When people think of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), most people think of war veterans, but post-traumatic stress disorder can happen to people who suffer from any kind of severe trauma in their lives.
Who Suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTDS)
War veterans are the obvious sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but people who experience childhood trauma such as physical and sexual abuse, especially if the abuse was severe and repeated, suffer also. Those who have been involved in natural disasters, physical and sexual assaults, disasters caused by human actions, and witnesses of violence or death can have a difficult time also.
It is normal to feel stressed when living through or seeing a potentially dangerous event, but people with PTSD have a severe, prolonged reaction to the event, even when the danger is no longer present.
Signs and Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
There are common signs and symptoms of PTSD to look for. The stress the person feels may interfere with occupational, educational and social functioning. This can cause them to experience decreased concentration and appear pre-occupied and disinterested. The person may become easily agitated, anxious, exhibit low self-esteem, substance abuse, insomnia, suspiciousness, survival guilt, and intense fear of separation from those significant in their lives.
Other noticeable behaviors include an exaggerated startle response, hyper vigilance, sudden intense anger, and emotional numbness. Severe detachment from loved ones can be very frustrating to the family and friends and it is important for others to understand where this all comes from as the sufferer may seem disinterested in involvement with the people in their lives.
Some people who suffer from PTSD suffer from flashbacks of the event, which is a re-experiencing of the thoughts of the events. This may come out as dreams, intrusive thoughts and remembering the events when something triggers that memory. Flashbacks may seem very real to the person experiencing them. The sufferer may avoid anything that reminds them of the traumatic events. Intrusive thoughts and memories of the trauma can occur.
Types of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
There are two types of PTSD, acute and chronic.
Acute PTSD starts within 6 months of the event and lasts no longer than 6 months.
Chronic PTSD is a delayed reaction. Onset is longer than six months after the event and lasts longer than six months and usually is triggered by a severe life stress and/or illness. Chronic post-traumatic stress disorder is rare, but can be very dramatic.
There is Hope for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sufferers
Talk therapy, also called psychotherapy is the most effective way for a person suffering to deal with their issues. There are also support groups out there to help. The point is that a person does not have to suffer from this forever.
Antidepressants and other medications can help. These medications are recommended only for short term use as they don’t address the actual problem, but can assist with the management of the symptoms of PTSD.