Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a complex mental health diagnosis that arises out of a person’s witnessing a traumatic event. Traumatic events typically include experiences that would produce intense fear, terror and feeling of hopelessness in most people. These might involve natural disasters, combat, accidents, or being the victim of a violent crime.
Everyone who experiences a traumatic event, however, does not develop PTSD. In fact, it appears that approximately seven to eight percent of individuals who experience a traumatic event go on to develop PTSD. This is still a sizable portion of the population since about 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women will experience a traumatic event at some point.
Also, most people who experience a traumatic event will go through a period of stress response following the trauma which typically abates within around 30 days of onset. This is why it is not possible to diagnose PTSD within the first month following the onset of symptoms.
People who suffer from PTSD may experience some of the following:
- Intrusive, distressing, repetitive thoughts about the event
- Flashbacks (Intensely felt experience in which you feel or act as if the trauma is happening again)
- Avoiding certain thoughts or feelings that you associate with the event
- Avoiding activities or situation that you associate with the trauma
- Experiencing emotional numbness
- Feeling disconnected or detachment from others
- No longer having interest in activities that were previously pleasurable
- Feeling constantly on edge or hyper-vigilant
- Increased bodily arousal and panic attacks
If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD, please remember that effective evidence-based anxiety treatments have been consistently shown to help individuals with PTSD to take back their lives from the clutches of anxiety.