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Does PTSD Go Away?

    * I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

    As someone who has been diagnosed with PTSD, I have first hand experience with how absolutely debilitating it can be. It’s something that if you haven’t ever experienced it, it’s impossible to fully understand. But does PTSD go away ever?

    It’s estimated that at least 70% of people will experience a minimum of one traumatic event throughout their life. 20% will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from this experience.

    Does PTSD Go Away

    It’s also estimated that around 8 million people will suffer PTSD per year. So although, you may feel very alone, it’s important to remember that you are not. 

    With most mental illnesses there can be an unfair stigma attached to PTSD as well as many misconceptions about the illness. It’s really important, especially if you or someone you know has been diagnosed, to understand the disorder and how best to manage it. 

    Myth-Busting

    Before we dive into exactly what PTSD is and how it can be treated, I think it’s really important to debunk a lot of the myths around PTSD as this will help reduce the negative stigma that surrounds it. 

    If anyone you know does suffer, please always be patient and kind, and remember that this disorder originates from experiencing severe trauma.

    Those who do have PTSD have usually suffered enough, and already battle there issues without needing to deal with any antagonism or animosity. 

    Here are a few common myths that are simply not true: 

    • PTSD isn’t real and just something people make up for attention. 
    • PTSD only affects the weak minded
    • PTSD makes everyone violent
    • PTSD will go away on its own without help 
    • PTSD must occur immediately after trauma
    • People with PTSD just need to get over themselves
    • PTSD only develops in veterans 
    • PTSD only happens after physical injury 

    PTSD Explained

    This disorder is very serious and can affect many aspects of a persons life. It can stop them from enjoying everyday life and they can often feel unsafe or like danger is constantly around them.

    Of course PTSD can manifest differently person to person, depending on the traumatic event, and the triggers that it has caused. It is mental and psychological reaction that those suffering with have no control over. 

    PTSD usually develops after an uncommon experience that causes major trauma and is certainly not a sign of weakness. Some people believe that PTSD makes a person act crazy but this is misconceived as it is not characterized by violence or psychosis.

    You’ve got to think, you’ve been subjected to an experience that you should never have happened, something that most people won’t have experienced, as you should never beat yourself up over how your mind then copes with that. 

    PTSD symptoms are your brain trying to process the trauma that it’s been through, and these can feel life-altering for those involved.

    Symptoms can include nightmares, anger, flashbacks, insomnia and mood changes. It can make you relive the trauma over and over, and this can be both physically and emotionally draining. 

    It is also important to note that sometimes PTSD will not develop until long after the event, so just because someone seemed okay before, doesn’t mean that those symptoms are not very real now, months or even years later.

    PTSD will not go away on its own, but with treatment and therapy it can be managed and in many cases sufferers can recover. 

    Treatments

    As PTSD is unlikely to go away untreated, it is important to always confide in a medical proffesional to try and get some help. There are a few different treatments for PTSD. 

    Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

    This therapy consists of a lot of in-depth conversation. A professional will use this to help understand your emotional and mental processes and help determine your relationship with the outside world and your trauma. 

    A therapist will tend to focus on your early life experiences, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs.

    This helps to find the recurring patterns in your life so that you can start to implement strategies that will help you cope with triggers and help change your behavior when you experience these triggers. 

    This type of therapy focuses on creating new healthy coping mechanisms for those suffering. 

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is more focused on how the trauma now effects your behavior and patterns. The goal of CBT is to show you how to take the  negative thoughts the illness has caused and change them for the better. 

    You will learn how to take these fears and modify them through focusing on the present rather than the trauma of the past. This is done by going into full depth to understand how the trauma affects them in the present.

    Once this has been established you can begin to find ways to alternatively see your trauma. 

    This focus’ on learning that while you cannot control everything that happens, or has happened, in your life you can control how you deal with the circumstances thrown your way. 

    Sensorimotor Therapy

    This is less medical, and more holistic in its approach. It focus’ on how the trauma affects your body, or how trauma can feel trapped inside your body. This is often a good form of treatment for those who have experienced violent or sexually violent trauma. 

    The intention is to create a ‘safe space’ for survivors to recall specific sensations while reliving a traumatic event. It also helps you to realize how your body responds to triggers, opposed to just your mind. 

    Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing

    It isn’t uncommon for survivors to have no memory of the traumatic event. Your brain is incredibly clever, and sometimes it will try to protect you from memories it believes too traumatic for you to process.

    This type of therapy is used to try and help you recall the memory that you’ve forgotten. 

    It can then be determined whether this memory is still associated with a stress response and from there it can be determined how to help those face these suppressed memories in a safe environment. 

    So Does PTSD Ever Actually Go Away? 

    There will never be a black or white answer, yes or no, for whether your PTSD will completely go away. There are too many personal factors that could change how your brain processes the trauma.

    Factors such as the type of trauma, how long you were subjected to the trauma, how your brain was affected, and how receptive you are to treatment, can all change the answer. 

    It has been estimated that over 50% of patients with PTSD who receive trauma-focused therapy will have little to no symptoms within three months of treatment. However, there are often lingering affects that can still remain after treatment. 

    The main issue is that a traumatic event can be diminished but never undone. So, unfortunately, no, PTSD will never completely go away.

    However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, as though although there is always a possibility of triggers resurfacing, many with PTSD can find symptoms remain dormant for not only months, or years, but decades with the right treatment.

    Self Help For PTSD/CPTSD- Steps to Start Your Recovery

    Never Suffer In Silence

    For my final thoughts, I wanted to really reiterate that PTSD is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. And trauma does not have to take over your life. If you are struggling, please reach out and speak to someone.

    If you need a crisis hotline or want to learn more about therapy, please see below:

    For more information on mental health, please see:

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