top of page
​Reliant Family Psychiatry png logo
Patient Center
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Yelp!

Post-traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as PTSD, is a mental health condition that arises following a traumatic experience. This disorder can deeply impact a person's daily life, making it difficult for them to sleep, unwind, focus, and carry out everyday tasks.

You may have heard that PTSD mainly develops in soldiers, but it’s actually more common than you might think. PTSD affects around 8 million adults in the U.S. each year, and there are many types of traumatic events that can trigger the disorder.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at ​Reliant Family Psychiatry in Mansfield & Grand Prairie, TX.

african woman with PTS

Understanding PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.

Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.

​Understanding PTSD

Individuals with PTSD often go through a specific set of symptoms, which can be categorized as follows:

1- Re-Experiencing Symptoms: This involves persistent, unwanted thoughts about the traumatic event, experiencing nightmares, and flashbacks. Flashbacks are particularly intense, making the person feel as though they're reliving the trauma all over again.

2- Avoidance Symptoms: Those with PTSD might actively avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma. This can mean steering clear of certain places, avoiding certain people, or refusing to discuss the event. They might try to block out thoughts of the event, but this becomes challenging due to persistent flashbacks and nightmares.

3- Arousal and Reactivity Symptoms: PTSD can lead to hyperarousal, where a person is always on high alert and easily startled. This state of constant vigilance can make relaxing nearly impossible and often leads to problems like insomnia, difficulty focusing, and sudden anger outbursts.

4- Cognitive Symptoms: PTSD can alter a person's thoughts and emotions. This might manifest as increased irritability, anxiety, and fearfulness. Negative perceptions about oneself or the world are common – for example, feeling that the world is full of danger or that one is fundamentally flawed. These negative thoughts can lead to behavioral changes, such as withdrawing from social interactions or turning to substances like alcohol or drugs.

What Causes PTSD?

You can develop post-traumatic stress disorder when you go through, see or learn about an event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation.

PTSD is probably caused by a complex mix of:

  • Physical assault and other violent crimes

  • Rape or sexual assault

  • Physical or sexual abuse

  • Natural disasters

  • Accidents

  • Terrorist attacks/mass shootings

  • A difficult childbirth or miscarriage

  • The sudden/unexpected death of a loved one

  • Exposure to violence first-hand (e.g., through one’s job)

  • Military combat/exposure to war

​What Causes PTSD?

Acute stress disorder is very similar to PTSD but is shorter in duration. ASD symptoms develop immediately after a traumatic event and last three days to one month. If symptoms persist beyond a month, the individual has developed PTSD.

Acute Stress Disorder

Adjustment Disorders

Adjustment disorders often arise as a temporary reaction to stressful life changes, such as going through a divorce, losing a job, receiving a tough diagnosis, or grieving the loss of someone close. While some people navigate through these stresses independently, others may find they need support from a healthcare or mental health professional.

Signs of an adjustment disorder can include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless more often than not

  • Frequent crying

  • Pulling away from family and friends

  • Losing interest in activities and hobbies you once loved

  • Decreased appetite

  • Struggling with sleep

  • Neglecting your duties at home or work

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Challenges in managing day-to-day tasks

  • Thoughts or actions related to self-harm or suicide

If you notice these symptoms following a major life event, it's a good idea to consult with a mental health specialist at Reliant Family Psychiatry. While treatment for adjustment disorders typically doesn’t take long, ongoing situations like chronic illnesses or persistent relationship problems may require more extended support and care.

​Discover a brighter mental well-being journey at Reliant Family Psychiatry in Texas!

We're here to guide you every step of the way. Choose Reliant Family Psychiatry today

Discover a brighter mental well-being journey at Reliant Family Psychiatry in Texas!

Risk factors for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect individuals of any age, but there are certain factors that might increase the likelihood of developing it following a traumatic experience. These include:

  1. Undergoing trauma that is either very severe or persists for a long time.

  2. Previous encounters with trauma, especially during early life stages, like childhood abuse.

  3. Occupations that might frequently expose you to traumatic situations, for example, roles in the military or emergency response services.

  4. Existing mental health challenges, such as anxiety or depression.

  5. Struggles with substance abuse, including heavy alcohol consumption or drug use.

  6. A lack of strong support networks, including family and friends.

  7. A family history of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.

​Risk factors for PTSD
bottom of page