Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious and often debilitating physical and psychological illness that often prevents people from functioning properly in the workplace. Many successful treatment options are available, but some involve inpatient treatment and therapy. Many PTSD sufferers put off treatment because they are afraid of losing their job, but many others have lost their job because of an inability to function.
Understanding this disease and getting the proper help is crucial if you wish to regain the life you once enjoyed.
How Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Works
PTSD is a psychological and physiological condition that alters the chemistry of the brain through exposure to intense trauma.
Some of the experiences that can lead to PTSD include the following:
- Battlefield violence
- Exposure to the death or maiming of others
- Auto accidents
- The sudden death of a loved one
- Being the victim of a violent crime
- Sexual abuse
- Childhood neglect or abuse
Sufferers may experience intense flashbacks long after the traumatic event. The chemistry and bio-electrical makeup of their brain has been altered by exposure to trauma, and a wide range of symptoms may result.
These symptoms can include any or all of the following:
- Sudden panic attacks
- Ongoing anxiety
- Violent mood changes
- Verbal or physical abuse of others
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep disorders
- Intense nightmares
- Fear of anything that reminds them of their trauma
The effects can last years – or even a lifetime. Many soldiers returning from active duty, emergency first responders, or victims of violent crime demonstrate one or more of these symptoms, but they have no idea that PTSD is the cause.
Finding Effective PTSD Treatment
Recently, much progress has been made in understanding, diagnosing and treating PTSD. Each individual’s case is different and will require a slightly different treatment plan, but specialized physicians and therapists can make that happen. Many of the most effective recovery programs involve some combination of the following therapies:
- Personal counseling
- Support group meetings
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Medical treatment
PTSD in the Workplace
Certain rules are in place to allow those who suffer from PTSD to receive treatment without losing their jobs. Though some requirements are in place, and they change from time to time, the Family Medical Leave Act (FLMA) protects full-time employees from losing their job due to PTSD. It is incumbent upon the patients, however, to have their condition properly diagnosed and to register their possible need for medical leave in advance of their treatment. Our counselors can help walk you through this process. In most cases insurance even covers the cost of treatment.
Help with PTSD
If left untreated PTSD can cost a person dearly. The loss of employment due to emotional outbursts or a general inability to function is just the beginning. PTSD can ruin relationships and lead to substance abuse and addiction. Depression and even suicide are definitely possible.
If you or someone you love is struggling with PTSD, please call our 24 hour toll-free helpline any time at 706-914-2327. Our PTSD counselors are standing by to answer your questions and to help you find the treatment you need.