ZocdocAnswersShould I seek mental help if I have PTSD?

Question

Should I seek mental help if I have PTSD?

I have PTSD after the death of my wife. What can I do for treatment? I am a 37 year old male.

Answer

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can go through. You should know that you can always discuss your grief and emotions with your primary care physician. It is very common for people who lose a spouse to suffer from depression or other mental health difficulties arising from the situation. Making sure you find the right support to help you heal is very important. Some people do benefit significantly from talking with a psychologist or psychiatrist; from becoming involved in group therapy with other people who have lost a loved one; or from medications to help with the depression, anxiety, and insomnia. PTSD is a very specific diagnosis associated with people who have witnessed severe and usually violent trauma. You may have PTSD from the circumstances surrounding your wife's death, but making this diagnosis requires a thorough evaluation by a medical professional. Fully assessing your needs in the setting of this kind of loss is best accomplished by talking with your primary care physician, since he or she can either examine you personally or help refer you to the appropriate mental health specialists. People grieve in different ways--and grieving a loss is healthy. The important thing is to make sure that grief does not develop into an unhealthy change in your mental health.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.