Each year thousands of individuals in the UK suffer from PTSD. Unfortunately, as it stands many wait for long periods of time before gaining access to the treatment they need, either because they are too ashamed that they are unable to cope alone or because their GP fails to recognise the symptoms and misdiagnoses.
According to figures approximately 1.5% of England’s adult population suffer from PTSD, yet less than half of that number will actually visit their GP for help. In addition, when sufferers do eventually visit their healthcare provider for support, many GPs are actually misdiagnosing the symptoms because they are unfamiliar with PTSD and how best to treat it.
Because of the symptom overlap between depression, insomnia and PTSD – many doctors wrongly assume that they are at the heart of the problem and thus prescribe medication intended to treat them.
Drugs however – especially those for depression and insomnia, are not a very effective treatment for PTSD, with talking therapies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy proving to be far more beneficial in most cases.
According to experts on PTSD, when a patient complains of sleep problems or feeling low, the GP should also ask if the patient has experienced a traumatic event. If so they should then go on to asking about classic PTSD symptoms such as unwanted memories of the event, nightmares, flashbacks etc.
Individuals who are suffering from PTSD can then be referred for treatment such as cognitive behavioural therapy through their GP, which in many cases will set them on the road to recovery.
If you believe that either yourself or someone you know may be suffering from PTSD, or you believe you have been misdiagnosed – pay a visit to your GP. If you think you have been diagnosed incorrectly then discuss with them the reasons why so that they can refer you for more appropriate treatment. If you haven’t visited your GP regarding your symptoms before then be sure to relay all of your symptoms aside from just a difficulty sleeping and feelings of depression.
Many PTSD sufferers also find the use of hypnotherapy to be of use. If you would like to find out more about how the alternative therapy may be of use to you then please visit our hypnotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder page to find out more.
View and comment on the original BBC News article.