How to Manage PTSD Flashbacks


If you experience PTSD flashbacks as a result of a traumatic event, you probably feel like you’re living in fear all the time. The good news is, we can help you manage your flashbacks and get back to living your life.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition previously known as shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome because it was common among soldiers returning from war. However, as doctors have continued to research PTSD, they’ve come to realize it’s not solely related to combat. PTSD can occur in many other situations. It may develop after someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, experiences serious physical harm or even the threat of harm, or is involved in a situation that causes feelings of horror, intense fear, and/or helplessness. Symptoms most commonly develop within three months of the event, but in some cases, they don’t start until years later. And the length and severity of the symptoms varies from person to person. Some recover within about six months, while others struggle for years. At Aura Psychiatry, PLLC, board-certified psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner Farheen Makani, PMHNP-BC, uses various evidence-based methods to help you recover from PTSD and live a calmer and more fulfilling life. Here’s what you need to know about the disorder and managing the flashbacks that characterize it. PTSD basics PTSD symptoms come in four distinct categories, and you must have all of them for at least one month to be diagnosed with the condition:
Intrusive thoughts: Frequent, repetitive memories, nightmares, or flashbacks of the trauma that make you feel you’re reliving the event
Avoidance behaviors: Avoiding people, places, or objects that remind you of the trauma and trigger memories or flashbacks
Negative thoughts or feelings: Negative or angry thoughts or feelings about yourself or others, including ongoing fears, shame, or guilt and feeling estranged from others.
Heightened arousal and reactive symptoms: Feeling jumpy or irritable; prone to angry outbursts, behaving recklessly or acting in a self-destructive manner; difficulty concentrating and making decisions
For diagnostic purposes, you must have at least one symptom each of intrusive thoughts and avoidance behaviors and two symptoms each of negative thoughts and heightened arousal. If you display all four categories of symptoms for at least a month, your primary care doctor takes a complete medical history and performs a physical exam. There are no lab tests that reveal a PTSD “marker,” but your doctor may use such tests to rule out any other physical illness as the cause of your symptoms. If he doesn’t find another physical cause, your doctor will refer you to a mental health professional, such as Aura Psychiatry, PLLC, for further assessment. We have specially designed assessment tools to evaluate if the type and severity of your symptoms meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association. Our goal for treatment is to reduce both the physical and emotional symptoms you experience, improve daily functioning, and help you better cope with the traumatic event that triggered your response. If you’re experiencing PTSD flashbacks and don’t want to live in that moment anymore, Aura Psychiatry, LLC can help. To get started, call our office at 469-599-2872 to set up a consultation, or book online with us today.

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