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PTSD Specialist

Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa

Richard A Smith, DO

Psychiatry located in Tampa, FL

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may affect one in 11 people at some point during their lives. If anxiety, depression, or distressing memories negatively affect your everyday life, help is available at Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa in Tampa, Florida. Psychiatrist Richard Smith, DO, offers evidence-based PTSD treatments to help you recover and restore your quality of life. Schedule an appointment with Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa over the phone or online today.

PTSD Q&A

What is PTSD?

PTDS, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition often triggered by a traumatic event like military combat, abuse, violence, accidents, or witnessing traumatic events. PTSD symptoms may subside over time or can linger for a lifetime without proper treatment. 

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

You might have PTSD if you experience the following signs or symptoms.

  • Flashbacks of a traumatic event
  • Nightmares of a past event
  • Severe anxiety, depression, or hopelessness
  • Uncontrollable thoughts of a traumatic event
  • Distressing memories or memory problems
  • Severe emotional distress
  • Avoiding people, places, or things that remind you of past trauma
  • Feeling emotionally numb or thoughts of suicide
  • Detachment from friends and family
  • Lack of interest in favorite activities 

With PTSD, you might startle easily, always be on guard, experience sleeping problems, or have angry outbursts. You may engage in self-destructive behavior, such as eating disorders or excessive drinking.

What are the risk factors for PTSD?

Risk factors for developing PTSD include:

  • Military combat
  • Physical, mental, or sexual abuse
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Lack of healthy social support networks
  • Long-lasting trauma
  • Being a first responder
  • Family or personal history of mental health issues
  • Substance abuse

To diagnose PTSD, a Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa psychiatrist reviews your symptoms and medical history. They ask questions about your emotional state and complete comprehensive physical and psychological evaluations to make a final diagnosis.

How is PTSD treated?

Your psychiatrist typically uses the VA protocol to treat PTSD. Your personalized, evidence-based PTSD treatment plan might include:

Psychotherapy

Your provider helps you cope with past traumatic events using psychotherapy or talk therapy. They might use cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing techniques to help you work through emotions and process trauma in an effective way. 

Medications

Taking medications can reduce anxiety or depression associated with PTSD, increase your quality of life, and help you better cope with emotions. Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa uses pharmacogenetics to find a regimen that matches your genetic makeup.

TMS

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a natural treatment for depression that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate nerves in your brain associated with mood control. The procedure is noninvasive.

Support groups

Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa can refer you to PTSD support groups in your area to help you better cope with and manage symptoms.

Don’t let PTSD take over and diminish your quality of life when help is available at Florida Behavioral Medicine of Tampa. Schedule an appointment over the phone or online today.