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World Trauma Day .... Five Ways To Manage Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!

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PTSD is a neurological disorder which affects individuals after experiencing severe traumatic situations. The individuals find it difficult to cope with such situations and often have flashbacks of those moments of trauma. Stress, as a result of the trauma wrecks the normal nervous functioning of the individuals. PTSD can have the following symptoms:

Re experiencing:

Flashbacks of the traumatic event
Nightmares, which are repetitive and severely distressing
Images from the traumatic event intruding during the day
Reminders of the event provoking distress
Avoidance or rumination:

Those suffering from PTSD avoid being reminded of the trauma, such as people, situations or circumstances associated with the event. They try to suppress memories associated with the event.
Many others ruminate excessively and prevent themselves from coming to terms with it.
Hyper arousal or emotional numbing:


Hyper vigilance for threat
Exaggerated sterile response
Irritability
Difficulty concentrating
Sleep problems
Difficulty experiencing emotion
Emotional detachment from others
Giving up activities which mattered before the trauma
Amnesia for salient aspects of the trauma
How to manage PTSD?

The following tips will help to come to terms with your traumatic episode and ease stress:

If symptoms are mild, then observing the patient is preferred

If symptoms are chronic, then trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) proves to be beneficial

Alternative treatments include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

Comorbid symptoms such as depression, general anxiety and alcohol or substance abuse are secondary to PTSD. PTSD should be treated first and then the associated symptoms should be addressed.

Mindfulness meditation (not a treatment option) helps in recognizing cognitive dissonances and affected thought patterns and aids in recognizing and overcoming their influence.

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How to Handle Five of the Most Common Childhood Traumas

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Psychological and sometimes, physical problems in children go unspoken, though they tend to yield a significant impact on the well-being of a child. In the 21st century, to have a carefree childhood may not be the privilege of every child. This is why it is important for parents to handle a sticky situation where the child may have experienced an unhappy incident and was unable to cope with it. So, here are five ways to handle some of the most common traumas in childhood.

Family Fights
If your child is traumatized by fights in the family, he may have an emotional outburst more often than not and lash out at other kids or find it difficult to make friends. The child may find it difficult to focus on a certain task at hand and find it difficult to calm down. On the other hand, the child may become meek and quiet and be more observant than talkative, doing exactly what he is told. He may find it cathartic to make everyone around him feel nice and secure.

You can resolve this situation by being compassionate and kind. Irrespective of your child’s behaviour, try to be calm and supportive. Getting your child to talk will help you to rewire the brain.

Death in the Family especially at Home
If someone in the home has died and if such an event traumatizes the child, he may seem withdrawn, reclusive, worried and anxious. He may have an unbalanced eating pattern and they may seesaw between emotions such as being quiet one moment and being agitated the next. Most children do not understand death and they assume that the person or animal that has died will spurt back to life sometime or another.

If your child has questions to ask, respond to them honestly and in a way that he understands. Checking a few days later if the child has any more questions to ask will be a responsible gesture. If your child is holding himself responsible for the death, tell him that everyone’s body gets sick sometimes and when the medicines do not work, the person may die.

Divorce
One of the most common traits that children exhibit from broken homes is visiting the absent parent. He may behave dramatically when he is with the parent with custody but behave well with the parent he visits. Sometimes, it may take weeks for the child to calm down at home. Child custody disputes tend to make things a lot worse because kids tend to interpret it as being taken away from their parent who loves them by the other.

Try not to discuss the details of separation with your child, but do let them know that you are available to them always. If the child does not express any feelings or ask questions, you may give a simple explanation.

Accidents
In children, accidents can cause complex reactions. Children may withdraw, experience a decrease in appetite or go through repeated nightmares. In certain extreme cases, the children may also develop a response to places that remind them of the tragedy.

The only way you can talk it out with your child to rectify the trauma that accidents cause is by discussing the event with them when they are ready. Doing so will offer them closure, helping them to refer to the event as something that had happened earlier and that the child is now safe. Disaster updates, as well as news reports, can make certain images to prop up in the mind. You need to help them dissociate from the imagery and detach from the event so that you can reinforce that they are safe.

Emotional Unavailability

This is the most common type of trauma that most children of the modern-age face. The pressure of not having both the parents around can mean that the parents are least concerned to the child. When children are left alone to make sense of their everyday experiences and emotions, they tend to lack inputs from responsible and reasonable adults. It is important for kids to be at the perusal of important tips and inputs from adults because it helps children to self-soothe and makes sense of relationships and the expectations that people have from them.

It is as simple as it sounds and so long as you avoid trying, you may not really be able to be the responsible parents that you want to be. So, take time every day to talk to your child. Communication is very important in helping your child to build an emotional connection with the world around.

Dr. Supriya Jagtap
Dr. Supriya Jagtap
BHMS, Family Physician Homeopath, Pune
Dr. Rohit Patil
Dr. Rohit Patil
MDS, Dentist Implantologist, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rashmi Mathur
Dr. Rashmi Mathur
BPTh, Physiotherapist Homecare Physiotherapist, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Aarti Vyas
Dr. Aarti Vyas
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, Pune
Dr. Tushar Dorage
Dr. Tushar Dorage
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Gynaecologist Obstetrics and Gynecologist, 5 yrs, Pune
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