June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder awareness month. According to the National Center for PTSD, about 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD at some point in their lives.
Family Medicine Physician, Dr. Ronald Jones of SIMED's Primary Care explains that PTSD is considered when a reaction lasts more than one month after an actual or perceived event involving major events such as, death, serious injury or rape.
According to Dr. Jones symptoms can include uncontrollable intrusive thoughts, nightmares or disturbed sleep and the person can be easily startled. There is no routine screening test or exam so it is important for your health care provider to be aware of the symptoms.
CAPS-5 and PCL-5 tests are available to help diagnose patients. The CAPS-5 is a 30-item interview that can be used to make a current or lifetime diagnosis of PTSD and assess symptoms of PTSD in the last week. The 20-item PCL-5 test monitors symptoms of PTSD, screens individuals, and makes a provisional diagnosis.
"Treatment is beneficial and can reduce the risk of suicide, lessen effects on family and society, reduce medical costs, increase productivity and reduce risk of violence and suicide." Says Dr. Jones.
Some patients may feel a stigma of fear when considering to seek treatment or evaluation for PTSD.
“Talk to your doctor,” says Dr. Jones, “ ask if they are comfortable talking with you about PTSD. If they aren’t, ask for referral to a physician familiar with PTSD. There are many medication options, some tend to be more effective than others. Research is ongoing and new treatment options are on the horizon.”
For more information or if you would like to talk to a physician about PTSD, request an appointment online today.