Individuals with PTSD may have flashbacks to the traumatic event, which may manifest as nightmares or frightening thoughts and memories, which sometimes makes them feel that they literally living through the event once again. Not uncommonly, they avoid places, people, things, or feelings that remind them of the traumatic event; they experience environmental triggers that bring them into a state of arousal that may include anger or anxiety; and their cognitive experience and moods shift in noticeable ways—including having negative thoughts, disinterest in previously enjoyable activities, and more.
One example of living through a shocking, dangerous and terrifying experience is when one has survived being sexual assaulted. The story of Nina illustrates how genetic testing, medication, and prolonged exposure therapy can be thoughtfully combined to result in her PTSD being cured.
A number of genetic variants are associated with PTSD, and can be detected and systematically addressed by a genetic test, through a simple cheek swab. The story of Marcy, one of our nation’s wounded warriors, illustrates how this precision psychiatry approach works.
PTSD can be an emotionally taxing experience. If the aforementioned symptoms sound familiar, it may be necessary to seek help to re-establish normalcy and wholeness in life. A consultation with our psychiatrists at Potomac Psychiatry can help you gain clarity about the path forward.