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PTSD treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions

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Can I talk to a doctor on Maple about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Yes, you will be able to talk to a doctor on Maple about post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you’re experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, the doctor will suggest that you get a PTSD assessment at a clinic to confirm whether you’re experiencing this condition.

Can I get a prescription on Maple?

Yes. Our physicians can renew post-traumatic stress disorder medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or have it delivered to your door at no additional cost.

You can visit our How it works page to learn more.

What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (also called PTSD) is a mental illness caused by either experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.

If they don’t seek help, patients experiencing PTSD may have difficulty coping with normal day-to-day life after the event, and this could cause several negative long-term effects from PTSD.

These long-term effects can arise in many ways, including feelings of depression and anger related to PTSD. These can result in visible symptoms like uncontrollable outbursts, or invisible symptoms like recurrent memories, PTSD flashbacks, or nightmares.

What are the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms could begin as quickly as a few weeks after the traumatic incident, or they may take years to appear.

Several different types of symptoms could appear depending on the severity of the traumatic event as well as each person’s individual ability to cope with the memories of these events.

Some patients experience intrusive memories as a result of their condition, resulting in PTSD nightmares, PTSD flashbacks (reliving the memory), recurrent stressful memories, or severe emotional distress brought on by triggers that bring back traumatic memories.

Others experience symptoms of avoidance, such as avoiding people, locations, or other triggers that could cause a PTSD episode.

PTSD can cause specific negative changes to a patient’s mood and thought processes. Some of these examples include:

  • Loss of interest in hobbies or pastimes
  • Feeling hopeless about the future
  • Feeling detached from loved ones
  • Memory loss, specifically relating to the traumatic event
  • Difficulty feeling positive emotions
  • Negative thoughts about yourself or others
  • Difficulty maintaining close or intimate relationships
  • Feelings of emotional numbness

In addition to these, PTSD can cause physical symptoms and emotional reactions, such as:

  • Being easily frightened or startled
  • Insomnia related to PTSD nightmares
  • Paranoia related to PTSD triggers and avoiding them
  • Overwhelming feelings of shame or guilt
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Angry outbursts or irritability
What causes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

The most common post-traumatic stress disorder causes relate to stressful experiences during which the patient experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

In many cases, these events had the potential to be life-threatening for the patient or someone else, or did cause loss of life for someone else, which was witnessed by the person with PTSD.

These causes can also relate to individual inherited personality features such as mental health risks and personal temperament, which can affect one’s ability to cope with stressful situations.

Sometimes, childhood trauma can cause PTSD later in life. This is particularly common in those who have buried the memories of these traumatic events and require help with their PTSD to learn how to cope with these past traumas.

Moreover, trauma in the forms of physical and emotional abuse can cause PTSD. Most often, this form of PTSD appears in relationships where one partner is verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive towards the other.

What is the difference between PTSD and anxiety?

The biggest difference between PTSD and anxiety is that anxiety is a very common symptom experienced by those with post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, patients with anxiety or GAD (general anxiety disorder) don’t necessarily have PTSD.

Therefore, while anxiety frequently affects people with PTSD, patients with anxiety not caused by traumatic events don’t necessarily have PTSD.

What is the difference between PTSD and C-PTSD?

C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) and PTSD are very similar in both symptoms and treatment methods.

The biggest difference between PTSD and C-PTSD is that PTSD is typically caused by a single traumatic event, while C-PTSD is associated with exposure to multiple traumatic events.

How is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosed?

When you meet with a doctor on Maple, they will want to talk to you about your medical history for both physical and mental health, your family’s medical history, and any symptoms you’re experiencing.

If they believe you could be experiencing PTSD, the doctor will suggest that you have an assessment done at a clinic to confirm the condition before offering a diagnosis.

Most commonly, these additional tests include:

  • A psychological examination
  • A full physical exam

 

After the consultation and psychological examination, your symptoms and condition will be evaluated against the criteria for PTSD listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to see whether it fits the criteria for this condition.

If it’s determined you have post-traumatic stress disorder, the doctor will then suggest some PTSD therapy or counselling options.

How is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treated?

The most frequently used post-traumatic stress disorder treatments involve psychotherapy and, in some cases, PTSD medications.

Several forms of psychotherapy may be suggested, depending on what type of trauma you experienced as well as the severity of your symptoms.

The most common forms of psychotherapy used in post-traumatic stress disorder treatments include:

  • Cognitive therapy (particularly for treating depression and PTSD)
  • Exposure therapy (especially for combating PTSD nightmares or flashbacks)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy

 

In some cases, the doctor may also suggest medications to assist with treating PTSD.

The most frequently prescribed PTSD medications are:

  • Antidepressants
  • Prazosin
  • Anti-anxiety medications

The road to recovery from PTSD can be long and difficult. Even with medications and psychotherapy, it can take years of treatment before symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder begin to fade or disappear.

What is Maple?

With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in minutes. We’re a healthcare platform for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.

Simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it works page to learn more.

Our doctors can assess symptoms and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.

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