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PTSD | Restoring Hope with Therapy

overcoming PTSD, restoring hope with therapy,PTSD counseling,therapy for PTSD with Carolina Counseling Services North Fayetteville Office Fayetteville NC, counseling for military families CCS Fayetteville NC

 

PTSD | Restoring Hope with Therapy

 

From a military point of view, love of country can be best expressed by protecting its people, resources and sovereignty. The ones with this noble perspective, however, are not spared from the reality that they are at the front line of armed conflict along with the hardships it can bring. Thus, part of living their ideal is accepting the risks of trauma and PTSD.

What is PTSD? Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety that can be developed after an exposure to a tragic or traumatic experience. The name was first applied to Vietnam War survivors that exhibited certain specific symptoms. The symptoms are gripping and persistent, proving the condition to be a barrier in the way of a successful reintegration after a soldier’s deployment. This emotional condition has always been a post-deployment issue for returning soldiers.

Of the 31.3 million cases in the United States, a substantial fraction were once active members of the service. Reports say that about a third of Vietnam survivors exhibited symptoms that are akin to PTSD – except that the term PTSD was not yet coined then. Roughly ten percent of the 1991 Gulf War veterans were also reported to manifest the harrowing symptoms. Also, according to several studies, at least 20 percent of veterans of the armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have struggled with PTSD and/or depression. Because not everybody with it has sought treatment, the figure can be far higher than these.   

The opportunity to have a taste of a beautiful life with their loved ones is shelved as one steers through life with horrible trauma and excessive fear. If you are a returning family has PTSD, there is a way out of the disorienting and scary nightmares, flashbacks, depression symptoms and panic attacks. Counseling or therapy can help.

 

Understanding the Lingering Ordeal Called PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as “a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assaults.” These traumatic events can impact a soldier’s life as their natural human adaptations to changes and challenges are overwhelmed. “Shell shock” and “combat fatigue” are two labels that were used to refer to the symptoms until these were officially replaced by the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” in 1980.

PTSD was first adapted as a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3d Ed. (DSM-3). It was first applied to war veterans. Currently, though, it is known as an emotional condition that can affect anybody after a distressing event or a chronic exposure to abuse. It is also recognized as a condition that needs treatment because it involves three brain areas. 1) The hippocampus that functions in the processing, storage and recovery of memories; 2) the amygdala or stress center that evaluates the risks for an appropriate response; and 3) the prefrontal cortex that is responsible for weighing ideas and making executive decisions.

After a disturbing event, the hippocampus responds by calming the amygdala. If this does not work, the ability of the hippocampus can be dangerously diminished from then on. A damage to the neural connections between these brain areas may result in the memories not being processed and stored correctly. As a result, the disturbing memories can come back, and the prefrontal cortex can be fed with unreal stimuli. The memories can also overstimulate the stress center/evaluator, sustaining a high level of adrenaline and an active “fight or flight” response.

 

Burdens PTSD Symptoms May Bring

The noble fighters in the service run the risk of not enjoying a fulfilling life after their deployment, particularly because of PTSD. Many re-experience the disturbing events through nightmares and/or flashbacks. Wanting to prevent these symptoms from disturbing their days and nights, they may avoid people, places and situations that may rouse those upsetting memories. The condition can also lead them to develop pessimism and a defensive nature. Their “fight or flight” response can become so intense, that they easily become angry or alarmed.

When these symptoms become persistent, sustaining the motions of daily life can be extremely difficult as their functioning and relationships are affected. This means that doing day-to-day tasks can become challenging. These may range from simple sleeping, bathing and eating to more complex chores such as parenting, being a good spouse, or interacting with others. This can result in it being difficult for them to hold down a job or maintain a satisfying relationship with loved ones, friends, neighbors, etc.

The symptoms are not the same for everyone. The “gestation period” for the symptoms vary between individuals – immediately after the event, or weeks, months or years later. The responses are unique from one person to another, depending on their personality and the surrounding circumstances. This emotional condition may also cause the affected person to be more vulnerable to certain health/medical issues and other emotional conditions. For instance, studies show that people with PTSD are at risk for cardiovascular conditions.

 

Creating an “Escape Plan” with Therapy

Nothing can be worse than to relive a memory that you would rather forget, again and again. Attempting to bury it into the deep recesses of consciousness is a natural thing to do; it is called “avoidance and numbing.” Unprocessed, however, the traumatic experience can hound you for a very long time, if not for life. Just pushing a memory aside is unhealthy because this can contribute to your hopelessness, increased vulnerability to various medical and emotional conditions, increased disconnection from people, and emotional numbness. A healthy option and a smart escape plan are to improve its outlook with therapy.

Though post-traumatic stress disorder is “bad news,” it is not without recourse. The key is to seek treatment. Therapy can help ease and reduce the PTSD symptoms and improve its outlook, especially if it is sought promptly. According to Grinage (American Family Physician, 2003), treatment can, not only let healing be possible, but also significantly reduce having the condition from 64 to 36 months. Because the “gestation period” for PTSD isn’t the same for everyone, it would be productive for one’s symptoms to be evaluated properly by a qualified behavioral health professional.

 

Healing and Restoring Hope with Therapy

PTSD is like an invisible war that many soldiers battle long after the last bullet has been fired. It can leave them feeling vulnerable, defenseless and hopeless in the face of “unreal” enemies present in their minds. This part of your or a loved one’s life cannot be changed anymore, but it doesn’t mean that you or they must endure PTSD and lose the chance to be successfully reintegrated after a deployment. You can feel better and your hope can be restored with therapy.

To change the outlook of PTSD and improve the soldier’s sense of safety, seeking treatment is important. This is why you must work with a skilled counselor/therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC. PTSD symptoms can be curbed and resolved, and you or a loved one can bounce back from it with professional assistance. As a soldier trained to stay unfazed by dangers, it isn’t a weakness to reach out for help and there is no need to face the complications alone. Accepting that you or a loved one needs help is brave.

If having a healthy, fulfilling life without a traumatic experience “hunting you down” like a dogged enemy is still only a dream, don’t lose hope. The key is at the tip of your finger. Call CCS – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC now to “turn the tide” on PTSD.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Cumberland, Hoke, Bladen, Sampson, and Robeson Counties, NC
Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Hope Mills NC, Raeford NC, Rockfish NC, Sliver City NC, Linden, Cedar Creek NC, Bowmore NC, Autryville NC, Parkton NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Broadway NC, Pineview NC, Lumber Bridge, NC, Rex NC, Lemon Springs NC, Johnsonville NC, Eastover NC, Stedman NC and Wade, NC
Zip Codes: 28301, 28302, 28303, 28304, 28305, 28306, 28307, 28309, 28311, 28312, 28314

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-390-2333 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: 910-308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
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  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri
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  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road
FayettevilleNC 28311

Choose your Therapist

  • Shnika Davis LCSW, LCAS-A

    Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Depression, Substance Abuse, Life transitions, Grief and Loss, Trauma, Anxiety, Adjustments Disorders, Family, Couples and Marriage
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC
  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare Select, and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC