Michael Stevenson’s character on Casualty, Iain Dean, has gone through turbulent times on the show. Last year, his mental health struggles became so hard to bear, the character attempted suicide. Outside of the show, Michael has had his own experience with mental health issues.
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In an interview with the Daily Mirror last year, the actor revealed he suffered from PTSD after the traumatic birth of his twins.
The TV star believes he developed the anxiety disorder after doctors informed him that his newly born twins may have malrotation.
Malrotation is an abnormality in which an infant’s intestine does not form in the correct way in the abdomen.
The stomach condition can become fatal if not treated as soon as possible.
Luckily, the concern was a false alarm, but the trauma left its mark on Michael.
He recalled the emotional pain he felt upon hearing the news: “I remember phoning my dad, they hadn’t heard anything from us for a few days and were worried, and hearing his voice, it all came out and I wept.”
According to the NHS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
“Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt,” explains the health body.
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People with PTSD may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult, notes the health site.
A slightly more subtle but unnerving PTSD symptom is the feeling of being constantly on edge or alert a lot of the time, according to Bupa.
“After such a traumatic experience, many people constantly look out for danger and can’t relax,” explains the health body.
These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.
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How to treat the condition
According to the NHS, if you have mild symptoms of PTSD, or you have had symptoms for less than four weeks, an approach called watchful waiting may be recommended.
Watchful waiting involves carefully monitoring your symptoms to see whether they improve or get worse.
If the symptoms do not improve, psychological therapies are usually recommended.
According to the NHS, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the main psychological therapies used to treat PTSD.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aims to help you manage your problems by changing how you think and act.
A combination of psychological therapy and medication may be recommended if you have severe or persistent PTSD, explains the NHS.
According to the health site, antidepressants, such as paroxetine, sertraline, mirtazapine, amitriptyline or phenelzine, are sometimes used to treat PTSD in adults.
“If medication for PTSD is effective, it’ll usually be continued for a minimum of 12 months before being gradually withdrawn over the course of 4 weeks or longer,” it adds.
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