Life’s ups and downs can be more than a tad bit overwhelming when stress builds up around a certain event or situation. People are unique and handle stress in different ways, depending on a number of factors, such as past experiences, personality type, lifestyle, etc. PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, as defined by the National Center for PTSD, is a mental health problem that some individuals develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, such as combat, a natural disaster, a car accident or sexual assault. Individuals suffering from PTSD report trouble sleeping at night, increased irrational fear and anxiety, self-induced isolation and even physical manifestations of pain when triggered or when recalling unsettling memories.
Who Can Develop PTSD?
Most people associate PTSD with active duty members or veterans, however, PTSD is not exclusive to just this group of people. PTSD can happen to anyone and it is oftentimes due to factors that are outside of the individual’s control. One such instance is if the individual was injured during the traumatic event.
Personal factors listed below can increase an individual’s chances of developing PTSD:
- -Previous traumatic exposure
- -Stressful living environment
It is also important to note that stress can make PTSD more likely, while social support can make it less likely. Supportive friends and family will benefit the journey to recovery.
PTSD - Signs and Symptoms
Most people who have experienced a traumatic event will have reactions that may include shock, anger, fear, or even guilt. While these feelings are common and go away over time, individuals who suffer from PTSD will experience an increase in these feelings. Individuals with PTSD experience symptoms lasting longer than one month and have a hard time functioning as they did before the event occurred.
Common signs and symptoms of PTSD can include:
- -Re-experiencing the traumatic event
- -Avoiding reminders of the trauma
- -Increased anxiety and emotional arousal
Individuals who suffer from PTSD often suffer from recurring nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
The Truth About PTSD
The “label” PTSD does not indicate weakness or a character flaw. Instead, it describes a wide range of signs and symptoms an individual may experience after surviving a traumatic event; the key root word being ‘survive’. It is important that they feel safe in their surroundings. Keeping PTSD victims away from situations that may trigger a memory is key to their success. The strength of those who have survived such traumatic events, combined with the support of family members and mental health professionals, creates a positive path toward recovery.
If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, get help today. Click here to schedule an appointment online.