Narrative: Traumatic events from your past should not reduce the quality of your present and future

Getting treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at earlier stage is advisable
Narrative: Traumatic events from your past should not reduce the quality of your present and future

Anjana and her husband, Dinesh, visited a psychiatrist. Dinesh said that they were hesitant to consult a psychiatrist since they did not know how anyone could help, but they had reached the end of their tether.

Anjana said that ever since dacoits broke into their house about four months ago, she had not been sleeping well and had become distant from her family. She admitted that she had stopped going to family functions for fear of talking about the break-in.

Initially when she had nightmares or could not sleep, she thought of it as a reaction to the break-in. Unfortunately, instead of feeling better over time, she found that her situation grew worse.

She kept getting vivid flashbacks of the dacoits breaking in and beating her up. She found she was unable to watch movies where similar things were shown. She would break into a sweat and switch off the TV immediately. What frightened her was her loss of interest in things that she enjoyed before. Her husband was worried that she was distancing herself from the family members.

Anjana told the doctor that she was worried she was going ‘mad’. She could not remember things properly anymore; she was easily angered and would get jittery at the slightest noise. She was exhausted because she had not slept well in weeks and could not get over the feeling that the world was a dangerous place.

After listening to the entire story and after doing a few medical assessments, the doctor diagnosed Anjana with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He explained to the couple what it meant and the treatment options for PTSD. He said that this condition was more common than people realized and getting treatment at an earlier stage was a good idea. The doctor started the treatment and advised her to get counseling from a therapist.

Staying on treatment over the next one year, Anjana felt that she was doing well. She started mingling with her family. Her sleep improved over time, and she no longer felt exhausted and lost. Dinesh also felt relieved that his wife was doing much better than before. Eventually, she no longer needed therapy. She continued medicine for a while and was able to gradually stop taking it with her doctor’s support.

This narrative has been created with the help of mental health experts by taking into consideration symptoms and accounts from a cross-section of patients. The story is not a case study of any one particular person but is meant to be representative of a person suffering from the disorder.  

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