Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) services offered in Bellevue, WA

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common problem affecting 5% of teens and 7% of adults. If you experienced a traumatic event and can’t shake the anxiety, don’t wait to connect with Jeanne Nicholson, ARNP, PMHNP-BC, at Nicholson Psychiatry, PLLC, in Bellevue, Washington. Jeanne specializes in medication management, giving you relief from your symptoms while undergoing therapy that helps you deal with the trauma. Call the office today or use online booking to request an appointment and begin personalized treatment for PTSD.

What causes post-traumatic stress disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as PTSD, begins after a life-threatening or frightening experience. Whether you’re directly involved in the event or witness it, the trauma is so intense and emotionally overwhelming that your brain can’t process everything that happened.

To help you cope, the brain tucks the memories into your subconscious. While that eases your symptoms in the short-term, it doesn’t give you the chance to face your emotions or deal with the trauma.

As a result, your brain stays in survival mode, flashbacks occur, and you react to normal daily events with intense anxiety and emotions. That’s when you have PTSD. 

The traumatic experiences that often cause PTSD include:

  • Combat duty
  • Gun violence
  • Physical assault or abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual violence
  • Robberies or home invasions
  • Accidents (car, plane, boat, etc.)
  • Death of a loved one
  • Natural disasters (hurricanes, tornados, etc.)

PTSD often begins after one major event, but you can also develop the condition if you live through multiple events like ongoing emotional abuse.

What signs appear if I have PTSD?

The signs of PTSD include anxiety and difficult emotions lasting more than a month after a traumatic event. 

In addition to anxiety, you’ll have other symptoms, including:

  • Depression
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Irritability and anger
  • Uncharacteristic aggression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Memory loss
  • Guilt or shame
  • Avoidance

Avoidance means you purposefully stay away from anything that reminds you of the trauma.

How is PTSD treated?

The first step is to connect with Nicholson Psychiatry, PLLC, to schedule a psychiatric and cognitive evaluation. Jeanne asks you to complete a questionnaire about your emotional and behavioral symptoms and talks with you about your PTSD challenges.

Jeanne evaluates your medical history, lifestyle habits, social support network, and other facets of your life that influence your mental well-being. As part of your overall evaluation, she may also assess your cognitive functions using a simple, online evaluation.

As a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (ARNP, PMHNP-BC), Jeanne focuses on medication management, prescribing medications that ease symptoms of PTSD.

During your evaluation, she also discusses the importance of therapy to learn to manage your anxiety, process the trauma, and overcome your symptoms.

Don’t wait to seek help for PTSD. Call Nicholson Psychiatry, PLLC, today or connect online to request an appointment and begin treatment to break the hold of PTSD.