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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Joshua D. Feder, M.D.

Child & Family Psychiatry located in Solana Beach, CA

Nearly 70% of Americans experience some type of traumatic event in their lives. Up to 20% of those people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a direct result of their experience. Joshua D. Feder, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist practicing in Solana Beach, California, provides expert diagnosis of PTSD, including forensic work for legal cases in which PTSD could play a role. He offers customized treatments and therapy to help you recover from the psychological after-effects of your traumatic experience. Call Dr. Feder today or schedule an appointment online to get the help you need to relieve your symptoms and restore your overall well-being.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Q & A

What is PTSD?

When you experience a traumatic event, such as a serious accident, violent personal assault, rape, combat, or a terrorist act, your memories of that event may become intrusive and disrupt your behaviors and ability to function normally. PTSD causes intense and disturbing thoughts, feelings, and memories long after the trauma ends.

PTSD was originally diagnosed as shell shock or combat fatigue in soldiers during the first and second world wars. Today, Dr. Feder and other mental health professionals know that anyone can develop PTSD.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD causes symptoms in four distinct categories: intrusive thoughts, avoidance, negative thoughts and feelings, and arousal.

Intrusive thoughts

Intrusive thoughts are repeated involuntary memories. You may have these thoughts while you’re awake and conscious, during dissociative flashbacks, or as nightmares. Your flashbacks may be so vivid that you feel like you’re repeatedly reliving the experience.

Avoidance behaviors

If you display avoidance symptoms, you go out of your way to stay away from places, people, and situations that trigger your memories and intrusive thoughts. You may try to avoid or suppress your memories and refuse to talk about the event or how you feel about it.

Negative thoughts

Negative thoughts or feelings are distorted beliefs about yourself and others. For example, you may feel negatively about yourself because of the trauma, or have ongoing anger, shame, guilt, or fear. Other examples of negative feelings are decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities and detachment from loved ones.

Heightened arousal

Arousal symptoms include irritability, feeling on edge, or angry outbursts. You may engage in reckless behavior, be easily startled, or suffer from insomnia.

How is PTSD diagnosed?

PTSD is typically diagnosed after you experience a traumatic event and have PTSD symptoms that interrupt your ability to function normally for more than a month. Dr. Feder diagnoses PTSD with a comprehensive assessment and consultation. He interviews you about your experiences and symptoms to develop a thorough understanding of your condition.

How is PTSD treated?

After your initial consultation and diagnosis, Dr. Feder provides a customized treatment plan that may include therapy, stress management techniques, and medication. He tailors your treatment plan to address your specific needs and provides a safe environment to explore your memories, thoughts, and feelings.

If PTSD is disrupting your life, call Dr. Feder or schedule an appointment online today.