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Resources for PTSD: Home

This guide provides information and resources for PTSD.

                                                                                                                     Ptsd Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock   

The following guide is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or give medical advice.

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, etc. or who have been threatened with death, violence, or serious injury.

Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD.

(American Psychiatric Association, https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd; NIMH, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd)

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types:

Intrusive memories

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event

Avoidance

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event

Negative changes in thinking and mood

  • Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Feeling detached from family and friends
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
  • Feeling emotionally numb

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame

(Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967)

Trauma and open source communities – Blogging from John Mertic – Open Source,  Open Communities, and Open Tech

Treatments for PTSD

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk therapy”) involves talking with a mental health professional to treat a mental illness. Psychotherapy can occur one-on-one or in a group. Talk therapy treatment for PTSD usually lasts 6 to 12 weeks, but it can last longer.

Cognitive Processing Therapy

This type of psychotherapy focuses on modifying painful negative emotions (such as shame, guilt, etc.) and beliefs (such as “I have failed”; “the world is dangerous”) due to the trauma. Therapists help the person confront such distressing memories and emotions.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

This type of psychotherapy uses repeated, detailed imagining of the trauma or progressive exposures to symptom “triggers” in a safe, controlled way to help a person face and gain control of fear and distress and learn to cope. Exposure therapy can be particularly helpful for flashbacks and nightmares. One approach uses virtual reality programs that allow you to re-enter the setting in which you experienced trauma.

Stress Inoculation Therapy

This type of psychotherapy aims to arm the individual with the necessary coping skills to successfully defend against stressful triggers through the exposure of milder levels of stress.

Group Therapy

This type of psychotherapy encourages survivors of similar traumatic events to share their experiences and reactions in a comfortable and non-judgmental setting. Group members help one another realize that many people would have responded the same way and felt the same emotions.

Medications

Antidepressants

Medications sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil) are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for PTSD treatment.

Anti-anxiety medications

These drugs can relieve severe anxiety and related problems. Some anti-anxiety medications have the potential for abuse, so they are generally used only for a short time.

Prazosin

Several studies indicated that prazosin (Minipress) may reduce or suppress nightmares in some people with PTSD.

(NIMH, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd; American Psychiatric Association, https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd; Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355973)

Post-traumatic stress disorder | Office on Women's Health

McFarlin Databases about Health

For a comprehensive list of McFarlin databases consult our A-Z Database List. Databases may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.

Getting Help

You may want to get help for PTSD if you have disturbing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event for more than a month, if they're severe, or begins to interfere with your ability to function, such as eat, study, and have fun. TU has counselors who would love to help you.

This site provides information about and contact information for TU's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

If you are having a mental health crisis, the following sites provide help:

 

Call or text 988 - Oklahoma's statewide mental health lifeline