Going through a frightening or distressing situation causes trauma. Without support or coping mechanisms, trauma may worsen, turning into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At Rappore, a telehealth-based mental health practice headquartered in Manhattan, New York, the highly skilled therapists and psychiatrists take an individualized and proactive approach to treating trauma and PTSD through telehealth. Their licensed clinicians help patients in multiple states, including New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Connecticut.
PTSD is characterized by the emergence of severe symptoms in response to a traumatic experience, such as being the victim of a physical or sexual assault, being in a serious potentially life-threatening situation, such as a car accident, being held at gunpoint, or witnessing something horrible happen to someone else in-person (such as witnessing a murder or witnessing someone being badly hurt).
Symptoms of PTSD include having intrusive images or thoughts about the trauma even when the person does not want to think about them. The person may also experience sudden anxiety or panic when something reminds them of the trauma, or they might avoid places, people, or even books, TV shows, or movies that might trigger memories of the trauma. The reaction can also include dissociative symptoms such as feeling detached from your body or your surroundings, having trouble sleeping, feeling emotionally numb, being jumpy or on edge all the time, losing interest in things, and feeling estranged from other people.
Not everyone who witnesses a traumatic event develops PTSD; the degree and proximity of the trauma, personal history, and prior trauma exposure all play a role in whether or not someone develops PTSD. While most people develop symptoms soon after exposure to the trauma, some people may experience symptoms months or even years later.
Many symptoms of PTSD overlap with symptoms of depression. For example, with both depression and PTSD, you may have insomnia or have difficulty concentrating. You may not experience pleasure or interest in things you previously enjoyed. You may isolate yourself from others and feel more irritable.
After your consultation, and based on a careful review of all pertinent information, you and your clinician will decide on the best treatment for you. Having someone you trust to share your experiences is the first step in facing your fears and coping with your trauma. No matter what symptoms you are experiencing, it is important to share them with your clinician. Feeling supported and understood is an important part of the treatment.
People with PTSD often benefit the most from a combination of psychopharmacology (medication management) to target specific symptoms such as panic, nightmares, or depression, as well as psychotherapy. Evidence-based psychotherapy techniques for PTSD include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).