Post-traumatic stress disorder, widely referred to as PTSD, is a serious mental health challenge affecting millions around the world. This anxiety disorder often develops following exposure to a traumatic event, leading to constant and intense feelings of distress and fear far beyond normal reactions of unease or fright.

Those grappling with PTSD find that these feelings of fear and distress linger and may even worsen with time, affecting their ability to carry out everyday tasks, including work, school, and maintaining relationships.

It is important to recognize that PTSD is not a sign of personal weakness or a character flaw. Rather, it is a recognized medical issue that requires appropriate professional care.

At Elevate Psychiatry, we offer comprehensive mental health solutions designed to meet your specific needs, helping you to take back control of your life and nurture your mental health.

Basics of PTSD

PTSD is a serious mental illness that may arise when a person experiences or observes a traumatic event. Such events include life-threatening situations, such as military conflict, natural catastrophes, serious accidents, or violent personal attacks.

However, PTSD can also emerge from events that, while distressing, are not directly life-threatening, such as the sudden loss of a close family member or significant health issues.

PTSD Symptoms

Symptoms of PTSD can be classified into four different categories or types.

Intrusive Memories

This symptom group includes the constant and unwelcome distressing memories of a traumatic event. Symptoms involve experiencing the traumatic event as though it is occurring again, known as flashbacks, disturbing dreams or nightmares, and intense emotional distress when reminded of the event.


Symptoms of avoidance are characterized by attempts to steer clear of thoughts, emotions, or discussions related to the traumatic event. This behavior may result in people avoiding locations, activities, or other people that trigger memories of the incident.

Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood

Changes in emotional state, feelings, or thoughts associated with the trauma are aspects of a common form of PTSD. Symptoms can cover negative perceptions of oneself or the world, a sense of detachment from family and friends, and challenges in feeling positive emotions.

Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions

Symptoms within this group, often referred to as hyperarousal symptoms, can involve reactions such as:

PTSD Causes

While the precise causes of PTSD are not entirely clear, experts in research and healthcare have pinpointed a range of contributing factors. These factors include a combination of environmental, genetic, and psychological influences.

Stressful Experiences

The core of PTSD is rooted in experiencing or being exposed to traumatic, stressful, or frightening situations. Such events can vary widely, including life-threatening circumstances like military combat, natural disasters, severe accidents, terrorist incidents, or intense personal violence, such as sexual assault.

Alternatively, PTSD can also stem from the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one. Not only does direct exposure trigger PTSD but indirect exposure can do so as well. This includes situations such as learning that a close family member or friend has experienced similar events or through exposure to traumatic details encountered in professions like police work or paramedics.

Genetic Factors

Genetic factors significantly influence the risk of developing PTSD. Inherited vulnerabilities to mental health issues, including a family background of anxiety and depression, can heighten the chances of experiencing PTSD. For example, those with a familial predisposition to mental health challenges might have an increased susceptibility to PTSD following a traumatic incident.

Moreover, the anatomy and operation of the brain can play a role in PTSD risk. Research indicates that the brain regions tasked with regulating fear and stress responses may operate differently from those diagnosed with PTSD.

Similarly, personality characteristics are often passed down genetically, and certain characteristics may predispose someone to PTSD. For instance, those who are inherently more anxious or tense might be more susceptible to developing PTSD.

How a person is taught to manage stress from an early age can affect their response to traumatic events in later life. For example, people who have adopted ineffective coping strategies or who lack resilience may find themselves more prone to PTSD.

The causes of PTSD are varied and complex. It's crucial to understand that while certain factors may increase the likelihood of developing PTSD, they do not ensure its occurrence. Many people with the identified risk factors do not develop PTSD, whereas some without any known risk factors might suffer from it.

PTSD Treatment

Elevate Psychiatry provides a wide range of mental health services customized to meet the specific requirements of each patient. Based on the intensity and nature of PTSD, several therapeutic approaches may be relevant for you.

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy, also known as Psychotherapy, assists patients in comprehending their symptoms, recognizing their triggers, and acquiring techniques to cope with them.

Medication Management

Specific medications, including antidepressants, are effective in managing symptoms of PTSD like sadness, anxiety, anger, and emotional numbness.

Interventional Procedures

Treatment methods like Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) may help with specific symptoms of PTSD.

Spravato Therapy

Spravato therapy is a promising new treatment option for PTSD, offering rapid relief of symptoms for some patients.

Treat PTSD with Elevate Psychiatry

At Elevate Psychiatry, our team of doctors and certified mental health professionals work with you to process traumatic events and help you regain control of your life. 

Your experience is unique to you, and we will help you find a treatment path that best suits your needs. 

Book an appointment online or get in touch with us at one of our three locations:

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