Steven R. Kafrissen M.D. DLFAPA
Psychiatrist located in Kingston, PA
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by long-term psychological effects following a traumatic event like a natural disaster, serious accident, personal assault, or abuse. Steven R. Kafrissen, MD, helps patients from in and around Kingston, Pennsylvania manage their symptoms and lead active and fulfilling lives. If you have a past trauma that is still affecting you today, call or schedule a consultation online.
PTSD Q & A
What is PTSD?
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is known by many other names like shell shock and combat fatigue. These names are specific to the psychological disruption caused by the trauma of military combat. In fact, PTSD occurs when you experience or witness any kind of traumatic event.
PTSD causes long-term thoughts and feelings related to the initial trauma that occur for months or even years after the event. For example, you may experience flashbacks or nightmares, or have intense feelings of fear or sadness triggered by things that remind you of the trauma.
Many people with PTSD avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event because they can’t control their response to the triggered memories.
Trauma is a uniquely relative experience in that an experience that has a profound effect on one person may not affect another, which is why if two people are involved in an incident like an accident or a mass shooting, their reactions, both short- and long-term are different.
What are symptoms of PTSD?
People with PTSD have unique experiences. However, symptoms can typically be categorized into four types.
- Intrusive Thoughts
You may not be able to stop yourself from repeatedly replaying the event in your memory. Flashbacks and nightmares also are considered intrusive thoughts. These memories and flashbacks are often so vivid that you think you're reliving the trauma.
- Avoiding Reminders
You may develop avoidance techniques to keep yourself away from traumatic triggers like certain people or places.
- Negative Thoughts and Feelings
It is common to have negative thoughts and feelings about yourself and others in relation to the trauma. Survivors guilt is an example of this kind of feeling.
- Reactive Behaviors
Irritability, angry outbursts, reckless behavior, sleep disorders, and disrupted concentration are common PTSD reactive symptoms. For example, combat veterans may take a defensive stance when they hear a loud, unidentified noise.
How is PTSD treated?
Dr. Kafrissen treats PTSD with a customized combination of medication and psychotherapy. Medication can control symptoms such as sadness, anger, anxiety, and emotional numbness. This often helps to clear your ‘head space’ so that you can work with Dr. Kafrissen in psychotherapy sessions to reframe your traumatic memories and learn to manage your responses to them. Dr. Kafrissen offers treatments like exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring to help you face your fears and make sense of your memories.
If you have concerns about PTSD, call or book an appointment with Dr. Kafrissen online today.