Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one harmed, witnessed a loved one harmed, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.
PTSD was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as:
- Child Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Being Kidnapped
- Held Captive Mugging
- Car Accidents
- Train Wrecks
- Plane Crashes, Bombings
- Natural Disasters
Symptoms of PTSD usually fall into 3 areas:
- Re-experiencing Symptoms: People with PTSD may repeatedly relive the trauma in their thoughts during the day and in nightmares when they sleep. Memories and images of the traumatic events are called flashbacks. They occur suddenly, at any time and without obvious cause. Flashbacks may consist of, sounds, smells, or feelings, and are often triggered by ordinary occurrences, such as a door slamming or a car backfiring. A person having a flashback may lose touch with reality and believe that the traumatic incident is happening all over again. Flashbacks are often accompanied by intense emotions, such as grief, guilt, fear, or anger. Sometimes they can be so vivid a person believes the trauma is actually reoccurring. 1
- Avoidance Symptoms: Some traumatized individuals may avoid situations that remind them of the original incident. They may feel numb, emotionless, or withdraw into themselves in order to shut out the painful memories and feelings. Friends and family can feel rejected, as PTSD victims may be unable to show affection and emotion. Trauma anniversaries dates are often very difficult for PTSD sufferers.
- Arousal Symptoms: Trauma sufferers fearing further trauma are always on the alert. They may be on guard, jumpy, unable to sleep, angry, irritable. They may startle easily, become emotionally numb (especially in relation to people with whom they used to be close), lose interest in things they used to enjoy, have trouble feeling affectionate, be irritable, become aggressive, or even violent. Many also have concentration and memory problems.
PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults, but it can occur at any age, including childhood. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and there is some evidence that susceptibility to the disorder may run in families. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.
Today we have medications and psychotherapy that will effectively treat the symptoms of PTSD,
A Harvard trained Psychiatrist, Dr. Kittay sees patients who need Psychiatric care for Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorders, PTSD and ADHD.
Dr. Michael J. Kittay, MD, Harvard Trained Psychiatrist
- Harvard Trained Psychiatrist providing Comprehensive Psychiatric Care for Adults
- Experienced and Skilled Diagnostician and Psycho-pharmacologist
- Psychiatric management of Depression, Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress, ADHD, Bipolar, Eating and other Mental Health Disorders
Our Approach to Psychiatric Treatment
- The initial psychiatric evaluation is a comprehensive consultation that includes taking a thorough medical and psychiatric history. You will complete testing for psychiatric disorders including mood, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD and ADHD.
- This in-depth evaluation guides diagnosis which guides treatment. Because it may take several weeks before psychiatric medications work, a correct diagnosis and choosing the right medication is especially important. Otherwise it will be difficult to know if a medication will be effective or if it is being dosed properly. Getting it right the first time means you feel better sooner.
- We are as concerned as you are about which medications and how much medication you are taking. We are careful to prescribe the least number of medications at the lowest doses that will be effective. You are always part of the team who makes medication decisions.
- We recommend evidence based non medication strategies to compliment medications. This helps speed up the recovery process and minimizes the use of medications.
- Our goal is to make you the best version of yourself possible.