The symptoms of post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) and complex post-traumatic disorder (CPTSD) are not as visually obvious as physical injuries or ailments. Neither is it as well known as other mental afflictions. Consequently, it is often misinterpreted, underestimated or ignored by untrained observers. It can also be misdiagnosed by inexperienced health practitioners. This presents unique challenges for sufferers, but it can be resolved.

Post-traumatic stress disorders are not always given the recognition or priority it deserves. Often victims are so busy fighting for acknowledgement of their condition, or battling with random problems stemming from it, such as work or relationship disputes, that they find it hard to concentrate on healing the disorder itself.

Modern society is more aware of the effects of traumatic events than it was in the past. However, apart from brief group counselling sessions that organisations sometimes arrange for their members after a distressing public event, there are still obstacles facing victims in severe cases of a personal nature. The longer it persists, the greater the burden on sufferers and those around them becomes.

Sometimes trauma victims battle with employers or affiliates who ignore or neglect the interests of their employees or career associates. Some organisations are also more concerned about red tape than the needs of individuals. Workers may fear punitive measures and unrealistically attempt to continue coping with demanding work situations. Often they engage in legal or disciplinary procedures to avoid career harm or loss of benefits. This results in even more stress.

PTSD and CPTSD symptoms such as anxiety, depression and disassociation often cause poor interpersonal relationships with partners, family members and friends. The actions and behaviours of trauma victims are often misinterpreted, leading to conflicts and progressively worsening relationship situations. Frantic, premature attempts to restore broken relationships can distract patients and disrupt their recovery process.

Health insurers and legal entities often involve cumbersome rules, regulations, policies and procedures that delay the treatment of trauma victims. Patients are often in situations that force them to attend immediate treatment. They then attempt to untangle these processes while they are in treatment, despite being emotionally incapable of dealing with it at that stage.

Issues that arise after the onset of stress disorders should not be allowed to disrupt treatment. Unfortunately, patients are often so pre-occupied with such issues that they allow it to overshadow the need for treatment, thus invoking ever more complications. Fortunately, they can overcome this with the assistance of mental health professionals.

Reducing the social impact of PTSD

PTSD and CPTSD sufferers often find themselves in situations where they are faced with pressing work, social or legal issues. They may feel that these issues must be resolved before they can give their full attention to treatment of the disorder. Contrary to this perception, it is more realistic to heal the disorder first, as it will improve their ability to deal with the extrinsic issues.

If a traumatic incident is severe enough to cause serious problems, then home remedies will usually fail to bring about recovery. PTSD and CPTSD are complicated disorders which require professional intervention with integrated, personalised psychotherapeutic programs administered by suitably qualified and highly experienced health professionals.

Fear of telling employers or affiliates about a post-traumatic stress disorder, is not uncommon. The symptoms include anxiety and depression, which promote negative expectations. Victims are usually predisposed to feel that admitting a problem will result in dismissal or ruination. It is better to consult a mental health professional. They have the resources to advise patients about realistic ways and means to obtain treatment without suffering excessive loss or harm.

In most cases qualified mental health experts can also intervene with employers, associates, legal entities and other instances to avoid repercussions. As they are seen as authoritative figures, they have a stronger influence and a better rate of success in dealing with such issues than the average person.

Often PTSD involves more than just one incident and includes several comorbid afflictions, such as behavioural and substance use disorders. If the symptoms of a traumatic encounter do not dissipate after a relatively short period, it may be Complex Post-Traumatic Disorder (CPTSD), a condition that can last for several years and cause more severe harm than PTSD.

In most cases, due to the complexity of the disorder, a full treatment program for CPTSD in the stable and focused environment of a residential rehabilitation centre is recommended. However, if it is too difficult to attend residential treatment, then private consultations or an out-patient program may be suitable alternative options. This may take significantly longer to complete than residential treatment.

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