Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, known as PTSD, affects an estimated 8 million adults. About 7 out of 100 people will experience this at some point in their lives.
PTSD is a mental health condition that results from a person experiencing or witnessing (directly or indirectly) a traumatic event. Exposure could happen in one or more of the following ways: directly experiencing traumatic events, witnessing in person, learning that the traumatic event occurred to a close family member or friend, or repeated or extreme exposure to traumatic events such as first responders or police officers.
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- recurrent involuntary and intrusive memories of the events
- recurrent dreams related to the event
- flashbacks in which the person feels or acts like the traumatic event was reoccurring
- marked physiological reactions and intense or prolonged psychological distress to situations or events that symbolize or resemble the traumatic event.
A diagnosis of PTSD is made by noting a cluster of symptoms that have continued over time.
• Persistent of avoidance of situations associated with the traumatic event
• Inability to remember important aspects of the traumatic event
• Persistent and negative beliefs about the individual or world
• Persistent or negative emotional state (fear, anger, guilt, horror or shame)
• Diminished interest and/or participation in significant activities
• Feelings of detachment from others
• Inability to experience positive emotions such as happiness, satisfaction, etc.
• Physical symptoms such as nervousness, being started easily, difficulty concentrating and sleep disturbances
If you feel that you may have PTSD, talk with your doctor or mental health provider. A mental health provider will be able to diagnose and determine what treatment options would work best for you. Medication may also be prescribed with therapy.
If you or someone you know is experiencing PTSD symptoms, know that there is help. Contact your doctor for an appointment.
Resource: Complete Wellness Solutions: Completely Well, July 2020.