PTSD Specialist

Pacifica Care of Suncoast

Psychiatrist located in Punta Gorda, FL

If you’ve experienced a traumatic event and flashbacks and anxiety are interrupting your life, you may be experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The mental health experts at Pacifica Care of Suncoast in Punta Gorda, Florida, offer customized treatment to help you learn to manage your memories and feelings and respond with healthier behaviors. Call or schedule an appointment online today for diagnosis and treatment.


What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a lasting effect of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event characterized by intense and disturbing thoughts and memories of the experience that cause flashbacks, nightmares, and emotional irregularities like excessive anger or detachment.

PTSD was first diagnosed in combat veterans of World War I and II and was known as shell shock or combat fatigue. Since then, psychiatrists have learned that beyond the horrors of warfare, traumatic events such as natural disasters, terrorist events, violent assault, abuse, and more can trigger PTSD.

The condition can develop in anyone of any age, gender, or ethnicity who has experienced trauma.

What are symptoms of PTSD?

The symptoms of PTSD can develop either immediately following the traumatic event, or several weeks or months later. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD symptoms are typically categorized into four groups.

Re-experiencing symptoms

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Intrusive or frightening thoughts

Avoidance symptoms

  • Staying away from people, places, or things that remind you of the event
  • Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to your trauma

Arousal/reactivity symptoms

  • Startling easily
  • Being tense or on edge
  • Insomnia or troubled sleep
  • Anger management issues

Cognition/mood symptoms

  • Distorted memories of the event
  • Feeling guilty or bad about yourself or the world
  • Loss of interest in former hobbies or relationships

How is PTSD treated?

The team at Pacifica Care of Suncoast offers a customized combination of treatments to treat PTSD, including medication and therapy.

You may benefit from prescription medication to improve your PTSD symptoms. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety so you can focus on the tools and practices you learn in therapy to restructure your memories and learn to respond to your thoughts and feelings differently. If your sleep is disrupted by PTSD either by insomnia or nightmares, you may benefit from a medication called Prazosin.

While medication can help relieve your PTSD symptoms, psychotherapy is a critical part of recovery. Therapy can help you face your frightening thoughts and memories and learn to modify your behaviors when those feelings or thoughts emerge.

If you experience a traumatic event, you can limit your risk of developing PTSD by getting help soon after the event so you can process your experiences and feelings in a safe and healthy environment.

If you’re concerned about PTSD, call or make an appointment online today.