What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is caused by an exposure to an extremely traumatic event where the victim’s natural reaction was intense fear, helplessness or horror. There are several different events that can trigger this and everyone reacts differently. Some of the common events include war, torture, rape, child sexual assaults, terrorism, a major car accident, living with a fatal illness, a natural disaster, witnessing a death, finding someone dead, or being physically assaulted. These are only some of the events that can cause PTSD.
The symptoms of PTSD vary in severity. Some of the common symptoms include nightmares about the event, trouble sleeping, recurring distressing thoughts or images, intense psychological distress where memories of the event are triggered, sweating, muscle twitching and rapid heartbeat. Some people will go through sprouts of unexplained anger or irritability and be always on alert for danger.
Many people dealing with PTSD will seem fine on the outside and instead will bottle up their feelings or emotions. These are often classified as avoidance symptoms and include resorting to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to block out the memories, avoiding people and places, losing interest in activities that they enjoyed before the traumatic event and being unable to feel joy or loving feelings. Many sufferers will also feel detached from society and be unable to see a future for themselves.
If you or someone you love is suffering from PTSD there are ways to overcome this disorder. Treatment comes in a number of phases, much like AA, which include education and information, learning how to manage your anger, depression and fear, exposure therapy, cognitive therapy and relapse prevention. Together with a behavioral healthcare professional, it is possible to overcome post traumatic stress disorder and live a normal life.
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