PTSD Diagnosis Affects 1 in 11 Adults

PTSD diagnosis affects an estimated one out of every eleven adults at some point in their lifetime, yet research data shows that those with PTSD seek treatment less than with other mental health issues. Only one in three adults will access treatment within the year after meeting the criteria for having PTSD.

PTSD Diagnosis

Diagnosis of Post-traumatic stress disorder requires exposure to an event that involved actual or possible threat of death, violence, or serious injury, from situations that include natural disaster, a serious accident, or acts of violence. Exposure to the event can be through direct experience, being witness to the event happening to others, discovering that someone close to you was impacted by the traumatic event, or through repeated exposure to graphic details of the traumatic events.

PTSD Diagnosis Impacts Function

Those who may have PTSD typically continue to have intense or disturbing thoughts and feelings long after the event occurred which cause significant problems in ability to function, negatively impacting behaviors and interpersonal relationships in social situations, work settings, and home life.

PTSD Diagnosis Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD that may lead up to seeking help include the following:

  • Physical Pain – PTSD symptoms very often begin with common physical complaints that include headaches, migraines, fatigue, chest pain, breathing issues, digestive upset
  • Nightmares or Flashbacks – Commonly reported, re-living the traumatic even can occur in waking images with sensations of physical and emotional pain, fear. Flashbacks to the event may cause sleeping difficulties as well as anxiety when leaving the safety of their home or familiar surroundings
  • Mental phobias – these behaviors may lead to irrational and persistent fear, avoidance, paranoia, depression, or anxiety, related to certain objects, people, or situations, that remind one of the traumatic event
  • Repression – Intentional blocking of memories associated with a past traumatic event or experience is also a PTSD diagnosis symptom. Pictures, memorabilia, music, or newspaper clippings, for example may be destroyed or thrown away.
  • Emotional Numbing – Numbing emotional pain and feelings can lead to gradual withdrawal and isolation from social circles and interpersonal relationships. Numbing may be through self-denial of feelings or through substance abuse and other risk-taking behaviors.
  • Hyper-arousal – For those with PTSD it is common to feel “on edge” or “jumpy” making it difficult to relax. Fear of threats or injury often make those with PTSD easily frightened.
  • Irritability – For those with PTSD, being in a state of constant fear and paranoia may cause extreme PTSD-associated irritability, sleeplessness, lack of concentration, indecisiveness, and difficulty maintaining personal relationships.
  • Guilt and Shame – PTSD symptoms include immense shame and guilt when it becomes impossible to get past the negative traumatic experience and move forward with their life. Many with PTSD relive the event wondering how they could have prevented it from happening, or blaming themselves for the tragedy.

PTSD Diagnostic Psychiatrist

Help and treatment is available. Call Dr. Hege for a comprehensive and confidential evaluation. Take the steps needed to move forward with your life and end the fear and suffering that has taken control of your life.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment with Medication after Evaluation

Post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, is a mental health condition that disrupts a person’s daily routine, relationships with family and friends, and the ability to manage steady employment or attend college. Research data reports that since 9/11 almost 25 million Americans and up to 30% of combat veterans have PTSD.

June is National PTSD Awareness Month

The National Center for PTSD is working to educate and reach out to those suffering from undiagnosed PTSD. Many people view PTSD as a problem for soldiers returning home from combat. However, any traumatic event can trigger post traumatic stress disorder; a fire, robbery, car accident, threat of random violence, a death, or a serious medical diagnosis are a few situations many people face in their lifetime.

While a person may experience varying degrees of reactions to stressors, many do not develop PTSD. Medical professionals do not know why some have PTSD and others do not. Receiving proper evaluation and diagnosis is key to starting on a proven treatment plan for PTSD symptoms.

Three Types of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

PTSD symptoms typically fall into one of three types which are:

  • Intrusive Memories:  Type one includes flashbacks or repeatedly going over the traumatic event in your mind or having unsettling and disturbing dreams about the event.
  • Avoidance and Emotional Numbing:  Type two includes feelings of hopelessness, difficulty with focus and concentration, feeling emotionally numb, avoiding previously enjoyed activities or having difficulty maintaining close personal relationships.
  • Anxiety and Increased Emotional Arousal: Type three of PTSD includes overwhelming guilt or shame, poor sleep patterns, becoming easily irritated or angry, being easily frightened, experiencing auditory or visual hallucinations, or displaying self destructive behavior like drinking, drugs or sexual promiscuity.

PTSD Medications Integral Part of Successful Treatment Plan

Specific medications prescribed by an Atlanta PTSD psychiatrist positively alter PTSD symptoms and manage other aspects such as anxiety, depression, emotional outbursts, insomnia or recurrent nightmares.

Two PTSD medications (SSRI’s), Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, Zoloft/sertraline and Paxil/paroxetine, work by helping with depression and anxiety as well as raising serotonin levels to achieve an end result of improved feelings of well-being and happiness.

Atlanta Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Psychiatrist

PTSD can be effectively treated and managed following a full evaluation by an expert Atlanta PTSD psychiatrist like Dr. Hege.

The road to effective treatment and recovery from PTSD can begin with a call to schedule an appointment.