ASK THE YOU DOCS: Anyone can have PTSD, but treatment helps
By Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen
Posted: 12:00am on May 19, 2012
Q: A few weeks ago, while trying to avoid a deer, I swerved wildly and just missed a head-on collision with another car. I ended up in a ditch, unhurt but shaken. Since then I can’t sleep more than a few hours at a time. I get flashbacks and break into sweats. Sometimes during the day, just walking to the soda machine at work, I have to stop to catch my breath. What’s happening?
ANDREW F., DARIEN CONN.
A: You don’t have to be a wounded Iraqi warrior to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and that sounds like what you are describing. Anyone who has experienced a traumatic event involving the threat of injury or death is a candidate. PTSD changes — disorders — how certain hormones and brain chemicals carry information and respond to stress. Whether you develop PTSD depends on your genetic predispositions, your social situation (isolation makes it harder to process the event) and your physical health going into the trauma.
This is a physical condition, so don’t be ashamed and don’t try to shrug off the feelings. We urge you to see a specialist — the sooner you get properly diagnosed, the sooner you can begin treatment and regain control of your life and your relationships. The good news is that therapy, which may mean medications, cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling therapy (specific to your experience), or a combination of all three, really does work. You won’t feel better overnight, but you will learn how to cope, begin to get rid of chronic sleep deprivation and stress, and avoid a cascade of related health problems, from high blood pressure and heart disease to diabetes and depression.
The You Docs — Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic — are authors of “YOU: Losing Weight.” To submit questions, go to www.RealAge.com. King Features syndicate.
Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/05/19/2122744/anyone-can-have-ptsd-but-treatment.html#storylink=cpy