Post-traumatic stress disorder, popularly referred to as PTSD, is one among the rare neurological disorders that are induced by a distressful, traumatic external stimulus. The symptoms of PTSD can be relieved by medications and natural treatments.
However, nursing care of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder becomes very difficult if the patient shows an extremely apprehensive response to the particular care procedure or treatment. Such patients should be treated with utmost care as their extreme response might not be to the treatment procedure, but to the associated memories of the trauma they went through in the past.
Symptoms and signs of PTSD, common to children, adults, and the elderly, include disturbances in sleeping patterns, nightmares, a heightened startle reflex, aggressive and violent outbursts, hallucinations, delusions, difficulty in concentrating or talking about the traumatic experience, and sexual dysfunction. These symptoms can be alleviated by tending proper care to the patient in the following manner:
- Identify PTSD and the traumatic experience associated with its development. Study of the past history of the patient and underlying causes of the disorder can help fine tune the treatment accordingly.
- Besides getting in touch with a mental health professional for medications and treatment, ensure a comfortable, peaceful, and secure atmosphere is maintained at home.
- Address the patient’s essential needs and problems, such as fatigue, loneliness, cold, and hunger.
- Communicate with the patient in a clear and concise manner
- Assume a consistent, non-judgmental, honest, and a positive attitude while nursing care to establish sense of trust and security in patient’s mind.
- If the PTSD patient is suffering from a strong feeling of guilt or depression, readdress any opinions your patient may have that he or she is accountable for this condition and assure him that his condition is very common to all those who are under stress.
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