Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Inpatient Care) Care Guide

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that may occur after you have experienced a traumatic situation or event. This event may have caused you to feel intense fear, pain, or sorrow. You may think you are going to get hurt or die. You may also continue to feel helpless after the event. These feelings affect your daily activities and relationships.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

PTSD symptoms may get worse if not treated. You may have problems working or getting along with others. PTSD may affect your eating and sleeping habits, which may cause other health problems. You may hurt yourself or others.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Psychiatric assessment:

Caregivers will ask if you have a history of psychological trauma, such as physical, sexual, or mental abuse. They will ask if you were given the care that you needed. Caregivers will ask you if you have been a victim of a crime or natural disaster, or if you have a serious injury or disease. They will ask you if you have seen other people being harmed, such as in combat. You will be asked if you drink alcohol or use drugs at present or in the past. Caregivers will ask you if you want to hurt or kill yourself or others. How you answer these questions can help caregivers decide on treatment. To help during treatment, caregivers will ask you about such things as how you feel about it and your hobbies and goals. Caregivers will also ask you about the people in your life who support you.

Medicines:

  • Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.

  • Antidepressants: These medicines are given to decrease or stop the symptoms of depression.

  • Sedative: This medicine is given to help you stay calm and relaxed.

Tests:

  • Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.

  • Urine sample: For this test you need to urinate into a small container. You will be given instructions on how to clean your genital area before you urinate. Do not touch the inside of the cup. Follow instructions on where to place the cup of urine when you are done.

Treatment:

  • Cognitive behavior therapy: This therapy will help you learn to face the feared object or situation slowly and carefully. You will also learn to control your mental and physical reactions of fear.

    • Cognitive restructuring: Caregivers help you learn which thoughts cause anxiety. Your therapist will help you see the event differently so you can change your thoughts and decrease your anxiety.

    • Exposure therapy: Exposure or desensitization therapy helps you face a feared object, person, or situation. Fantasy or real-life situations are used with this therapy. The goal of desensitization therapy is to help decrease your fear or anxiety.

  • Relaxation therapy: Stress may cause pain, lead to illness, and slow healing. Relaxation therapy teaches you how to feel less physical and emotional stress. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and music are some forms of relaxation therapy.

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: This is also called EMDR and is a type of exposure therapy. Caregivers help you make your eyes move back and forth while you imagine the trauma.

  • Psychological debriefing: This is often a single meeting with a therapist to have crisis counseling. You may have this right after a traumatic event to prevent or decrease further emotional problems.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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