[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”P T S D” font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect a person of any age or background. It is caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event such as military combat, physical or sexual assault, terrorist attacks, serious accidents, or natural disasters.
NORMAL FEELINGS OF GRIEF
PTSD is different from the normal feelings one experiences. After an event like this, it is not uncommon for a person to have bad dreams, replay images in their mind, and find it difficult to think about anything else. But these feelings usually subside over time.
When the feelings do not subside, your nervous system is not responding, and your body can experience ongoing bouts of shock. If these persist, you may develop PTSD.
Those who experience PTSD face three different symptoms. First, they may relive the trauma when confronted by a traumatic reminder or when thinking about the event. Second, the person may try to avoid certain people or places that remind them of the event. This may lead to isolation and a numb feeling. Third, they may feel on guard, irritable, or startle easily throughout normal everyday routines.
PTSD can begin right after a traumatic event, but it will not be diagnosed unless the symptoms last at least one month and create significant distress in the individuals life or interferes with their work or home life. They must also experience the three symptoms— reliving the trauma, isolation or numbness, and being guarded — to be diagnosed with the disorder.
A GATEWAY DISORDER
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder often leads to other mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. Over half of men with PTSD also battle alcohol abuse, followed by depression. For women with PTSD, the most common problem is depression, followed by specific fears.
HOW COMMON IS IT
Some 30 percent of men and women who experience battle situations in war will experience PTSD. About 5.2 million people in the United States have PTSD during the course of a given year, with women being 10.4 percent more likely to develop it.
For men the most common causes of the disorder are rape, combat exposure, childhood neglect, and childhood physical abuse. The most common causes for women are rape, sexual molestation, physical attack, being threatened with a weapon, and childhood abuse.
PTSD can be difficult for everyone involved. Family and friends may have a difficult time learning how to handle situations to help avoid upsetting their loved one. The best course of treatment for those who are battling the disorder and for their family is therapy.