PTSD

Brain Health Center

PSYCHIATRY & DEPRESSION SPECIALISTS LOCATED IN LEXINGTON, KY AND SERVING SURROUNDING COUNTIES

When you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the effects of your traumatic experience never leave you, and they can impact every aspect of your life. Integrative psychiatrist Jacob Bishop, MD, of Brain Health Center PSC in Lexington, Kentucky, has considerable experience in helping patients who have PTSD to find relief from their flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety using a noninvasive, painless therapy called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Dr. Bishop finds that TMS can be of great benefit to people who have PTSD even when other approaches have failed. Call Brain Health Center today to find out more, or book an appointment online.

PTSD Q & A

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a disabling mental health disorder. Short for post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD develops as a consequence of being involved in or witnessing an event you find deeply disturbing or harrowing. Brain Health Center is a proud supporter of veterans and changing the lives of those affected by PTSD. You can learn more about what treatment options are helpful for veterans here.

Typically these events are extreme situations such as being in a war zone, a building that’s on fire, or a serious car accident. However, trauma is uniquely personal, and what one person finds deeply traumatic may differ a great deal from how the same experience would affect someone else.

It’s also possible to develop PTSD after prolonged trauma, such as years of childhood abuse or spousal abuse.

While it’s natural to experience shock after a traumatic event, PTSD causes severe symptoms that don’t improve as time passes. Having PTSD can seriously affect your ability to work, study, or maintain relationships. People who have PTSD often become withdrawn and turn to drugs or alcohol to mask their pain.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD come under four groupings:

Intrusive thoughts

Intrusive thoughts are memories of the trauma that you can’t get out of your mind. Flashbacks are a common experience when you have PTSD; a trigger like a sound or smell takes you back to the traumatic event. More than just a memory, a flashback makes you feel as though you’re reliving the trauma in every detail. Nightmares are also common symptoms of PTSD.

Avoidance

It can be tough to talk about the trauma that led to PTSD, which means you’re likely to avoid doing so. You might also avoid people, locations, activities, or anything else that could remind you of the trauma. Social withdrawal and resorting to substance abuse are markers of avoidance.

Changes in thoughts and mood

It’s common to experience symptoms of depression, such as hopelessness, worthlessness, despair, and guilt when you have PTSD. It’s also likely that you feel anger and severe anxiety, and lose interest in activities you used to enjoy.

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Your physical and emotional reactions and behaviors can change when you have PTSD, and it’s not uncommon for friends and family to notice changes in you. Overreacting in stressful situations and behaving as though you were in danger are common responses. PTSD can also cause sleeping problems and changes in appetite.

These symptoms can vary in severity and frequency, depending on your situation. They might start within a few weeks or months of the event, or not until years later.

How is PTSD treated?

Medication combined with talking therapies is usually helpful when you have PTSD. A range of medicines could ease your symptoms, including:

  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants
  • SNRI (selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants
  • Antipsychotic drugs

Opening up about your trauma during psychotherapy and learning to deal with your symptoms using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are also highly beneficial.

However, for some people, very little seems to relieve their symptoms, which is where Brain Health Center could help. TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) is a safe form of treatment that helps to relieve the symptoms of PTSD. 

Considered and off-label treatment, TMS therapy is increasingly used to improve symptoms of  PTSD, based on several controlled studies.

Find out more about using TMS therapy for PTSD by calling Brain Health Center today, or book an appointment online.