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PTSD treatment helps South Florida woman live better life

Posted at 5:11 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 17:11:32-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with veterans, but it can affect anyone.

Tanya Ruhl was a victim of an armed robbery back in 2013. That traumatic experience would haunt her later on.

"I was just afraid. I was scared, I had really bad nightmares," Ruhl said.

Her trauma-related memories and feelings started to worsen, up to the point she says she wouldn’t leave her home for six months.

"Me not being able to go anywhere, you know, me not being able to help my kids with their homework, me not being able to participate and then when they were doing their sports you know all of that had an impact on them," Ruhl said.

It was then she decided to seek help and was diagnosed with complex PTSD.

For Tania’s specific case, she underwent prolonged exposure therapy to decrease her PTSD symptoms.

"Desensitization is going to cause you to be triggered and in that state of being treated for a prolonged period of time so they just back down and text anxiety out of things," said RJ Banks, a clinical therapist at Retreat Behavioral Health.

Banks says each case is different and so are the therapy sessions.

"You’re still going to be triggered. But you disengage it and keep being hyped up into the fight or flight response. And going back down into normal functioning, i am safe now, and it is not going to affect me," Banks said.

Tanya says for anyone experiences what she went through, always seek help.

"Doesn’t mean that you’re weak at all, it means that you’re a fighter and that you want to keep going and that’s amazing in itself," Ruhl said.