1. Is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a common disease?
The traumatic event that triggers PTSD means experiencing or witnessing a shocking or fearful event. These traumatic events can happen to anyone. 60% of men and 50% of women experience this trauma in their lifetime. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse, and men are more likely to experience accidents, physical violence, combat, and disasters.
However, not everyone who has had this traumatic experience develops PTSD. It is known that 20% of women and 8% of men who experience traumatic events develop PTSD.
2. A family member has had a traumatic event. How can it help?
Patients with PTSD are often hospitalized with physical trauma. Many patients or their families wish to be discharged early, but inpatient treatment can provide a good environment to protect the body and mind from various stimuli in reality, including media. Patients are encouraged to leave the hospital after taking sufficient time to gain confidence, rather than rushing back to daily life. The patient’s family and acquaintances will remember:
1) Comfort by listening to PTSD patients.
You should listen to PTSD patients. You have to comfort them by letting them express their own experiences. For the patient, it is also necessary to keep it from the side. Sometimes family members or friends around the patient are eager to give advice to solve the problem. But it doesn’t help much to say what the patient should do or tell him what he’s doing right now.
2) Provide a safe place for PTSD patients to talk about the trauma experience.
Friends should let PTSD patients know they are ready to listen and comfort their patients when they need them. Acknowledge and trust the patient’s emotions and reactions. Rather than trying to minimize what the patient has gone through, it should be clear that the trauma experience is not the patient’s fault. It is helpful to not ask or judge what the patient did to survive. Friends should reassure the patient that they are in love and care. The warm gestures of the people around them can also be a great help to patients.
3) If necessary, turn the focus elsewhere.
Take a moment to talk about the traumatic experience of PTSD patients. Leave the patient to rest when the patient does not want to speak. Patients need time to relax.
4) Expand social support around PTSD patients.
Families and friends should encourage patients to give them support. Patients can get this support from another friend, family member, religious group, support group, self-help group, crisis center or mental health professional. Friends or family members may also want support.
5) Help PTSD patients regain control.
You should know that it takes time to heal from PTSD. In other words, patience is required. By understanding the patient’s wishes and letting them decide for themselves, you should help them regain control.
6) Professional training on PTSD is also required.
It is recommended that you study the treatment of PTSD. You also need to study the general reactions of traumatic experiences and gain knowledge through lectures, watching movies, reading books, and browsing the Internet. However, it is also necessary to check the knowledge obtained by yourself while consulting with experts or counselors.
7) PTSD patients will also feel grateful.
PTSD patients will appreciate the support of friends and family, although they may not be able to express enough. This support helps people to know that they are always alone, especially when they want to be closer to their friends or loved ones in the end.
8) Who can help PTSD patients?
Families, primary care physicians, local mental health centers, psychiatry, psychology or social work associations, and clergy will benefit those who suffer from PTSD and their loved ones. They may refer patients and families to counselors or therapists who have had experience with PTSD.
3. How long is PTSD treatment?
It is not possible to establish a common treatment period because it depends on the severity of symptoms at the time of starting treatment for PTSD or the pattern of improvement afterwards. In general, PTSD treatment takes about 3-6 months. If the patient is accompanied by a psychological problem other than PTSD, the treatment period may be extended to more than one year.
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