loved one. Every person experiences trauma differently, meaning that while some individuals may be able to move past the traumatic event with little difficulty, others may struggle with the effects of it. For those individuals, PTSD can become a major factor in their everyday lives. Even when PTSD is identified, accepted, and treated, this anxiety disorder can still rear its ugly head. If you have this condition and are wondering why it is worsening, it could be time to consider examining yourself more closely.
Reasons Why Your PTSD Could Be Getting Worse
PTSD is one of the most common mental health disorders in the country, with approximately 1 out of every 6 Americans experiencing it. If you are one of these individuals, then you can understand just how difficult it can be to live with this disorder. Even with treatment, PTSD can be hard to manage if you are not fully focused on maintaining your recovery. As a result, you might begin noticing that your PTSD is getting worse, which can be demoralizing. However, identifying why your condition may be getting worse is the first step in getting back in control.
1. You’re Neglecting Self-Care Practices
Taking care of yourself is absolutely vital in terms of ensuring that your PTSD does not start getting worse. This means making sure that you are getting enough rest, eating well, exercising, and doing things that you enjoy. When you neglect these vital aspects of your life, you can be unintentionally setting the stage for your symptoms to return.
2. You Aren’t Getting Professional Treatment
It can be extremely challenging to reach out for help when symptoms of PTSD are weighing you down, however, obtaining professional help is critical. Maybe you did engage in some therapy sessions for your PTSD before or maybe you never saw a therapist at all. Either way, it is imperative that you are seeing a mental health professional when you have PTSD. Doing so allows you to actively work on the symptoms you are experiencing in ways that help you develop appropriate coping skills.
3. You are Still Experiencing Trauma
Many people find that the trauma that has caused their PTSD continues on in their lives, even if they don’t want it to. An example of this is someone who is in an abusive relationship, where the traumatic event of being physically harmed continues even though the PTSD has already developed. If an individual is still in an environment where trauma is continuing to happen, any efforts they make to address their PTSD will likely be unsuccessful and cause the condition to get worse.
What Happens When You Don’t Get Treatment
PTSD is a complex disorder that is characterized by a number of upsetting and disruptive symptoms. From flashbacks and uncontrollable fear to hostility and insomnia, this disorder has the ability to change the course of one’s life for good, especially if left untreated.
There are several risks that can develop if PTSD is not treated. One of the most common side effects of untreated PTSD is substance abuse. Individuals may find reprieve from their symptoms by drinking or doing drugs. Unfortunately, the more that an individual turns to mind-altering substances as a means of coping, the more likely they become to develop a substance use disorder.
Having an active substance use disorder while also dealing with untreated PTSD can lead to even more painful consequences. It is common for those who are experiencing an untreated mental health disorder to struggle to maintain good standing at work and among friends, as well as begin having financial and even legal issues. If PTSD and its symptoms are given the go-ahead to run rampant, then they will. Control over the negative effects of PTSD only comes with the appropriate treatment, which can be obtained through a mental health professional.
Treatment Options for PTSD
When you do obtain professional care, know that there are several ways to treat PTSD. Depending on the individual, most mental health professionals will suggest a combination of therapy and medication as a baseline of care for the client. It is extremely common for those receiving treatment for PTSD to participate in one or more of the following evidence-based therapies:
- Individual psychotherapy
- Group counseling
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Exposure therapy
- Somatic experiencing
With regular sessions and effort, individuals with this condition can begin to heal from the pain that their trauma has caused and start living a fuller, healthier life.
Treatment for PTSD in South Florida
Getting treatment for PTSD is absolutely vital. If you are struggling with this mental health disorder, it is time to get the help you deserve. Neuroscience Institute in South Florida offers extensive and effective mental health treatment. To learn more about our services or to get started on the path to recovery today, give us a call or visit our admissions page.