Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause drastic changes in an individual’s life and make it hard to cope with day-to-day activities. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments of PTSD so you can get the help you need.
What is PTSD
PTSD is a term used to describe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a type of anxiety disease that can occur following a traumatic incident. Flashbacks, nightmares, sleeplessness, and being on edge are all symptoms. Most people with PTSD can achieve recovery with therapy. But some people may need medication as well.
PTSD can happen to anyone. It’s not just veterans or people in combat who experience it. It can happen after any traumatic event, such as a car accident, natural disaster, or personal assault. Women are more likely to experience PTSD than men. And people who have had childhood trauma are also more at risk.
So what exactly is the cause of PTSD? It’s still not clear what exactly causes PTSD. But it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Specific genes can make someone more likely to develop the disorder. And exposure to traumatic events is also a risk factor.
Generally, the more severe the trauma, the greater the risk of developing PTSD. But not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD. It’s thought that about 20% of people who have been through a significant trauma will develop the disorder. In most cases, people develop PTSD because of the following causes:
- car accident
- natural disasters
- personal assault, such as rape or mugging
- witnessing a death
- experiencing combat
Yet, it’s crucial to remember that even though a person survives a traumatic event, it doesn’t mean they will automatically develop PTSD. We have different ways of coping with trauma, and some people are more resilient than others.
PTSD symptoms can differ from person to person, and they can vary in intensity over time. Symptoms usually start within three months of the traumatic event. But in some cases, they may not appear until years later. The disorder can last for a few weeks, months, or even years.
The symptoms of PTSD fall into four main categories:
Re-experiencing the trauma
One of the most common symptoms of PTSD is re-experiencing the trauma. This can take many different forms. For example, you may:
- have flashbacks of the event
- have nightmares about the event
- relive the event over and over in your head
- feel like you’re going through the event again
People with PTSD often try to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma. This can make it hard to go about your everyday life. For example, you may:
- avoid people, places, or things that remind you of the event
- not talk about the event
- try not to think about the event
Many people with PTSD numbed themselves emotionally. This can make it hard to feel any positive emotions. For example, you may:
- lose interest in activities you used to enjoy
- not be able to have positive feelings, such as love or happiness
- become emotionally flat
People with PTSD can also become easily startled. They may have a hard time sleeping and concentrating. And they may feel on edge all the time. For example, you may:
- have trouble sleeping
- have trouble concentrating
- be constantly on the lookout for danger
- react angrily or feel irritable
If you think you may have PTSD, it’s crucial to get help. The sooner you get treatment, the better. There are many effective treatments available. And with treatment, most people with PTSD can get better.
Talk therapy, also called counseling or psychotherapy, is another effective treatment for PTSD. There are many different types of talk therapy. For instance, intensive trauma therapy is a type of talk therapy that focuses on helping people with PTSD. It’s often done in an inpatient setting. This means you would stay at a hospital or treatment center. Intensive trauma therapy can last for a few weeks or months.
Many different types of medication can be used to treat PTSD. The most common type is an antidepressant medication. Antidepressants can help with the symptoms of re-experiencing the trauma, numbing, and hyperarousal.
Other types of treatment can be used to treat PTSD. For example, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy that uses eye movements to help people process memories of the trauma.
PTSD can be a complex disorder to live with. But with treatment, most people with PTSD can get better. Don’t let the illness take over your life. If you are currently struggling, seek help from a mental health professional. It’s never too late to get treatment and regain control of your life.