The Psychologist and Working with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Psychology Specialized Fields: The Research Psychologist Top 3 Psychology Careers for 2011 »Post traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, is a seriously mental condition that can typically be treated by a variety of mental health physicians, including a psychologist. This disorder greatly affects the life of a patient, and usually requires treatment with both psychotherapy and medication.What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post traumatic stress disorder is a condition that is brought on by a violent, tragic, or horrific situation. Most of the time, these situations threaten to or actually do harm an individual. These situations invoke several responses, including helplessness, fear, or anger. While for many individuals, these are normal emotions that will dissipate within a short amount of time, those with post traumatic stress disorder experience these intense emotions for longer periods of time, during which the emotions can become stronger.
Some of the symptoms a psychologist deals with when treating PTSD:Re-living- Patients who are experiencing PTSD often re-live the moment that caused the PTSD. Instead of it being a distant memory, though, they see it as if it were happening right in front of them. Certain items that can relate to the tragic event might trigger these hallucinations, flashbacks, or nightmares. The patients will not be able to control their own thoughts and will think about the event all of the time.Avoidance- To gain some control over their lives, patients may end up avoiding everyone and everything that reminds them of the tragic event.
Once isolated from everyone in their lives, they may become depressed and detached.Excess emotions- It is very common for individuals to experience an excess amount of emotions while they are dealing with PTSD. They may be easily startled, get angry easily, not be able to sleep, show too much affection to other people, and may not be able to concentrate.
Symptoms can appear a little while after the individual has experienced the traumatic event, but may not appear for years. With treatment from a trained psychologist, the patient may be free of symptoms within six months. At times, though, treatment takes years.How Psychologists Help Those With PTSD
If an individual is suffering from PTSD, they may be apprehensive about seeking treatment. A well trained psychologist, though, can help patients work through this mental health disorder by diagnosing and treating the symptoms, arranging group therapy, and providing a welcoming, non-threatening environment for the patient.
The first step that a psychologist takes is to diagnose the patient. As a psychologist, you will be specifically trained to correctly diagnosis PTSD by asking a series of very specific questions and using certain tools. There are several tests that you will learn to use to help determine whether or not you are dealing with a PTSD patient.
As a psychologist, trained to deal with PTSD you will help patients to deal with the following:
- Learning what emotions, thoughts, and behaviors have aggravated the mental disorder
- Learning what event caused the disorder to occur and why it happened
- Help patients gain control of their lives
- Help patients develop proper coping skills
While each event that triggers the PTSD may differ, such as wars, child abuse, or the death of a loved one, the treatment for these conditions by a qualified psychologist is key. A psychologist who specializes in this type of disorder can be a true asset to those who suffer with these symptoms.