Living with PTSD

Speaker 1: Traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event, either experiencing it or witnessing it. About six out of every 100 people will have PTSD at some point in their lives, but it is treatable. So here to tell us more is Dr. Erica Steele of Holistic Family Practice in Virginia Beach. Hi, Dr. Steele, How are you.

Speaker 2: Hi April. I’m doing so well. Thanks for having me today.

Speaker 1: So at some point people have dealt with ptsd. I know personally I’ve been affected. So who is affected by it?

Speaker 2: You know, pretty much I like to say anybody who’s been on the planet has been affected by it because it’s really an experience or an event or even watching or observing an experience or.

That the mind really just can’t grapple with. Understand. It just defies logic and reason. So any kind of traumatic event that leaves a person feeling nervous, anxious, depressed, et cetera.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Well, we always associate it with folks that are in the military, who’ve been at war, et cetera. So what are some of the risk factors for maybe people who haven’t had that experience?

Speaker 2: So, actually it’s more common for people not to have been in the military to have PTSD than to be in the military, believe it or not. And so, childhood trauma, physical abuse, sexual abuse, um, you know, even racial discriminations, various different c. Any time a person feels isolated, alone, fearful, um, they get traumatized.

The mind just can’t handle it.

Speaker 1: So are there some signs and symptoms to look for in case you’re wondering if you are suffering from ptsd?

Speaker 2: Yes, lots and, and it differs from the individual, but we see a lot of nervousness, anxiety, jumpiness, you’re chronically apologizing, like you apologize over and over and over again.

Um, for things that are not, you know, really worth apologizing for or necessary, rather, um, you know, depression, obviously sleep. Sleep patterns. You get into a hypervigilant state where you can’t really go to sleep, you can’t rest and relax because your mind is really thinking. It’s like a, a prey animal in the woods waiting for it to be attacked.

Speaker 1: Okay? And then there’s some Stig stigmas associated with it as well. .

Speaker 2: Yeah, I think a lot of the stigmas are naturally, you know, things happen, just get over it. It’s not that big of a deal. We lessen the impact of these things and we don’t really give it a lot of credence, number one. And naturally the stigma is that, you know, if you haven’t been in the military, then you know you don’t have PTSD and it’s not valid.

And also too, the stigma. PTSD is not treatable or the only treatment is a medication or, you know, ssri, et cetera. And that’s could be farther from the truth.

Speaker 1: All right, So can you get over it on your own or do you really need to have some type of treatment, whether that is, uh, you know, medical treatment or non holistic treatment.

Speaker 2: Yeah, you really need professionals to help you through this. As much as I’d love to say, like, you could do this yourself, you really don’t have the perspective because especially if you’ve had the trauma in your childhood, your brain actually gets wired for that, right? And not that it doesn’t do that later on, but you have developmental trauma.

And so you really need a professional, either an allopathic professional or a holistic professional, um, to really help guide you through that.

Speaker 1: Okay. And I understand that you have a webinar that you’re promoting as well.

Speaker 2: Yes, definitely. I love to teach about this particular topic and of course we have a short amount of time on air and so I really wanna go deeper into this topic.

And so if you or somebody that you love or know suffers from ptsd, we’d love to have you in the webinar so I can educate you further.

Speaker 1: One last question, Erica. Is there a time where, you know, if it’s been 11 years, you can get over it or, you know, you were saying as a child, sometimes you don’t ever get.

Speaker 2: You know, the mind and the body are so resilient, and so if you have a willingness, right, that’s really all it takes is a willingness to wanna heal, then absolutely you can heal. It may take a little bit of time and a little bit of patience, but I truly believe that the body and the mind can heal itself if you give it the right environment.

Speaker 1: Okay, and how do we get in touch?

Speaker 2: Holistic family practice va.com, and you can always text or call our office.

Speaker 1: I’m really digging a hat. Thank you so much, Dr. Steele .

Speaker 2: Thank you. Take care.

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