Take Control of Your Symptoms with Effective PTSD Treatment
Devastating events occur every day in the lives of individuals across the nation, leading many to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This serious condition can cause patients to withdraw from family, friends, and activities, as well as experience horrifying flashbacks or other disturbing feelings. Many of those suffering from PTSD find themselves feeling hopeless and marginalized within society, however, PTSD treatment is readily available and often successful. Patients in Great Neck, NY, may benefit from medical treatment with Dr. Russell Surasky, a board-certified psychiatrist who has accumulated vast knowledge and experience in the last decade. He believes that all patients deserve to receive individualized mental health care that is tailored to their needs.
The sheer prevalence of PTSD sheds light on its effects on our society as a whole.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Defined
The American Psychiatric Association defines PTSD as a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as:
War or combat
Rape or other violent personal assault
While not everyone who experiences one of these events will develop a mental health disorder, approximately one in 11 Americans will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lifetime(1). It is also a common misconception that only veterans suffer from PTSD, however, the condition is especially prevalent in these populations. In recent years, about 14 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have experienced PTSD(2).
What Are the Signs?
Individuals who suffer from PTSD typically exhibit symptoms that fall into one of four categories(2):
Intrusion Symptoms - Individuals may experience intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks that make them feel as if they are reliving the event. Intrusive symptoms are typically brought on by a trigger such as a news report, sound, or smell that reminds them of the incident. Avoidance - These symptoms may include avoiding thoughts, feelings, or people and places related to the traumatic event. Those suffering from PTSD may also make an effort to stay busy, both mentally and physically, in order to avoid talking or thinking about their trauma. Negative Alterations in Mood - This may include symptoms such as memory problems, distorted cognitions, or feelings of guilt. Patients may also lose interest in activities or relationships that were previously important to them. Arousal Symptoms - A patient may experience irritability, trouble sleeping, hyper-arousal, or an exaggerated startle response. Patients often describe arousal symptoms as feeling on edge or that they are always looking out for danger.
Criteria for diagnosing PTSD is complex and an evaluation should only be conducted by a qualified professional, such as Dr. Surasky. If you or a loved one are consistently experiencing symptoms for more than a month following a traumatic event, you may benefit from speaking to a psychiatrist or psychologist. It is important to seek help if you believe you are suffering from the disorder as it can take a significant toll on your quality of life.
The Long-Term Effects of PTSD
Persistent PTSD can negatively impact your personal life as well as your career. If left untreated, the condition can become much worse, even causing other disorders or dependencies to develop.
While it may seem like PTSD has completely consumed your life, treatment can help.
It is not uncommon for patients with PTSD to struggle with substance or alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts(3). A mental health care provider can help you determine whether you are experiencing PTSD or another mental health condition and help you regain control over your life.
How Treatment Can Help
While it may seem like PTSD has completely consumed your life, treatment can help. Common treatment methods typically include(1):
Cognitive behavior therapies (CBT)
Cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, and stress inoculation therapy are common types of CBT used to treat the disorder1. Non-trauma focused treatment may also be beneficial for some patients through present-centered therapy (4).
Dr. Surasky has helped many patients find relief from their PTSD symptoms using medication. Often, medication is used in combination with therapy to provide the most effective treatment. While he does not provide counseling at his practice, Dr. Surasky can refer you to a trusted professional who specializes in this area.
Caring for a Loved One with PTSD
Helping a family member with PTSD, whether they want to seek help or not, can be extremely difficult. Changes in family dynamics and personal relationships can be challenging for both the patient and those close to them. It is important to educate yourself about the condition in order to understand what the victim is going through and what support they may need(3). Developing a support system is of the utmost importance.
Find Hope Through Professional Treatment
Dr. Surasky is passionate about helping those with mental health disorders understand their condition and find a treatment that can change their life. If you believe you are suffering from PTSD, call Dr. Surasky today at (516) 487-9414. He can help determine whether medication, therapy, or a combination of the two can help you begin the most effective path to recovery.
New York Office
Dr. Russell Surasky
15 Barstow Rd.
Great Neck, NY 11021