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Post-traumatic stress disorder, or better known simply as PTSD, is a condition that is at an unfortunately high prevalence in modern society. The origins of the traumatic event that causes the symptoms vary substantially but patients with PTSD all seem to present with a cascade of similar symptoms that force patients to "relive" uncomfortable experiences. Patients with this condition will find their life to be dramatically affected, and those who suffer from this condition have a lower quality of lives, have problems with sleep and anxiety and will even try to avoid situations which could trigger these traumatic events. [1]

The first step that every patient that has PTSD must do is realize they have a condition and seek help. Men tend to suffer from PTSD at higher rates than females and it is also much more difficult to elicit emotions out of male patients. Ex-military, survivors of car accidents or rape victims are some of the most frequent patients that will have PTSD. For obvious reasons, these patients may not wish to relive their traumatic experiences and will attempt to compartmentalize these feelings while trying to live a normal life. Attempting to handle this sensation on your own is not a recommended idea and every PTSD patient will benefit from realizing what happened to them was not normal and not something to be ashamed or embarrassed.  

Once you have realized that you are suffering from a condition, the next most important step is seeking help to try to alleviate the symptoms, and this can be done through 3 different ways. 

The first group I will focus on is seeking professional help to discuss your symptoms. Friends and family will provide a useful support system to help you recover but they are not medically trained. Psychologists are invaluable for these patients to help guide patients to accepting their condition and to undercover potential triggers for uncomfortable events patients may not even be aware. In the past, there was a stigma when it came to seeking help from a psychologist because patients were labeled as "crazy" but as society modernizes, there is less of a social stigma associated with this profession and patients should not be embarrassed about these meetings. 

A psychologist can help with some aspects of the condition but another thing that patients will need to utilize during their recovery will be taking medications. Anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and sleeping medications are all vital to help patients restore the balance of chemicals in their brains causing their symptoms in the first place. Patients may feel that they can work through their symptoms on their own without needing medications but patients not using medications will have symptoms much longer than those taking them. 

The last therapy that has proven to be invaluable to recovering PTSD victims would be attending support groups with other PTSD patients. Support groups are perhaps one of the most effective therapies available because it provides a safe environment for patients to discuss their own stories and has patients who can relate to the situation. As empathetic as doctors are, most have not been in an active war zone or experienced a severe car accident, so they are unable to relate to how the patient is feeling completely. When a PTSD patient is able to see their symptoms and worries are shared by a number of other patients suffering from the same condition, they learn to not shy away from their symptoms and more noticeable progress will be made with the help of their colleagues. 

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